Heart of Awareness: Mindfulness and Yoga Summer retreat
August 3 – 7, 2022
Welcome to this summer meditation and yoga retreat, to settle back into your authentic self in the natural beauty of the forested mountains! Retreat is traditionally a time to step away from the busy-ness of one’s life, to find peace, calm, and clarity. With the ancient wisdom traditions of Buddhism and Yoga and the discoveries of modern research, Jonathan will skillfully guide us into a space of deep rest, contemplation, transformation, and joyful ease
We all need to reconnect with our center and find our balance, especially in the hectic everyday of modern life. Retreat is a time-honored method to re-establish that balance and get back to what is essential. In this retreat, we will explore how to develop a calm mind and open heart, balancing Mindfulness with Heartfulness, supported by a gentle and therapeutic yoga practice. And we will explore methods for finding our balance even during challenging or difficult times.
Retreat is also an opportunity to come together in supportive community to practice with a competent teacher. Jonathan is a respected mindfulness and yoga teacher that has been successfully guiding retreats for over a decade, and his lifelong practice and professional training gives him a wealth of experience to share from. With his natural warmth and wisdom, Jonathan is renowned for creating an inclusive and safe environment for personal development, insight, and deep healing.
The Heart of Awareness
“With the pincers of truth, I have plucked
from the dark corners of my heart
the thorn of many judgments.
I sit in my own splendor, and I have no fear.”
–the Ashtavakra Gita, “The Heart of Awareness”
The ‘Heart of Awareness’ refers to the opened-heart of awakening, which is the essential nature of our being. It is a direct path of recognizing our true Self, which is already awake, radiant, loving, and whole. Resting in this open heart of awareness, we are naturally peaceful and fearless. We just need to re-discover it, hidden like a gem under our muddled, over-active, and confused minds. The teachings from the non-dual wisdom traditions will be our guide this week to realize the heart of awareness as our authentic nature and develop a fearless heart.
Most mindfulness practices are about cultivating attentional skills through much effort and discipline. But equally important is the need for surrender and letting go. This is called ‘effortless mindfulness’ in the Mahamudra/Dzogchen traditions of Tibetan Buddhist yoga. In this way of practicing, we relax into our experience and release expectations and striving. Learning to accept more deeply with open-hearted awareness, we can learn to embrace what is, and allow it to be. Effortless Mindfulness is the way of ease and flow and will be introduced in this week through our meditations.
The Brahmaviharas, or the Four Immeasurables, are an ancient Vedic practice dating back before Buddhism and yoga and carried into both. They are the practices of altruistic or unconditional love, learning to open the heart and discover lasting inner peace. These methods are still alive today, thousands of years later, and we will be practicing them in our yoga this week, using Metta, Tonglen, and Bhakti yoga (the yoga of selfless Love).
We will also explore the modern discoveries in science around the intelligence of the heart and the power of compassion, and practice breathing techniques that facilitate coherence and optimal well-being. These open-hearted and healing techniques will all be supported by a Mindful yoga practice, a gentle and therapeutic approach to asana. The yoga sessions are accessible for everyone, even with little or no prior experience in yoga practice.
Structure of retreat
The mornings will begin in silence and go until lunch, with a full ‘Day of Silence’ one of the days. Each day starts with a morning meditation and a gentle Mindful yoga session after breakfast, followed by a walking meditation or other practice. There will be personal time after lunch to hike, canoe on the lake, get a massage, sauna, write in your journal, or do absolutely nothing. The afternoon session will involve instructions and practices, which may be done outdoors, such as a meditation at the waterfalls. Before dinner is an optional sauna. And in the evening, there may be a combination of Dharma talk, chanting/Bhakti yoga for opening the heart, Dances of Universal Peace, or deeper Yin/Restorative yoga and relaxation practice.
The center has been used as a space for meditation for many years and is ideal for contemplative practice and retreat. Next to a lake and surrounded by peaceful forests with a view of the mountains, it is a serene location in nature, not far from Oslo. There is also a river nearby with a waterfall, and trails for walking in nature. The meditation hall is spacious with heated floors and a majestic view of the mountains. The cabins are cozy, and give the feel of natural simplicity, without lacking comfort. And the three vegetarian meals served daily are nourishing, healthy, and delicious. There is also friendly staff that offer massage and other healing services. Altogether, it is a perfect space for renewal and a supportive environment for healing and inner work.
Prices including retreat program, 3 vegetarian meals every day and sauna.
Single room in shared cabin 6.767 NOK
Shared room in shared cabin 5.807 NOK
Loft in shared cabin 5.807 NOK
Tent 4.907 NOK
Private/home 4.507 NOK
All cabins have bathrooms and a mini kitchen.