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by Gisele Theriault July 29, 2018

I don't know if I can think of a greater test of one's ability to go with the flow than travel, particularly airports. Did you pack everything you need? Did you remember your passport? Do you have some of the right currency? Are you updated on flight details? Did you check in on time? Did you do everything you had to do and see all the people you wanted to see before you leave? Then at the airport you have the next round from security line ups to customs line ups. All in a sea of excited, uptight, nervous or impatient travelers. Then you make it through those bottlenecks and race to your gate and you wait. Phew!

Usually by this time I realize that my breathing is shallow and my neck and shoulders are carrying travel tension for myself and everyone else. Does this happen to you?  I am always happy to have a little wait time at the gate. I take it as an invitation to sink into the discomfort and breathe my way out. A practice that leaves me grateful and free.



I’ve just started a three month European pilgrimage of reflection and research for the next retreat, if all goes well.. Italy in the fall of 2019. Exploring a mindful practice in Italy’s exquisite land, culture and culinary art. Hmmm.

There is no greater time to find balance and mindful practice than now as the world around us gets more chaotic and demanding. As I journey inwards and outwards to better grasp understanding and compassionate tools to manoeuvre gently this gift of life, I remain  dedicated to offer small retreats focused on mindfulness and concentration.

This week I’ve joined Plum Village’s summer retreat in the south of France. Between three hamlets there are 1350 people of multiple cultures and languages between infancy and old age. It’s the most people I’ve seen here over the years I’ve come. Amidst the grace of the monastics leading contemplations in every form there is enough space, peace and beauty for all to belong and find harmony.

When we sit in meditation the focus is the breath. When we eat a carrot, we look more deeply into the carrot than our troubles or projects. When walking, we kiss the earth with our feet. When listening, we listen. When loving, we stay present.

Practicing this way can be done anywhere and any time. Practicing this way in retreat can reinforce your skills to find a path to inner solace anywhere and anytime you need it.
 

Walking meditation
 

Sunset the night of the blood full moon eclipse.
 

There are fields of sunflowers for miles
 

C’est moi.. tired but happy
 

I unfold my breath unto life like the opening of a thousand petals.

If you want more information on the retreats in Plum Village or any of the other monasteries of Thich Nhat Hanh, go to: PlumVillage.org

If you are interested in Italy, be patient. If called to retreat in the majestic magical landscapes of Ireland, we are now booking for 2019. Unlike, Plum Village my retreats are capped at 12 people. Don’t wait too long.

Until the next time, blaze on with fearless heart.
 

With a bow and a smile,

Gisele





Gisele Theriault
Gisele Theriault

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