Reflections from our Recent Embodying True Nature Retreat
posted by The Paititi Team on August 31st, 2018
“How deep does the rabbit hole go?” is a rhetorical question with each Embodying True Nature retreat, pointing an infinite depth of ancestral wisdom peeling away the layers of conditioning and demonstrating the timeless and immeasurable nature of who each of us are.
After recently finishing another of these retreats, we’re settling into the integration period and feel inspired to share the key lessons with you. Click on the photos to see them larger.
The lesson of beginner’s mind is always relevant. There’s a difference between being a beginner in any spiritual discipline and approaching it with beginner’s mind. The latter means dropping outdated perspectives and preconceived ideas that inhibit one from experiencing life to the fullest in each moment. Forgetting the value in beginner’s mind is an easy habit to develop, especially for those with more experience.
It may sound counter-intuitive but advancing on the evolutionary path is about unlearning, so everything in life can become fresh and meaningful in every moment. The focus of the retreat is to let go of stale concepts and ideas that prevent the heart from opening to the miracle of life.
Blueprints of collective evolution embedded in individual life stories
The Dreamwork sessions proved especially profound this retreat, highlighting the shared facets of the human condition usually hidden underneath the superficial differences of individual’s personal processes. It’s easy to think that no one understands me or that I’m the only one struggling with these particular issues, but glimpsing a little deeper into the subconscious mind, it becomes clear just how common the motives are for everyone. With the insight of the same evolutionary steps within all of our different scenarios, though we arrive as strangers, quickly recognizing each other as fellow humans, with all beings as our extended family.
The liberating power of softness
Through Andean and Amazonian mythology supported by Jungian transpersonal psychology, we form a relationship with the divine family – The Trinity of Life, comprising of the Mother, Father, and Child archetypes.
Via the ancestral metaphorical language, the Mother is the pure unconditional love, while the Father is the sincere consciousness that recognizes and immerses in it. The Child then represents miraculous innocence and evolutionary awe birthing from the divine union, free to live life without fear, judgement, blame, comparison or shame.
In our Tibetan lineage, this childlike essence is referred to as “the soft spot”. Learning to find that tender place where we can relate to the difficult people or circumstances in our lives, seeing that challenges aren’t anyone’s fault, and there’s no need to judge ourselves or others. This soft spot lays accessible even in the toughest of life circumstances, and finding it can melt away all the tension, stress and frustration with the divine family fully awakening in one’s being.
Gratitude to unconditional love
Pachamama is the indigenous symbol of the divine mother and her day auspiciously landed in the middle of this retreat. It was a perfect opportunity to express gratitude to Mother Nature. A traditional Andean despacho offering was held in Her honor, facilitated by Paititi’s own Mama Bear Cynthia Robinson, a dear friend from the Quero Nation, and assistance from our Shipiba elder sister and her daughter. The ceremony was a beautiful reminder of the divine mother’s eternal loving support, especially in the throes of the retreat’s rising intensity.
Time to integrate wisdom and compassion
What makes a retreat successful? Ultimately its wonder invites a complete reassessment of one’s personal life and inspiration to leave no stone unturned. This certainly isn’t some exotic vacation from life, nor an opportunity to distract and have fun, but rather a focused way to face and resolve those seemingly unresolvable aspects of conditioned existence. By taking some space from everyday life and facing challenges in a supportive container with a fresh perspective, it’s possible to gather insight on how to move through life’s blockages productively.
Being faced with challenges back home is when the insights count. With a commitment to grow and develop, the simplicity of opening the heart to gratitude and mindfulness is something to strive towards. Becoming steady in that practice is worth more than all the material possessions in the world, and allows one to be a pillar of support to fellow human beings in the most challenging moments.
That’s why living wisdom traditions matter. We can see experienced practitioners who apply and embody these teachings designed for the challenges of everyday life. It’s a great blessing to know there’s guidance for liberation from all afflictions available and people much happier than I am who clearly apply it. These examples of happiness verified through personal experience are greater and more sustainable than anything the material world has to offer. It’s a path of heart’s mystery to discover love in every situation, the teaching in every moment and the wisdom in each being. The journey is always just beginning.
Paititi Institute’s next Embodying True Nature Retreat is coming up December 18 – January 19th.