The more we practise living and working from a state of self awareness – a place of higher consciousness, the better our lives become. It takes time and practice to truly learn who we are and what we are capable of. More than that – it takes commitment.
We need time for self-inquiry to uncover both the positive and negative in ourselves – the light and dark shadow. We need techniques to release suppressed emotions and install a positive programme. We need to take time to meditate to find a place of peace to rest and regenerate.
We could find time for this in our every life. But we all know how full up we are and how many demands there are on us. By taking time out for ourselves - away from our daily routine - we get away from the distractions of our daily lives, We gain a new perspective and time to stop, think and to go within.
Breathwork retreats at the Millthorpe Meditation Centre
Ann Harrison first set up a retreat meditation centre in 1988 and she has been running retreats ever since. Ann's retreats take place in the small historic village of Millthorpe, situated in the Central West of NSW 3.5-4hrs west of Sydney. www.millthorpevillage.com.au
Staying in the village gives time out and it also allows for a more easy integration back into daily life, once the course has finished.
“Breathwork is a total bodymind practice. It incorporates meditation, mindfulness and emotional education. It has theoretical compenents as well as being highly experiential. It runs the gamut from psychotherapy to spiritual practice. The retreats give participants the time and space to go deeply within themselves – to release suppressed emotion, source and release unconscious limiting beliefs and learn skills that will enable them to live with less stress and more joy and creativity.” Ann
Check out what people say.
Each of Ann’s 8 day retreats has a certain theme. The chakra system is the theme for the 2019 Spring Breath Awareness Retreat - 14-20 October 2019. More information click here or contact Ann directly.
Breath Awareness Retreats & Breathwork Training
What a delight it has been for me this last year to have seen my meditation studio build and hosting 3 x 8 day retreats with another scheduled for 2019 October and already half full.
When I asked what the participants appreciated. They answered: "everything - the energy - the chance to travel inward - being with myself"
I have been facilitating personal and spiritual growth courses for more than thirty years now and the process both humbles and delights me.
I asked those participating to put in their own words what the course gave them: " a chance to see what is inside me and how it is connected to the whole - a balance between movement and stillness - a delightful journey of self awareness, beautifully balanced with clear intellectual explanations and varied theories; unexpected insights and personally deep experiences"
They are delighted to find local BnB stays and love the village - as I do.
Autumn Retreat 6-13 April 2019
This coming autumn retreat will be unique.
Participants will have the opportunity to experience
Robyn is the renowned author of Being Born - How your birth affects your learning, performance, lifestyle and relationships: A Handbook” She practises a very traditional form of Rebirthing Breathwork. She will cover theoretically and experientially the areas of the unconscious death urge, debilitating memory from a past lifetime, fragmented soul self, unresolved birth trauma.
Ann developed her trainings at the Tai Tan Centre that she created in the Hong Kong countryside, after having lived in Shanghai in order to pursue her study of Chinese martial arts and philosophy. She developed ways of describing the ancient paradigms of wholeness and the processes that an individual may use to return to that state of oneness..
For practising Breathwork professionals it is an ideal way to upgrade your professional knowledge and skills. For those who have experienced that power of the breath it is a way of diving more deeply into yourself and the power within.
In this faster and faster changing world we all need constant unchanging reference points to guide us. Awareness of the breath, experience and knowledge of how life experiences are mediate and created by the breath is an extraordinarily effective way of harmonising ourselves with life.
Contact us as soon as possible to ensure your place
An interview with me, Ann Harrison and Les Jensen at www.blogtalkradio.com
It was my pleasure a couple of years ago to speak with Les Jensen.
As I listened today I was delighted with how Les drew out aspects of my personal journey with the breath that took me Shanghai, my years in Hong Kong where I created the Tai Tan Centre - a retreat in the countryside by the sea. We talked about my approach to Breathwork - in working with clients and developing trainings.
This is quite a lengthy podcast. Great to listen to in the background. Especially relevant to those who want to know more about the power of Breathwork and are considering a longer workshop or training.
"Take a deep breath and relax into a Breathing Circle.
You will find ways of accessing deep relaxation, connection with like-minded people and learn a simple spiritual practice for inner calm and every day healing.
So, what is Breathing Circle? A Breathing Circle is a network of people who are committed to:
We meet once a month to celebrate the breath and introduce other people to this transformational tool."
Ref. Australian Breathwork Association
Conscious Breathing Circle Saturday 4th August
Time 2 to 5-5.30pm
Address Millthorpe Meditation Centre, 58 Victoria St
Preparation - please wear warm loose comfortable clothes and warm sock. [I have heating but in the process some people can feel cold]
If you would like to remind yourself about what Breathwork is, here are some links to information
1. What is Breathwork http://annharrison.com.au/AH/Breathwork.html
2. How to prepare for a session preparation
3. What people have said https://www.breathworktrainings.com/recommendations.html
1. Short 1min 30 sec extract from an interview I did with Jim Morningstar on Breathwork and Education https://youtu.be/J__dT0opUgk
2. Longer overview of Breathwork for those who are considering longer retreats - but it has in it useful information on What is Breathwork https://youtu.be/SQeHoLQRY7s
Real Creativity comes from our connection to self, to the creative power the lies within us, and which is part of a greater whole.
Breathwork is a way of connecting to that power through mindfulness, According to the great modern Buddhist teacher, Jack Kornfield, what keeps us trapped and unhappy is a denial of what is. This in tern undermines our freedom.
Kornfield suggests that there are four key principles of mindful transformation of difficulties, for which he offers the acronym RAIN.
R - Recognition
A - Acceptance
I - Investigation
N - Non identification
Recognition comes when we contemplate and/or concentrate and focus in the present moment. We can focus on external people and objects; and we can focus on our own state - physically, mentally, emotionally and spirituality. Since we are the source of our own experience, to know ourself and make friends with ourself and life, is to learn how to live with greater ease.
Kornfield says if we don't know ourselves or ...: " if we deny our dissatisfaction, our anger, our pain, our ambition, we will suffer. If we deny our values, our beliefs, our longings, or our goodness, we will suffer....Acceptance allows us to relax and open to the facts before us."
The easiest way to come out of denial and know ourselves is to begin with a focus on the relationship between our breath and body.
Modern Breathwork in the form of Conscious Connected Breathing has just that goal.
Kornfield goes on...Starting with investigation in the body, we mindfully locate where our difficulties are held. Sometimes we find sensations of heat, contraction, hardness, or vibration. Sometimes we notice throbbing, numbness, a certain shape or color. We can investigate whether we are meeting this area with resistance or with mindfulness. We notice what happens as we hold these sensations with mindfulness and kindness. Do they open?
By staying with the awareness of the breath, body and emotions we experience change and ultimately transformation.
By learning how to remain in a state or awareness, and not identify with our thoughts, emotions, body sensations, social roles, social group and culture we become free. In my terms - creative.
The Real Creativity workshop is an exploration of specific mechanism of denial, how we lock ourselves out of our own creative power. Participants will be guided and supported to use of the breath to investigate deeply what normally lies outside our conscious mind and expand into a greater state of awareness; and "every form of genuine awareness is liberating" [Kornfield]
For further information about the workshop you can read here or ring Ann Harrison on 0403-823-636
Ref. Jack Kornfield, 2011. Bringing home the dharma
Thich Nhat Hanh has said:
"To practice mindfulness of the body, follow your breathing and focus your attention on each part of the body, from the hair on your head to the soles of your feet. Breathe mindfully and embrace each part of the body with the energy of mindfulness, smiling to it with recognition and love… Identify the form elements in your body: earth, water, air, and heat. See the connection of these four elements inside and outside of your body. See the living presence of your ancestors and future generations, as well as the presence of all other beings in the animal, vegetal, and mineral realms. Become aware of the positions of your body (standing, sitting, walking, lying down) and its movements (bending, stretching, taking a shower, getting dressed, eating, working, etc.). When you master this practice, you will be able to be aware of your feelings and your perceptions as they arise, and you will be able to practice looking deeply into them."
The words of the great spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh perfectly encapsulate the goal of this Spring Breath Awareness retreat 13-20 October 2018.
All the great Eastern traditions - yoga, Taoism, Buddhism - recognise the importance of awareness of the breath and its relationship with body, mind and emotions. Modern Breathwork practice is a powerful way to increase that awareness and knowledge.
Contact Ann on 0403-823-636 for further information or to enrol.
For the remainder of 2018, here in the Central West of New South Wales, you have a range of possibilities to suit your need, time and budget.
Breathing Circle - 2-5.30pm first Saturday of the month
A breathing space to take time out to replenish the batteries by connecting with your self through awareness of breath, body, mind and emotions. The circle will gather to mindfully experience chakra meditation and supported self directed breathing cycle. Fee: $60
Chanting and Meditation evening - 6.30-7.30 first Thursday of the month
Simply drop in - the Millthorpe Meditation Centre and to yourself. No teaching, just the experience of 30 minutes chanting and 30 minutes guided meditation Fee: Donation
Winter Reflection Weekends
9-10 June | 23-24 June | 7-8 July | 21-22 July
These weekends are part of the Level 1 Breathwork Training. It is the Breathwork experience that transforms an individual. However, there are ways of seeing the world that can provide both a guide and support on a healing journey. What is offered together with the facilitated Breathwork experience are paradigms - ways of seeing the world - that will allow you to maintain and develop self confidence, self acceptance and courage, As you begin to apply what you learn you will
Spring Renewal 13-20 October
This 8 day retreat is focused on the awareness of breath, body, emotions and mind.
You will experience simple Feldenkrais exercises, qigong, therapeutic touch and well as at least 7 breathing cycles. The programme is designed to ground you in your body, knowing your mental emotional nature and how to best act, for you, in the world
Your facilitator, Ann Harrison, had been conducting breath and meditation workshops, and breathwork trainings for over 30years.
This human journey is one of self discovery, whose fundamental questions is "Who am I?"
The addict is in the paradoxical situation of needing to know, at the deepest spiritual level; while at the same time trying to escape the pain that this bodymind has experience.
The 7 day retreat of Breathwork Trainings breathworktrainings.com - Psychotherapy and Spirituality, addresses these issues. The environment expressly creates and atmosphere of support and compassion, while undertaking and emotional education and healing of spirit.
Dr Gabor Maté says:
" All the substances of abuse, whether they are opiates or cocaine or anything else – they are actually pain killers. Some of them specifically are pain killers. But physical pain and emotional pain, the suffering is experienced in the same part of the brain. So when people suffer emotional rejection the same part of the brain will light up as if you stuck them with a knife.
Eckardt Tolle says very nicely that ‘addictions begin with pain and end with pain’. So that all the addictions are attempts to soothe the pain. So when I work with addictions the first question is always, not why the addiction, but why the pain. What you find is emotional loss or trauma.
In the case of the severe addicts…[in my experience] they were, every single one, traumatised.
There are no women walking the streets here who have not been sexually abused.
But you know, whether it is...
Keith Richards, the Rolling Stones guitarist, said (he had a severe heroin habit as you know) “all the contortions we go through just not to be ourselves for a few hours”
Why would somebody not want to be themselves? Because they are in too much distress and too much pain. So I don’t care what they tell you about genetics or choices or any of that nonsense, it is always about pain.
The Tibetan Book of living and Dying, its got a wonderful line in it: “Whatever you don, don’t’ try and escape from your pain, but be with it”. Because the attempt to escape from pain creates more pain. And that’s the reality of addiction.
But the question is how can people be with their pain? Only if they sense some compassion from somebody. So as another teacher says: “only when compassion is present will people allow themselves to see the truth”. So addicted people need a compassionate present, which will permit them to experience their pain without having to run away from it. And all the attempts to run away, like another teacher says: “the surest way to go to hell is to try to run away from hell”.
So you gotta be with that pain, you just have to be with it, but you have to have some support.
And we live in a society that one way or the other, is always about instant relief, quick satisfaction, distraction. In other words, we live in a culture that is based on, both economically and psychologically, on not supporting people to be with themselves. So it is always the quick get away. So it is very difficult to deal with addictions in this society.
It is a matter, at some point, of finding a way of being with your pain, so you can actually get to know what is really all about."
If you want to find out what you and your life is all about, contact Ann 0403-823-636 or email