with Doug McGill
September 10-12, 2021
Fee: $125 (11 online sessions)
What does everyone want above all else? Desiring it more deeply than anything?
Virtually every person will answer, love.
As Lennon and McCartney said: “All you need is love!” Yet, what is love truly?
Almost no one can answer clearly.
This one profound confusion, the Buddha said, generates all suffering.
The good news is that through profoundly simple meditations and reflections, we can easily understand love’s true nature.
Once this understanding comes our speech and actions will begin to spontaneously flow from that love—and thus suffering ends.
On this retreat we’ll therefore practice to clearly see and understand this ultimate love, which by its nature brings suffering to an end.
We’ll follow teachings on love from two traditions on the retreat.
First, from the non-dual tradition, we’ll learn from a contemporary teacher renowned for his gentleness and his penetrating clarity, Rupert Spira.
“When we love we experience reality as it is,” Spira says. “Love is the reality of everything. It’s the stuff from which everything is made.”
Buddhist tradition makes the same incredible claim.
“Life is love,” says the Buddhist monk and teacher, Ajahn Sumedho.
The Buddhist progressive path, and Rupert Spira’s non-dual teachings, together offer a rich buffet of complementary insights and meditations.
They all point in the same direction: the nature of reality as love. On this special retreat we will learn:
• How to dissolve suffering in love
• How to experience love as the nature of reality
• How to avoid common misunderstandings about love
• How to fall out of love with yourself—so healthy!
• How to expand your love to embrace all beings
The retreat has two very special features:
The Foundations of Awareness
Our basic practice will follow the Buddha’s meditation method, the Four Foundations of Awareness, proceeding from awareness of the body, through feelings, thoughts, and patterns of thought. In this way we will reach the root level of mind where suffering begins in delusion, and dissolves in love.
Another synonym for love is “sangha,” the community of spiritual friends. We’ll meet as spiritual friends, offering ourselves to others as we receive the same gift from them. It’s a powerful way to know the reality of love.
For more information on the retreat, feel free to email me at email@example.com, I’ll be happy to reply.
Retreat Schedule (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 “Life as Love”
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 “Observing Life as Love 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)—
3:30 PM: Staying With It—Guided Meditation: “Be Everything”
4:30 to 5:30 PM: Group Sit and Closing Circle
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 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.
Read testimonials from Doug’s meditation classes over the years.