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1-Week Retreat Conscious Dying

- based on Yoga Nidra -


“Normally in our life, if we know that we are going to be confronted by a difficult or unfamiliar situation, we prepare and train ourselves for such a circumstance in advance, so that when this event actually happens, we are fully prepared.”

- HH the XIV Dalai Lama -

-Forword in the Tibetan Book of the Dead –


Introduction

 

Mindful and loving care for a dying family member or friend is one of the most challenging situations. Before we can give to others we first have to be at peace with our own mortality and fears. From this inner experience and transformation not only the right support and compassion for others can flow with ease but it will also open us for our own inner growth, harmony and peace.

Yoga Nidra offers a very gentle and unique way to raise your consciousness and to learn tools that will help you to release tension, pain and fear in any difficult situation.

In this light, Yoga can be translated as the union of life & death and Yoga Nidra as the science of raising and changing states of consciousness.

The Yoga Nidra classes will focus on different aversions and obstacles as well as on supportive connection tools. These special classes can be seen as torches guiding a safe way through an unfamiliar territory. A special emphasis will be given on the dream and sleep state, as these can be seen as the little daily deaths that will offer opportunities to train and to prepare… and to experience a different consciousness during day and night. Especially in the Tibetan Bön tradition the dream- and dreamless states during sleep are regarded as nightly training opportunities for the process of dying. From the same tradition stems a way of being with the pain; first connecting with the higher consciousness via the doors of stillness, silence and spaciousness and from this different perception caring for the pain and difficult situations in life in a new way… again it’s about taking the grip from the obstacles so that they have space to dissolve.

As Yoga Nidra will allow you to enter a very deep state of relaxation and of raised consciousness, it is very likely that your perception about death and dying will change. Once the clouds of the ego are lifted your mind and heart can resonate on different level.

 

Itinerary

 

The classes will focus on the following topics:

·       Yoga Nidra – From egoism and attachments towards gratitude and joy:Usually the most beautiful moments in our lives are those when we feel connected and when there is no ego involved. But the letting go of the ego is one of the most difficult tasks. It might be ok to let go of material possessions but letting go of unresolved conflicts gets already very difficult, so letting go of the role, the “I” –identity, is one of the biggest challenges we will face in our lives… and the experience that happiness can be there, even when we are living in most difficult circumstances, will over a new perspective to handle difficult situations.

·       Yoga Nidra – From Ignorance and fear towards hope and connection:Fearing a situation, a person, a decision or pain can put you under an enormous stress level, often unconsciously. As you go through life, often triggers of past experiences are pushed and suddenly the experience of a tense body arises, sweating, headaches etc. Fear can be seen as lacking connection with yourself, as not knowing who you really are. Therefore often you might look outside to identify with a job, a partner a social status etc. instead of looking inside. But the outside will change and with change will come fear and the rise of problems. So how can you best deal with fear? Not by avoiding it but by allowing to connect with it from within. So the key word “connection”. Finding a new way to connect not only within yourself but also to connect in a new way with your fears.

·       Yoga Nidra – Raising Consciousness of clear light during dream and sleep: Dream and Sleep Yoga has a long tradition in Tibetan Buddhism and is one of the best ways to preparing for conscious dying. We spent usually about 1/3 of our lives sleeping, but most of us will spent this time in deep unawareness. Usually this is the time when the brain will recover, energising itself but if stressful thoughts will interfere your unawareness will become a real obstacle for your reenergising.  By staying conscious during dreams as well as during the phases of dreamless sleep, illusions and fears during the dying process can be seen as what they are: projections of the mind. Therefore every night can be seen as a huge opportunity not only to raise consciousness but to actually connect with the clear light and to prepare to connect with the clear light during the process of dying.

·       Yoga Nidra – Overcoming difficult situations and resting in peace:How often do we wish to rest in peace, but it is not possible? The mind keeps spinning around or jumping from one thought to another. Deep peace and joy are only possible if we find a deep connection within us and when we understand impermanence and death. Death is neither an ending nor is it a failure, it is just a natural and very important part of life. The moment you experience true understanding of your own mortality fear will dissolve and you will experience a deep connection within. But this is also true the other way around: connect within, look within, experience impermanence and interdependence and this will transcend the fear of death. The experience about your inherent refuge, your awareness of unbounded sacred space will help to maintain peace during the process of dying and letting go of the outer world.

·       Yoga Nidra – supporting others during their process of dying:The best preparation to support others during their dying processes is to prepare yourself for your own death. Face your own fears first, face your attachments, your ignorance and your egoism. Once you can truly stay within, connected with your inner stillness, silence and spaciousness it will be easy to connect with the other person… you will be able to perceive his or her needs because you can keep your own self out. This might sound very easy but if you look how most people are dying you will see that their needs are neither met nor are they seen. Most care taker never have learned to keep their own self out. The moment you are fully connected and conscious with the dying person, this moment time will stop, your ego will disappear and there is just this moment of being, of oneness. It has the possibility to become a moment of deep love and a life changing experience, because you know that there is nothing to fear.

