We live in challenging times, in an era where all too often, our culture entrains us to overextend ourselves as we rush from task to task, responding to urgent requests and demands. Compulsively, we often try to just move faster and faster, with more speed the only option on the menu. Trapped in seeking to do more, be more, and complete more, we never feel like enough. No matter what we accomplish, there’s always more to do.
Our aliveness dampens. Perceptions become more dull. We lose confidence in our ability to meaningfully influence ourselves, others and the world around us. And so, we numb ourselves, distract ourselves to obscure burnout, loneliness, and the longing for something different.
And yet, the availability of options to revivify your life, right here and now, is unfathomable. The accessibility of shifting, changing and transforming is utterly continuous with every moment of your life - it’s astounding we don’t live together with more play, love, courage, trust and care.
When we can take the time to intentionally pause and slow down, in good company, we can tap into the boundless vitality that is ever-present underneath our habits, thoughts, feelings and sensations. We can peel back the layers of who we think we are and discover who we really are - always free, inherently luminous, deeply interconnected with all things.
The Art of Aliveness retreat is an invitation to come home to your true self, to the potency of reality as it is, and to creatively express the uniqueness of your being. It is an opportunity to connect with a community of others who not only support your practice, but who mirror the preciousness of this one life.
In collaboration with four transmitted Zen lineage holders, we will explore our innerscapes through seated and walking meditation, interpersonal practice, creative expression, work practice, and embodiment.
We will be in silence and we will engage in rich conversation. We will be still and we will move in new ways together. We will connect with ourselves and we will weave community. We will dance, play and make art together. We will be supported by the elegant simplicity of a traditional Zen practice space, housed in a spacious, aesthetically inspiring artist’s residence, and we will walk the nearby lake nestled in the winter foothills.
We will empty ourselves of our preferences and our ideas of how things should be, and allow our innate wisdom, compassion, and joy to be expressed uniquely through us. Most importantly, we will practice the direct experience of reality as it is in each moment and anchor ourselves in rich practices that can support us as we return to our complex, beautiful, and sometimes challenging lives.
“Creativity exists in the present moment. You can't find it anywhere else.”
~ Natalie Goldberg
WHAT TO EXPECT:
- Seated and walking meditation
- Daily dharma talks
- Creative practice, including writing, art and more (accessible to all experience levels)
- Enlivening and restorative embodiment practices
- Introduction to Zen rituals such as morning service
- Opportunities for one-on-one meetings (Dokusan) to clarify your practice and explore your questions
- Wholehearted interpersonal connection with other participants through structured exercises and conversations
- Healthy and delicious meals, with vegetarian options
- Options for outdoor time at nearby Wonderland Lake (5-min walk) as well as Chautauqua outdoor space (short drive)
- One evening urban field trip in downtown Boulder (TBD)
This multi-day retreat will have a consistent schedule throughout the week, allowing us to drop into a supportive and engaging container to awaken our minds, hearts and bodies. We will start each morning at 6:30am with seated and walking meditation, followed by the morning service.
The remainder of the days consist of community meetings, interpersonal practice, creative expression, work practice and embodiment, all interspersed with the foundational practice of seated meditation Private interview (dokusan) will be available during some of the sitting periods. Dokusan is a chance to ask questions and/or receive personalized instruction from a teacher. There is personal time built into the schedule every morning and afternoon. We will eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together. The day will include both periods of silence and periods of intentional conversation. The evenings will end at 8:30pm.
Early bird deadline: Dec 1, 2023
Final registration deadline: Jan 10, 2024
Early bird pricing tiers (pay by Dec 1, 2023) ~ please choose the price that works for your current financial context. All those paying higher amounts will ensure opportunities for those with financial constraints.
$645 ~ $795 ~ $945
Regular pricing tiers (pay by Jan 10, 2024) ~ please choose the price that works for your current financial context. All those paying higher amounts will ensure opportunities for those with financial constraints.
$795 ~ $945 ~ $1,095
YOUR TEACHERS ARE:
Lisa Genki Gibson Sensei has been practicing with Diane Musho Hamilton Roshi in the Soto Zen lineage since 2008 and received Dharma transmission in 2023. As a Zen teacher and committed student of reality, she is passionate about the potency of Zen practice to deepen our expression of wisdom, compassion and joy in everyday life. Based in Vancouver, Canada with her family on the unceded ancestral lands and waters of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Wauthuth Nations, Lisa works as a coach, facilitator and educator, to support the wholehearted engagement of a more just, caring and sustainable world.
Brooke Teisui McNamara Sensei is a Zen teacher, lineage holder, and poet. She has practiced as a student of Diane Musho Hamilton Roshi since 2010, receiving monk ordination in 2012 and Dharma Transmission in 2023. Prior to 2010, she was a student of nondual teacher and poet, Dorothy S. Hunt. Brooke has published two books of poems: Bury the Seed and Feed Your Vow, and has taught at Naropa University in Yoga Studies and CU Boulder in Dance. She holds an MFA, and teaches in-person and online courses and retreats to facilitate the awakening of innate wisdom, compassion, artistry, and play. She lives with her husband and two sons in Boulder, CO.
Robert Daishin McNamara Sensei is a transmitted Zen teacher, advisor, consultant and executive coach. He is the author of three books, most recently Powerful Listening. He is a co-founder of the advisory and consulting firm Delta Developmental. Rob serves on faculty at the Ivey School of Business’ LIFT Advanced Coaching Program, Real LIFE Programs and is a former Harvard University Teaching Fellow teaching adult development at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. McNamara currently advises, trains, and coaches executives and teams addressing organizational viability risks. Rob’s passion supports leaders to better navigate complex organizational and civilizational challenges vital to current and future institutional capabilities.
Brian Butsudo Turner Sensei has been practicing Zen in the White Plum branch of the Soto lineage for over fifteen years. He received monk ordination in 2012 and Dharma Transmission in 2023 from Diane Musho Hamilton Roshi. He does his best to present the Dharma with warmth, humor and pragmatism. Butsudo loves the forms and rituals of Zen practice provided they are inhabited with intention and relaxation. He lives in Erie with his wife and daughter and has two adult children. Brian has a Ph.D. in physics and currently works as an engineer in an optics manufacturing company.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS