Posts Tagged "meditation"

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.

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Honoring the Spirit of the Season: A Winter Ritual – December 17, 3-6 pm

Posted by on Nov 29, 2022 in ritual, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Honoring the Spirit of the Season: A Winter Ritual – December 17, 3-6 pm

Honoring the Spirit of the Season

A winter ritual of reflection, reconnection and reverence

Dec. 17, 3-6 pm in-person event in Minneapolis

Amidst the cycles of life, the stillness, cold and dark of winter draw us inward. Winter invites us to rest and reflect deeply, reconnect with the sacred, and remember and recommit to what is most important. For as long as there have been human cultures, we have gathered in community to share stories, meals and creative expression. We gather in ritual to honor our place in the web of life, our loves and losses, and the presence of the sacred. Traditionally, these ritual gatherings venerate significant times in the rhythms of nature and events in the life of cultures. This is certainly true around the winter solstice, holidays and new year. While much of this has been lost amidst the busy-ness and commercialization of the holidays, in these darkened times we need rituals of reconnection now as much as ever.

This gathering will consist of teachings + stories, yoga practice, self-reflection, chanting and communal ritual honoring the year that has passed and the spirit of the season. We will explore themes of love, loss, forgiveness, healing and gratitude in these challenging times.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. As of Dec. 14, there are still 3 spaces available.

To reserve your space, please email [email protected] and send payment ($50-150 sliding scale) via venmo to @vincent-yoga, or via paypal to [email protected]

Once your email and payment are received, Ben will send confirmation and preparatory information via email.

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Fall Immersion: The Yoga of Darkness and Light – Oct 2-5 2022 Ely, Mn

Posted by on May 12, 2022 in Retreats, Travel, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fall Immersion: The Yoga of Darkness and Light – Oct 2-5 2022 Ely, Mn

The Yoga of Darkness and Light

Holding the Whole of of Life with Reverence

October 2-5, Ely, Mn

Our annual Fall Immersion is intended for yogis looking for deeper study and practice of yoga in a communal retreat setting.  This year we will be delving into “The Yoga of Light and Darkness: Holding the Whole of Life with Reverence.” The immersion will explore in-depth teachings and practices individually and collectively through dharma teachings, holistic practice (asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, chanting, yoga nidra, self-reflection, etc.), meditative ritual and time in nature and community.

  Let me share with you a story, or rather weave together a few into an origin myth that brings perspective to these times.  Various traditions speak of a primordial essence or void before the universe emerged.  At the dawn of existence, the universe burst forth from its mysterious origins, composed of complimentary opposites (dvandvas): chaos and cosmos, creation and dissolution, darkness and light, form and formless, energy and consciousness, finding form as the five great elements.  This dynamic interplay of the dvandvas has been referred to as yin and yang, and the gunas in the Taoist and Yogic traditions respectively.  These opposing forces both form one another and also allow for balance amidst constant change.  If this story doesn’t seem relevant yet, stay with me and it will.

  Our earthly life is governed by the dance of the dvandvas:  birth and death, persistence and evolution, nature and culture, masculine and feminine, joy and sorrow, etc.   These unfold amidst cycles of time and causation: day and night, seasons, years, generations and eras.  According to the ancient seers (rishis), the era we are living in is the Kali Yuga or “long dark”. In this time, human consciousness has become darkened, fragmented, lacking understanding of its own essence, interconnectedness and place in the cosmos.  This is not end times – rather a time of endings.  A time in which our shadows are becoming more clear, our deep wounds are surfacing, and the ways we are living that violate our interconnectedness and desecrate the web of life are becoming unavoidable.  In the karmic realms, the pain we are experiencing is deeply connected to the essence that brought us into life. This incredibly challenging and painful time also holds the potential to be a rite of passage to profound healing, awakening and transformation – individually and collectively.  How we face this darkness will influence whether it deepens our divides, or allows a new, life affirming human culture to emerge, honoring our place in the order of things.  If humanity is to survive these times and not irreparably damage the web of life on Earth, we must learn how to hold both darkness and light with reverence.  

