This continues to be a time of richness and challenge for me.
On Friday, October 28th, I am hosting at my home the second section of DVD viewing of the annual Diamond Approach retreat held at Asilomar, California each August. There are, I would guess, a few thousand people worldwide who are advanced enough in studying and practicing the teachings of Hameed Ali (who writes under the pen-name A.H. Almaas) to be able to attend this annual 10-day retreat, but not all of those people can make the journey to be physically present. So, the “Ridhwan school” (www.ridhwan.org) makes the teachings available to students who have the sufficient background in the practices to watch the teachings by DVD, or listen to them via mp3s.
Since those teachings involve a lot of experiential inquiry work done in dyads, triads and other groups, it makes it much more impactful to do the Asilomar teachings in a couple of three day weekends in a group assembled to do the exercises and practices together.
These retreats are an especially profound and transformative impetus in my life each year. And, while I never know how I will be affected, nor what material will be investigated, I always find myself feeling clearer, more humble, and rededicated to a path of living a simple life of Presence and Truth when I emerge from that work.
On the afternoon of Sunday, October 16th, when my Diamond Approach (DA) colleagues were watching the 8th and last DVD in the first half of the series of 16 for the whole retreat, I was participating in an afternoon event organised and hosted by my friend, Nicole Moen. The event at Nicole’s was a workshop given by Azriel Cohen. Now, given what I have said about the depth and importance of the Asilomar retreat teachings, and doing them as part of a group, you might be as surprised as I was to find myself attending something else for one section of it. All I can say about that is that I felt and heard the call to also experience Azriel’s work. ( http://www.azrielcohen.com / http://www.bring-the-elephant-home.org/2010/03/21/photography-exhibition-‘elephant-emotional-intelligence’/en/ )
So now I am not only still in the aftermath of the trip to Berlin and midway through the Asilomar retreat work but I am also processing the effects of an important meeting with Azriel, AND, finally, I have many personal evolutions going on concurrently that relate to each and all those things. You can see, I hope, both why it is difficult to keep on track while writing these blog posts, and also why I simply have to carry on writing. It seems to be an important part of the sense I make of the changes. But even more importantly, the processing I do whilst putting all this into words seems essential to continuing on the Path I alluded to earlier.
And now here is a YouTube video of an interview I did with Azriel Cohen a couple of days after his workshop: