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Time Zones

Rome 1:30pm – 6:30pm// London 12:30pm – 5:30pm//
New York// 7:30am -12:30pm//Calgary 5:30am – 10:30am

Please check to make sure of your own time zone. Please be on time!!

If you are late you will not be permitted into the retreat.  

What you will need

  • We will be using Zoom. Make sure you know how to use it.
    There will be no technical assistance available.
  • Use an alarm. Preferably not your phone.
  • Have water available
  • Wear comfortable clothes
  • Yoga Mat/ Meditation cushion if you have it
  • Have a journal to take some notes

Instructions

  • No talking
  • Turn off your phone
  • Have your  video on Zoom turned on
  • Create a nice sitting area to meditate with few distractions
  • Clear space to walk inside your house. (You can walk outside as long as there are not a lot of distractions or noise)
  • Turn off all devices not being used.
  • This is being offered by Donation (Dana). Please make a contribution according to your means to receive the zoom password. Please read the guideline below for making a donation and how to be generous when no price value is set for an offering. It can be confusing sometime for Westerners to value something when there is no set price. 

Schedule of Practice – in Italian time

1:30pm- 1:50pm – Check In/ Instructions

1:50pm – 2:30 pm – Sitting Meditation

2:30pm – 2:40pm – Minor Stretch

2:40pm – 3:20pm – 20 minutes walking meditation, 20 minutes sitting

3:20 – 3:30pm – Small check in and further instructions

3:30pm – 4pm – Break – Mindfulness of all actions, Mindfulness of eating, Mindfulness of cleaning some part of your house, Mindfulness of being outside and just observing

4pm – 4:10pm – Check in online with teacher

4:10pm – 4:30pm – Sitting meditation

4:30pm – 5pm – Walking Meditation

5pm – 5:30pm – Standing Meditation

5:30pm – 6pm – Sitting Meditation

6pm – 6:30pm – Closing with teacher

Additional

  • Aim to be online 10 minutes before the retreat starts.
  • Start to unwind and get off line the night before. Reduce conversations and while we are practicing, try and find a room where you will not be interrupted.
  • Let friends, family members or roommates know that you are doing a silent retreat and ask for their support to help you still mind, body and spirit. You will be surprised how supportive people are when you let them know what you are doing.

Dāna (Generosity)

(This understanding and write up is a result of my spiritual guides’ vast pool of wisdom teachings. Thanks Doug and Catherine Sensei)

This half day retreat is offered according to the practice of dāna, a mutual exchange of generosity and abundance between teachers and students.

“Dāna” is a Sanskrit and Pali word meaning “generosity” or “giving”.

Through our cultivation of dāna, we leave habitual states of mental poverty behind and steadily grow a reality of psychological, spiritual and thus material richness.

By practicing with a healthy spirit of generosity, we deepen our own practice and support teachers/guides to make these healing teachings and tools available to all.

By offering material and other kinds of dāna with an open heart, everyone benefits, particularly the giver. Dāna is an active, conscious and powerful spiritual practice.

Offering Dāna: Some Guidelines and Practices

In our current times, this ancient practice is also being understood in new light with movements such as the “gift economy” and “sacred economics”.

Dāna as the first step on a spiritual path

The practice of generosity is the essence of the path to freedom – the first crack of light in our ego-protected lives. Moments of generosity open up space in our hearts, alleviates fear that we don’t have enough, and allows us to relax our clinging.

Generosity allows us to experience one another more fully, opening up a space for receiving and learning. Because of this, it’s generally recommended that dāna is given before sessions or a workshop.

How much to give?

However much we offer, the key is to give dāna with a heart of generosity, a sense of abundance, and a strong intention for our and others’ unfoldment.

In a sense, transformative teachings are priceless – what is the price of freedom from suffering?  But practically speaking, we give in a way both sustainable for us and that sustains the teacher’s and teachings we wish to hear.

One way to approach the question “how much?” is to look at what we pay for other things.  Maybe we’ll happily pay 25 dollars for a movie, 30 dollars for a yoga class, or 150 – 400 dollars for a session with an experienced life coach.  If we offer less dāna for teachings on awakening than we would pay for a movie, we are sending a message to ourselves that entertainment is of higher value to us than the opportunity to receive proven ancient teachings.

Part of the beauty of dāna is that no-one is excluded through lack of money.

If we are sincerely challenged for money we can offer less.

If we are in a good financial position we can offer more and know that our generosity is helping the teachings to be sustainable and available to all.

Checking in with your heart

1) Take a few quiet breaths and center yourself. Spend a few moments to reflect on each of the below:

  • the beauty and integrity of dāna practice
  • the value of receiving direct teachings from a recognized spiritual tradition
  • the reality of your financial situation

2) Spend another few moments contacting a sense of health, strength and abundance. You have a healthy mind, a body, senses, the good karma to have heard proven teachings, and conditions to support your practice. Celebrate this!

3) Now check with your heart and mind what amount feels both consistent with your situation, and expressive of your aspiration.

May this practice of dāna open up a space inside me to learn and receive.

May this gift support the teachers and teachings for the benefit of many other people.

May this gift directly support my own awakening through a strong dāna practice.

This gift, myself the giver, and the teachers are all impermanent – with this in mind I give lightly and generously, for the benefit of all beings!

May the above reflections and guidelines be useful to you.
May your dāna practice thrive for the benefit of all beings!