More info on www.facebook.com/helen.fost/
2016 Athens 29 - 30 October 2016 weekend workshop
Athens, 18 - 19 June 2016, Stillness in Emotion @ NYSY, 25 Nikis, Syndagma
Athens, Athena ShaktiFest
10 June – 12 June 2016 @ Zen Centre
'Awakening the Divine Feminine'
Athens 26 - 27 February 2016
Internal Alchemy: Transforming Emotions into Liberated Energy, Power and Wisdom
AN EVENING MEDITATION exploring how we can transform emotions back to their source in pure energy. Through stabilising inner space we come to a new realisation of the choice point where feelings such as sadness, fear or even anger can be experienced at their root as expansion of consciousness, soul potential, rather than collapse into familiar conditioned reactions. Playfully yet attentively we are planting the seeds of our own freedom.
ONE DAY WORKSHOP working with specific patterns of emotions which tend to hijack our consciousness, whether through sudden outbursts like anger or through subtle long-term infiltration, like anxiety or hopelessness. In Tibetan Buddhism the emotions are viewed as the poisons binding us to Karmic repetition until they are transformed into the wisdom aspects of consciousness, the power of the 'Dakinis'.
We will practice simple but powerful techniques to liberate this wisdom energy from the conditioned emotional responses which hold us prisoner to an out-of-date, disempowered identity. Our feelings are the vibrant music of our soul, and once we discover how to access them at source as subtle energy our authentic passion and compassion can shine out in the transforming wisdom of who we truly are.
'I want to unfold,
Let no place in me hold itself closed,
For where I am closed I am false'. - Rilke
2015 Ashprington, Totnes, Devon 28 - 29 November 2015
Presence, Perception and Empty Space:
Awareness skills for actors, dancers and healers
For the everyday mind empty space is a koan. As it cannot be grasped, it becomes saturated with preconceptions and fragments of emotions. Shamanic practices of heightened awareness allow us to disrupt habitual mental-emotional patterns and enter into emptiness to create a fluid healing dialogue with the invisible world around us.
In the process we gain access to emotions at their source, connecting with them in the luminous body as transpersonal energies before they impact and crystallise in the physical body as tension. In this way they become pure fuel for creativity.
We will work to stabilise stillness in movement, to liberate the healing energy and power of the luminous body, dreaming and journeying beyond time, beyond the familiar parameters of emotions to reweave our awareness out of emptiness. We hold the mystery, not knowing, until it becomes magic.
Athens Plaka 30 - 31 October 2015
Stabilising Heart Stillness, an evening of healing meditation
Unforgetting: Liberating Heart Stillness, a one day workshop
We will explore ways of assembling our perception to take us more effortlessly and deeply into stillness and to melt tightness and old pain from the heart. As we come closer to our heart stillness a different quality of inner presence emerges. The sacred potential that we are carrying, which our cultural and social hypnosis suppresses, can reveal itself more clearly. As we anchor this quality our light, which is often scattered and dull, returns to transparency and brightness.
We will work with the energy-body through shamanic healing, including journeying and soul retrieval to reclaim this clarity of our light so that our natural charisma can shine out, our energy can flow with its authentic force and power and our physical body can rest in its innate ease.
Oikia Karapanou, Aegina, 2 - 6 October 2015
Spirit Flight: Transitions and Journeying between the Worlds
‘There is neither a this-world nor another-world, but only the great unity’ - Rilke
The mystics say that to be truly alive we need to re-learn the ancient art of dying before we die. For shamans this is the initiation which takes us beyond fear and the limitations of the everyday mind. The dying process gives us a blueprint for letting go and moving on in every aspect of our lives.
The ‘ego’ can never step outside of time because it only exists in time! To meet the timeless Self means to surrender the controlling mind into stillness, desireless awareness. Why wait until we die at the end of our lives to discover who we truly are?!
This workshop explores the dying process as a source of profound healing. The Spirit Flight journey creates a shift in consciousness, an out of body experience and entry into a different quality dimension. Many people who have had a literal 'near death experience' describe a similar state of being: a sense of oneness, bliss, love, peace. Our Soul wisdom is re-ignited by direct connection with Source. This is the treasure which lights up our lives.
Once we have reconnected the luminous pathways of the mind between the worlds there is no more fear of the end of life. The root of fear dissolves into the source of light.
'Use your own light and return to the source of light. This is called practicing eternity' – Lao Tse
The retreat begins Friday at 5pm, ends Tuesday at 6pm
Accommodation in shared room
Workshop fee reductions possible as needed, please ask
some camping spaces possible
Lefefkada, Greece 14 - 21 June 2015 together with Brad Richecoeur
The Heart of Transformation: Dynamic Stillness in Practice
This retreat brings together practices of awakening Energy and Consciousness to create a fundamental shift in our way of being. We will be exploring Qigong, Stillness Meditation, spontaneous movement and Shamanic journeying in a stunning Greek island location in Lefkada.
