Sesshin | Last year I participated in one-week Zen-meditation retreat (sesshin) by directed by Shishin Roshi and Shinko Roshi from the Great Mountain Zen Center in Colorado (United States). Sesshin, is an intensive meditation retreat, which includes zazen, sutra chanting, work practice, Dharma discussions, and private interviews with Roshis. It was a very intense and deep experience that gave me the chance to interiorize and deepen my meditation practice.
Healing of the Heart |This year the roshis came back to Spain and I decided to participate their 3-day workshop called “Healing of the Heart”. The workshop focused on healing processes using the ancient practices of Healing Goddesses, sheltered for centuries by Tibetan Buddhism. Shishin Roshi guided us in the traditional Zen (zazen) meditation and then Shinko Roshi guided us in the visualization of compassionate goddesses, belonging to earth, water, fire, air and space. The goddesses would accompany us to recover the innate qualities such as joy, love and trust, and to heal the wounds in our heart caused by guilt, anger and ignorance. This was a retreat that honored the feminine; it awakened the intuitive and subtle aspects of ourselves.
Intuitive Painting | We also had intensive intuitive painting workshops led by Jesus “Ryushin” Gil de Rozas. I have written a little bit about intuitive painting in a previous post. In summary , intuitive painting is all about devoting yourself to trusting in the life force and in life itself. Although many things appear as painful or scary, and our first impulse is to avoid, change or resist them, intuitive painting can show us (teach us) that that there is a sacred wisdom in allowing ourselves be led and guided by whatever flows out of us and manifests itself on the sheet underneath your hands.
The painting above was done after meditating and visualising Goddess Earth followed by Goddess Water. Not having a plan when you paint, but instead just opening yourself to whatever message comes to your mind-heart, is very curative. To let go of your need for certainty, explanations, and guarantees, and open fully to the unknown, is a liberating and rewarding experience.
Trust your creativity, your personal rhythm, your own voice.
This is in contrast what we normally do in our everyday life where we always try and control everything we do. Allow yourself to surrender and become more fully alive. Several of my fellow “retreaters” produced very inspiring and cathartic artwork. I post a few examples here below.
Zen del Corazón | Great Mountain Zen Center | The “Healing of the Heart” workshop is organized by “Zen del Corazón”, the shanga (group of Zen study and practice) in Spain belonging to the Great Mountain Zen Center. Great Mountain Zen Center was founded by the Spiritual Director Gerry “Shishin” Wick Roshi, Dharma successor of Taizan Maezumi, Roshi and teacher in three Zen lineages, including Soto and Rinzai schools; And Roshi Ilia “Shinko” Perez abbess of Maitreya Abbey, Dharma successor to Shishin Roshi and received Inka (Seal of Approval) of Roshi Egyoku Nakao. They are two wonderful teachers and I feel honoured and privileged to have met them and be able to follow their teachings.