This past summer my reflection took me to a perfect place. A few weeks in a very special site, lush green with pine forests, mirrored lakes, paths with many hidden surprises for those with awareness to take note. If you listen the buildings speak and tell you their stories, where sky and ground meet; The Dharma Centre of Canada.
Gathered on our cushions and chairs wrapped in the pouring sunshine, Terry Hagan (co-resident teacher at the DCC) takes little time in getting curious meditators moving, after all this retreat is called Life Moves… and, so it does. Recognising that every movement is a place for self-awareness, we notice and explore the quality of what is present, rediscovering with the eyes and senses of a child. Here we do not produce art but become art, a place of play that opens the mind. It is the discovery that in each moment of watching, we are moved and in that moment, there is an understanding of connection; you and me and him and her and they. This subtle dialogue, this watching, this following, makes my body want to curl like a question mark around everything! Like the excitement of finding the hidden riddle and unwrapping it in a dance where the walls and everything else comes to meet you.
To the passerby it might not be evident that the body is finding freedom by moving just as the mind does, coming and going. Terry’s subtle suggestions and prompts help us discover the language of movement, while offering support for rest. We tune into the space of the room to see the story it holds. It has words and phrases, exclamations and questions. A whole vocabulary of becoming, being and passing away. It feels like a fine vibration and we look very closely to see it and to feel it express itself, some dramas, some adventures and yes, even some comedies! It becomes an entire platform for seeing. A surge of gratitude bursts for this fine old body as we are taught to linger in the stop position where clarity and insight surfaces and momentarily we see the truth.
While there is no music playing, we learn to tune our bodies, every motion at first a clumsy note and then more tuning and following until a kind of riding out with naming and recognising arises and then - bliss. Through many glimpses we can see evidence of spaces between the notes. Do they have something to say? We have expanded our awareness to see new again.
In the last hours we each courageously play one-at-a-time, moving together with Terry’s indefatigable support equally giving fortification and brace when needed. It is remarkable to witness the vulnerabilities wash away. How has this unfolding happened so effortlessly? A sense of deep gratitude for the continuous and extraordinary energy, generosity and kindness.
“Reflection needs supportive circumstances. When it finds it, it says loosen your belt, sit back and stay a while. It settles deep in the places you have forgotten. It watches the tea steep, small billows that curl, reminders that it is okay do it all… sl-ow-ly”
'Working with Amerta movement in Life Moves invites exploration of such a living, dynamic state of awareness. A simultaneous practice of deep intuition and inquisitive engagement, I found it opened a path for echoes of patterns, blockages, karma to show themselves in emerging relationship with movement and surroundings. Absolutely the most fun I've ever had in a meditative practice, while thoroughly challenging my edges and creating opportunities for growth through vulnerability. Thank you so much for the opportunity to learn this way! Lovers of movement, don’t hesitate for a moment.’ Jesse Mclellan
'The retreat provided me with a wonderful experience to getting in touch with my inner child through meditation and movement. I gained a lot of insights on how to move my body in an efficient manner by letting go of the previous conditioning and allowing the body to speak through it's own language. I never realized how stiff and inefficient my walk was until this retreat. Now, I have a greater appreciation for my body and it’s ways of communicating with the world. ‘ Prakhar Bhardwaj