Pointing Out Way Level 1 Retreat
INFORMATION PAGE FOR BOULDER POINTING OUT WAY PARTICIPANTS
Welcome to the Boulder, Level 1 Pointing Out Way Retreat with Dr. John Churchill. What a blessing it is for us to take time out of our lives to deepen in to these teachings. As you probably know, there are many details that go into offering a high quality experience, and we appreciate your help before and during the retreat. Please take the time to carefully read over this page, respond to the emails we will send, and to fill out the information requested.
We’d like to introduce our team members, and if you have any questions or additional needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Shana Parker (firstname.lastname@example.org) handles all logistics and will be on-site daily to assist with ensuring a smooth flow for your day. Any questions regarding seating, catering, work/study teams, or general needs during your retreat should be directed to her. Marynka Burns is Samadhi’s Executive Coordinator and handles all registration and payment questions. She can be reached at email@example.com
We believe seva (service) is an integral part of our ongoing practice. Therefore, you will be assigned to a seva team (set up seating, snacks/tea, etc…) based on the time constraints or any expressed preferences or abilities you enter into the Retreat Participant Form. This helps things flow smoothly, keep the space sacred, and it’s also a wonderful way to create conscious community and practice what we are learning “off the cushion.”
The retreat will be held in a private home, owned by sangha members Margo King and John Steiner, located at 3286 Plateau Road, Longmont, CO, 80503.
Take Broadway or 28th Street North to the juncture of I-36 (the last light). Continue north for 4.5 miles to PLATEAU ROAD (on Right) Turn Right on Plateau (East), Driveway is on the Right down a gentle slope to an open grassy area for parking.
Please note: The instructions are sequential and therefore you must attend all sessions. Please arrange your schedule to accommodate this.
Saturday, June 1 | Registration: 5:00 - 5:45pm | Training: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Sunday, 6/2 - Friday, 6/7 | House Opens: 8:30 am | Training: 9:00am-12:30, 2:30-6:00pm
Lunch: 12:30-2:30pm (Catered lunch available and recommended due to distance from town)
Saturday, 6/8 | House Opens: 8:30am | Training: 9:00am-12:00pm
Whether you order catered lunches or decided to bring your own, please bring your own utensils, plate, bowl and napkin if you are able. Please note: It is at least 30 minutes into town for other food options, and refrigerator space is limited. All items should be self-contained in a lunch bag or small cooler.
We encourage the sangha to share in providing snacks. Typically students bring in nuts, dried fruit, fruit, cheese, crackers, etc. This process of giving is organic, and we always seem to have enough.
What to Bring
Closed water bottle/thermos for water, or tea/coffee in the room.
Whether you order catered lunches or decide to bring your own, please bring your own utensils, plate, bowl and napkin if you are able. Please note: It is at least 30 minutes into town for other food options, and refrigerator space is limited. All items should be self-contained in a lunch bag or small cooler.
Snacks: we encourage the sangha to share in providing snacks. Typically students bring in nuts, dried fruit, fruit, cheese, crackers, etc. This process of giving is organic, and we always seem to have enough.
Notebook and pen if you want to take notes. Notes are optional. There will be space in the retreat handouts for some note taking.
Shoes you can walk in. There are many places to walk along the creek and on the property during your breaks.
We will have chairs, back jacks, zabutons (floor mats), some zafus,(meditation cushions), and support cushions for those who request them on the Retreat Participant Form. If you are local, please supply your own cushions or bench, and bring any additional blankets or cushions for under your feet.
General Information & The Meditation Hall
This is not a silent retreat, but we will keep the mediation room and one of the outdoor areas silent during breaks. No phones or other electronic devices will be allowed in the room (not even on silent or vibrate). You will have a break every 90 mins to 2 hours to check messages.
There are walking paths and beautiful views to enjoy on your breaks, so comfortable shoes are recommended. All personal items and shoes will be left outside the meditation hall, but you may bring in covered drinks and notebooks. We request you refrain from using heavily scented fragrances (mosquito repellant/sunscreen/perfume/oils).
No computers/Ipads or cell phones permitted in the meditation room.
Shana Parker: 303-550-7692 (all on-site questions)
Marynka Burns: firstname.lastname@example.org (all payment/registration questions)
About the Retreat
The “pointing out” style of instruction is a relationally-based approach, emphasizing short, repeated, guided meditation sessions, with detailed instructions given before, during, and after each session. The teacher points out the desired state, the way to attain it, and how to correct the problems that typically occur. The instructions are individualized for each student, and allow for a rapid learning experience and progression along the path.
In this retreat you will have the precious opportunity to learn, practice and realize a complete set of teachings from the heart of the Tibetan Buddhist Wisdom tradition known as ‘Mahamudra’, or the Great Embrace. It is a profound, easy to follow, and user-friendly path, designed for both those new to meditation and experienced meditators.
Mahamudra meditation is not about learning a technique to just calm the mind and body. It is a process of awakening to the wisdom mind, the human essence of unconditional non-dual love and spaciousness awareness.
The retreat begins with an emphasis on intensive concentration training to develop a focused attention and to calm the mind of thought. This is followed by the practice of insight meditations to investigate how the mind constructs the every day experience of self, body, external reality and time. The outcome of these practices opens a timeless spacious ocean of loving awareness that serves as a foundation for the essence meditation practices.
The Essence meditations of Mahamudra, that are unique to this Buddhist tradition, assume that awakened wisdom is the inherent basis of the everyday mind, which has become mistakenly obscured. These meditations are designed to reveal an effortless, continuous, uninterrupted mindfulness of the natural state of “awakened wisdom”, a non-dual ocean of lucid awareness, joy and love. Mahamudra practice then develops into a new way of being and living that profoundly engages us in the ongoing transformation and healing of humanity.
Born in London, England, Dr. John Churchill's interest in meditative and contemplative studies began as a teenager. After leaving high school, he joined Samye Ling Kagyu Monastery in Scotland where he began his studies in the Mahayana and Mahamudra. He came to the United States to study at Naropa, a Buddhist University where he majored in Contemplative Psychology with a specialization in mind/body health. During his time at Naropa, he studied with American philosopher, Ken Wilber, and was a founding member of Integral Institute. John holds two Master’s Degrees in Chinese Medicine and Professional Psychology. He completed his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in June, 2018 from William James College in Massachusetts.
Additionally, John has been a practitioner of meditation and hatha yoga for 25 years and has taught embodied yoga and meditation for the last decade. He co-founded, with his wife Nicole, Samadhi Integral, a center built on philosophical principles that embrace the cutting edge of contemporary culture and the deep wisdom of humanity. Samadhi is part of a worldwide network that spans traditions with a collective commitment to the spiritual evolution of humanity.
Dr. Churchill has been a Mahamudra student of Dr. Daniel Brown since 2005, and began to study Dzogchen with the Venerable Rahob Rinpoche in 2007. John's mentoring relationship with Dr. Brown led to his authorization as a teacher of Mahamudra in 2012, and he continues to work closely with Dr. Brown. He is deeply interested in the relationship between psychological and contemplative development, the emergence of an awakened sangha, and use of technology to support the teaching of the dharma. Through his work, John assists students in developing a new path into the future which embraces the preciousness of human birth, physical embodiment, the earth, our relationships with others, and ultimately guiding them towards living a fully awakened life.