Our world is in great need of care and compassion…and so are we. Embodied Self-Compassion makes the ideals of compassion – empathy, respect, care – newly meaningful: healing our relationships with the physical and social worlds we daily inhabit – and with ourselves.
The Retreat at Easter has been a highlight of Stephanie Dowrick’s teaching year at Mana Retreat Centre, Coromandel, New Zealand, since 2001. This year (2018), the Retreat is taking a new and quite wonderful turn. Stephanie will be joined in the teaching by her close friend and colleague, Joyce Kornblatt. Together these wise, exceptional women will offer us a rare chance to experience what “embodied self-compassion” can mean – and how this way of seeing and being can soften, heal and transform the very basis of our daily existence.
‘”Embodying” simply means what we bring into our daily lives,” Stephanie explains. “How we live, meet the world, let experiences ‘meet’ us.” She goes on: “In all my many years of teaching at Mana, I’ve always been keen to ensure that whatever we get from the time of retreat can be sustained when we return home. After all, while inspirational ideas and insights are brilliant to have, we need to know how to “embody” them, how to live them, grow into them and let them influence us. That’s where coming from a psychological as well as a spiritual perspective is particularly helpful. The word “self” may be somewhat daunting but this is not about getting too self-involved or tipping into self-pity. Compassion is quite different. It gives us resources from the inside. And I love it that it’s compassion and genuine care and interest that connect us to other people more comfortably and truthfully. When we can look at our own challenges compassionately, acknowledging our feelings but not drowning in them, we are immediately strengthened, AND we see others’ difficulties more compassionately too. We don’t have to be so defensive or judgemental. What a relief!”
As we grow in compassion for ourselves, we strengthen. What’s more, our compassion for others and for our world becomes ever-more natural and inevitable. Peace grows, and so does appreciation for the gift of life itself.
The Retreat will include time for restorative, enriching teachings from Stephanie and Joyce, as well as daily guided and silent meditation, personal rest and periods of guided reflection. There will certainly be time for questions and discussion but to allow your rest to deepen, we will be holding a peaceful silence for one another for most of each day. Please ensure before booking that you are totally comfortable with extended periods of silence, and with the emphasis on self-reflection.
Delicious vegetarian food is a highlight of the Mana experience, as are the times to walk, gaze and rejoice in nature. Body treatments are available during afternoon rest periods. Fully inclusive cost: NZ$875. The retreat begins before dinner (arrive from 4pm) on Thursday 29 March and ends after lunch (2pm) on 2 April. We will enjoy an inclusive sacred gathering, led by Stephanie, on Easter morning. Bookings as early as possible please. Numbers strictly limited. Shuttles available from Auckland Airport to Mana (book when registering). REGISTRATION LINK.