24

Days

12

Hours

06

Mins

Somatic Buddhism: Embodying Ease

August 09 - August 11, 2024

Aaron 'Water' Piepszny

Michael G. Burbank

Immediate, actionable stress relief and emotional regulation are the major themes of this immersion. Rather than marathon meditation sessions, we will favor short bursts of depth explorations of breathing, relaxation, and awareness. We’ll then shorten this deep diving to access in-body ease with no preparation or planning, just choice, at any moment. We’ll explore the Buddha’s teachings around somatic presence/ Vipassana (Insight) with wide open curiosity from the original source text, the Satipatthana Sutta (‘Discourse on Establishing Mindfulness’). We will find connection, ease, and robust somatic-based self-care strategies within the supportive natural environment of Menla.Expressing our own unique pathways of presence, we’ll restore peace to our bodies and find presence with our breath. Menla’s Executive Director Michael Burbank will share a guided mindfulness practice as found in the original sutra Friday evening. We will refine our sensitivity and release tension through Qigong, awareness of breath, meditative walks, somatic self-massage, and sitting with the vital, living landscape of the Catskills.Presencing with nature and grounded in the Buddha’s Foundations of Mindfulness, we will commune with the powerful energies of the mountains, forest, and streams to explore ‘inter-being’. This immersive experience will foster rejuvenation, inspiration, and ease throughout our whole selves. 
ScheduleFriday, August 9
  • 3 - 6 pm Arrival & Check-in
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 - 9 pm Introduction & Guided Mediation
Saturday, August 10
  • 7 - 8 am Beginning: Contemplating the Body & Qi Gong
  • 8 - 9 am Breakfast: Eating in the Present Moment
  • 9 - 10 am Beginning: Contemplating the Breath
  • 10 - 11 pm Beginning: Continuing with ‘Relaxation’ Aspect
  • 11 am - 12 pm Outdoor Walking Meditation & Sitting at the Roots of Trees
  • 12:30 - 1:30 Lunch
  • 2 - 2:15 pm Journaling
  • 2:15 - 3 pm Qi Gong
  • 3 - 4 pm Water Contemplation
  • 4 - 5 pm Ecology walk
  • 5 - 6 pm Discussing What We’ve Found
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 - 10 pm Bonfire
Sunday, August 11
  • 7 - 11 am Check-out of Rooms
  • 7 - 8 am Qi Gong
  • 8 - 9 am Breakfast: Eating in Mindfulness
  • 9:30 - 10 am Walking Meditation
  • 10 am - 12 pm Sitting with the Elements: Journaling & Reflections
  • 12:30 - 1:30 Lunch: Eating in Mindfulness
  • 1:30 - 4 pm Departure
*Please note that the schedule is subject to change. 

ABOUT THE TEACHERs

Aaron 'Water' Piepszny

Aaron Piepszny teaches Chi Gung, Buddhism, and somatic embodiment studies online as well as at Menla Mountain retreat where he is the head of horticulture. He received his Permaculture Design Certificate in 2016 at the Paititi institute in Peru.  Aaron has studied, supported, an...

Michael G. Burbank

Michael G. Burbank has been a student of Robert Thurman and HH the XIV Dalai Lama for over 25 years, since his undergraduate years studying Eastern religions and cultures at Columbia University in the 90s. In February of 2002, he was invited to help the Thurmans and Tibet House s...

UPCOMING EVENTS

MENLA

375 Pantherkill Road, P.O. Box 70 Phoenicia, NY 12464
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