Throughout the year day-long retreats titled “A Day of Mindfulness” are offered. These retreats are suitable for beginner and experienced practitioners. Day-longs typically start at 9:30 am or 10 am and end at 4 pm.
Day-longs include teachings on formal and informal mindfulness practices, relational mindfulness, walking meditations, cultivating positive emotions, and working with negative emotions.
Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet”. - Thich Nhat Han
Photos taken at Descanso Gardens.
Why should I be interested/What will this retreat do for me?
A Day of Mindfulness at Descanso Gardens is an embodied “nature/nurture” experience open to beginner & experienced meditators. Mindfulness-in-nature is an act of love, a journey into spaciousness, a gateway to inter-connectedness. Participants will connect to feelings of calm, ease, well-being and healing. Bathed in nature, mindfulness opens us up to experiences of being fully alive, present & connected to the web-of-life. A Day of Mindfulness at Descanso Gardens is a gift of generosity & loving-kindness we give to ourselves; a conscious choice to offer gentle, non-judgmental attention to our moment-by-moment experiences with openness & curiosity. A gift that reverberates beyond the day.
Mindful walking activities are built around specific nature-nurture practices including “the spectrum of awareness” and the pillars of mindfulness: focused attention (concentration), open awareness (clarity), equanimity (calm), and kind intention (positive emotions/loving-kindness). Participants will have opportunities to engage in reflective journaling to support their nature/nurture experience. For more on “the spectrum of awareness” see Diana Winston’s The Little Book of Being: Practices and Guidance for Uncovering Your Natural Awareness (2019). Diana is the Director of Mindfulness Education at the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (MARC). All practices can be used to bring mindfulness to our daily activities (walk of life).
What can I expect: We will meet at 9:30a.m. at the main entrance of Descanso Gardens https://www.descansogardens.org/visit/plan-your-visit/. Your registration fee includes entry into the Gardens. Parking at Descanso Gardens is free. We will walk to section “J” Canyon View where we will begin our mindfulness retreat experience. The retreat includes instruction, guided mindfulness meditation practices, sitting and walking practices, reflective journaling, along with Q/A, interactive exercises, and discussions. All mindful walking practices are gentle and self-paced. Approximately 50 percent of the retreat experience will include mindful walking practices. No experience with mindfulness is necessary. If you wish to start a mindfulness-in-nature practice or deepen an already robust nature/nurture practice, this day-long will support your goals.
The curriculum for “A Day of Mindfulness at Descanso Gardens” is informed by my 1,000+ hours of embodied hiking/walking practice and includes hiking El Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain (Sarria to Santiago) and the Inca Trail in the Peruvian Andes to Machu Picchu. To learn more visit https://www.wiseheartmindfulness.com/.