in Elontuli course center, Karjalohja, Finland
”This pandemic is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.” —Arundhati Roy
The theme of this retreat is change. How we feel about change, with change and how it percolates in us, and through us, sometimes trickling invisibly, sometimes the ”knock me over” kind of change.
In a Deep Rest meditation retreat one is guided to give up trying to be “a good meditator”. Participants are encouraged to try lying down for meditation, but sitting is also fine. The posture can be adjusted freely before and during meditation. In a relaxed posture we are more able to let go of deep contractions of body and mind. Also, as we are not so dominated by our greed to try to get it right or try to be someone, we can find and develop a more authentic relationship with ourselves, the world and others.
”Just as literal rest allows the body and mind to renew themselves, so deep rest also drops us into direct and non-conceptual awareness. This contact with aliveness feeds a natural opening to deep meditation, where old habit-energies are resolved without the intense drama that occurs when we are forcing things. Life beyond ideas leaves room for spacious joy and powerful shifts that make a real difference in our lives.” —Jaya Ashmore
Who is teaching?
Noon’s influences are varied, with an interest in all spiritualities: retreats and courses with Jaya Ashmore from Open Dharma since 2008, the Buddhist tradition of Ajahn Chah, Tibetan Buddhism, sacred chanting, silent walking & movement. He enjoys how the traditional and open spirituality practices meet as one in his heart. Noon’s varied life experience brings a listening with vibrancy, an alive practice he loves to share.
Noon is an ex circus artist and street performer who retired from the circus in 2004 to dedicate his life to spiritual practice, living in dhamma centers (France & South Africa) and Amaravati monastery (UK). Noon co-created Ekuthuleni rustic retreat place with Sumedha (Hannah) Bagshaw. Ekuthuleni is a back to basics meditation center in the foothills of the french Pyrenees. The emphasis is on meditation and ecological awareness, and bringing these two together.
Connecting with curiosity & energy, with a sense of embodying spiritual practice through in depth body grounding meditations are Noon’s fields of exploration. He is transgendered… a two spirit person all in one.
What happens on the retreat?
The daily schedule consists of silent and guided meditations, contemplative walking and movement, dhamma talks, and breaks for rest or own practice. There is also space for one-to-one sharings and some sacred chanting. Each practitioner is asked to participate in one hour of working meditation a day, such as vegetable chopping or basic cleaning in the house.
Through these practices, we can gather ourselves into relaxed stillness and explore the curious fruits of this stillness. In addition, Noon will explore with some optional practices: lectura divina, a reading of sacred texts in small groups, with drawing and music, using some focusing holding.
The retreat is held in silence. All the teaching will be in English. The retreat is appropriate for people at all experience levels or with no meditation experience.
Price and registration
The standard cost for the retreat is 350€ (not including possible donations for teacher and managers). We are willing and able to support your practice regardless of your financial status at the moment. This means that it is possible to pay less than the standard cost. If you would like to support someone else with some extra payment, that is also possible and greatly appreciated.
You can ask more from firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone from Ulla Sillanpää (+358 40 536 4181, application and payment) or Suvi Rinkineva (+358 50 595 5628, other questions).
From participants of previous deep rest retreats:
”My own practice has been deeply insprired by the deep rest meditation approach. For me this has offered a deep way of opening body, heart and mind; an escape from extensive doing and trying to achieve in meditation; encouragement in finding my own path; and trust in a more intuitive way of guiding my practice and my life, and in letting processes unfold by themselves.”
– Anna Backholm, Finland
”I don’t even know what happened to me during only 5 days – was it the meditation, silence, the deep rest, Jaya’s teachings, chanting, food, nature, the community or everything that happened to me before that lead me to that place? I know, separation is illusion – it was everything, it was life. But something opened inside of me and made me feel like I arrived home, so happy, light, relaxed and sometimes heavy, drowsy, anxious, emotional and processing things, sometimes ecstatic, always full of gratitude. I can say the retreat changed my life and was one of greatest things I’ve experienced. I was relieved of so much pain, some of it something I carried with me since childhood. … It’s like I was a piano that was out of tune and now someone came and tuned me.”
– Lari Miikkulainen, Finland
Everyone is warmly welcome!