This very special retreat offers a unique opportunity for Dhamma students to engage in two weeks of practice grounded in the Vipassana teachings and practices with an orientation towards investigating Self–Not Self in relation to the creative process. Along with sitting, walking, Dhamma talks, individual practice interviews and some group discussion, we will explore the flow of creative energy in relationship to “self-view” via movement, seeing/drawing, and writing. One need not have any experience with any of these creative modalities to participate in this retreat.
Marcia Rose is the Guiding Teacher for The Mountain Hermitage’s two-week Self-Not Self and the Creative Process Retreat. She will be assisted by movement teacher Wynn Fricke and writing teacher Sean Murphy. The retreat will provide an opportunity to train with the guiding teacher and the assisting teachers in various creative modalities along with the development of a sustained mindfulness and concentration practice. This will contribute to a comprehensive deepening of practice and understanding. Yogis are expected to maintain sustained and continuous practice during their time at The Mountain Hermitage. Teaching support will consist of six to eight evening Dhamma talks and four to six individual practice interviews during the two weeks. Before each Dhamma talk there will be a renewed yogi group commitment to the refuges and precepts. Yogis will undertake one hour of work meditation daily.
- MOVEMENT: Through guided movement improvisations, we heighten sensitivity to the felt experience of the body. We learn to follow visceral responses and attend to the multitude of impulses and intentions that underlie our physical actions. Through quiet attention, we begin to explore perceived boundaries of internal and external, as well as the ways in which Self and Not-Self show up. These movement meditations provide a joyous and healing opportunity to release into the body’s profound sensitivity and creative response to present moment experience.
- SEEING/DRAWING: Seeing/Drawing is a way to achieve intimate touch with the visible world around us, and through it, with ourselves. Our practice will be to receive what is seen without interposing the ’self’, to allow the mind, the eye and the heart to simply reflect like a clear mirror. From this springs the ability to contact things directly and positively, letting the hand (and pencil) follow what the eye sees without the thought of ‘making’ a picture or ‘being’ creative. Our Seeing/Drawing will be the practice of contemplative awareness in relationship to a world that is fully alive. As we begin to draw, suddenly we begin to see. And as we begin to truly see, suddenly we are drawing in a way we may never have experienced before.
- WRITING: Not-self is actually where all creation comes from. Words and thoughts arise as though from nowhere — and we can learn to trust the process, and let it inform our creative work. What happens when we let go of ourselves and let the writing arise from this empty space? That’s not-self. That’s our starting place… In practice this means we’ll work with guided meditations, sensory/ mindfulness exercises, and free-writing to touch that deep place in our creative process from which true inspiration springs.