A Meditation Retreat on Living as Radiant, Shining, Boundless Love
with Doug McGill
December 3-5, 2021
Fee: $125 (11 online sessions)
On this retreat weekend, we will bridge the sizable gap we so often leave between our intentions to be loving in all of our actions in the world, and the times we actually accomplish that goal.
What is love in its profoundest sense?
A very specific answer to this question is given by all the world’s religions and wisdom traditions—and it’s life-changing.
On this retreat we’ll learn and reflect on this liberating wisdom, practice it, and observe how we change and grow.
This special retreat is a chance to deepen into love in our daily life, guided by ancient wisdom, with the support of spiritual friends.
Most importantly we’ll practice meditations from Buddhism and the Direct Path that thoroughly dissolve the ego in love.
We’ll highlight two key understandings especially:
- Love is the experience that others are not other. This is the core lesson of all the world’s religions and wisdom traditions. “All is one” is easy to say but not always easy to experience—but on this retreat, we will.
- We all experience moments of enlightened blissful oneness. We just don’t normally spend the time to pause, to clearly notice, and to treasure these precious glimpses of reality—and then to build a new life of love that’s based on them. But on this retreat, we will.
It’s ambitious for a weekend retreat but it’s doable, even effortless.
Because love is nature itself; awareness itself; reality itself.
So it’s just a matter of thoroughly relaxing and noticing what’s already right here, always.
The simplest thing in the world.
As Always, the retreat has two 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, to awareness of feelings, thoughts, and patterns of thought. Each step of the way, we’ll understand our experience as love: the body of love, feelings of love, mind as love, and habits of mind as love. In this way we’ll dissolve each of these four roots of the ego, the incessant forms of “I-thinking” that create suffering in life. With its roots fully dissolved, the ego blossoms as love.
Each of the three Buddhist refuges—the Buddha (awareness), Dhamma (reality), and Sangha (spiritual friendship)—offers a different perspective on the one reality of love. “One hundred percent of the spiritual life is spiritual friendship,” as the Buddha said. On this retreat we’ll practice realizing the one being—the one awareness, the one love—that we share and are.
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.
Only now we’ll bring our deep intention to explore, experiment and express love in each of our thoughts, speech and actions in daily life, no matter how small. How will life change when we do this? Let’s find out!
The retreat’s daily schedule alternates between group meditations and instructions for each new meditation; check-in Q&A sessions; and free periods to practice each meditation in daily life:
7 to 8:30 PM: Welcome to the Retreat!—A Dharma Talk on “Love is the Experience of Our Shared Being”
9 AM: “The Body as Love” (First Foundation of Awareness)
11:30 AM: Check-In
1:30 PM: Check-In
3:30 PM: “Feelings as Love” (Second Foundation of Awareness)
7 PM: A Dharma Talk on “Taking Our Stand as Love”
9 AM: “The Mind as Love” (Third Foundation of Awareness)
11:30 AM: Check-In
1:30 PM: “Dissolving the Ego in Love” (Fourth Foundation of Awareness)—
3:30 PM: “Keeping it Going”—A Guided Meditation
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.
The Christine Center Scholarship Fund is available from donations specified for this purpose. Our hope is that all who seek a spiritual deepening experience will have the opportunity to participate with us.