Mindfulness Meditation Retreat: Embracing Life through Impermanence

Sunday 1 July 2018  
11am to 5pm,
Allerton Park, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire
£50  incl. audio guided meditations.

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During this day long mindfulness retreat we will explore how the practice can help us to flow and positively adapt to change and impermanence, something we all have to understand and deal with in our daily lives.

Why meditate on impermanence, on the fact that everything that arises will some day end? Some would say it is depressing and morbid and that we should focus on the bright side of life and just enjoy ourselves. Yet in this lies a deep paradox – for we cannot fully embrace and enjoy life unless we accept change, unless we have truly realised the transient nature of all things.
The everyday mind insists on seeing things as permanent, on making things solid and unchangeable. Yet everything that comes into form, into this world of existence, will some day end.  When we resist and avoid impermanence we cling to objects, whether possessions, people, our ideas, our identity, and even our own body. In this clinging we suffer. We blame life, or other people, when things end and situations change. It seems unfair and unjust, not how things are meant to be.  So much of our anger, sadness and resentment, so much fear, comes from this clinging to that which must inevitably end or change. 

As we realise when we contemplate its nature, there is really nothing ‘personal’ about impermanence. It is not that life has it in for us, or that we have done anything wrong, it is simply part of life itself that everything does and will change. 

Paradoxically, when we can fully accept the impermanent nature of all things, we learn to enjoy life more, appreciating what we have while we have it, and renewing our motivation to make the most of this one precious human life. As we realise the transient and ever-changing nature of all phenomena we learn how to ‘go with the flow’ and to let go moment by moment. We discover a fearlessness at the heart of our being; an adaptability, calm and spaciousness that arises when we embrace, rather than push away, our deepest fears of change and loss.

During the day there will be several sittings of mindfulness meditation, with time in-between to rest or stretch your legs in the beautiful surroundings. We will mainly explore the topic through mindfulness practice but there will be some teaching to help us go deeper and also time for sharing and discussion.

The day is ideal for those who already have some experience of mindfulness or any form of meditation.

The retreat is being led by Zeenat Cameron, director of Insight for Wellbeing.