Nova Scotia Retreat Reports - a compilation

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    Lovingly collected bits of chat log about the Nova Scotia Retreat "Avatars in the Forst" August 1-7, 2010.

    See full retreat reports here: 2010-08 Nova Scotia. This page is a bit of a repeat of that, but as always I had fun doing it. - SSL


    2010.08.03 19:00 - Avatars in the Forest Day 2 - Wol and Eos, still at the Retreat, attend a Play as Being
    session and talk about their present experiences. :)

    2010.08.08 08:00 - Two New Retreats Announced - A short recounting of the retreat by Eos.

    2010.08.09 13:00 - Return of the Wol....and Eliza!

    Wol Euler counts on her fingers. Blueberry lions enoughness.blueberries.jpg

    Wol Euler: each of those words unpacks to about 400 other words of explanation

    Bruce Mowbray: bush-tailed trill?

    Wol Euler: there was bushy-tailedness, yes.
    Wol Euler: "squirrel" was another candidate for the three word list

    Wol Euler: I could spend another 1000 words on the food (sighs)

    Lions.jpg  Eliza Madrigal: Maybe Blueberry Lion Enoughness is sufficient




    Eliza Madrigal: Rotting Log practice was definitely central...
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Eliza Madrigal: and being seen
    Agatha Macbeth: Can you elaborate Liz?
    Agatha Macbeth: That's Latin for 'say more'?
    Bleu Oleander: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Let me grab a little of the frame given by the guardian/host of Windhorse Farms...

    Eliza Madrigal: Okay... here is

    "Forest Practice" according to Jim Drescher: Sit Like a Frog Stand like a tree. trees.jpg

    Sit like a frog. Lie down like a rotting log. See forms like an owl. Hear sounds like the white-tailed deer. Smell the wind like a horse. Taste nectar like a bee. Feel your world like a bob cat. Be discriminating without commentary. Be fully human: Upright and balanced, Expansive and sensitive, Tender and fearless, Open, spacious and relaxed. There is nothing missing So take the royal seat --- Protect this earth and all our relations. whf april 2009 See How It Is First see how it is. Then just be --- open, spacious and relaxed. Now, what draws you to engage In uncovering inherent richness? Honestly and thoroughly explore your doubt, But don’t take refuge there. Penetrate the veils that obscure Primordial wisdom. Rest there. Relax into wakefulness. Wake up into relaxation With things as they are.

    Nothing is missing So take the royal seat. Protect this earth and All our relations.

    Bleu Oleander: sounds like anywhere practice

    Eliza Madrigal: Would you like to read the rest?
    Wol Euler: please :)
    Eliza Madrigal:

    whf april 2010 Drown in Your World Look at whatever catches your eye ball. Listen intently to coarse and subtle sounds. Flare your nostrils and breathe. Move your tongue. Touch your world. Curiosity is motivation enough. Let go and relax into open space. As the world surges toward you, See it, hear it, smell it, taste it, feel it. Leap into the depth and cool warmth of beauty. Willingly Joyfully Hopelessly Fearlessly drown in your world. There is nothing else. There is nothing missing. whf May 2010

    Bruce Mowbray muses: Curiosity, wonder, and beauty. . .

    arabella Ella: did any of you actually spend a night alone in the forest?

    Eliza Madrigal: No Ara.. I left thinking that I might if given the chance though... and some did take a night walk
    Wol Euler: there was a night walk, though, which some went on.

    Wol Euler: others (coughs) stayed in bed and got up early next morning for the dawn chorus
    Agatha Macbeth: Nova Scotia somnambulists...
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh... hm, yes
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Bruce Mowbray: was the forest floor soft?
    Wol Euler: very
    Wol Euler: surprisingly so
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh so soft Bruce.... soft enough to run in
    Agatha Macbeth: Any tree hugging?
    Eliza Madrigal: and not hear oneself running in
    Eliza Madrigal: tree touching....
    Eliza Madrigal: tree listening to...
    Agatha Macbeth: Did the trees touch back?

    Eliza Madrigal: yes I think they did
    Bruce Mowbray: Good to hear that there was tree listening.
    Wol Euler grins

    Bruce Mowbray: If we are standing like trees stand, then we should at least listen to them also.

    Eliza Madrigal: like blueberries and the way we all were with one another

    Agatha Macbeth: I need to know more about this blueberry thing
    Mickorod Renard: all soft and juicy?
    Eliza Madrigal: and like the forest itself... didn't think of forests as 'sweet' before...

