SEVEN DIRECTIONS ZEN
Awakening Together for the Seven Generations into the Future
Spirit Koan Meditation Retreats
Keeping Company with Koan Spirits
We come to meditation for many reasons, but mostly to seek relief from our suffering. Indigenous Communities look to the directions for guidance and to cultivate a relationship with the tapestry of life. We are a global world and the tapestry of life is built by the threads that bind us to each other and to all life. At Seven Directions Zen we use koan practice, Indigenous wisdom, ritual, interfaith and mystic teachings to support people find peace, happiness and freedom in the life they are living, while opening up space for the inconceivable to appear.
We want to encourage you to transform your responses to what appears to make you suffer, rather than slap on a band-aid. There isn't anywhere other than right here, right now for you to be. We offer a flexible and adaptable practice that can meet your life just as it is.
Our Retreats last 2.5 hours, and are based in Zen and indigenous or traditional wisdom. We offer a looseness, insight, and inspiration that might be an expected experience for you typically in Zen or meditation practice are an essential ingredient in this practice.
Each retreat is organized around a central koan which provides the frame and the richness for the day. We sit together, engage in conversation, ritual or ceremony and discover the relationships we have with the Earth, ourselves and the life we are living.
Silence and companionship deepens your experience of the vast universe you are a strand in and the life you are living.
Winter Solstice Virtual Meditation Retreat
December 20 -- 10:30 - 4:30 PST
Winter Solstice is an incredibly auspicious day this year. It is the time of the Great Mutation when Jupiter and Saturn conjunct in the sign of Aquarius and we begin a new 20 year cycle in this air sign. The last conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn was in 2000. Its a complicated astrological event but auspicious none-the-less. This conjunction will take place December 21st.
We are also 11 days from our New Year and we are all ready for 2020 to end! It has been a grueling year. Most of us reflect on the past year and envision our future at this time of year. Some of us do this in the privacy of our meditation, some with friends and others in the contemplative pages of our journals. Every New Year millions of people make resolutions to do things differently. Because cultures from around the world understand that the New Year is an opportunity to spiritually turn the wheel of dharma and begin anew, this is the perfect time to look at areas that we might wish to adjust.
This year I would like to offer us an opportunity to cast off the parts of ourselves, and perhaps aspects of our lives, that no longer serve us and the future we are calling in. During this virtual retreat, we will purify and prepare for a new vision for ourselves and 2021. The days is dedicated to gathering as a virtual community to meditate and reflect on our lives, our world and our future, together.
I would love you to join me!
Sharing the Same Moon
Meditation can be as complicated or as simple as you want to make it. We suggest that you just pay attention to whatever you notice (inside or outside yourself, it doesn’t matter) without judging, measuring or assessing what yourself or your life. The Earth (trees, wind, animals, insects, clouds) accompany us in this lifetime. they remind us we are simply a strand in the great web of life. Allowing yourself to just simply pay attention, notice and be curious about what arises supports you to break free in every moment.
You can start anywhere, even in the midst of a judgment and ask yourself:
what’s this like? Who feels this? Where do I feel this right now? Discover its shape, color, emotion, sensation. What images come to mind? If it could speak, what would it say? Keep company with it all. You can’t do it wrong.
When you notice you’re back to judging your experience, imprisoning your thoughts, notice that and start again.
Friday, November 27, 2020
"Thank you very much, I have no complaints whatsoever"
Gratitude is one of the most powerful meditations in our lives. Given the season we are in, this seemed like the perfect Koan. As we focus on gratitude and thankfulness this Thanksgiving season, despite what it might look like, may we find what we are truly grateful for. When we do that we are able to find our way home to our most authentic selves. It is not the things that happen to us that make or break us; it is the way we think about them. Let’s discover our grateful hearts together.
Sitting together in Not Knowing and we Bear Witness to the vastness that lives inside us. Our hearts, our wisdom, our sorrows, our surprise and our astonishment that, like grateful hearts are everywhere and all the time, if we are present. Together we will connect, create safety, and share our aliveness which inspires loving, heart centered action. The is the gift of our sangha - community - I look forward to being with you again. Illana
On-Going Meditation Fridays
4:00 - 5:30
One on One With Illana
Take Your Practice to a New Level
I will assist you in expanding your personal awareness and consciousness. I will instruct you in how to use your awareness to cultivate compassion and kindness with yourself and the relationships you have.
You will discover you are standing on holy ground and have been your whole life. Now you get to turn your face toward your life. You will discover how your mind works, how your body communicates with you and what your soul is most longing for.
We explore how the tapestry of your life and the stories you carry influence your assumptions, your choices and your values.
I have had the great privilege to work with elders, healers and wisdom keepers from all over the world. These wonderful teachers and their teachings have deeply informed me and the work I offer to you.
My core philosophy is that healing and wholeness begins first with yourself, then extends to your family, to the larger communities that surround you and finally to the Earth herself. With a new prayer in your heart you discover yourself as a secret you have been carrying that is now ready to be revealed. Freedom