Posts Tagged "healing"

Taking Refuge: The Ritual of Retreat as Sanctuary for the Soul – Begins March 2023

Posted by on Jan 12, 2023 in Featured Events, Retreats, ritual, Travel, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Taking Refuge: The Ritual of Retreat as Sanctuary for the Soul – Begins March 2023

Taking Refuge

The Ritual of Retreat as Sanctuary for the Soul

March 2023 – January 2024 w/ Ben Vincent

It has been a joy, calling and honor to lead yoga retreats for more than 15 years. Retreat is a sacred space from which to see ourselves and life clearly. A time to re-commune with the timeless. Retreat is a ritual of honoring our inner call: to slow down, find rest, reflect upon, reconnect with and recommit to what is most important in life. For many years, I’ve had a slowly gestating vision for a year long program of quarterly retreats set around the solstices and equinoxes. Like a seed buried deep in the snow, while the vision seemed dormant, slow and meaningful changes were unfolding. Leading retreats during the pandemic and upheaval of our world over the last 3 years has been rite of passage and preparation for this program. We’ve explored challenging and relevant topics to find healing, meaningful connection and dharmic response amidst troubled times. Our retreats have evolved organically to integrate many essential elements or “primary satisfactions” that have sustained the human spirit and culture over the ages:

  • Spiritual practice + study, rooted in Yoga ~ integrating many traditions
  • Time in solitude, community + nature
  • Creative expression (music, poetry, art, etc.)
  • Sacred ritual for healing and awakening
  • Myths and stories
  • Shared meals, conversations, laughter and tears

Upon returning from fall retreat and immersion in October, the seed of vision sprouted during a morning meditation practice. I was transported back to the Oratory (pictured at the top) at the Episcopal House of Prayer where my yoga journey began (this time around) 25 years ago. Immediately, there was a flash of inner knowing: this is the place and now is the time.

I was reminded of Krishna’s teaching in the Bhagavad Gita (4.7):
When Dharma falters and chaos rises up, then I manifest and give forth of mySelf.

What is taking refuge?

Taking refuge is a vow to a life of dharma – living in alignment with our true nature – through all the phases of life. It is a ritual of returning to sanctuary, to what truly nourishes us, especially during troubled times. We are living through a period unprecedented change and challenge in our lifetimes. From the natural world to human culture, the layers of life are being overwhelmed by overlapping crises. Old wounds and ways of being that cause suffering are surfacing, individually and collectively. This is not the first time humanity has gone through a collective dark night of the soul. Many ancient cultures and spiritual traditions understood that periods darkness are an essential part of the cycles of worldly life (samsara). When faced consciously, they can be an initiatory rite of passage in the life of the soul, the awakening the world and the re-creation of dharma. In this painful, yet necessary time of dis-integration, lies the hidden potential for healing, meaningful transformation and life coming forth a new – if each of us do our part. The wisdom traditions of ancient India (yogic/ buddhist/ tantric) venerate Three Jewels for taking refuge amidst samsara:

  • Teacher (inner and outer)
  • Teachings + Practice (dharma)
  • Sacred community (sangha)

Each of these plays an essential role in sustaining us. When interwoven, they form the fabric of our spiritual lives: supporting our healing journeys, helping us return to our essential nature, and bringing forth our unique dharma for the healing and awakening of ourselves and the world. Taking Refuge will be rooted in:

  • Cultivating deep connection thru teachings/ practice, teacher (inner) and sacred community.
  • Practices + tools from Yoga, Tantra and Ayurveda for balance through life’s seasons
  • Re-investing in “primary satisfactions” of life
  • Spiritual texts, myths and stories for understanding these times
  • Times of crisis as initiatory rites of passage
  • The sacred power of ritual for healing and awakening
  • Answering the call of our Soul’s dharma to heal, awaken and contribute

Structure of the Program

  1. Seasonal Weekend Retreats
  • March 25-26 – Spring Equinox
  • June 24-25 – Summer Solstice
  • September 16-17 – Autumnal Equinox
  • December 9-10 – Winter Solstice

These small group (15 people) immersive weekend retreats (two-days, one night* – 9 am Saturday – 5 pm Sunday) will consist of:

  • Two sessions of yoga practice + spiritual teachings daily
  • Morning / Evening chanting + meditation
  • Time in solitude, community + nature
  • Seasonal sacred rituals
  • Seasonal Yoga + Ayurveda Practices for balance and well-being
  • Shared meals, stories/myths, songs, tears and laughter
  • * Those wishing to lengthen their retreat stays may add extra nights as available (more below)

2. Quarterly Satsangs in Minneapolis: Teachings, practice and community time.

  • Spring Satsang, Saturday, May 13
  • Summer Satsang, Saturday, August 12
  • Fall Satsang, Saturday November 4
  • Winter Satsang, Saturday January 6, 2024

Satsangs will be recorded if you are unable to attend in person.

Retreats will be held at the Episcopal House of Prayer, in Collegeville, MN – 75 miles NW of Minneapolis. For over 30 years, they’ve been welcoming groups for retreat and spiritual practice. Recognized for it’s potent sacred space, natural and architectural beauty, it is a sanctuary designed to support deep connection.

The House of Prayer is nestled on the edge of Saint John’s Abbey and University – amidst the remarkable beauty and sanctuary of 2,700 acres of extensive pine and hardwood forest, wetlands, lakes, oak savanna, restored prairie, and hiking trails.  Its been a place of learning and spiritual refuge for over 165 years.

Accommodations and Meals

The retreat house is designed to support both community and solitude. There are single and double rooms with twin beds, individual sinks, desks, chairs and reading lamps. The larger living/ dining spaces and restrooms are shared. The oratory and prayer room are available as quiet, contemplative spaces. In the spirit of community, we will eat meals communally. Each person will be assigned to a group responsible for planning and bringing/ preparing one meal per retreat. Meals will be vegetarian and we’ll do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions. We’ve done meals this way for years on fall immersion, and they are always wonderful!

Your investment

This small group program is limited to 15 people. Spaces + accommodation preferences will be allotted in the order in which payment and registration are received. Rates for the program are as follows (inclusive of program tuition and lodging):

Private Room – $2750                                                                                                           Shared Room – $2450

Early Registration Discount – $150 off the above rates when paid in full by Feb 7. Payment Plans may be available on an individual basis for those unable to pay in full by March 7.

Optional Add-ons

Quarterly Private Session w/ Ben: $400 for the year ($100 x 4, a $40 discount/ session) *Extra night stay: $75/night (paid separately as available), for those wishing to add Friday or Sunday night to any retreat weekends,

To reserve your space:

  1. Please email the completed the registration form to [email protected]
  2. Submit a $500 deposit (non-refundable). Payment is preferred through Venmo (@vincent-yoga). Payment can also be made through cash, check, PayPal ([email protected]), CC. There is a 3.5% fee for paypal or CC to cover costs. Please contact Ben directly to pay via cash, check or CC.

All payments are due in full by March 7. There will be a $75 fee for late payments. All payments are final and non-refundable, unless your reserved space in the program is filled. If you choose to withdraw from the program, your payment will be forfeited.  Other discounts and scholarships are not available.

Please contact [email protected] with any inquiries about the program, registration or payment plans.

Read More

A Life Worth Grieving: March 10-13, Devanadi Yoga – Minneapolis w/ Ben

Posted by on Jan 17, 2022 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Life Worth Grieving: March 10-13, Devanadi Yoga – Minneapolis w/ Ben

A Life Worth Grieving

How Living Through Challenging Times Can Open the Heart

March 10-13, Devanadi Yoga, Minneapolis

The last two years have been a time of profound challenge and change in our lives, community and world. We are living through collective crises of: climate, global health pandemic, structural racism, vast social inequities, and eroding civic institutions. Our strained familial, social and cultural connections are ill prepared to navigate the ongoing desecration of life. If reading this paragraph is stressful or unsettling, know that you are not alone – you are human.

This time has been stressful and traumatic for many. The stress response evolved to allow us to endure challenging situations. However, if chronic stress prevents painful experiences from being fully processed, grieved and integrated. Grief is part of love in a changing world – a natural and healthy response to significant loss and change. Grieving allows us to feel, process, learn from and grow through painful emotions and experiences – so we are shaped but not defined by suffering. It is an opening to what is wounded within, to allow for healing and re-integration. Grief can lessen the bonds of karma, re-open our hearts to the sacredness of life, and allow us to live more fully. In these times of sea change, if we are to truly transform so new life may come forth, it is imperative that we honor our need for one another and collective space to grieve.

