You are invited to join me in the talks, courses and weekend retreats I have planned in the UK this year. All have mindfulness as their base-line. And by that, I mean the quality that increases our ability to see what is actually happening around and within us with clarity & perspective.
Death and Rebirth: An Evening Talk in Liverpool
Monday 18th March, 2019 – Premier Inn City Centre Liverpool L1 4AF
I’ve recently been spending a lot of time with my 92 year old Mum who was expected to die within days…then weeks… and then made a remarkable turn-around.
I remembered the words of a Tibetan Lama, who is one of my teachers, “The living can die before the dying,” and recounted these words to a relative. They took this statement as being rather gloomy and pessimistic. While I was contemplating the unpredictable journey we are all on, they were clearly thinking I was suggesting that something awful might happen to them on the way home! Well, of course it might! I may well die before my Mum!
Why not? Is that gloomy, or is it realistic? And with this realistic approach to life and death, can we transform our lives into opportunities to make the very most of, and experience the utmost, in every moment? Then doom and gloom can become joy and celebration. Because even being around someone who is very old and very ill offers us gifts of insight every moment if we are mindful.
It’s very tough because our emotions and complexities within family relationships can be obstacles. But with effort they can be the doorway to inner understanding and outer love.
The Centre for Wisdom and Compassion in Liverpool are starting a series of sessions on this topic. I will be there as a visiting teacher to open up the discussion and studies that enable us to make death a friend, not an enemy.
Managing the Ego: A Weekend Course in London and a Weekend Retreat in The Lake District
30th & 31st March, 2019 – Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London SE11 4NA
28th – 30th June 2019 – Rookhow Retreat Centre, Cumbria LA12 8LA
Teaching about the ego is a strong focus for me this year. I see this as the key to really working with destructive emotions and overcoming mental blocks to understanding and compassion. The ego is such a complex beast that it can destroy us (making us our own worst enemies) or help us reach our highest potential (becoming our best friend).
Every time we encounter a tricky situation, our ego jumps into action. It is so sly and devious that it kids us into thinking we are right and justified and that others are wrong and stupid. It then seeks support and enablement from friends and associates until we become convinced of our superiority.
But it is in these very situations that we can make profound changes to our egos that will give us genuine self-esteem and confidence, without the pride and arrogance that accompany self-righteousness.
Are you up to this challenge? For me, it’s a continual inner battle. A good sense of humour and treating the ego as if it is a scared baby are great methods for handling what can feel like an impossible task. During these week-ends we will find a lot to laugh about!
Jamyang Buddhist Centre London provides a supportive environment to chip away at the ego. The people there have been doing it for years! Just like me.
Rookhow Retreat Centre in the beautiful Rusland Valley provides the perfect space for quiet contemplation on what makes us tick.
Mindful Relationships: Weekend Course in Northumberland
September 7 – 8, 2019 – Land of Joy Hexham NE48 1PP
You’ve got to move fast to get a place on this course. This fabulous retreat centre has its devotees. If you want to develop more meaningful, harmonious and joyful relationships then this is the one for you. No wonder it’s filling up fast! Who doesn’t want this!
Land of Joy is great value and attracts a secular crowd to my mindfulness courses. The place should be particularly lovely in the early Autumn.
On my website www.ondywillson.com you can find more about these courses, as well as information on visits I’ll be making to my wonderful friends in Russia in May, Latvia in September and Finland in October.
Until we meet again,