Retreat to the City
You don’t need to leave the city to go deep.
So much is possible in a simple meeting room, it’s like magic. While it is wonderful to be able to take time away from your home city to go in and connect with yourself in and through natural surroundings, it isn’t always possible (or practical). When your self-work is working you sometimes it is better to retreat to the city to do the work.
Over the past few years, my major transformative moments have happened in the middle of Cities — namely my work with Ten Directions in Salt Lake City, sitting meditation retreat with the beautiful Bull City Sangha in Durham, and doing parts work with guides in Philadelphia. In each of these cases, the deep transformative work has taken place in the middle of a city. Sometimes in conference centers, sometimes in a simple office, and other times in hotel meeting rooms. In every case, fairly unremarkable, mundane rooms give way to effervescent unfolding and growing down and deep with others. In the moments between the deep work, we’re out and about the city, having meals, checking our phones, conversing — life goes on just as the transformation continues to unfold.
It is vital that we knead our transformation and growth together with our daily lives. We need more Buddhas in the city, not in the monastery.
When we can integrate our growth with living our lives, we find more and more opportunities for that growth to unfold. It is an incredibly rewarding process to make your practice your life, and life your practice. More than anything, it’s about making the time and space in yourself and your life to allow deep work to happen. Inviting it in.
I’m delighted to have the opportunity to go deep with my clients too right here in NYC. By taking a simple, bare space, like a Breather NYC and creating a cocoon of a container to explore the depth and breadth of one’s development for several hours, my clients get their own private city retreat. And they walk right back into their lives just after.
This deep focus enables us to freely explore and play in new ways and maintain a connection to our daily lives including the parts of it that are asking us to grow — Paving new neural pathways and connections for how we can be and become, right at home. It is a very powerful juxtaposition — especially, I think because I’m here continuing to support the integration work on the other side. That continuity and intimacy make it easier to balance and forge ahead boldly and thoughtfully.
I’m so grateful to my clients for giving me the opportunity to do this work with them. I learn so much each time I host a City Retreat and it is a true gift to be able to offer and receive so much presence and focus amidst the speed of the city outside.
It might make you wonder why you don’t use every mundane meeting room you’re in, every week, to invite transformation.