Making Friends with Reality
A “Breath of Love” Meditation Retreat
with Doug McGill
December 2-4, 2022
Fee: $125 (11 online sessions)
Click photo for Doug’s personal video invitation.
Dear Spiritual Friends,
Are you friends with reality?
Do you appreciate and see reality as it is, and accept it unconditionally?
I’m delighted to invite you to a very special online retreat to practice this ultimate meditation theme, Dec. 2-4, entitled “Reality as a Friend and Refuge.”
Because, think of it.
Until we see reality clearly, our eyeglasses to see life are all fogged up.
We’re doomed then by our poor vision to stumble around, slamming into one brick wall after another, and falling into pothole after pothole.
That’s a sad, Mr. Magoo kind of a life.
Fortunately we have Dhamma, crystal clear spectacles to see reality as it is.
“Reality is the ground of effective liberation,” says Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk and meditation teacher.
“To see things as they are is the only way to heal yourself.”
Practical as always, the Dhamma points us to one single, simple experience that reveals reality as it is, and its powers to heal.
That experience is impermanence.
On this retreat, we’ll practice therefore the simple knowing of impermanence—moment by moment, breath by breath—as a way relax into reality itself.
In this way, we’ll discover the utterly simple knowing of impermanence as an all-purpose problem dissolver, including these:
- Emotional knots
- Physical pains
- Doubts and worries
For those who are taking all four of my annual “Breath of Love” retreats, you will recognize this is the fourth and final retreat of the year.
Having now practiced the first three foundations of awareness—of the body, of feelings, and of the mind—we’re ready at last to engage the fourth and final foundation: Dhamma, reality itself.
A powerful word of inspiration on this practice comes from Sayadaw U Tejaniya, the Burmese monk and meditation teacher:
“First, we must ask ourselves: What is our relationship to reality? What is our understanding of life? From this we will find meditation is really the only sensible approach to our reality and the problems that can arise from living.”
Don’t worry if you haven’t taken the first three retreats this year.
Any time is the best time to befriend reality, and start enjoying freedom.
It would be a joy to practice with you.
Hope to see you soon, with much love 🙏☀️
FEATURES OF ALL “BREATH OF LOVE” RETREATS:
On this retreat as always we will enjoy practicing with a sangha of spiritual friends. When we come on retreat, we come to support our own practice, and to offer our own caring presence to others, in support of their liberation also. “Spiritual friendship is 100 percent of the spiritual life,” the Buddha said. In this way, we enjoy spiritual friendship and model spiritual love.
Daily Life Meditation
Between our formal meeting times we will go about our daily lives, activities and relationships completely as usual. “If we want to have real understanding, we have to practice in real situations,” as my teacher, Sayadaw U Tejaniya, says. So, between the online sessions we are free to do errands, answer emails, chat with friends, cook a meal, or go for a walk.
Dharma Talks, Meditations and Check-Ins
The retreat will run from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon and will consist of 90-minute sessions, including a guided meditation plus a dharma talk on Friday and Saturday evening; and alternating 1-hour practice sessions and check-ins throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday.
If you still have questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
The Retreat Schedule (Central Daylight Time)
7 to 9:30 PM: Welcome to the Retreat!—A meditation and dharma talk: “Reality as a Friend and Refuge.”
9 AM: “Impermanence is Now (Not Later)”
11:30 AM: Check-In
1:30 PM: Check-In
3:30 PM: “The Cooling of Passion is Really Cool’”
7 PM: A Meditation and Dharma Talk: “Falling Out of Love With ‘Me’”
9 AM: “Endings Are Fresh Beginnings”
11:30 AM: Check-In
1:30 PM: “Give It All Back to Nature”
3:30 PM: The Seven Factors of Awakening—Guided Meditation
4:30 to 5:30 PM: Group Sit and Closing Circle
Register for December 2-4 Retreat Here
Doug McGill founded and for 16 years was the Guiding Teacher of the Rochester Meditation Center in Rochester, MN. In 2019, he edited “Relax and Be Aware: Mindfulness Meditations for Clarity, Confidence and Wisdom,” by Sayadaw U Tejaniya. Since 2013 he has published “The Daily Tejaniya,” a daily email practice reminder from Sayadaw. Since 2013 he has taught a six-week “Introduction to Awareness Meditation” class several times a year. He learned insight meditation from Steve Armstrong, Kamala Masters and S.N. Goenka; and non-dual 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 based in Tokyo, London and Hong Kong. He currently writes a newsletter, “Spirituality for Citizens,” which looks at the day’s headline social issues through the lens of the Dhamma.
Visit Doug’s website at www.dougmcgill.com
Read testimonials from Doug’s meditation classes over the years
Scholarships are available to support this retreat, to apply click here.
Recommended readings (optional):
“Breathe! You Are Alive! Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing,” by Thich Nhat Hanh
“Mindfulness with Breathing: A Manual for Serious Beginners” by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu.