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Cultivating the Holding Environment: Setting Up the Posture of Mindfulness

Residential Program
Dates: Apr 17, 2019 - Apr 21, 2019
Days: Wednesday - Sunday
Number of Nights: 4 nights

Instructor(s): Bill Morgan, Susan Morgan

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Course Description:

Caregivers understand the importance of creating a holding environment in which people can safely explore their inner lives. Similarly, our own mindfulness practice will benefit if we can establish an internal container that is akin to the safe external environment we offer to others. Throughout this course we will study and practice setting up the internal structures conducive for making progress in mindfulness meditation. We will offer many instructions and guided meditations designed to create a personally meaningful and enriching environment in which mindfulness practice can flourish. During our mostly silent time together, group discussions and mindful communication exercises will be offered. Apart from these exercises, silence will be observed, including during meal times, in order to facilitate a deeper contemplative experience. Mornings and evenings are devoted to guided sitting and walking meditation.

Learning Intentions:

To utilize mindfulness and concentration practices in the service of being present and deepening therapeutic presence; be able to identify and establish the essential components of the holding environment for mindfulness meditation practice; demonstrate how to set up mindfulness practice in all four postures (sitting, standing, lying down, and walking); utilize compassion practices to enhance empathic attunement; and learn techniques for working with unwholesome mind states.

Experience Level:
Suitable for beginning and experienced practitioners.
    About the Instructor(s):
  • Bill Morgan, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Cambridge, MA. He has participated in many intensive retreats in meditation practice over the past 40 years and recently completed a four-year meditation retreat at the Forest Refuge in Barre, MA. Together with Susan Morgan, he has been leading mindfulness retreats for 15 years.

  • Susan Morgan, CNS, is a psychotherapist in Cambridge, MA. She is a board and faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and contributing author to Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. Susan has a longstanding meditation practice and recently completed a four-year meditation retreat at the Forest Refuge. She has been leading retreats, primarily for caregivers, for the last 15 years. Lovingkindness and mindfulness of the body are integral to her teaching.