Retreat: The Four Foundations of Mindfulness – March 6-9 2014 – Susurumba, Nyanga

Mindfulness is being present with what is happening whilst it is happening, without preference.

The theme of the retreat is Mindfulness of Body, Feelings, Mind and Teachings and will be facilitated by Ven. Lama Tsondru.

Mindfulness in the Buddhist sense goes beyond just paying attention to things. It is a pure awareness free of judgments and concepts and self-reference. Mindfulness requires training and practice, and the Buddha advised working with four foundations to train oneself to be mindful. The four foundations are:

  • Mindfulness of Body.  This is an awareness of the body as body – something experienced as breath and flesh and bone. It is not “my” body. It is not a form you inhabit. There is just body.
  • Mindfulness of Feelings.  One learns to just observe emotions and sensations come and go, without judgments and without identifying with them. In other words, it is not “my” feelings, and feelings do not define who you are.
  • Mindfulness of Mind. Like sensations or emotions, our states of mind come and go. Sometimes we are sleepy; sometimes we are restless. We learn to observe our mental states dispassionately, without judgment or opinion. As they come and go, we clearly understand how insubstantial they are. This helps to release their power over us.
  • Mindfulness of Teachings. Here we open ourselves to the whole world and to all we experience as ‘teachings’.

VENUE:

Susurumba, Juliasdale, Nyanga (immediately behind Pine Tree Inn) – approximately 70kms from Rusape, take the Pine Tree turnoff and follow the driveway to the hotel. At the hotel car park, branch left behind the hotel buildings. Follow this road for +/- 1 km, keeping left.

BOOKINGS: Please contact Dave or Pam Sheehan at zimsheehans [at] gmail.com for a booking form.

SUGGESTED COST:

  • $95 shared accommodation
  • $70 Camping

BACKGROUND ABOUT RETREATS:

Regard joining the retreat as an act of compassion to yourself.

Retreats offer us ‘time out’ from our busy, often stressful lives, to ground ourselves in our meditation/mindfulness practice. The peaceful seclusion and mountainous setting of Susurumba, Nyanga, assists in the process of allowing our busy, distracted minds to settle, allowing our deeper energies of kindness, compassion, wisdom and clarity to reveal themselves. Retreatants can find solace and a deeper inner peace through meditation, taking breathtaking walks, swimming in the clear mountain dams, etc.

While there is now limited cell phone reception at Susurumba, we recommend that you keep your cell phones turned off – you are, after all    trying to get away from the bustle of everyday life. If you must use a cell phone – even for SMS – we request that you do so in the privacy of your room/ tent and not in the public spaces. While in the shrine room or dining room, they must be switched off. Mindfulness can help us see what is going on within our minds which we are often unaware of but which drive much of our behaviour and unhappiness. Others who have been on mindfulness retreats have seen the benefits:

Enormously beneficial and I returned to my life with much more clarity.

Time away from my full life where all I needed to do was to be in touch with myself.

To be surrounded by such beautiful nature which I was able to soak up and nourish my soul.

I particularly benefited from the noble silence part of the day. And the walks were a wonderful bonus.

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