2014 Keynote session: Linda Clair
In 1997, at the age of 39, Linda Clair had a profound awakening during a ten-day retreat in northern New South Wales with Peter Jones. The awakening, which was a strong glimpse of enlightenment, kindled an intense desire for permanent peace, for freedom. In 2004, she travelled to Japan and lived for six weeks in a Zen monastery with Hogen-san's Master, Harada Tangen Roshi, known as Roshi Sama. Sensing that she was close to the culmination of her journey, Linda returned to Australia in a deeply detached, peaceful state. Her search ended during a ten-day retreat with Hogen-san in the mountains behind the Gold Coast in Queensland. In her words, "Everything changed. All fear disappeared. I was left with nothing and nothing to lose. The depth of peace and satisfaction overwhelmed me, and it continues to deepen every day. Life is immediate. There is no desire for anything more or different. This is enough."
Today, Linda lives in Melbourne and teaches through regular meditation sessions each week as well as through longer 4- and 7-day retreats. Additional information is available on her website or in her YouTube clips.
Gurdjieff Movements session leader: Amy Silver
G.I. Gurdjieff (1866-1949) began teaching Movements in the 1920s as one part of his comprehensive approach to exploring consciousness. During his extensive world travels, Gurdjieff encountered numerous sacred dances. From what he saw, he incorporated elements of the sacred dances into Movements. To a casual observer, Movements appear as a dance form. However, the less apparent "inner work" is actually the primary purpose. Self awakening is at the forefront, not self expression. A new appreciation of personality, ego, awareness, perception, balance, relaxation, intention, effort, remembrance and prayer may arise naturally as part of this kind of study.
Amy Silver, Executive Director of the Claymont Society, will lead us through basic Movements during this session for the full group. Amy has been a student in the Gurdjieff Work for over thirty years. She has enjoyed the good fortune to study Movements under the guidance of Vivien and Pierre Elliot, Avrom Altman, Deborah Rose Longo, and many other students of J.G. Bennett.
Breakout Session workshop leader: Bob Cergol
Theme: Projection and Direction.
Richard Rose spoke of his philosophy as a system and he characterized that system as being negative and subtractive. He spoke frequently of becoming a reverse vector and the need to retreat from un-truth. He used the phrase: re-traversing the projected ray. He warned against visualization during meditation. He said that you live your life in a hypnotized state and wrote of dreams within dreams. So what is really going on when you meditate? Really?
Workshop leader: Linda Clair
Theme: Barebones Zazen.
In her hometown of Melbourne and while traveling abroad, Linda teaches a Zen Buddhist technique of zazen, or awareness of the breath in the abdomen. Her teachings are stripped bare of rituals and most traditions. The technique is basically sitting in silence, and watching the rise and fall of the abdomen as the breath enters and leaves the body. Very simple, very effective, but certainly not always easy. In retreats, her sessions consists of 30 minutes of sitting meditation, 10 minutes of optional slow walking meditation, then another 30 minutes of sitting. Retreats also include open discussion periods and private interviews.
During this session, participants will hear Linda's approach to meditation, have an opportunity to ask questions, and spend time in a full group setting practicing the meditation technique.
Workshop leader: Paul Constant
Theme: What is Thought?
This is a round-robin session in which we'll draw on the collective experiences within the group. The session is not intended as an intellectual exercise. Rather, we'll delve deep into the subtler aspects of thought and attempt to shift each participant's view inward.
Workshop leader: Corina Bardasuc
Theme: From Darkness to Light, tapping into our unconscious through the language of intuition.
The Universe is speaking to us all the time through symbols and signs, some of which reach us through our intuition, but the majority of which we don't know how to receive or interpret. Our unconscious seems to be a dark and nebulous "place" which most of us are afraid to explore, although it is a great untapped potential for a spiritual seeker. One of the ways to explore it is through our intuition, which is basically a language we can learn to use in order to have a better conversation with the sides of ourselves that we cannot understand. This will be a workshop on developing a "feel" for our intuition and how it works in us, and how we can develop it further, using a specific system of symbols.
Workshop leader: Michael Whitely
Theme: I Am - The Body - In The World
Through guided meditation, inquiry and discussion the group will explore the “Sense of I AM” as presented in the first chapter of the spiritual classic I AM THAT: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Participants will take part in simple exercises that address the question: "Can there be the sense of ‘I am’ without being somebody or other?"
Workshop leader: Luke Roberts
Theme: Centrifuge & Decant: Clarification of Intention.
In this session, we'll examine the question of intention: what is intention, desire, will? What do you really want? How does intention change? Can we choose our choice? Together, we'll explore approaches to these questions and how they might relate to the spiritual search.