with Doug McGill
Held online via Zoom
11 Online sessions (see schedule)
This retreat is dedicated to bringing alive the process of “being aware of being aware.”
“This is the very heart of meditation—it is discovering our innermost, original, naturally flowing awareness,” the Dalai Lama says.
“Consciousness aware of itself is nirodha, the Third Noble Truth—it’s the end of suffering,” says the Buddhist monk, Ajahn Sumedho.
Which all sounds sublime (and it is), but in our daily life what experience does “awareness of awareness” point to?
If it’s our essence it must be close by!
How can we nourish this beautiful essence once we notice it?
The way the practice is described—as “being aware of being aware” or “awareness of awareness”—often stirs questions:
“Where are our old friends, the breath and the body, in this practice?”
“If I’m aware of awareness all the time, how can I also put attention on my loved ones, my job, and all the practical matters of life?”
We will practice towards finding answers in experience on this retreat.
We will follow the Buddha’s Four Foundations of Awareness—of the body, feelings, mind and habits of mind—as our practice framework.
This is one of a series of themed retreats based on the teachings of Sayadaw U Tejaniya, the Burmese monk and insight meditation teacher who teaches maintaining awareness of awareness “from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall asleep.”
The themed retreats can be taken in any order. They offer an overview of insight meditation through the practice topics of Relaxation, Insight, Wisdom, Love, and Being Aware of Being Aware, Staying With It.
Read testimonials from Doug’s meditation classes, workshops and retreats.
Beginners of all levels are invited!
Recommended readings (optional):
“Relax and Be Aware: Mindfulness Meditations for Clarity, Confidence and Wisdom,” by Sayadaw U Tejaniya. A concise guide to cultivating continuous awareness in daily life, edited by Doug McGill, the retreat leader.
“Being Aware of Being Aware,” by Rupert Spira. The best book on the most indispensable skill, by the British non-dual writer and teacher.
Doug McGill is the founder and guiding teacher of the Rochester Meditation Center in Rochester, MN. He edited “Relax and Be Aware: Mindfulness Meditations for Clarity, Confidence and Wisdom,” by Sayadaw U Tejaniya; and since 2013 he has published “The Daily Tejaniya,” a daily email practice message. Since 2013 he has taught a six-week “Introduction to Awareness Meditation” class. He learned insight meditation from S.N. Goenka, Steve Armstrong and Kamala Masters; and non-dual direct self enquiry from Rupert Spira. From 1979 to 1999 he was a reporter at The New York Times and a bureau chief for Bloomberg News in Tokyo, London and Hong Kong.
(Central Standard Time)
On this retreat we’ll do everything we normally do on the weekend—wake up, have breakfast, walk the dog, clean the garage and everything else. Except on this special weekend, we’ll meet online several times each day to learn how to maintain continuous mindful awareness and thus support the arising of a calm and stable mind, love and wisdom in our lives.
The retreat’s daily schedule alternates between “Online” sessions consisting of a short group meditation and instructions for each new meditation, and “Practice” periods for applying that new meditation in our daily life:
7 to 8:30 PM: Welcome to the Retreat! -A Dharma Talk on “Being Aware of Being Aware"
9 AM: "Awareness of the Body” (First Foundation of Awareness)
11:30 AM: Check-In
1:30 PM: Check-In
3:30 PM: “Awareness of Feelings” (Second Foundation of Awareness)
7 PM: A Dharma Talk on “Awareness in Daily Life”
9 AM: “Awareness of the Mind” (Third Foundation of Awareness)
11:30 AM: Check-In
1:30 PM: “Awareness of Dhammas” (Fourth Foundation of Awareness) -Guided Meditation: “My Body is Within Me”
3:30 PM: Staying With It -Guided Meditation: “Be Everything”
4:30 to 5:30 PM: Group Sit and Closing Circle