Focused Silence: Meditation Retreat FAQs

(this was originally posted Nov. 26, 2014 on the Forest of Healing website.)

In October 2014 I attended a weeklong silent meditation retreat. I got A LOT of questions before I went and after I returned, so I decided to create an Frequently Asked Questions post. If you have any questions that I didn’t address here, please don’t hesitate to hop over to my Contact page and give me a shout. I’d love to hear from you!

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How 168 hours of silence changed me forever

(this post originally appeared Nov, 26, 2014 on the Forest of Healing website.)

meditation retreatThe reaction most people gave me was one of surprise: “You’re doing what?!” And then most of them followed up with: “Wow. I don’t think I’d be able to do that, myself!

This was in response to my disclosure that I was preparing to attend a meditation retreat. A Buddhist retreat offered in the Vipassana tradition. For seven days. And conducted in SILENCE.

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The Great Handbag Metaphor

The Great Handbag Metaphor :: read more at www.creativeandmindful.com
(This post originally appeared April 7, 2014 on the Forest of Healing website.)

Have you ever wondered what it means to be authentic? There’s a lot of talk these days about living authentically and being true to yourself. My frustration is that life isn’t simple and sometimes trying to figure out what it means to be authentic feels like trying to decipher a code.

To work on answering this question for myself, I thought about what authenticity means for things other than people. And I arrived at the handbag metaphor. (if you know me, you know I love a good metaphor!) Read more

How Vulnerability Can Save Our Lives

(this post originally appeared September 11, 2013 on my Forest of Healing site.)
I’m an enormous fan of Brené Brown and I’ve been re-listening to the audio version of her book Daring Greatly every morning on my drive to work. If you’re not familiar, she’s a shame researcher who has found vulnerability to be an important component of shame resilience.

She makes the point – and I very much agree – that most people tend to think of vulnerability as a sign of weakness. However, life’s lessons have taught me that the opposite is true.

Being vulnerable can be one of the greatest acts of bravery. Read more

The 6 Waves Cresting in the Ocean of Your Brain and How to Ride Them

(this originally appeared on my old Forest of Healing website on December 7, 2012)
(n.b. this is some ultra nerdy shit. I make no apologies.)

Many years ago I taught a week-long soft skills boot camp for a well-known hospitality organization. One of the modules was about stress management. Although I had taken yoga,  learned about focusing on my breath and had even tried zazen, I felt a little hokey reading the guided meditation that was supposed to be part of the module. Read more