Miraval® Arizona provides the space - physically and spiritually - to reconnect with oneself on the path to a life in balance. The clearly articulated choices in diet and exercise, and the serenity that meditation, yoga and other stress-prevention techniques provide, can reduce tension and promote a healthful focus...
Three years ago I decided to do three or four smaller workshops a year at Miraval, a lovely, tranquil spa in Tucson, Arizona, because I wanted the opportunity to teach in a more intimate setting on subject matter that required an atmosphere that was similar to a retreat. These workshop settings are precious for me because I am able to explore ideas that I have been thinking about for some time but have not introduced to larger audiences.
Addiction is a subject that has been on my radar for years. As we all know, numerous books have been written on addiction and countless support programs exist to help people through their personal addictions. I have several reasons for finding the subject of addiction compelling. The first is personal – I lost my own brother to alcoholism. The second, however, is that we live in the most addiction-driven period of human history. For that reason alone, I needed to delve more deeply into addiction as an “archetypal journey” that has taken shape in our time, as if it is it’s own journey of transformation or empowerment.
Having taught Sacred Contracts for twenty-five-years, I hold the view that each of us incarnates with an assigned life path that is filled with opportunities, obligations, and potential for personal enrichment of one’s spirit. The outcomes of all these opportunities are not, of course, pre-determined – that’s where the power of choice and consequence comes into play in our lives. We all start out on a life path that is meant to awaken in us a sense of discernment through which we become able to distinguish:
• What am I called to do in this life versus what are just distractions?
• What do I really need versus what do I want?
• Why do I crave what I do not need?
• Why can’t I detach from my cravings?
• What is the source of these cravings and how are they affecting my life?
• Do my cravings control my highest potential?
• How do my cravings influence my relationships?
• How much of my health is controlled by cravings?
• Am I sabotaging my healing because of addictions or cravings I do not even know I have?
Cravings are another way of expressing what we call addictions. But when viewed through the lens of the Ten Worlds of Buddhism, for example, I realized that every human being journeys through the experience of “cravings.” It’s a given stage of the human experience; thus, every human being experiences addiction, though it may not be to drugs or alcohol. But it may be to power, control, attention, negativity, laziness, or other more subtle behaviors.
I combined a Buddhist approach to exploring addiction with the wisdom found in Taoist teachings along with the mystical laws of several traditions, organizing a retreat/workshop for participants aimed at a goal of personal empowerment.
Aside from just exploring what we crave, the other side of this workshop is devoted to exploring the nature of personal empowerment:
• What does it mean to be an empowered person?
• How does living an empowered life change your life?
• Do you fear being empowered? Do you have a fantasy idea of what that is?
• What do you hope for this year in your life?
As always, the intention behind my seminars is that they are life-transforming events for participants. My intention is that every individual feel grateful for the experience of having shared five days together with a small and very special gathering of people.
I hope to see you there.