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.
Summer Solstice Ocean Meditation Retreat
June 20 -- 11:00 - 3:00 PST
We will move from the Spring Aliveness and Growth into Summer, where we plant the harvest for Autumn. The light returns to its fullness and we see into what is needed and wanted in our lives and in our world.
This moment invites us to take a collective breath and feel into what will emerge. At the same time we can look what has already blossomed over the months of spring. With Covid no longer confining us to our homes, for the first time in one and half years, we can gather and enjoy the presence of each other and celebrate what has bloomed within each of us.
So let us celebrate Summer together with the Ocean Mother. 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, March 12, 2021
Ma Tsu and Pai Chang were out walking. They saw some ducks fly by.
Ma Tsu: “What is that?”
Pai Chang: “Wild Ducks.”
Ma Tsu: “Where did they go?”
Pai Chang: “They flew away.”
At this Ma Tsu grabbed Pain Chang’s nose and twisted it hard. Pai Chang cried out in pain.
Ma Tsu: “When have they ever flown away?”
Where indeed do ducks, whales, oak trees, eagles, eco systems, kindness and compassion go? What has flown from your life this year, this month, this week? I often speak about the teaching, “If you tell a child a bird is a bird, the child never sees the bird again.” Ma Tsu asks, “what is that?” Here is a fun show of this question…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61amWGUL3vs
Let yourself play with this for the week. 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