'Simply plunging directly into the moment now, with our whole being, free from hesitation, boredom or excitement, IS enlightenment' – Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Through the practice of Qigong we create inner space and reclaim the childlike natural ease of our bodies. In the process we clear stagnant energy from the heart and from wherever it manifests as mis-information in the body to rediscover our innate capacity for self-healing and well-being. In this way we retrain ourselves to engage with the world from a rooted realisation of the power of our dynamic luminous body.
We will practice shamanic journeying to clear our energy field of imprints of old trauma, shock and soul fragmentation so our full wisdom potential can carry us in a new direction beyond the limitations we have learnt to live with, which we call everyday mind.
Through open-eye meditation we will stabilise our capacity for effortless stillness. In this dynamic stillness we can experience ourselves as direct perceiving presence, free from our mind’s commentary which fixes us in pain and worry. In stillness of mind and heart we learn to transform fear, attachment and other emotions into pure power of presence before they show up as physical and mental tension, so we can dissolve psychosomatic symptoms, lighten the burdens on our body and mind and uplift our relationships.
The Heart is the centre of all our practice, the doorway between self and greater Self, that vast Unknown, into which we dive to retrieve our undiscovered treasure. This dive takes us on a creative and mysterious journey where a profound inner transformation can take place at the root of our being.
Through mastering these precious skills we can realise and maintain our true inner freedom at all times.
More info: http://www.qigong-southwest.co.uk/greek-retreat.htm Concessionary rates for Greek students, please contact Helen for details.
Athens, 30 - 31 May 2015 @ Tune In, Poliklitou 1 (Vissis), Monastiraki
Eagle wisdom: ruthless seeing at the root of forgiveness
Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you – Jean-Paul Sartre
Now that my heart is open it can’t be closed or broken - Lhasa
Wherever there is lack of forgiveness there is soul loss and fragmentation of energy and of consciousness. We identify with a fragment of our experience and thus we create conflict, repetition, history, ‘karma’. Forgiveness is the ending of karmic patterns that have kept us captive for lifetimes; it is the ending of time, of duality. Why wait till we die to claim our freedom?
How can we do this? We have all tried manipulating our thoughts and emotions to conform to a spiritual or compassionate ideal and to be less judgemental. But this merely adds to our conflict against ourselves!
In this workshop we will call on Eagle and our own power animal to guide us in reassembling our perception in absolute stillness beyond everyday mind, ruthlessly observing our conflicts with clear heart-seeing so that we can catch a glimpse through the circling of duality to its source. And then a totally different landscape comes into view.
To explore what is happening we will practice a technique of shamanic alchemy which can transform our worst adversaries and resistant habits into allies and resources. It takes us directly to the root of forgiveness where judgements and conflicts against ourselves and others can spontaneously shift into self-realisation and fresh energy.
Absolute unconditional forgiveness happens here in the space of non-duality, where self and ‘not-self’, light and shadow dissolve into emptiness. It carries the infinite healing power of sadness which can break open our hearts and bring a lifetime of suffering to an end.
This is our practice and the beginning of who we truly are.
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing – TS Eliot ‘Four Quartets’
Chile, 19 - 26 January 2014 together with Marcela Lobos
Skydancing: the art of embodied emptiness
This retreat offers an experience of profound transformation through tracking emotions back to their source in emptiness where they become pure fuel for creativity. Through intent, meditation, and spontaneous movement you will claim your freedom of expression, and unfold the luminous potential that expresses your soul’s dream.
Learn to master the art of listening to empty space, unfolding invisible feelings within the luminous body before they crystallise in the physical body. We hold the mystery, not knowing, until it becomes magic. When self consciousness becomes timeless awareness energy, power and presence is born.
Through this effortless listening you will naturally enter ego-less states of being: innocence, reverence, grace, bliss.
Freedom comes from this connection with non-self, emptiness. We become an instrument of perception. Perception becomes expression, emptiness becomes dance.
Athens, Greece 13 - 14 October 2012
Eagle Medicine: Presence as Destiny
'Then comes a moment
of feeling the wings you've grown
lifting.' – Rumi
This workshop is about bringing together all that we know and returning to the source of not knowing. How can we live so that our days can be conscious of themselves, and so that we can be carriers of timelessness in spite of the time-dragging turmoil around us? We have our healing gifts, our unique skills, a certain fluidity of movement between visible and invisible worlds, the demands of our everyday lives and a hypnotic ‘reality’ collapsing around us. How can we bring together in ongoing sacred space all our potential, our capacity for awakened seeing, our training and commitment and creativity, to unfold our real wings and stay present?