The immersion will explore in-depth teachings and practices individually and collectively through teachings, holistic practice (asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, chanting, yoga nidra, self-reflection, etc.), meditative ritual discussion and time in community. We will delve into:

  • Processing what has unfolded in our inner and outer worlds in the last two years
  • Learning to work skillfully with the stress response: Experiential understanding of regulating the limbic and autonomic nervous systems
  • Exploring the relationship of stress, emotions, trauma, grief and karma through eastern wisdom traditions and modern science
  • Cultivating presence and (self) compassion amidst painful emotions and experiences
  • Learning to re-integrate our shadow: the parts of us which are wounded or exiled
  • How life’s rewoundings can be a catalyst for deeper healing: Grief as the ripening of painful emotions to awaken the spiritual heart
  • Sangha: Sacred community as a refuge in dark times
  • Ritual: The healing power of holding collective sacred space
  • Yogic practices unwinding chronic stress and wading though grief
  • Yogic practices for remembering the part of us that is untouched by sorrow

Daily Schedule: Morning and afternoon sessions each day which include teaching + practice, individual and collective processing. The will be a 90 min. lunch break daily. March 10-12:  9:00-5:00                                                                                                       March 13:  9:00-4:00                                                              

Covid Safety Protocols

The immersion will be hosted by Devanadi Yoga, in the Fellowship Hall of the Lake Harriet Spiritual center in south Minneapolis. The space is very large, with PLENTY of room for social distancing. Masks will be mandatory when not on your mat. Additional safety measures may be instituted depending upon conditions of the pandemic locally.

Testimonials:

“I have to tell you, Ben, the immersion was really powerful. Quite honestly, I feel like I learned more over those three days about grief, how to create space for and contain all the emotions to corresponding with grief, and how to honor the myriad of emotions that I feel surrounding grief, then I have learned in 15 years of therapy training. It was really phenomenal. And I don’t want it to end!” Bridget M. MS, LMFT, YTS-500

” This retreat really broke that illusion for me, and broke open this kernel of separation from the whole that I have been carrying for such a long time.  Now I look around and see: of course!  We are all grieving, or worse, not grieving, and just frozen or frantically striving or shut down and angry and despairing and alone.  I can see this because for those precious days up at DuNord you made use of a Sacred place; beautiful practices; and a fusion of yoga and traditional grief practices; and you harnessed the energy of a beautiful group of individuals and helped us become in a very short period of time a beloved community.  In that short period of time, I touched right into an aliveness that I had forgotten I could access. ” Katrin C. LCSW, EYT-500

Your Investment: $575

Once you register, you will receive preparatory practices and materials to make the most of the immersion.

Early Registration Discount- receive $50 off when you register before + pay in full before Feb 10.

Devanadi TT Graduates receive $50 off – only one discount per participant

To register, please visit devanadiyoga.com

Read More

Yoga Nidra: Resting To Awaken ~ Saturday, Dec. 1, 1-4 pm

Posted by on Nov 27, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Yoga Nidra: Resting To Awaken ~ Saturday, Dec. 1, 1-4 pm

YOGA NIDRA: RESTING TO AWAKEN

Saturday, Dec. 01,  14pm at One Yoga

Often translated as “Yogic Sleep”, Yoga Nidra is a tool, a practice, a process, and a state of transcendent awareness. The journey of Yoga Nidra integrates practices for balancing the physical and energetic bodies, deep relaxation, sankalpa (sacred intention), and guided imagery and kriya to work with the subtle body and subconscious mind. In working with with the deeper layers of our being, it is unparalleled in its capacity for relaxation, healing, transformation and empowerment. On its deepest level, yoga nidra is dissolution of all limited consciousness into the infinite.  Whether your goal is stress relief, rejuvenation, physical / emotional healing, removing karmic patterns, unlocking creativity or empowering yourself to manifest a dharmic desire, yoga nidra has something profound to offer you.

This workshop will explore:

  • What is Yoga Nidra? What is its purpose?
  • The traditional stages and progression of practice
  • Awakening Sankalpa Shakti: The Power of Sacred Intention
  • Foundational Practices of Yoga Nidra
  • Yoga Nidra as a tool for relaxation, healing, freeing the mind or manifestation
  • How to integrate yoga nidra into your life and practices

Learn more or register here

Read More