    Eliza Madrigal: definitely juicy Mick :)
    Mickorod Renard: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: and yes quite soft
    arabella Ella: could we at least try to guess ... did you pick them and eat them?
    Agatha Macbeth: Magic blueberries...
    Eliza Madrigal: Wol would you like to explain the blueberries? :)
    Wol Euler: hmmm

    Wol Euler: who started it, I wonder?
    Wol Euler: all the food at the retreat was fresh and organic

    Wol Euler: much of it came from the farm itself, including the blueberries that we had at lunch one day, early on
    arabella Ella: how many were you in all?

    Wol Euler: after lunch, we were talking about experiencing things-that-are, about "the is-ness of all that is"
    Wol Euler: and somebody mentioned the blueberries as an example of thing that are.

    Wol Euler: and for the rest of the retreat, they were our totem, our token example of really-being-ness
    Mickorod Renard: :)
    arabella Ella: wow cool
    Wol Euler: it was :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :) yes... our symbol of enoughness
    Wol Euler: oh, right!
    arabella Ella: and there was i imagining you all bombarding each other with lots of fresly cut blueberries

    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, did I answer Ara... there were 7 of us

    Eliza Madrigal: yes... so now we have 1. onigokko, 2. sauna, 3. signing guest book
    Agatha Macbeth: 4.blueberries
    Wol Euler: 5. lion

    Wol Euler: I have the same feeling about this as I did after the Malta retreat: at the time the days felt absolutely packed full, but in retrospect I can't figure out what we did with all the time
    Eliza Madrigal: It was restful time... very even
    Eliza Madrigal: non intrusive and nurturing

    2010.08.08 13:00 - Stand like a tree. Sit like a frog. Lie down like a rotting log

    Pema Pera: What a quick reunion of the PaB retreat -- with Eos, Wol and me here already!

    Pema Pera: that was a bit wacky, to sit in a room in RL, while trying to focus on everything all at once: what was happening here in SL, plus conversations in the room between avatar typists, snowglobe.jpgplus conversations drifting in through the open windows from the cooks and their friends :-)
    Eos Amaterasu: first there is a mountain then there is no mountain
    Eos Amaterasu: then there is
    Wol Euler nods.
    Eos Amaterasu is holding a Windhorse Farm snowglobe in his heart
    Pema Pera: do you sometimes turn your heart upside down, Eos?
    Eos Amaterasu: the snowglobe seems very good at doing that :-)

    Pema Pera: One thing that made it wonderful was to have three guided forest walks by Jim Drescher, the local forester

    Eos Amaterasu: The 90 secs feel like Jim D's instruction: "lie down like a rotting log"

    Pema Pera: Eos gave us his lines: the first three are: Stand like a tree. Sit like a frog. Lie down like a rotting log.
    Pema Pera: A while further down is another line I especially liked:
    Pema Pera: Be discriminating without commentary.

    Wol Euler smiles beatifically.
    Pema Pera: :-)
    stevenaia Michinaga: aww..... bliss
    Pema Pera: was wonderful, hard to convey . . . . joyful :)
    Bruce Mowbray muses: Me thinks they are still descending from the mountain.
    Eos Amaterasu: the 90 secs is the mountain?
    Bruce Mowbray thinks: 90 secs could indeed be a mountain.
    Bruce Mowbray: or 9 secs.
    Eos Amaterasu: as easy as falling off a mountain :-)

    Pema Pera is still pondering how to describe the retreat: a sense of flow, of natural process, lots of walks, talks, meals, explorations, but never rushed and all occurring spontaneously, it felt.
    Eos Amaterasu: as long as a blueberry
    Wol Euler: and as wide as the howl of a coyote

    Wol Euler: it was packed full of emptiness, organized on a schedule of no-time
    Wester Kiranov: :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: sounds like action packed relaxness
    Wol Euler smiles.
    Pema Pera: the movie we saw was certainly packed . . .
    Wol Euler: oh yes :)
    Wol Euler: "Inception"
    Wol Euler: highly recommended
    Bruce Mowbray: ;-)
    Ewan Bonham: Sounds like it is intriguing..
    Eos Amaterasu: Wednesday afternoon we all went to see the movie
    Eos Amaterasu: (some of us for 2nd time)
    Pema Pera: during the previous retreat, in San Francisco, we all saw Avatar -- it's becoming a PaB retreat tradition!
    spinning to[.gifEos Amaterasu: pan to dining room table at Juniper Lodge, Windhorse Farm, where a top is spinning, maybe wobbling?                         