In this immersion, we will delve into:

  • Learning to be in the dark, understanding the nature of these times
  • Exploring the shadow individually and collectively with compassion
  • The shadow as “pure gold” – how facing darkness can reveal our dharma/ genius
  • Self-Compassion: Holding shame from a place of love, belonging and acceptance
  • Holistic Yogic practices for living fully in the Kali Yuga
  • Meditative rituals for healing, awakening and transformation
  • Myth as wisdom stories for greater perspective in the cycles of light and dark

Daily Session Schedule:                                                                                                      

Sunday Oct 2:  6:30-9 pm                                                                                                       Monday Oct 3:  8:30-11:30 am, 2:30-5:30 pm                                                               Tuesday Oct 4:  8:30-11:30 am, 2:30-5 pm,  7-9 pm                                                   Wednesday Oct 5:  8-11am

Optional Chanting and Silent Meditation M-W from 6-7 am

Covid Safety Protocols

Your safety and enjoyment of the retreat is our highest priority.  We will continue to monitor the conditions of Covid and adjust safety precautions accordingly.  As of now, we will be requiring proof of a negative PCR test, or 2 negative antigen home tests taken within 72 hours of the beginning of retreat.    We will have air purifiers as an additional layer of protection for the practice space.    We will re-assess all safety precautions based on CDC guidelines and the state of the pandemic in MN at that time.

Your Investment: 

  • $595 – Twin bed in a communal Loft Space
  • $675 – Shared bedroom space (2 people/room, twin beds or queen bed for couples)
  • $775 – Private bedroom space (queen bed)

Early Registration Discount- Receive $25 off the shared bedroom or loft rates when you register and pay in full by July 31.  Yoga Studies grads receive $50 off with early registration. Early registration discount does not apply to private rooms or cabins.

All rates are per person. This is a small group immersion and space will be allotted in the order in which registrations are received.

Rates are inclusive of:

  • Lodging: For more information on accommodations and activities, visit the fall retreat page.
  • Immersion Tuition
  • Use of Camp du Nord facilities (sauna, hiking trails, canoes + kayaks, etc.)

Massage will be available during breaks.  Please note meals are not provided. Each cabin has a fully equipped kitchen for all your cooking needs. We will plan to eat dinners communally, with groups taking turns preparing food if the group size accommodates eating/cooking together.  

To reserve your space: please submit all registrations materials + deposit at the same time, via email to [email protected], with a copy of:

  1. Fall Immersion Registration + Waiver
  2. Submit a $250 deposit per-person (non-refundable). Payment are preferred through Venmo (@vincent-yoga), and can also be made through PayPal ([email protected]), check (see directions below), or CC. There is a 3.5% fee for paypal or CC to cover costs.  Contact us directly to pay via CC or paypal.

All payments are due by Sept 3. There will be a $50 fee for payments, payment plans and registrations received after Sept 3.  For those unable to pay-in-full before Sept 3, payment plans are available through paypal credit. All payments are final. The non-refundable $250 deposit covers the costs to camp du Nord in the event that the retreat should have to be cancelled for unforeseen reasons  If you’re unable to attend the retreat due to covid exposure, you may receive a 50% credit to future Vincent Yoga events good for 1 year.  Other discounts and scholarships are not available.

Ben Vincent (not Vincent Yoga)

5354 40th Ave S.

Minneapolis, MN, 55417

Please contact us with any questions or inquiries

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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

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Portal To You: February 14 – March 24 A 6 Week Online Course with Angela

Posted by on Jan 9, 2022 in Featured Events, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Portal To You: February 14 – March 24 A 6 Week Online Course with Angela

Portal To You

Enlivening + Nurturing Your Connection to Self ~

February 14 – March 24, 2023

I see tremendous potential in our world right now for consciously embracing our strengths, healing + creativity.  An invitation to take all that we have learned over the past years to live a more present + luminous existence.

I hear so many people feeling stuck, lost and yearning to reconnect to SELF!  Now is the time! Intentionally make time in your calendar to reflect + pivot accordingly. Give yourself the space to REMEMBER all that you know.

Portal to YOU is inspired by my own inner work and study as a human, yogi and mom aspiring to thrive! It will include tools and practices that will lead you again and again into deeper relationship with YOU. Tend that relationship, it is calling for connection + greater alignment. Leading you back to Self, your inner radiance + vitality.