Through the practise of not knowing we strengthen our energetic alignment with the power of ‘intent’, with our own wisdom lineages and we facilitate the dissolving of fear. Recapitulating our consciousness skills we will discover how to maintain a flowing stillness in creative interaction, in movement, in healing and meditation. We will track for any stubborn old patterns of self-sabotage or self-hypnosis that keep us stuck in who we were, in disempowerment, exposing the illusion of incompleteness, working on each other to fine tune our ‘seeing’ in soul retrieval and other healing skills. We will share specific transmissions that can empower and renew our energy and seed our new awareness into our night time dreams. Thus we prepare ourselves to navigate more skilfully the complex flow of the times to come, permitting the full potential of our soul presence to guide us beyond our understanding onto a wholly new destiny line.
Napoli, Italy 27 - 29 April 2012
la Pienezza dal Vuoto:
Un’ esplorazione del silenzio interiore attraverso la pratica mistica e sciamanica
‘Immergersi direttamente nel momento in cui siamo ora, con tutto il nostro essere, senza esitazioni, noia o eccitazione, questa è l'illuminazione’ - Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
‘Usa la tua luce per tornare alla fonte di luce. Questa si chiama la pratica dell’eternita’ . Lao Tse
In questo workshop si intraprende un viaggio interiore alla scoperta del silenzio profondo. Il vuoto è uno stato dell’essere in cui si raccoglie spontaneamente in un ‘attualità non temporale, l'energia dell’anima frammentata nel tempo. Il vuoto diventa la pienezza assoluta: l’estasi spirituale del mistico e l’illuminazione liberatrice dello sciamano.
Si seguirà un filo comune che collega le tradizioni mistica e sciamanica, aprendoci al vuoto attraverso il movimento, l’ immobilità, il respiro e la danza. Sul percorso mistico si esplora la danza meditativa dei dervishi.
Entrando nel vuoto attraverso la via sciamanica, invece, utilizzeremo varie tecniche per sciogliere la rigidità della mente ipnotizzata da un’ identità fissa nel tempo, l’ego e la paura. Si rivela il corpo luminoso. Sognare ad occhi aperti è un metodo molto semplice per scoprire un identità fluida fuori dal tempo, con un immediato effetto di silenzio interiore e uno scioglimento delle insicurezze psicologiche. Il silenzio interiore non è assenza di disturbo, ma assenza di paura. Con la liberazione dell’ inquietudine della mente, il vuoto può diventare un punto di riferimento unico per la “navigazione” e l’espressione creativa dell’anima, svegliandoci dall’illusione, profondamente radicata, di incompletezza. Il vuoto si rivela come la consapevolezza piena e noi gli strumenti della sua espressione.
Athens, Greece 3 - 4 March 2012
Hummingbird medicine: Stillness at the edge of madness
'I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
'There will only ever be one single way to put a real step forward – which is in a state of ecstasy that takes us out of ourselves. This is how it always has been and will be for each of us; and this also is how it is for the whole' - Peter Kingsley ’A story waiting to pierce you’
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing'
TS Eliot ‘Four Quartets’
In this workshop we align our intent with the invisible forces that are taking us forward individually and globally. We are all carriers of the collective madness but through our discipline of stillness we can become alchemists, transforming the massive wave of insecurity around us into an ongoing awakening energy. Even the smallest action that arises out of aligned intent ripples beyond time far beyond our comprehension. Our aim is to become the ground that others can rest on even when in fear or conflict.
We will practice the tools that we need to embody ‘Satyagraha’, a Sanskrit word used by Ghandi meaning ‘soul force’ or ‘truth force’ and awaken the powers within us that have been waiting for the call. We call on the creative power of our own madness at the edge of our identity. Taking many different paths into stillness (absence of fear, of thought, of identity) we explore how stillness can dissolve the consensus trance around us, how to practice stillness during interactions and how to create stillness or trance in others. We will do a ‘Cuti Despacho’ a Q’ero ceremony to clear negative energy (sorcery). And we will hold space for the unknown becoming to emerge freely.
Athens, Greece 19 - 20 November 2011
Hummingbird: The medicine of Stillness
'Love is movement out of stillness' - Manuel Schoch
This workshop explores the dying process as a source of ongoing healing, as ‘letting go’, and as an experiential visionary journey. The Spirit Flight involves a shift in consciousness often felt as a literal separation from the physical body, an out of body experience, and entry into a different quality dimension. Many people who have had a 'near death experience' describe a similar state of being: a sense of oneness, bliss, love, peace. Once we have reconnected the luminous pathways of the mind between the worlds there is no more fear of the end of life. The root of fear dissolves into the source of light.
Now more than ever we need to be in an ongoing flow of communication with stillness, our out-of-time wisdom and inner guides, to help us keep our balance and safely, heartfully navigate the chaos around us.
We will practise stopping the inner dialogue at will and maintain this inner silence effortlessly with a focused Intent from a space out of reach of the critical mind. In order to accomplish this we will also work on cleansing our connection with Intent.
We will tune into our guides and the wisdom keepers of our lineages in this life and past lives to receive their healing and support. And we will enter the space of stillness through many different doorways to enliven our capacity for flowing observation in any context, dissolving habits of effort, rigidity and separation. On the way we will clear out any remaining shadows of unfinished emotions in the luminous energy of the solar plexus (hummingbird chakra) especially frozen sadness and regrets, so that the flow of energy to the heart is undisturbed. Through stillness the heart naturally communicates our soul wisdom as the atmosphere of love.
'To be in stillness means being in total insecurity with no reaction, no knowing and total observation. Observing something and staying with it is the process of love' – Manuel Schoch
'Simply plunging directly into the moment now, with our whole being, free from hesitation, boredom or excitement, is enlightenment' - Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Spirit Flight: the Journey Home
Athens, 4 - 5th June 2011 10.30am - 6pm
'Use your own light and return to the source of light.
This is called practicing eternity' – Lao Tse
The mystics say that to be truly alive we need to re-learn the ancient art of dying before we die. Shamanic traditions call this coming out of life alive. For shamans the encounter with death as a visionary journey is the pre-requisite to stepping beyond fear and the limitations of the everyday mind. The ‘ego’ can never step outside of time because it only exists in time. To meet the timeless self requires surrender of the controlling mind, a kind of death.
'Death is the side of life that is turned away from us and not illuminated. We must try to achieve the greatest possible consciousness of our existence, which is at home in both these immeasurable realms, and inexhaustibly nourished by both… There is neither a this-world nor another-world, but only the great unity'. - Rilke
The West: Jaguar Medicine: Fearlessness, recapitulation and ‘seeing’
Athens 2 – 3 April 2011, 10.30 – 6pm @ Tune In, Poliklitou 1 (Vissis), Monastiraki
Jaguar cleans up shadow energy and especially fear. In Quechua (the language of the Peruvian Q’ero) this dark heavy energy that hangs around us especially generated by fear or by the unfinished past is called ‘Hoocha’. Jaguar enables us to transform this energy into light or ‘Sami’, awareness and power. The Jaguar sits in the hara and acts as a protector and guardian. We need to do our homework and step beyond our fears and personal history in order to create a strong relationship with Jaguar.
We will train using Jaguar energy to dissolve the shadow vibration of fear, insecurity and self consciousness. We will work from many different angles to clear imprints of old reactions, memories, relationships and unfinished emotions connected with fear. This includes working on current life, past life and ancestral patterns and, always at an energy level, fear-based emotions such as shame, jealousy, guilt, resentment and self pity.
As we experience fearlessness the hara becomes a centre of awareness which has a direct connection with ‘seeing/knowing’ and with the brow chakra (‘third eye’). We will practice techniques to balance these two chakras. We clean our ‘Intent’ so that the everyday mind does not blur our capacity as seers. This leads us towards the work of Hummingbird (the North direction) where we will create inner silence and maintain it at will.
We will practice recapitulation, a shamanic technique for completing personal stories to allow all our energy to be fully up to date and present in the moment. Finally we will learn and practice two transmissions of the Munay Ki, the rites of initiation gifted by the Q’ero. These are the protective Bands of Power and the Seer’s Rite, which opens the neurological networks connecting the brow chakra, brain and heart.
Soul Retrieval and Sufi Whirling
'We came whirling out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.
The stars made a circle, and in the middle, we dance' - Rumi
Soul Retrieval is an ancient shamanic practice for recollecting aspects of our potential that may have become lost through trauma or simply been unsupported over time and unexpressed. When we discover and reclaim these aspects of our own unique wisdom, which are like energy codes of missing information, our sense of completeness returns. This frees us from the fragmentation of time.
Whirling is an ancient Sufi practice for creating inner stillness, ecstasy and communion with the Beloved. Aided by centrifugal force this meditative dance firmly anchors us on the earth and at the same time frees us to empty ourselves into Presence.
Through the journey of soul retrieval we will gather our full energy potential from the past into the moment of creative expression. Through the whirling we create a new axis of stillness. Peeling time away we naturally return to the centre of the cycle of becoming.
'At the still point, there the dance is...
Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance' – T S Eliot
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