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Original Love – Series and Weekend Retreat/Workshop

July 26 @ 6:30 pm - 8:15 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 6:30 pm on Monday, repeating until August 9, 2021

We would like to invite you to explore, Original Love, a new live, online training program developed by Mountain Cloud’s guiding teacher, Henry Shukman.

Dates and Times:

Three week course: Mondays, 6:30-8:15pm MT, July 26, August 2, August 9
Weekend retreat: Saturday August 14 – Sunday August 15, 9am -3pm MT each day

Three week course: $75
Weekend retreat only: $175
Three week course + Weekend retreat: $225

Students can take the three week course, the weekend retreat, or both.  You can also register once the course has started and receive video recordings of what they have missed. Registration is at the bottom of this page.

For those of you in different time zones – the course/series is being recorded and you will have access to each recording within a day or two of the event. All of Original Love is online. You will receive a zoom link when you register. 

Original Love three week course description

This course is an introduction to the whole sweep of the path of meditation practice covered by Original Love. It teaches to settle down, to make space for our challenges in meditation, to learn to enjoy it, to open up to different kinds of support, to relax and come home, to feel into our body experience more, to start to become absorbed in the present moment in peaceful and deep states of meditative absorption, and to begin to taste the wonders of awakening.

Sessions will be one hour forty-five minutes long and will include:

  • Guided meditations
  • Talks
  • Q&A
  • Breakout discussion groups

Recordings will be available shortly after each class for all participants, including people who can’t make it live.

Additional support will include:

  • Video of guided meditation practice for each week, emailed to each participant after each class session

Here is how it breaks down week by week…

Monday July 26
This evening will cover the first “zone” of practice – mindfulness. We tend to pull away from our unease and discomfort. Meditation can teach us instead to turn toward it, tend it and allow it. By making space for it and welcoming it, we start to taste greater love for ourselves, and grow in our enjoyment of sitting. We will be covering:

  • What is mindfulness?
  • Awareness of sense experience here and now
  • Coming home to the body and its experience
  • What blocks or hinders it – getting caught by thoughts and feelings so we are no longer present
  • Getting out of the mind and into body sensation
  • Learning to love our feelings and emotions
  • Developing more self-love here and now 

Methods and techniques taught:

  • Noting
  • Labeling
  • Allowing and welcoming

Monday August 2
This evening will cover the second “zone” of practice – support. Support is essential to growing in our practice. It comes in many forms, and all of them benefit and amplify as we learn to open and trust the support that is always with us.

Henry will be discussing how various forms of support are vital for progress towards both healing and awakening. Specific practices and discussion points will include:

  • Understanding the role of support in practice
  • Dismantling the notion of meditation as a solitary pursuit
  • Learning to recognize and welcome physical support — such as warmth, breath, the seat beneath us, our posture, and the skeletal framework of the body
  • Understanding meditation, guidance, and community as forms of love
  • Learning to taste love in the here and now as we sit.
  • Relaxing into the loving support that is available to us, even when we don’t recognise it.

Methods and techniques taught:

  • Receiving the breath as support
  • Becoming aware of the skeletal structure as intrinsic support
  • Getting to know bodily warmth as an element of support
  • Tasting support as love

Monday August 9
This evening will cover the third “zone” of practice – meditative absorption. Henry will be discussing how meditation can help us experience flow states while sitting. There are various flavors of “samadhi” that can arise in our sitting, and we’ll explore why these can be so helpful for healing and the path towards awakening. Specific practices and pointers will include: 

  • Becoming absorbed by sensations
  • Opening to the sense-field of the whole body
  • The importance of framing and concepts that can help deepen meditation
  • Understanding the characteristics of flow and samadhi
  • Falling in love with the present moment
  • Becoming more open to the beauty of practice and life
  • Entering absorption states
  • Finding deeper happiness and love in just being 

Methods and techniques taught:

  • Exploring the boundary between self and world
  • Discovering space within the body 
  • Opening to space around the body
  • Exploring the boundaries of awareness 
  • Tasting boundless unconditional love

Original Love Weekend retreat / workshop

Saturday and Sunday, August 14 and 15: This weekend will bring together all the primary zones of practice covered so far, in a comprehensive approach to healing, and awakening, as we also begin to explore  the fourth “zone” – awakening. Awakening is a more radical shift in experience that the other prior forms of practice help to prepare us for. Even though it is always here with us, it can be elusive and kind of hard to apprehend. But there are ways to begin to catch glimpses of the vast ease and love it offers. Specific practices and pointers will include:

  • Bringing together the primary zones of practice in our meditation
  • Developing fluency among the different forms of practice
  • Understanding what awakening is 
  • Exploring different faces of awakening
  • How awakening helps us and may shift our life priorities
  • Koan practice and awakening
  • Integrating awakening in daily life
  • Allowing boundless “original” love to infiltrate our experience
  • Becoming more effective in our service
  • Healing the wounds of the world

Methods and techniques taught:

  • Opening and expanding awareness
  • Falling back into the broader field of sense experience
  • Glimpsing nondual awareness
  • Tasting the infinite embrace of original love 
  • A taste of practicing with koans

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Johanna. We’re happy to answer any questions. We look forward to having you join us!

Enroll here 


July 26
6:30 pm - 8:15 pm
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