- Get Involved
From July 12th to July 17th the women of the regular ALP Women’s groups had our annual retreat. Every year this retreat takes us to another level of engagement with each other and the Mystery that we all are and this year proved to be no different!
As One Consciousness what we do as individuals or what we do as a group affects the Whole. We may never know the effects of some of our actions but if the truth is that we are ONE then it would make sense that as that ONE what we do affects that ONE! I have seen this over and over in my life. In our case at ALP the effect that an individual or a group has on the whole is tangible. Recently our community of dedicated men and women has been going to another level of union, trust, transparency and commitment. In June the men had their annual men’s retreat and before that we had our annual community retreat. Both of these events and everything in between informed this women’s retreat. It is beautiful to see continuation of Consciousness moves through individuals and groups and take other individuals and groups higher and higher.
So 23 women came together we knew that our time together was very sacred and not a moment should be wasted. I set the theme for the retreat; my instructions were simple. I will share some of them with you now.
THIS RETREAT IS ABOUT DEVOTION TO THE MYSTERY
LIVING THE TRUTH THAT WE ARE ALWAYS ALREADY FREE
AND RENOUNCING ANYTHING THAT CONTRADICTS THIS TRUTH
A CELEBRATION OF
LETTING GO INTO OUR GODNESS IN ALL ITS MANY FORM
HOW TO EXPRESS DEVOTION?
THINGS ALLOWED IN THIS RETREAT:
THINGS THAT ARE NOT ALLOWED!
THE BOTTOM LINE - FREEDOM HERE AND NOW!
I don’t quite know what happened on that first night when I shared my plan with the women but everyone completely embraced it, was happily excited, ready to go and we fell into a deep meditation. We were already manifesting the unity that the retreat was about!
Over the next 5 days we exercised together, took early morning dips in the cold waterfalls, meditated, did some Aikido and Tae Kwon Do, eye gazing, singing, laughing, crying, playing and as we did these many things we fell more and more in love with the Mystery and more and more in love with each other (which is really one and the same).
We were one joyous being in the many different forms of a woman/human. We experienced our NATURAL state and I think all of us were happily surprised how easy it was to be completely together. It is very hard to describe this natural state because it was so incredibly natural!
Since the retreat ended about 2 weeks ago we are changed. What happened between us showed us another way to be, showed us a glimpse of our capacity to live the new culture beyond limitation and separation that ALP is all striving for. Those 5 days are now informing not only our lives but the lives of others as we continue to evolve.
If we are humble enough we will never move away from the deep devotion to the Mystery that we found in this retreat together. May we forever bow down and marvel at the infinite Love and possibilities that arise when we surrender ourselves to the Mystery of our own being.
Here are some comments from many of the women that were there…
What is my experience of the retreat? Spechless-ness. Wonder. Colours, from black to white to green to pink to yellow to mint. 1000nds of colours. Awe. Intensity of feeling. Non intensity. Lightness. Surprise. Love. Everywhere love. Relaxation. Be myself. Reality. Recognition of the Reality. Walking on the ground. Being. With you and you and you. And the plants. And the dogs and the cats and the insects. The magic of the dragonflies. Detoxification. Seeing. Feeling. Smelling. Hearing. Listening. Breathing. Living! Yeah.
I experienced something new - everything was a mystery.
Silence, laughs, deep conversations, bliss, love, naked bodies, exercise, forest walking, quotes, clay, music and powerful energy.
It opened and expanded my heart, blew my mind
I felt the mystery of trees
I felt the mystery of flowers
I felt the mystery of water
I felt the mystery of tea
I felt the mystery of the sun
I felt the mystery of the unknown
I felt the mystery of life
I'M IN LOVE WITH MYSTERY
I HAVE SURRENDERED TO MYSTERY
Love love love
Sitting at a food plaza inside a shopping centre in Porto, I would not imagine this to be an inspiring place, still my body and heart are dissolved and sailing through this space and people as One.
I cannot be in any other way than with it all. I catch the intimate gazes between lovers, the many frowned faces, children munching icecreams, people hurrying and I sit in awe with a melted heart for all I see, feel, for all there is.
The retreat brought me (and us) a very clear and sober acknowledgment of reality. Which we lived in communion for 5 days. The reality is the on going mistery of creation, of interconnectedness, of diversity, of the absolute manifested in all things, beings and in the space between them. The invisible becomes palpable and overwhelming.
The mistery of life, the mistery in life, staying in the mistery. I sense that falling in love with the mistery is embracing fully my humanity and divinity as a creator, traveller, explorer and builder of the world. Permanently being with what is, as a careful listener curious about what life and all of its many expressions want to bring forward.
I’m finding a different quality in this “being with what is”, one that is more sober and humble, opposite to the ecstatic drunkness of love and amazement that I often got from retreats. “I got from…”. Because this time I’m not getting anything, I just acknowledge the mistery and fall deeply in love with it.
The complexity continues to hold hands with simplicity. The soberness with drunkenness. Everything comes and goes.
deeply Here and NoW
This retreat was an explosion of intimacy, of unity, of joy. It was an expression of our devotion to the mystery. Through the whole retreat we were standing strong in the truth of being always already free - no matter what. We didn't reach to create a better world and we didn't try to evolve as human beings. We didn't reach or try anything because we just lived it!
