We are just a few days from the beginning of our annual Winter Retreat and I am so thrilled to have some returning prayer warriors from last year, as well as lots of fresh spirits joining for the first time.
Most of you know how passionate I am about holistic healing as a path, as a way of life. I came to the conclusion that being a healer requires more than a thorough understanding of medicines and their effects on the body, but an equally thorough knowledge of the self. Needless to say both aspects are “works in progress”!
In pursuit of self-knowing I spend my late teens and all of my twenties consumed by intense spiritual and religious undertakings that culminated in receiving monastic vows in 2008. During this time I served my religious communities as “chopon” or ritual specialist and as the chant leader, also called “umdze” in Tibetan. I taught meditation and contemplative movement, studied martial arts, homeopathy and the mystical traditions of East and West.
My most cherished memories during that time are from the numerous solitary retreats that I was able to undertake. My solitary retreats last anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks and I have been doing this at least once a year (sometimes twice) since 2001. These solitary retreats were interspersed with group retreats and fasting retreats.
I was called out of the monastery and back into the world in the Summer of 2011 when I met my husband and we settled down to live in a cabin and start a family in the Colorado Rockies. While I no longer want a monastery, I still feel the need to set aside some space of time every year to devote myself completely to slowing down, going within and nourishing my spiritual awareness.
Hence I created the online Winter Retreat we are about to share. This is a way that we can all deepen our practices, no matter what our experience or religious preferences are, without having to hide in a snowy cave for three years. Taking as little as five minutes a day, together we can generate more positive vibrations and support each other in our practices – benefitting ourselves and, ultimately, the entire world.
Right now, the community at Tara Mandala Retreat Center (where I lived as a nun) is in the deepest, quietest, most peaceful part of their annual Winter Retreat, which ends on the Tibetan New Year February 19th. This is also the week leading up to Ash Wednesday (February 18th) and the season of Lent where Christians around the world also make varying levels of commitments to spiritual practice. Common elements include extended periods of fasting, chanting, silence, meditation, contemplation and prayer.
It is in this spirit that I wish to share the fruits of my experiences with you! And it is with open arms and an open heart that I am extending this personal invitation to you to join us for our annual Winter Retreat which begins this Sunday, February 8. In the next few days I want to help you get ready to get the most out of our time in retreat and will be offering articles about what to eat and recommended physical exercise during retreat, as well as time management and making that personal commitment to invest in your spiritual development.
Sign up right now and get started today by posting a prayer request on The Holistic Homestead homepage, or on our Facebook page. All spiritual and religious views and values are welcome. This retreat is FREE and completely online. The only thing you have to do is sign up, “like” or “follow” and check your e-mail every day for inspiring teachings and simple practices.