Northern California Silence Retreat

by Maryon Maass

Silence Retreat, San Damiano, Danville, California, October 7-10, 2016

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The presence of Guru was palpable even long before this fall retreat. It was quite amazing how easily this retreat filled with people, who seemed ready for this unique experience – and maybe ushered a bit by invisible hands – to commit their time and focus to a weekend of silence, as well as longtime initiate and active sangha member from Milwaukee, Frank Dettloff, who was visiting family in the Bay Area and decided to join us.

San Damiano, a monastery and retreat center with beautiful gardens, a labyrinth and views of Mount Diablo, is a serene place predestined to host silence retreats. Mt Diablo, one of the three peaks in the Bay Area, that Swami Veda referred to as the sister mountains of the Himalayas, has a majestic and grounding presence.

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Jim Nelson from The Meditation Center in Minneapolis, a long time initiate of our Himalayan Yoga Tradition, who has led many silence retreats together with Swami Ritavan and Ma Radha, blessed us with his presence and excellent guidance. He skillfully led a very diverse group of 14 participants through pranayama, subtle body practices and meditation.

We had Joints and Glands in the morning, and Gabé led the group through Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement lessons in the afternoon. The group expressed that both ways of slow movement with attention increased their body awareness and greatly facilitated the periods of lying and sitting still. When we meditated, a deep stillness prevailed in the room.

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For nine people this was the first silence retreat. Out of the nine, four were even new to meditation. The feedback from the group was overwhelmingly positive. Several of the new comers expressed that this was a life changing experience for them. One longtime meditator shared that she had never before experienced such stillness in her meditations. Another participant had chronic airway obstruction in his nose and ear ringing for several months, which had been resistant to treatment; to his surprise both symptoms improved considerably within the first day! Yet another participant shared that she became aware of her habit of holding her breath; she has been doing nadi shodhanam and 10-minute meditation twice daily since the retreat and has become very calm. Everybody expressed their gratitude, their experience of inner peace and a feeling of revitalization.

No doubt this was a special group of people, who became deeply connected through silence.

This weekend was a gift and it showed us once again that we can do a lot to benefit humanity. People want the teachings and here in the Bay Area we are ready to offer more with the help of our formidable teachers.

2017 Silence Retreats

The next silence retreats at San Damiano are scheduled for March 17-19, 2017, and October 6-9, 2017.

May 2017 Seminar with Stoma

May 20/21, 2017, Stoma Parker will teach the seminar “Prana - The Vital Energy and The Subtle Art of Pranayama”. Thank you, Stoma, for making time to come to the “Wild West” again.

Invitation to Connect

We are also focused on creating other opportunities for people to come together to socialize, meditate and learn.

I am teaching a 3hour long “Beginning Meditation” as well as a “Yoga Nidra” workshop fairly regularly, and we are currently working on regular satsang dates.

We invite you to connect with us and join our events, when you are in the Bay Area. You can contact me at [email protected] or Gabé at [email protected] or 510-480-9580.

Thank You to Gabrielle Allen, organizer of the Northern California HYT.

Editor’s Note:

Himalayan Yoga Meditation Society of Northern California is an affiliate center of AHYMSIN.

Maryon Maass, ERYT-500, served as HYT-TTP Office Manager at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) and coordinator for international yoga teacher training programs and continues to serve as Faculty, teaching and mentoring students for HYT-TTP (Himalayan Yoga Tradition – Teacher Training Program). Maryon’s website: www.masterthepause.com



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