 

Instructor biography: Sandra Euringer

 

Sandra is a Yoga teacher (RYT 500, registered with Yoga Alliance USA and Yoga Nidra Teacher (certified by Yoga Alliance Professionals, UK)). She has been practicing Yoga and different forms of Meditation since 1989. Besides she holds a MA in Sociology (University of Marburg, Germany) and received further education in Arts Therapy as a drama therapist (DGfT Germany) and as a Conscious Aging Facilitator with IONS, (USA). After training with spcare (Australia) in "Understanding Death, Caring for the Dying" she developed a conscious dying approach that puts the focus from “the other” back to oneself, based on the original teachings of Patanjali.Before returning to Germany in 2017, home had been in Australia for 12 years.

 

Instructor biography: Swami Yogaratna Saraswati

 

Swami Yogaratna Saraswati was trained as a sannyasin disciple of the Bihar School of Yoga (BSY), which was founded by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, direct disciple of Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh.

With over 30 years experience in yoga meditation, Swami Yogaratna has given Yoga programs all over South India and overseas.

She is particularly appreciated for her talent in leading Yoga Nidra (psychic sleep) and other Meditations from the Tantras, Yoga Therapy, Yoga for children, the higher techniques of Chakra Sadhana, Kundalini Yoga and many others including Satsangs (talks) and Kirtan (group singing).

 

 

Sample daily schedule


5:45 am:   Rise and Shine Bell 
6:00 am:   Chanting & meditation
6:45 am:   Asana and Pranayama (Mon-Fri)
8:00 am:   Prepare breakfast/ Cleaning duties
8:30 am:   Breakfast & Clear up
9:00 am:   Cleaning duties - Karma Yoga
11:00 am: Conscious Dying class (Mon-Fri)
1:00 pm:   Lunch & Clear up & rest
2:30 pm:   Conscious Dying class (Mon-Fri)
4:00 pm:   Personal Sadhana/ free time/ Outing
7:00 pm:   Dinner & Clear up
7:45 pm:   Bell – prepare for chanting
8:00 pm:   Satsang/Chanting/Meditation
9:00 pm:   Personal practice/ Sweet dreams

 

In ashram we maintain silence from 9:00 pm to the next morning 9:00am to help us be more aware of our inner consciousness. Please cooperate.

 

Weekly Schedule

 

SATURDAYS:

·       Havan preparation-3pm

·       Havan (Sacred Fire Ceremony)-  5:30pm, followed by Prasad (holy food)

·       Optional Talent show (share your talent with us) - 7:45pm

SUNDAYS:

·       Sunrise meditation by the Ocean 5.30am.

·       Visit of Gokarna, beaches, optional swimming etc.

MONDAYS:

·       Courses start.

TUESDAYS:

·       Ganesh puja & chanting at 8pm

·       Optional movie night- 9pm

THURSDAYS:

·       Market day: 4.00pm- shopping/swimming

·       Dinner in town is optional. Please inform us in the morning if you are not eating at the ashram.

FRIDAYS:

·       Free Introductory Class to Satyananda Bihar School of Yoga (Oct-April) -11:30am

·       Sunset Meditation by the Ocean– 5.30pm

 

What is included

 

·       6 nights accommodation

·       10 Conscious Dying classes

·       5 Asanas and Pranayama classes

·       Daily Chanting and meditation

·       3 daily vegetarian meals and tea and coffee

·       Filtered water 24 hours

·       Every Saturday Havan (sacred fire ceremony)

·       Weekly Sunrise meditation by the Ocean

·       Weekly Sunset meditation by the Ocean

·       Swimming at one of the popular beaches

 

What is not included

 

·       Airfare

·       Transport to and from the airport

·       Personal expenses

·       Internet (WIFI), washing machine, bicycles, and hot water for showering are available at an extra cost

·       Optional classes: Chakra Sadhana, Meditation medley, Yoga therapy, Kriya Yoga, Bhakti Yoga. Please inquire.

 

Things to do (optional)

 

·       Visit the holy town of Gokarna (Maha Ganapti Temple, Mahabaleshwara Temple, Koti Thirta holy pond)

·       Discover amazing beaches, accessible by trek or by Tuk Tuk

·       Waterfalls visit

·       Sea kayak

 

Location

 

This training will take place in Karnataka, India. Shankar Prasad foundation is located in the village of Bankikodla, which is only five kilometers from the ancient temple town of Gokarna. There are scores of temples to explore, gorgeous beaches to laze on, markets to prowl, and weekly festivities to enjoy in Gokarna.

 

Accommodation

 

·       Twin shared room with attached bathroom: Rooms in heritage buildings, surrounded by beautiful gardens and ashram organic farm. Have twin beds, attached bathroom with toilet and shower. Bed sheets and pillows are provided.

·       Dormitory with shared bathroom: The dormitories are in the century-old heritage house.  They sleep between 2 and 5 people. They are equipped with sleeping pads. Clean toilets and bathrooms are shared. Bed sheets and pillows provided.

 

Food

 

You will be served with three square vegetarian meals per day, plus tea or coffee. Meals are home-made by wonderful cook, who makes traditional, local-style food, wholesome, and colorful. Shankar Prasad grow their own rice and many of their own vegetables on fully organic farm, and sometimes cook lunch from morning harvest. What is not grown on the land is bought from local organic farmers in the village and neighboring town.

 

How to get there

 

·       Arrival by airplane:

Please book your flight to arrive at Goa International Airport (GOI). You can then get a train from Thivim in Goa, or taxi which Shankar Prasad can send to pick you up.

·       Arrival by train:

From Kerala or Mumbai, you can get any train traveling on the Konkan coastal railway, stopping at Gokarna Road, Ankola, Kumta, or Honnavar.
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