    Bruce Mowbray: Can you stay present and let the feelings about the retreat happen here/now?
    without returning to the setting?
    Eos Amaterasu: indeed!
    Pema Pera: sure
    Pema Pera: can't avoid :-)
    Bruce Mowbray: cool. ;-)

    Eos Amaterasu: May be forest be in your heart, Wol!


    2010.08.10 19:00 - Forest

    Eos Amaterasu: The forest at Windhorse Farm is a close expression of Being itself
    Lucinda Lavender: can you say more?
    Eos Amaterasu: the owner, Jim Drescher, has over the years developed a kind of forest practice
    Lucinda Lavender: seems like forests have special effects...
    Ewan Bonham: What kind of practice?
    Eos Amaterasu:

    From "The Little Book of Practice":

      As a longtime naturalist and meditator, he says that during the first years he was eager to tune in to the subtleties of the forest - the invisible energies and secret lives of all that lived there. At some point he realized that all he really had to do was make himself available, to "show up", and be seen rather than struggling to see.


    Lucinda Lavender: nodding
    Ewan Bonham: do you mean the ecology?
    Eos Amaterasu: we could say, Being seeing
    Bruce Mowbray understands this.


    2010.08.11 13:00 - Dropped, not Stopped

    Wol Euler: it was very concentrated, we all stayed in a farmhouse in the forest for the whole week

    Wol Euler: it had a two-storey plus a bit central space, where we sat on sofas (and broke one of them)

    Fefonz Quan litens to Wol
    Wol Euler: plus a retreat room off to the side, but we only sat there together once. People used it individually for private sitting after that

    Wol Euler: the catering was done by a lovely young couple, locals
    Wol Euler: delicious very healthy food, clearly made with passion and the freshest ingredients

    Wol Euler: blueberries and lions and enoughness came up often
    Fefonz Quan: lions?

    Wol Euler: and "the is-ness of what is"
    Fefonz Quan: what can be said about the is-ness of what is?
    Wol Euler: we did the Diamond Sutra series of meditations on Tuesdaygong.jpg
    Wol Euler: starting with dropping our history and progressing through dropping being human to dropping being and time

    Wol Euler: but the lions arose out of that, from the "dropping being human" stage

    Wol Euler: Eos and Tarmel and somebody else had already seen Inception and kept talking about how good it was, and how it related to PaB
    Wol Euler: so we decided to go together to see it on Wednesday afternoon.

    Wol Euler: maxine, pema, tarmel, eos, eliza, corvi, and myself

    Wol Euler: we walked in the forest nearly every day, alone or in small groups

    Wol Euler: on the first morning, Jim (owner) came to meet us and took us on a tour of the forest

    Wol Euler: it was a very wet forest, there was moss everywhere and a few streams
    Wol Euler: and a little shrine to Kami beside one of them

    Wol Euler: the paths were laid in sawdust from the mill, so it was very soft underfoot everywhwere
    Mickorod Renard: was it misty too?
    Wol Euler: and very quiet
    Wol Euler: in places,yes
    Mickorod Renard: nice

    Wol Euler: there is very little topsoil there, where water flowed it cut straight down an inch or two to black rock
    Wol Euler: the streams were very beautiful
    Wol Euler: and becaose of the water flowing around and pooling under rocks, there was a lot of lovely sound too
    arabella Ella: did you have a silent day? or perhaps two?
    Wol Euler: thursday was silent, from daybreak to *after* dinner

    Wol Euler: I found myself trying to be quiet as well as silent, walking cautiously, putting things down carefully

    Wol Euler: I found myself being silent on the friday morning too, it just seemed natural not to speak


    2010.08.13 01:00 - Afterthoughts - Wol Euler sat alone and thought out loud at this session.

    2010.08.17 19:00 - The lion winks and laughs - A wonderful discussion about 'enoughness'.

    Eos Amaterasu: Wol did a summary of her Windhorse Farm retreat experiences:
          "blueberry lions enoughness"

    Eos Amaterasu: Do you want to give a commentary, Eliza? :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: Mmm yes. I bought blueberries today, thinking of that...
    Eliza Madrigal: Well, my summary would be blueberries=total satisfaction
    Eos Amaterasu: blueberries were to NS RL retreat what almond cookes were to Malta retreat
    Eliza Madrigal: lions=what wakes you up to see that satisfaction is in some sense, a choice to see what is

    Eliza Madrigal: enoughness=corvi's word for what is
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: and all of that being what we can share and explore and celebrate together

    Eos Amaterasu: enoughness becomes more than enough



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