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Hearing the Songs of the Wind: The Whole World as Teacher

Residential Program
Dates: Oct 27, 2023 - Nov 01, 2023
Days: Friday - Wednesday
Number of Nights: 5 nights

Instructor(s): Elizabeth Monson

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Course Description:

“Our feeling, our song, our tears, our ability to embrace being interbeing here with Mother Earth is about relationship. And the very highest point of relationship is love.”  -Pat McCabe

Are you looking to find ways to connect your Dharma practice to the wisdom of the natural world?

Do you wish to hear the voices of the wild and learn from them?

Are you seeking ways of being in service that arise with our inseparability from the earth?

Are you interested in understanding what it means that at some point on our spiritual path, as the Tibetan Buddhist tradition describes: “the whole world becomes the teacher?”

Are you curious to learn about subtler ways of connecting with the more than human realm?

 If so, this retreat is for you. Join Lama Liz Monson as we explore different skillful means for merging Buddhist meditation and contemplative practice with experiential exercises of listening to, learning from, and connecting with the natural world. As our planet spirals into the chaos of climate change, finding our connection to a deeper way of listening to and with the earth is imperative. In fact, many Buddhist traditions extol the profound insights that arise when we recognize our interdependency with the living world and explore that connectivity to discover our capacity for innate love and compassion. 

In order for us humans to still flourish along with many of our fellow species, we must exit the consumerist/extractive mindset that has led to so much harm. We must trust that the wisdom that exists beyond our relative, human assumptions about reality is deep and strong enough to redirect our energies toward the life-giving and transformational potential present in all beings and expressed continuously by the wind in the trees and the voices of the earth. By accessing these non-conceptual insights, we discover how Buddhist practice and sustained non-conceptual engagement with the natural world can help us find our place in the family of all beings, just one being among many others. 

Noble Silence:
This program includes dedicated periods of both wise speech and noble silence. Some contemplative exercises may involve mindful speaking and listening. Noble silence is to be upheld at all other times.

Experience Level:
Suitable for beginning and experienced practitioners.

Cancellation Policy:
During the pandemic, there is a cancellation fee of $50 for all residential programs longer than two nights and $25 for weekend programs. 2023: If you need to cancel your registration, please contact us as soon as possible. If you cancel two or more weeks before a program begins, cancellation fees are $50 for all programs longer than two nights and $25 for weekend programs. If you cancel less than two weeks before your program begins, your full deposit is forfeited. If you have requested financial assistance, cancellation fees are $50 for all programs longer than two nights and $25 for weekend programs. All cancellation fees support our Scholarship Funds.

Covid-19 Safety Protocol:
Please review our Covid-19 Safety Protocols here: https://www.buddhistinquiry.org/covid-19/.

As we work to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, we invite feedback/suggestions you may have regarding ways that we can make participation in the program more accessible and welcoming. Please email us at contact@buddhistinquiry.org.
    About the Instructor(s):
  • Elizabeth Monson, PhD, is the Spiritual Co-Director of Natural Dharma Fellowship and has taught at the Harvard Divinity School. She currently serves as the managing teacher of Wonderwell Mountain Refuge, a Buddhist meditation retreat center in Springfield, NH. She holds a Doctorate in Religious Studies with a focus in Tibetan Buddhism and Ethics from Harvard University. She has been studying, practicing, and teaching Buddhism for over thirty years and has been ordained as Lama in the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism