Program Details

Listening to Water -- A Meditation Retreat on the Connecticut River

with Roger Guest
May 16 / 7:00 PM - May 18 / 5:00 PM

An Invitation from Roger,

   When we take the time to listen to a waterfall or to waves stirring a gravel beach, an intangible intimacy with nature is often aroused. I believe human beings feel a cellular kinship with the sounds of water, perhaps because liquids make up so much of our bodies. It is possible that watery noise is particularly soothing because it calls forth unconscious memories of our aqueous origins. In any case, the sounds generated by a mountain stream or a still lake, cloaked in a hanging mist, have an almost universal appeal and can be a beautiful portal for the inquisitive mind.

   I take the attitude that lakes are living shrine rooms and I treat kayaking as a practice of meditation. For me, a quiet pond offers an invitation to enter into a state of being that is both open and groundless, and transcends coming and going altogether. The kayak becomes a floating meditation cushion upon which mind simultaneously settles and expands. The still surface of the lake amplifies the fragility and sacredness of this life and all phenomenal existence. Every reflection serves as a reminder of the insubstantiality of appearances. Each wave is the next fold in the great unfolding, each breath a joining of heaven and earth, and each soft stroke of the paddle another nudge forward into the here and now. It is truly a wonderful practice.

   Listening mind requires nothing more than the respectfully assuming a stable posture and letting awareness take its seat. With no specific destination other than being itself, kayaking and listening mind practices allow one to gently touch the natural world.

   When mind wanders, as it will, like a dragonfly landing on its own reflection, attention returns back to stillness. When the rain stops and mental mists disperse, as they do, an undisturbed alertness re-emerges.

   My body might be motionless for minutes at a time; the wet paddle on my lap even drying between strokes. However, I am not merely waiting for something to happen. I am listening, seeing and feeling, learning to fully appreciate the subtlety of each breath. If my mind is turbulent, the slightest impatience and restlessness manifest in the water as if the lake itself is listening to me. In a kayak, silence is never quite silent, and one is never entirely alone.

   Over the weekend of May 16-18, 2014, I will be leading another Listening Mind/Kayak Retreat at Camp Claire, Connecticut. Please consider joining in.

For more information please email

This retreat is through LoPriore Acupuncture/ASOMNE, 339 Flanders Road, Suite 107, East Lyme, CT 06333

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