from ecstatic energy...
The Teachings of Mountains and Rivers Retreats

with Sandi Boerum
...to deep peace

A few of the many teachings of mountains and rivers...

Nature gives us endless opportunities to be moved by movement, whether the movement is of a seedling into an aged oak, a monkey climbing up that aged oak, or the beat of one's own body and breath.

Perhaps nothing is more essential to our physical and emotional health than movement. Yet carving out time in our lives to move our bodies can be a challenge. When we allow ourselves to retreat from our daily routines, and journey to distant shores, we're liberated to connect with our inherent desire to move and to connect with the innate movement and pulsation of life that is all around us – from scurrying sand crabs and incoming waves, to the breeze against one's face.

Connecting with nature allows us to connect with the boundless love within us, so we can offer our love to others, just as nature does. Nature, in fact, sets numerous examples of how to lead a life that's purely love and, therefore, purely giving. As we retreat into the mountains and rivers, we can immerse ourselves in nature's examples. Plants, for instance, do not receive pleasure from their breathtaking beauty. Nor do they eat their own fruit or smell their own flowers. Trees do not take refuge in the shelter and heat that their wood provides. Nature only gives. Love is purely giving. Love is complete sacrifice, complete surrender. It never stops giving.

In the words of the Sufi poet Hafiz, “The sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that; it lights the whole sky.”

Silence and Solitude:
Life is a balance of sun and moon. To be fully effective within our bustling communities, we need times of retreat from them. To commune well with others, we need times of silence and reflection, so that our words, thoughts and actions contribute wisely – so that they come from a conscious place of reflection rather than an unconscious place of reaction.

Conscious, compassionate actions come from deep wells within us. Tapping into that well requires time, space, silence, commitment, and the courage to venture. Traveling to foreign destinations on this planet mirrors our ability to venture to foreign destinations within.

Ultimately, "mountains and rivers" offer us the time and space to....
  • stir and be stirred by movement, within and without
  • discover the love, within and without
  • and awaken to the Buddha, within and without.

You get to bring the teachings back with you, so you can experience no separation between within and without.


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