25-27 October 2013 in East Sussex
A retreat with Vanessa Hodge, Lisa Sanfillipo and Narayani
Join us to refresh your connection to life’s meaning, purpose and expression through yoga, meditation and sound.
Reconnect with what’s meaningful during a fresh, exquisite autumnal weekend by the sea. The time between summer’s end and december is perfect to re-focus on what’s important at all levels of life from the practical daily aspects to the deepest soul level, guided by highly experienced teachers and facilitators.
Designed to refresh your body and mind, supporting you to find or re-establish your own unique life purpose (dharma) and expression in action (karma). Yoga will range from the dynamic to the restorative, combined with the stillness of meditation, and the nurturing power of voicework and mantra.
You’ll rest deeply yet be invigorated by the stunning surroundings, atop the white cliffs of Seaford Head. Florence House rests on the rocky coast of Seaford in East Sussex, looking seaward and surrounded by gardens.
To book and learn more contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Emily Boddy on 07713 477858
We have now reached a point of paradigm shift in medicine where disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment must respond to the human organism according to its state of homeostasis (meaning its ability to regulate its own internal environment), taking into account relationships, feelings, exposure to the environment, and especially connection to the wider cosmos. We must explore the self-corrective ways of vis medicatrix nature (‘the healing power of nature’), one of the guiding principles of Hippocrates medicine.
To truly hear another is the art of bringing embodied awareness, compassionate relationship and supportive presence into our listening.
This way of being enables us to purely receive, this receiving is accompanied by greater clarity, understanding and empathy.
Embodied contemplative practices in the form of compassion, loving kindness and equanimity combined with a spacious, meditative approach allows for an attuned receptivity.
Attuning in this way, we are opening our capacity to experience another as they actually are; rather than distorting phenomena and other through the lens of our subjective perception.
We are opening to what is.
enfolded within us is our history, all of our imprints so far, from pre-conception to the present day have created layers and layers of experience.
these layers have constructed our view, moment to moment, day by day, year by year, these happenings have sculpted our shape, sculpted who we are and inform our unique window on the world.
gathering momentum, each experience informs the next, as we move through conception, birth, infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood and into our lives, we are carrying all that we have encountered with us.
in this present moment you are all that you have been, you are a ‘process’, a process that began as a spark of life and will continue moving, evolving and developing until death and beyond.
life is a process in continual motion; we are a process in continual motion.
“I would say that in my scientific and philosophical work, my main concern has been with understanding the nature of reality in general and of consciousness in particular as a coherent whole, which is never static or complete but which is an unending process of movement and unfoldment….”
(David Bohm: Wholeness and the Implicate Order)
on new years eve, in heavy rain, driving in sussex, we saw a fox, he’d been hit by a car, wet through, alive, unable to move in the gutter of a busy street.
in our headlights i saw the powerful but frightened brightness in it’s eyes, this supreme and sovereign animal was frozen to the spot.
i wondered if it could not mobilize because of it’s injuries.
there was no blood, it’s fur stuck to it’s lithe body.
we pulled over.
i approached the fox, very slowly, inching closer, repeating a soft mantra, that only it and i could hear, ‘it’s ok beauty, it’s ok beauty’, over and over very softly, i fixed eye contact with it, regulated my own breathing, slowed my pace and settled into the space between us.
the noise and movement in the world around us ceased, hung for those few minutes as something primitive breathed the air, a knowing connected our opposing ascendancy of human and wild animal.
fox was paralyzed in shock, something softened, eye to eye contact, rhythmic breathing, reassuring, it moved from the gutter very slowly to the kerb, ‘great’, i said softly, ‘it’s ok beauty’.
now it was out of immediate danger, i moved a little closer to encourage it into a nearby garden.
we were there; synchronized in breath, suspended in stillness, mesmerized in our contact.
suddenly there was a pristine opening, a life-force, an upsurge of energy coursed through it’s limbs, it turned on it’s heel, from heart to hind legs it’s muscles engaged, adrenalin surging and powerfully sprung, it bolted instinctively, driving itself to safety.
wild to witness, i felt the heat and force of life surging through it’s muscle fibres’ as it charged the street and broke off into open countryside.
we were together for just a few minutes, the fox and i, captivated, in knowing, suspended in something other.
a primal experience, being to being.
this was a beautiful demonstration of trauma resolution from shock, to freeze, to mobilization, to restoration.
peter levines trauma model was classically demonstrated by the fox and i was fortuitous enough to witness it.
‘a discharge of traumatic activation and restoration of equilibrium’. (Levine, 2010:92)
sills describes this contact between fox and i as, ‘being to being’ contact, in his book ‘being and becoming’, he writes:
‘the second important axis is an interpersonal one, the being-to-being axis. here interbeing is directly experienced and interpersonal relationships are grounded in mutuality and compassion.’ (Sills, 2009: 7)
in ‘animal magick’ conway describes the fox as shapeshifting, her power cycle is dawn, dusk and night. she has a long positive history of magick and its associated use of camouflage in observing what is happening in the present. (Conway: 1996)
as i breakdown this scene where every detail has significance, it reminds me of how much we miss in life, how much we don’t see.
and how much i learnt from a simple exchange with the magnificent intelligence of nature.
‘It Felt Love’
Did the rose
Ever open it’s heart
And give to this world
It felt the encouragement of light
We all remain
by hafiz, ‘the gift’