Exploring the Depths of Stillness
Welcome to my new website! I created these pages to introduce myself to you and to share a little about what I am doing now that I am living in full-time retreat at the Center for Contemplative Research in Crestone, Colorado. Just for starters, I'd like to share with you that I have been immersed in the healing arts for over 20 years and my background led me to this unique opportunity for full-time meditation retreat in Crestone. I started in the healing arts earning a BA in Psychology from the New School University in New York City followed by an MA in Counseling and Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. I chose to pursue a career in Counseling and Depth Psychology because I have been haunted from an early age by the modern problem, summed up so succinctly by HH Dalai Lama in his official endorsement of the Center for Contemplative Research, that: “The past century has seen remarkable developments in the scientific understanding of the human body and brain, yet people across the world struggle to find peace of mind."
About My Stillness Retreat
So the darkness shall be the light, and
the stillness the dancing. t. s. eliot
In order to explore the depths of the mind and to test hypotheses about methods for optimizing mental and emotional balance, I entered full-time retreat on December 1, 2020, and on May 1, 2021, I started participating in a one-year research program designed to measure the effects of long-term meditative practice.
My daily meditation practice consists primarily of Shamatha meditation, that is, meditation for cultivating stillness and balance through the practices of relaxation, stability, and focus. Shamatha meditation develops along 9-stages and culminates in Samadhi: a condition of sustainable, relaxed, and single-pointed focus. I supplement my Shamatha meditation with Vipashyana, meditation for developing insight into the nature of the mind, consciousness, and phenomena, and I also practice meditations to cultivate the qualities of the heart: lovingkindness, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity. I also find dream recall, dream journaling, and the cultivation of lucid dreaming to be extremely helpful.
My daily schedule usually starts before dawn and consists of 8+ hours per day of meditation. I try to balance my days in retreat by walking, cooking, gardening, journaling, and reading.
Since my retreat is voluntary and I am not making an income, I am being supported financially by friends and sponsors who generously support my efforts and the vision of the Center for Contemplative Research. Each month I have about $1500 in expenses including the cost of my cabin, groceries, insurance, and incidentals. I feel a very special bond between myself and my sponsors: their support lends me inspiration when I grow weary, and my effort to cultivate and explore the hidden dimensions of the mind and heart gives them inspiration as well. If you would like to donate to support me in my retreat and to support the research, please click the link below. Thank you!!