Posts Tagged ‘meditation retreat’




“Focus on your breathing,” Susie says.

“Imagine this next breath is your first.”

And for a while, it works. I feel the inhale move

from nose to throat to lungs, feel the new air travel

through my legs and arms. Then breathe it out.

I’m curious. I follow as the breath becomes my

daughter, and I wonder how her first day

of climbing went yesterday. And that was so weird

how she was in my dream last night when

I swallowed a spider. Oh yeah. Exhale. Inhale.

The breath. My chest is rising, my hands are still,

and wouldn’t it be nice to go walk in the redwoods?

How long has it been since we were there? ’97?

’98? And inhale. There it is again, the invitation

to take the first breath, and wow, feel all that air

as it rushes in and fills the body like

the balloons at Finn’s birthday party last weekend.

That was so fun, the boys in the waning sun

playing out on the lawn. I can’t believe how sweet

they were to each other and breathe. Right. Here.

Paying attention to the places where my body

meets the ground. Butt. Knees. Shins. And isn’t

it wild how the hum of the cars on the highway outside

at first sound just like a gong. Wrong. Wrong. Think breath.

Or not wrong. Just an other invitation to embrace the process,

each thought like wind, and I, I’m rowing a small canoe.

Is silence always this loud? Someone across the circle

is snoring, and from the kitchen it smells like, mmm,

Thai curry. And Susie says, “Return to the breath,”

and for another moment, I breathe in, breathe out.

And I thank you, mind, for all this practice. You’re

so good at what you do. It matters, this dance,

this chance to be present, to show up and meet

the all that is. I so want to know what is true.

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Everything’s a gong now—

the clang of the spoon in the mixing bowl,

the growl of the water rushing in the pipes,

the ding of the microwave’s timer,

the crow—

what isn’t an invitation to show up,

to offer the moment all our attention—

scent of pizza, barking dog, lawn mower,

sweet rose tea, that voice in my head,

the chime of the changing light.


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Friday, September 30 to Sunday, October 2, 2016

La Sal, Utah

   We live in a culture that wants to know—we chart and graph and test and outline. We codify and classify and name. But what do we really know? What is all this messiness and mystery that breeds underneath our longing for orderliness and certainty? What would happen if we could really rest in uncertainty? How deep might that relaxation go? How much more open might our lives be if we made friends with letting go?

We’ll read poems that don’t bring answers, poems that lead us deeper into paradox. We’ll sit in the midst of the not-knowing, sit with our joys, our challenges, the what is here of each moment.  We’ll write our own explorations of what if and what else and see what even a small bit of wonder might do … if you’re willing to risk a little, meditation and writing can open doors where before you didn’t even realize a door existed. Spiritual doors. Healing doors. Doors where there used to be walls.

No previous writing experience required. No previous meditation experience required. This poetry and meditation weekend is for anyone who is curious about weaving spiritual awakening and the creative poetic impulse.

For more information and to register please visit desertdharma.org

Cost (includes room and board): Sliding scale $170-220 plus donation to the teachers

Scholarships and partial work trade available

Susie Harrington teaches internationally and in the Southwest near her home in Moab, Utah. Her roots are in the Insight tradition, where she continues to train with Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein and others. Her teaching is deeply grounded in the body and often emphasizes the expression of mindfulness in speech and daily life.  Susie brings the skills of inquiry, relational dharma, and the psychological/spiritual interface from her training in Hakomi Therapy and the Diamond Approach. Believing nature to be a profound teacher, and a gateway to freedom, she often offers retreats outside.

Western Slope Poet Laureate Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s poetry has appeared in O Magazine, in back alleys, on A Prairie Home Companion and in her children’s lunch boxes. Her most recent collection is The Less I Hold. She’s won the Fischer Prize, Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, the Dwell Press Solstice Prize, the Writer’s Studio Literary Contest, was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award, and has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize. She is known for her inclusive, intimate, warm teaching style. Favorite one-word mantra: Adjust.





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