When I first learned meditation back in 1971, it was motivated more by despair than devotion to any ideal. I was born into an unusually unhappy family, and by the time I reached my teen years it was obvious that I had to do something different to avoid suicide or going crazy — both of which had run in my family. I checked out psychotherapy, which involved a lot of talking back then, but quickly discovered that most of the therapists I could find were just as disoriented as the people they were trying to help.
And then I found meditation. I withdrew four British pounds from my bank account, and armed with flowers, a new white handkerchief and an orange, I went along to an inconspicuous suburban house in England. An hour later I had my own personal mantra. I meditated with that mantra conscientiously throughout my teen years, and after university I went to India to dive even deeper in. I’ve tried almost every kind of meditation imaginable in these last 40 years, including using sex, running, fasting, eyes open, eyes closed, eyes rolled back, forget the eyes, focus on the breath, deep breathing, shallow breathing, alternate nostril breathing, forget the breathing feel the body, focus on pockets of pain, seek out bliss, welcome thoughts, ignore thoughts… I’ve also had periods, perhaps understandably, which I call my “screw this” periods, where my “meditation” became whatever I happened to be doing anyway.
Meditation has somehow or other been a component of all of my adult life. I’ve been through loving it as a zealot and resisting it as a rebel, but it has never drifted further away than the next room, where it waits patiently for me to return to my senses again. (more…)
Most everyone is familiar with John Gray’s book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, which came out more than 20 years ago. It brought the issue of differences between men and women to a much wider audience than had ever happened before, and has to date sold more than 50 million copies worldwide.
John Gray is a fascinating man, and there are a lot of things that most people don’t know about him. I’ve had the good fortune to get to know John quite well in last years because we are in a mens’ group together that meets regularly in Marin County.
One really interesting thing about John Gray that very few people know is that he spent nine years of his life living in a meditation center in Switzerland. He was involved in deep spiritual practice for most of every day of that time, and became the personal secretary of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who was famous as the guru to The Beatles. So all of John’s work on relationship and gender difference actually was the overflow of that time of intense spiritual practice and focus on awakening. (more…)
You wake up early to the sound of birdsong and the waves on the shore. You stretch slowly, and slip on your sandals and the thinnest beach wrap you can imagine. You step outside into another dream-day. Perfect temperature, plump lemons on the tree outside your window, vast blue ocean. Just in time for the morning meditation session. “How did everyone get to look so much younger and sooooo relaxed in just a few days?” you ask yourself.
After meditation you run down to the beach, with many of the new friends you have made, and play for a while in the waves. The beach seems like a mirage, which explains why it actually won an award as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Did you know that beaches can win awards?! But these waves are here all day, so now its time for breakfast, from a buffet with all local and mostly organic ingredients. Afterward you rest a while, do some stretching or take another swim. The days seem to go all by themselves outside of time, with no pressure and nothing particular to do.
Then comes the best part of the day. Mid morning you gather with a group of friends from all over the world, who share one precious and rare thing in common: a dedication to living the deepest and most real love that is possible. Some are single, and some are couples. There are people here who are married but came without their partner. There are people in their early twenties, and a few couples who have been together for more than 40 years! Together, you spend some precious time diving into the exploration of the Deeper Love. Commitment, monogamy, fighting, boredom, worship, control, criticism, sex, jealousy … everything gets addressed. Nothing is excluded. The group is intimate enough that each person can get the attention they need, and gets just the right personalized practices to slip effortlessly into a love with no limits.
For lunch, you walk down the road with a few friends to a local tavern, where you can enjoy a Greek salad, made with local tomatoes, feta cheese and greens grown nearby. The topics of the morning session spill over into your lunch time talk… everything serves to deepen love.
After lunch you might take a stroll, go back to the beach, have a sleep… your time is your own. The couples in the gathering might take time to be alone and close, the single people make new friends by the beach and around the resort. Later in the afternoon we meet again for another dive into the deeper love: questions, sharing, practices, breakthroughs. And then to dinner: several courses, with most of the vegetables grown in the resort’s own organic garden. After dinner you might linger with friends, take a night stroll, or enjoy a glass of wine from the bar. And finally you kick off those sandy flip flops and sink back into your bed.
This is not just a dream. It is a reality coming soon, perhaps for you! Chameli and I are going to Corfu, a Greek Island, with a bunch of Deeper Love friends this June, from the 18th to 25th, and we’d love for you to come too! It will take place at Alexis Zorba Retreat: go check it out: www.alexiszorbas.com. Obviously space is limited, so if you are thinking about it, shoot a mail to Maria Vikman and she will fill you in on all the details.
You can pay your $200 deposit here to secure your place.
And, if you have already bought the Deeper Love Retreat at Home, or if you plan to, you will get a $100 discount coupon that you can use towards your balance.
This kind of thing sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Sun, sand, deeper love, good food, conscious friends from all over the world. Its time for all of us to upgrade the dream!photos from Alexis Zorba website www.alexiszorbas.com