Monday, October 17, 2011
Exciting Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Comes to Koh Samui.
Yes, a powerful awakening event is scheduled to come to Koh Samui, starting at Yoga Thailand on the 15th of October. Here is an opportunity to join Miles Neale and Emily Wolf who are both psychotherapists from the Nalanda Institute of Contemplative Sciences in New York, where Miles is the assistant director. The Nalanda Institute was opened in 2005 by Swiss born psychiatrist Dr. Joe Loizzio, who is presently the adjunct assistant professor of Religion at the Columbia Centre for Buddhist studies. The idea behind Nalanda was to bring what had been academic programs and make them more readily available to the general public. Now we are privileged to see one of these events on homeground in Koh Samui.
The emphasis on this retreat is to explore what is referred to as “the gradual path” in Tibetan Buddhism. This awesome journey is a comprehensive approach to self-healing designed to lead people away from a place of distress where so many lodge today to a platform of self-awakening which is a much more comfortable place to be.
The workshop is presented in three distinctive phases and participants can if they so wish enroll to take the whole journey or can if they choose select a single segment. Depending on how far you have travelled towards awakening the first segment would seem the most appropriate starting place.
This first phase is devoted to self-healing. It is designed to offer insights to help bring calm into the life of the individual. To reach this place of stillness we must disengage from limited self-views, afflictive emotions and compulsive habits. These behaviours lead to dissatisfaction. The key skill taught here is the famous “Mindfulness” meditation which is rapidly beginning to occupy a pivotal role in Western Psychotherapy and is much used in hospitals and other treatment Centers, particularly in North America.
The second module is devoted to what is described as social healing. This skill is designed to remain composed amongst the ravages of environmental stress and interpersonal conflict. We simply need to glance around us to see how damaging these stresses are. The key is to avoid the familiar triggers that set off reactions to outside events. In actuality the primary knack here is love and compassion in practice. This is an exciting aspiration for every one of us and as we awaken and become more compassionate we begin to change the world for the better. As we look at the chaos threatening the planet at the moment, this must indeed be an invaluable ability.
The third and final module is described as “Creative Healing”. This is not the starting place but the finale to the process brought here to Koh Samui by Miles and Emily. Here the strands from the two preceding phases are drawn together by showing how it is possible to create a positive and functional relationship with an idealized teacher, or guru. We turn towards people who genuinely have life value skills to teach us. We learn by role modeling, visualization and by the use of natural imagery. There is a lot of material in these modules in which yoga asanas, pranayama, chanting, mediation and several other techniques are used to get the message across to all those who are lucky enough to join this remarkable awakening experience.
Everything that Miles and Emily teach in this workshop is based on the 1,000 year old “Indo-Tibetan Buddhist tradition.” Sometimes in its original form such material can be dry and uninteresting which can be off-putting to all but the most devoted of yogis. However, the teachers from the Nalanda Institute have updated their material, as both are psychotherapists .they have focused their teachings through the lens of modern psychotherapy which is presented in upbeat everyday contemporary psychotherapeutic language, mind-body medicine and cognitive neuroscience.
Clearly a workshop such as this is not for everybody but it affords a tremendous opportunity for those who are ready to attend a mind expanding experience right here without having to travel thousands of expensive miles to far and distant locations. If you would like to know more you need to contact Yoga Thailand as quickly as possible, remembering that the first module commences on Saturday October 15th. There are more details of the “Retreat” including prices on their website which is http://www.yoga-thailand.com/retreat-tibetan-buddhism.html
As an added bonus Samahita Wellness Center, attached to Yoga Thailand invites participants to stay on for a few extra days to embark on Detox and wellness programs supervised by the wellness director and retreat participants can avail themselves of a 10% discount.
This article appeared in the Samuii Gazette of 15th October 2011