risingfalling
risingfalling
Dharma work with Chris McKenna & Megan Cowan
 
 
 
There is no greater mystery than this: being Reality ourselves, we seek to gain Reality.
— Ramana Maharshi

2019 Retreats in British Columbia

We currently host small groups of people for intimate practice and teaching sessions on our property in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. The “form” of these retreats emphasizes a spacious, non-self-conscious approach to sitting/lying practice, standing and walking practice done while immersed in nature and the elemental realm, somatic movement & energetic work with the body, and significant real-time interaction with the teachers about what is arising and how we are attending to it.

“Pyramid Retreats” are good if you perceive stagnation in your practice, if you are aware of a need for more intimate guidance, and/or if you are simply feeling a calling to drop deeply into stillness.

UPCOMING 2019 RETREAT DATES

February 20-24 | 5 spots
March 27-31 | waitlist
April 10-14 | waitlist
May 8-12 | 2 spots
June 12-16 | waitlist
July 10-14 | waitlist
July 17-21 | waitlist
August 7-11 | waitlist

 
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One-on-One Sessions

Life is constantly providing us with opportunities to know ourselves and Reality more deeply. Usually, retreat practice reveals things, presents challenges and requires certain cultivation that is different than what shows up in daily life. Much of our conditioning, wounding, or patterning is set up in relationship. So daily life and various relationships will inevitably be the place where we must face this and work with it.

Moreover, while general statements can be made about our conditioning and suffering, the reality is that our patterning is highly specific to us and often requires outside help to identify and heal. “Doing it alone” is an egoic fantasy! We were put here to help each other become free. 

Our work with individuals is based strongly in the intuitive realm. In working together, we will be listening and looking for where there is a readiness for freeing oneself in some way. We will return again and again to the fact that the truth of what is happening in any given mind state or life-situation is accessible to you if you train yourself to listen for it.

 
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Intuitive Guidance: Using Presence & The Support of Wisdom-Beings to Navigate Life & Make Decisions

10 Session Online Class • Begins Sunday, February 24, 2019 • Cost = $300

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One of the most important facets of our being that we can develop is the faculty of intuitive wisdom. That is, we learn through repeated practice to rely on a knowing that comes directly from true nature, rather than on the various conditioned “voices in our head” that incessantly try to convince us that this or that position, decision or action is “correct” or “incorrect.” The development of intuitive wisdom begins with the simple sense that guidance is available to us in absolutely every moment of our experience. There is no moment, no decision, and no action that is left out of the wisdom-function.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lord Buddha says that all you have to know is what you are, how you exist. You don’t have to believe anything. Just understand your mind; how it works, how attachment and desire arise, how ignorance arises, and where emotions come from. It is sufficient to know the nature of all that; that alone can bring you happiness and peace.
— Lama Yeshe
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Featured Teaching: The Shadow and Honesty

One pitfall of practice is the "nice-person syndrome". It's an easy one to fall into. When we are on a path that builds wisdom and compassion, there can be an inaccurate impression that all other things are "bad". Suddenly, we think we need to be "good" people.

And before we know it, we're suppressing or repressing characteristics that we just don't want, or don't think are included in a "spiritual" person.  But, what does "good" mean?

When we want to see the truth of ourselves and all things, at some point we have to face our shadow side. Fear, anger, hatred, rage, envy, greed, revenge, judgement, blame.

Rather than aiming to be good, try orienting toward being honest.

Honest about your subtle and gross reactions. Honest about your thoughts about others. Honest about your hardest emotions. Honest about where you're not being honest ;). This is not in order to act out. It is only about not running away, consciously or unconsciously. How to handle these thoughts and emotions will vary, and is a rich place of exploration.

The way to bring this in is just to simply make an intention that you want to see the things about yourself that you've been running from.

Don't make a big excavation about it after that. You will naturally begin to see things as your system is ready. If it feels overwhelming, use journalling or walking to help move the energy and emotion.

Our shadow is one of the places where our deepest understandings reside. These emotions are never what you fear or imagine. There is a big opening on the other side. But, let it be a long, gentle process.

 
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Again, the important point to remember is that you should keep asking yourself questions. Do not make statements. Ask questions to yourself. The mind hates that.
— Robert Adams
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About Megan & Chris

Chris McKenna & Megan Cowan both got obsessed with meditation & the dharma as young people. They would go on to spend many years practicing in retreat, on park benches and pretty much anywhere else they found themselves. They would spend many more years integrating & trying to make sense of how the development of unconditioned awareness interfaces with this human life. 

Their teaching emphasizes the necessary interplay of psychological and spiritual development, a somatic/biophysical approach to meditation, a strong focus on inquiry & the development of the intuitive capacity, an interest in the shamanic and visionary aspects of the path, and a healthy balance between the importance of transcendent awakening and the reality of integration and embodiment.

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