I could see it in everyones eyes and sense it with my whole being: we were creating the new culture together all the time! What was a vision in the past comes into manifestation right now. Through the devotion to the mystery that we are all committed to!
I can't possibly find words for my deep gratitude of being part of this group and being together with such wonderful, beautiful and inspiring women. Each one of you is with me as if we would still sitting in the cycle meditating or talking or singing. I love every unique expression of the divine that we are. Seen in our bodies, our ways of being and expressing ourselves. And at the same time the connection that I’m talking about isn’t about this differences. It’s about our strong intention to live beyond separation and limitation that we all have in common. And this is what breaks my heart over and over again: recognizing myself in you and recognizing you in myself. As there is only one consciousness which animates all of us. Which brought us together to live the truth of unity and access our unlimited potential.
The retreat came to an end but my willingness to devote myself didn't. I stepped into the holy fire and all my wrong ideas are still burning in its flame! I am with what is as this is the only way I want to live. As I realized that I am always already free I started a new chapter in my life. One in which I don't wait anymore. One in which I'm simply myself. With all my imperfections but without any problem. Devoting myself to the mystery is obviously the greatest gift I can give to myself and everyone else. And this realization will stay with me as well as the deep connection I discovered with my sisters.
Thank you all for this adventure! With all my love,
Since the Retreat there is such a quiet continues happiness and love coming through this body. It is not called, it is here. No fear to loose it. There is nothing to loose, its mine, its me, this mystery which has no name and yet is everywhere. This river called life, fresh, like a child running through the rocks, playing with soft sand, give liquid to who needs it and is refreshing in the most surprising moment. What a life, what a gift, what a joy. Its waved with golden thread, its waved with you, waved with light. One blanket in all colours, no one is missing . You are me and me are you. What can i say? I am in awe!
We are already free
We are the Mystery
We cannot know ourselves
even as we deeply love each other
Beyond our need to know is the purest happiness
Let us live there!
I embrace you as I embrace myself as I embrace the mystery that there is no-one to embrace!
Life is really overwhelming! Bliss, amazement, contraction, anger, maravilhamento, quietness... All part of one great whole that is ever present, ever pulsating as a muscly juicy heart!
It is hard to sum up what happened at the retreat.... what is happening still... I'm simply surrendering and diving into the questions:
What can be better than being alive!?
What can be better than witnessing the Mistery?!
What can be better than being the Mystery!?
Surrendering means there is no need to seek for the answer. A sense of fulfillment is inherent in the devotion to the question.
the women's retreat of last week was truly revealing. I have never experienced the oneness, freedom, not-knowing in such a deep state. The dead of the separated "I" has stayed with me... this freedom, which for the first time I realise that it means to be free from everything (thoughts, family, friends, foods, body, prejudices, voices, experiences, ...endless things...) has come with a relaxation and willingness to live coming from that freedom. And coming from that freedom has been very surprising because everything is ever new...I had writen in big letters in my notes of the retreat the following:
TAKE THE ALREADY FREE POSITION = SURRENDER TO THE MYSTERY = DIVE INTO THE UNKNOWN = LIFE WITH REAL HAPPINESS and this still prevailing I keep diving into the unknown.
In the day we had the group discussions I saw that all my life I have been seeking the absolute, I know I have experienced it before when I was very young and getting back in touch with the absolute was a gazillion size great surprise... Then realising that it is always there and it's all that truly is, is overwhelming and brings me lots of humbleness, humility.
My experience is and as has been since the retreat one of joy, calmness and tranquility. Everything is so perfect! Yet I know it's just an experience and it doesn't mean anything about me, right??
I am in love with life!!
So many beautiful expressions already of the Mystery!
What touched me very deeply during the retreat was the intimacy and love that we experienced together! I think it could only happen on such a deep level because we were willing to not take our selves too seriously and make our emotional experience mean something.about ourselves.
At some point I realised how I was still dividing my experience in good or bad. Being connected or being cut off. Always this me, me, mine, what does a situation say about me? I saw many ideas that I have about freedom and then I saw that I actually dont know!!
I have to admit that I have really no idea what is going on.
How can I say that when I dont feel so good I am cut off? Or how can I say that I am not cut off when I feel good?
Cynthia said at some point we never know how free or unfree we are until it is shown. I think this captures it quite well.
I think I am still cooking in the process of the mystery.
I dont understand what happend.
We had so much fun and joy!
I loved that all the things we did, we did for the sake of doing it..not for getting something out of it!
I think I will never forget the rope pulling and how we were competing without competing. I have never experienced something like this and I found it deeply liberating. Giving myself fully to the competition and what that game was about and at the same time it meant nothing!! Absolutly nothing, about me or anybody else or the world.
And now...I feel I am listening. I am listening to what the mystery has to tell. Not trying to fiugure it out. Just listening to every note arising and then disappearing again...
Much love to you all!
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BECOMING PART OF THE ONGOING WOMEN'S GROUPS YOU WILL NEED TO GO TO ONE OF OUR LONG RETREATS OR TO A WOMEN'S RETREAT FIRST. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU KNOW BECOME MORE FAMILIAR WITH ALP AND THE PHILOSOPY BEFORE YOU JOIN!