Mindfulness on the Mountain Onsite Weekend Retreat | Dec. 2-4, 2022
(All Event Times Listed are Central Standard Time)
Sewanee, TN 37375
Leading Into Emptiness
Mindfulness on the Mountain
December 2-4, 2022
Originally developed in ancient China as a martial art for self-defense, Tai chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that facilitates health improvement, disease prevention, healing assistance, and spiritual growth. It involves slow, circular movements, as well as mental concentration, breath control, deep relaxation, and mindful awareness.
The philosophy behind Tai chi is grounded in the Yin/Yang theory of using softness to overcome hardness. In life, the wisdom of this can teach us not to meet incoming forces head on, such as reacting to force with force, but rather to yield and redirect these negative forces to where they are no longer harmful to self or to others.
The mechanism of Tai chi uses simple yet powerful elements of body posture to create an aligned, relaxed, grounded and centered body. The aim of Tai chi is to meet any incoming force with this structure, connect with that force through deep listening, and then to dissolve that force by leading it into emptiness.
Tai chi is very wise. And so if we take the wise embodied philosophy of tai chi and apply it not only to incoming punches or kicks but to other, more common forms of incoming energy in our daily lives and practices, it can have the same outcome.
And so, during our retreat, we will be exploring some of these concepts and how they can apply to our own meditation practice. Through demonstration and through individual and some partner practices, we will experience the embodied practice of meeting and redirecting subtle incoming force by using proper structure, alignment and deep listening skills. Finally, we will explore how these principles apply to our seated practice and how through the posture of meditation and the luminous spaciousness of The View we can meet the forceful incoming energy of a thought, the forceful energy of emotion, or the forceful energy of body sensations and lead them into emptiness.
Gordon Peerman is an Episcopal priest, psychotherapist, and mindfulness meditation teacher. He is the author of Blessed Relief: What Christians Can Learn from Buddhists about Suffering, and his most recent book, The Body Knows the Way: Coming Home through the Dark Night. He leads retreats and workshops on the intersection of contemplative practice and psychological growth. With his late wife Kathy Woods, Gordon taught mindfulness practices at Vanderbilt’s Osher Center for Integrative Health, and to Vanderbilt law and medical students. At Vanderbilt Divinity School, he taught courses in Buddhist-Christian Dialogue and pastoral psychotherapy.
Ryan Black learned Tai Chi from Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming of YMAA, after years studying Taekwondo, Wing Chun Kung Fu, and Kendo. Ryan is a strong believer in the health benefits of Tai Chi for people of any age, but he recognizes that as we get older, it becomes an especially powerful practice. He is also interested in mindfulness and is currently a co-teacher at the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program at Vanderbilt’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, and a regular facilitator for Mindful Mondays. He incorporates mindfulness in his teaching of tai chi as well.
Deposit & Cancellation Policies
St. Mary’s Sewanee-Sponsored Programs and Retreats:
A $100 non-transferable deposit is required to confirm your registration for an event. It can be fully refunded if cancelled within three (3) days of booking; this deposit is nonrefundable after that. The remaining balance is due seven (7) days prior to arrival. The credit card on file will automatically be charged the balance unless other payment arrangements have been made.
If you are registering online, payment in full is required at the time of registration. If you prefer to only make the $100 deposit, please register by calling us at 931-598-5342
Bookings are closed for this event.