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Alive & Awake: Creativity & Resilience in Times of Change (Mindfulness Retreat)

We are delighted to invite you to our special online retreat (using the Zoom app) over the 2nd weekend of June 2020. The retreat is by Susanne Olbrich and Lesley Collington, both experienced mindfulness practitioners and lay Dharma Teachers in the Plum Village tradition. On this weekend we will be offered a range of opportunities to discover life in the present moment, to learn about mindfulness and to practice together. Beginners as well as those with experience are welcome to…

key info

12 Jun 2020 - 14 Jun 2020

Online

Dana invited

We are delighted to invite you to our special online retreat (using the Zoom app) over the 2nd weekend of June 2020. The retreat is
by Susanne Olbrich and Lesley Collington, both experienced mindfulness practitioners and lay Dharma Teachers in the Plum Village tradition.

On this weekend we will be offered a range of opportunities to discover life in the present moment, to learn about mindfulness and to practice together. Beginners as well as those with experience are welcome to join.

THE RETREAT

“Mindfulness is at the heart of awakening. Restoring balance to ourselves, we
can begin the work of restoring balance to the Earth. There is no difference
between healing the planet and healing ourselves”  – Thich Nhat Hanh

How can we keep an open heart and mind in these times of change? Mindfulness and creativity can help us be the change that we want to see in the world.

The seeds we water determine the things we will grow in the garden of our mind and heart, and in the garden of our collective consciousness and society. On this weekend we will take time to nurture our aliveness and presence through meditation, creative explorations and connection with nature. We will explore ways to cultivate the art of grounding ourselves, including gentle and graceful Qi Gong exercises. Sitting, walking and eating in mindfulness, we can slow down and (re)discover peace and joy, which are
the source of true resilience.

Can the Earth count on us in these times? Our time together will be an opportunity to celebrate the miracle of life, to strengthen our connections with each other and the land and to reflect on our contributions to a collective awakening.

THE TEACHERS

Susanne Olbrich is a musician, music educator and mindfulness teacher. She enjoys encouraging creative expression and deep listening in people of all ages and backgrounds. Susanne discovered mindfulness practice in 1996 at Plum Village, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh’s practice centre in France. Inspired by this experience, mindfulness practice became a nourishing, sustaining and transformative part of her daily life. Susanne trained as a teacher in Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-based Living (MBLC), and in 2016 she received the Lamp Transmission as a Dharma teacher at Plum Village. She has led days of Mindfulness and Retreats within the UK Community of Interbeing (Plum Village UK) and for the Mindful Artists Network, and she has taught Mindfulness for Musicians at the University of Aberdeen.

As a musician, Susanne has offered creative music workshops in Scotland and Germany, collaborating with music schools, the NHS and community groups, while also offering private piano tuition in her Findhorn studio. Her CD “ Continuations” includes original music inspired by classical, jazz, folk and world music.

Susanne practices mindfulness with the Northern Lights Sangha which she co-founded 17 years ago, and this summer she will complete the MSc in Mindfulness with the University of Aberdeen.
www.susanneolbrich.net

Lesley Collington: After a free-range childhood by the sea near Christchurch, Lesley went to Art College in 1979 to study pottery and
calligraphy. She set up her first studio in the North of Scotland and then in Dorset, where she still works and lives. She trained in martial arts for many years and has taught Qi Gong and T’ai Chi for 33 years. Having followed different spiritual paths from an early age, she felt she had finally come home when she visited Plum Village in 2000. In 2004 she received ordination in the Order of Interbeing and in 2016 received the lamp transmission as Dharma teacher at Plum Village. Since 2014 she has led retreats at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, where Quakers and Buddhists practice together; offered retreats within the Community of
Interbeing in Poland, Germany and England, with a special soft spot for the Arts & Crafts Retreats, held over a number of years, combining mindfulness practice and creative practice with pop-up studios of pottery, print making, sumi, bookbinding, knitting, etc. She enjoys teaching T’ai Chi and time spent in her studio, combining calligraphy, bookbinding and pottery. Her husband is also a potter and they often like to share projects. She is a passionate amateur gardener.

THE PRACTICALITIES

The retreat will begin on Friday 12 June at 19.30.

It will be a very different retreat in that we’ll all be in our own homes which may bring its own joys and challenges. The programme is organised in a spacious way, so we won’t get tired by too much screen time. There will be breaks for which we will suggest mindfulness practices to suit your own rhythms and circumstances. This will include your own mindful meals and some mindful walking.

You can find the schedule below, which hopefully will help you plan your days. Please note that occasionally sessions may run slightly longer or shorter, depending on the group energy and needs.

SCHEDULE

Friday:
Introduction 19.30 – 21.00

Saturday:
Morning session 10.00 – 12.00
Afternoon session 14.00 – 15.30
Sharing groups 16.30 – 17.30
Evening session 20.00 – 21.00

Sunday:
Morning session 10.00 – 12.00
Afternoon session 14.00 – 16.00

As usual, we’ll send out a more detailed programme nearer the time.

We are anticipating a high demand for this retreat so we recommend early booking using the attached form.

Many of you may already be familiar with Zoom. For those who are not, all you need to do is download it onto your computer or device from www.zoom.us and you’ll receive a link from us to join the sessions. It generally works well and it’s simple to join.

How to attend

Please click on the link below to download and complete the booking form. Then email it to: christine.brown2@nhs.net

Mindfulness Retreat Invitation and Booking Form 2020(1)

VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS FOR ATTENDANCE
The retreat is freely offered but there will be the opportunity to offer Dana (a voluntary contribution) at the end of the retreat to express appreciation to Susanne and Lesley to support their work. 50% of the Dana collected will be offered to the monastic Brothers and Sisters at the Plum Village monasteries who are facing financial hardship due to the lockdown. There will be an invitation to give Dana at the end of the retreat and details of how to do that will be sent with the more detailed programme.

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“Mindfulness is at the heart of awakening. Restoring balance to ourselves, we can begin the work of restoring balance to the Earth. There is no difference between healing the planet and healing ourselves.” 

Thich Nhat Hanh

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