Yoga has touched every part of who I am, allowing me to open gradually and courageously to the fullness of life.  This course was born from my heartfelt desire to share what I have learned through my experiences. To provide tools, teachings and support for growth, self-awareness and meaningful connection in these unique times.  In this spirit, I invite you to join me for: 

PORTAL TO YOU : Returning to Your True Self

This 6 module course includes:

6 – 60 minute – LIVE sessions : Tuesdays 8-9PM CST via Zoom will include: teaching, self-reflection, group discussion and yoga practice (movement, breath work, meditation)

6 – 20 minute – Livestream meditation sessions : Fridays 6:45-7:05AM CST via Zoom

Video recordings of each of the live the sessions

Weekly pre-recorded yoga practices to support the inner work and process

Journaling prompts and self reflection practices

Community connection and support

1 – Community check-in Zoom call, date TBA

__________________________________________

February 14 : ENVISION : take stock of your current situation + inner relationship, look to the horizon to what you aspire that relationship to look + feel like

February 21 : INTUIT : familiarize yourself with intuition, gut, spirit, heart connection (whatever language resonates) to lean into an inner source of support to reveal insight + ease in decision-making

February 28 : INQUIRE : explore self-inquiry + curiosity as a regular practice

March 7 : NOURISH : tending your self care rituals + rhythms, building your reservoir

February 14 : IGNITE : take action, ignite + initiate a plan for moving forward, your unique next steps

February 21 : INTEGRATE : process + embody the learnings of this time, both to weave + digest

In this course you will:

Expand your tools and skills to serve you well through all life’s passages of grit, dullness, inspiration, tenderness, grace and all that resides in between.

Learn to integrate tools including: yoga postures, breath work, meditation, guided relaxation, morning and evening self care rituals, self-reflection, journaling and more.

Learn to transform patterns of distraction, avoidance, self-sacrificing and numbing to make room for clarity and inspiration.

(Re) Establish sustainable and nourishing self care rituals in your life.

Learn to acknowledge and honor your Self in relationship.

This is for YOU, if:

You believe there isn’t time for you.

Choosing you feels like a radical act.

You desire coming back to YOU – a life of greater clarity and authenticity!

You are ready to cut through overwhelm and distraction and claim your time for YOU.

You are ready to invest in your well-being and (re)commit to self-care.

You are inspired to ignite a personal practice tailored to your uniqueness.

Testimonials from Portal Participants:

This course is an opportunity to explore what makes us vibrant, and how to live into that. Angela’s authentic presence and willingness to be vulnerable to speak what is in her heart invites me to seek and live into what is in my heart. Though the course was only six weeks, it addressed coming to center with offerings that included discussion, journaling, embodiment through yoga, healthy lifestyle, meditation, and connecting with other people drawn to seek. Each weekly topic dovetailed with the previous week’s. I loved the invitation to hold and live into her weekly questions. If you want to find what is true for your own self, don’t miss this course!” ~ Kristin

Coming out of 2021, I had really lost my yoga practice. My ability to sit and be with myself was rusty at best, and I felt so afraid of “doing things wrong” or “failing” that I found myself avoiding my mat and my practice. This course from Angela was such a timely gift. Through this course I found myself dusting off my toolbox, reconnecting with my intuition, and stepping back onto my mat ready to greet whatever was there to meet me each day. Angela is such an insightful, gentle, and inspiring teacher. I felt so seen during our weekly meetings with the group, and each practice and meditation were perfectly curated to build upon the themes we were discussing. I feel so much more connected to myself and so elated to have begun my journey back to my yoga practice.” ~ Ingrid

“This course gave me the opportunity and space to powerfully pause and reflect. I really appreciated the structure and wisdom that Angela provided during the course. I highly recommend it!” ~ Amy

Angela offers an up-beat, centered approach to re-connecting with yourself through teachings, yoga, and meditation practices. I highly recommend the program.” ~ Elizabeth

Your investment:

$495 (6 week course)

$645 (6 week course + 2 one-to-one sessions) If you want additional guidance and support to zero in on your unique journey, add 2 – 45 minute one-to-one Zoom calls with me.

To claim YOUR spot:

  1. email [email protected], this is the email I will use to send course information and Zoom links
  2. Venmo payment to @vincent-yoga or contact [email protected] for other payment options

Early Registration : Receive $50 off when paid in full by December 31, 2022.

Friend Discount: Register with a friend and you each receive $50 off.

* Only one $50 discount available per registration.

Refund policy – 50% back if you cancel before 1/3/2023.

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