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The critical lost art of the spiritual container
and how it can re-ignite your spiritual life
If you’re like many people, you may know what will help keep you calm and centered – like a regular meditation practice, yet you have a hard time applying it in your daily life.
Especially in these turbulent times, when it seems nobody is immune from the growing levels of fear, depression, and anxiety in the world, we can feel overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Even with a regular meditation time you may still feel pulled off-center through the day as that precious energy gets leaked away.
Yet, it’s possible even on the busiest days to stay centered, alive, and engaged. You can learn to set up your life to support and protect your energy, and re-ignite your spiritual life.
How can you do this? By learning about the art of the spiritual container, and redesigning your everyday life to be more like you’re in the protective space of retreat.
Well, like you, we’re not monks or nuns – not in this lifetime, at least. This is a practical course that looks at how we can thrive and grow in a busy world – it’s not about learning how to withdraw, or fit in hours of formal meditation.
The magic of a retreat
If you haven’t been in retreat before, take a moment and open your heart to the beauty of the experience.
Imagine moving in a space where you’re calm and bright enough to notice the simple beauty of life around you. A space where, whatever happens, you’ve got energy and a sense of equanimity to keep things in perspective.
Simple chores feel joyful and alive, instead of mundane. You move from task to task with ease, seeing things just as they are and responding to what’s needed rather than reacting to what’s happening.
Picture yourself being more compassionate, friendly, and open to other people. You enjoy the space to see when confusion or negative thoughts creep in for yourself or others, and let them pass by without giving them energy to grow.
Do you recognize anything there? Those moments when the ego seems to quieten and all is right with the world? It can be a morning walk in nature with a beloved pet, a stroll on the beach, or a slow Sunday at home.
Your life can be closer to this than you may think – whether you’re at work, at home, at school, or traveling around, there are things you can do to bring the beauty of retreat into your day.
You won’t be able to do that, however, unless you acknowledge what’s been missing.
What’s missing? Attention to the outer supports you need
So, what isn’t working in our daily lives? Why do people trying their best to find calm, presence, and joy still sometimes feel disheartened, stuck, or lost?
Well, in fact it’s not surprising. Especially in difficult times, the day-to-day demands of living will stay very much in charge – unless we tweak our lives to better support us.
If the inner work you’re doing isn’t sustaining you, then you’re probably missing the importance of the outer supports you need – especially if you’re one of those people who tends to take care of others, more than you take care of yourself.
Yet once you set up these outer supports, you’ll find you have a better container for generating a sense of calm, focus, and joy.
Outer support: The Five Principles of a good spiritual container
From years of running a retreat centre, and applying what we learn to our own lives, we’ve rediscovered five ancient principles that help create the right outer conditions we’re talking about:
- Honor your space
- Structure and routine are your friends
- It’s easier with others
- Cleaning up big areas of your life frees up energy
- Conversations shape the space where we meet
These are the factors that have made Clear Sky work, a place that wakes people up and supports their practice. And these same principles can transform and support our daily lives, too.
That’s why we created this course. We’ll share with you the insights and learning we’ve had from creating Clear Sky – a physical and virtual centre for awakening – in the form of these five simple yet empowering principles, that have been time-tested over centuries.
As well as the core content on each of the principles, each webinar will include meditations and exercises to try in your daily life, and will end with question-and-answer sessions.
Why take the course? Ignite Your Spiritual Life will help you:
- establish a more consistent meditation practice
- redesign your life to be more in line with your spiritual aspirations
- get relief from being reactive and stressed by daily events
- break through blocks and old patterns that seemed like they’d never shift
- reconnect with your heart and other people at a deeper level
- make a difference in the world from a more grounded and confident place
- clarify where you want to direct your energy
Try the quiz!
See how you’re doing in terms of the Five Principles, and get simple tips for using them to free up energy. Click the image to open up a new page and take the quiz.
A Video Introduction to the Course:
Learn more about the five principles in this 40-minute, edited recording from a live webinar, on March 29, 2017:
Further Information – Click to read more
What it costs
We offer this course on the basis of dāna. If you’re not familiar with dāna, you may have come across related approaches such as “pay from the heart.” Dāna is a Sanskrit term that translates as generosity in English. It’s radically different from the transactional way we normally interact in the world – where we give to get something back, either a service or thing. Instead, with dāna, we give as a mutual exchange of generosity. It’s our joy to offer this course, and we trust you’ll match our time, energy, and passion by giving an amount of money that feels good and healthy to both you and us.
You’ll see equivalent live courses offered for between $120 and $360 CAD. Over six, 90-minute classes, this represents an average of $20-$60 per class. We highly recommend taking time to check in with your heart on an amount that feels good. Find the amount you feel balances and honors your aspiration for this course, the energy we are giving to deliver the course, and what is sustainable for you.
In this pay from the heart exercise, you might also consider what you pay for different things as a matter of course: a night out with friends, a session with a chiropractor or acupuncturist, or an hour with a life coach, for example.
As for our part in this pay from the heart reflection : since we have expenses hosting the classes and we are investing significant amounts of our own time and experience in creating and teaching the course, we are setting the minimum amount at $120 CAD.
Why do you use dāna?
The practice of generosity is central to spiritual unfoldment, whatever path you follow. In our own Buddhist lineage, teachings have always been given on the basis of dāna, and we are committed to this practice and its development in the West. Dāna is also a radical and – we believe – viable economic alternative to capitalism, which our planet would really benefit from. We all know there must be something better than capitalism or its hungry cousin, consumerism. We maintain that, together, we can offer a financial model that is based in life-affirming mutual support. Please join us in co-creating this promising economic alternative.