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.
Spring Equinox Virtual Meditation Retreat
March 20 -- 10:30 - 3:00 PST
We will move from the Winter stillness and our deep dive into the dark fodder of possibility, into Spring, where the brightness beneath all that is, begins to return to the surface of our lives. The light returns from the dark night and we enter a time of balance with day and night; an equilibrium we find in our own bodies.
This moment invites us to take a collective breath and feel into the new growth that is beneath the surface waiting to emerge. At the same time we can look with compassion and courage, into the shadow as we individually and collectively begin to move out of our collective dark night of the soul!
Because the dark night is as close as our own breath, it is powerful to be willing to look towards that darkness even as we are moving more toward the light. We are not yet in the light.
Rumi the poet, speaks of night travelers who turn towards the darkness and by doing so, are willing to know their own fear. He says,
“Life’s water flows from darkness.
Search the darkness, don’t run from it.
Night travelers are full of light and you are too.
Don’t leave this companionship.”
So in this way let us celebrate Spring in our virtual community, our virtual companionship. For the Equinox let us choose to be with reality, with the energies that are moving through each of us and all of us as a collective. Together we can own our individual part of the strand of this beautiful tapestry that we create together and discover the fullness of who we are.
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, February 5, 2021
Each crisis, an opportunity,
yet if you fail to act, you miss it by a thousand miles.
The cave of the Blue Dragon is ominous.
Only the fearless dare to enter.
It is here that the forest of patterns is clearly revealed,
The myriad forms evident.
It is here that the one bright pearl is hidden. Koans of Reality
What do you notice about your life over this past year with Covid? How has this crisis opened up new territory within you to overcome the challenges you have faced? Are you the kind of person that avoids difficulty or a person who meets it head on? How has fear meet those fears? These questions and more are awaiting us in the cave of the Blue Dragon. Let’s see if we can lure that dragon out to share her wisdom with us! See you Friday.
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