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Without a Net

Daring Starts From Within

Tag / retreats

Embody Creativity

  Join Dori for her next Creativity and Awareness Workshop at Embody Practice Center, Birmingham, AL. Held Saturday, July 28, 2018, this day of gentle introspection and creative exercises in various media will be the best way to take a break from the heat. Embody is a yoga center, and will offer opportunities for diverse […]

Like the Ocean Be

skunk-copy

Oil on Board           16″ x 20″         2013

I was walking on a sidewalk at night and saw a cute skunk up ahead. It moved around a little, but did not get off the sidewalk. My common sense kicked in instinctively, and I stopped in my tracks. I marveled at how this cuddly, furry little creature commanded such respect. Even top predators know what a force the skunk is, and avoid it if they have any sense. Skunks know how to set boundaries. It occurred to me that I too was making space for myself and setting boundaries at that time, because I was on a silent retreat at a monastery.

I go to a monastery twice a year to partake in a self-imposed time of silence—usually a few days. There are monasteries of different religions, and most are gorgeous, out-of-the-way places where generations of practicing monastics have been praying, meditating and living for over a century. I most frequently go to the Benedictine Sisters Retreat at Sacred Heart Monastery in Alabama, but I’ve been to Magnolia Grove in Mississippi, a Buddhist monastery under the auspices of the Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, to Yogaville, Virginia, an ashram started by Swami Satchidananda, and Thomas Merton’s Gesthemane, a Trappist Monk Abbey in Kentucky. When I’m home I get asked by curious friends, “What do you do there?” The answer is, “Nothing.”

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Without a Net Workshop

Dori DeCamillis announces her first ever Without a Net workshop to be held at Red Dot Gallery in Birmingham, AL, Saturday, February 25. This exciting workshop will offer participants creative exercises in various artistic media that explore personal mind states and perspectives in a judgment-free setting. With humor and self-acceptance as touchstones, participants will explore […]

My Wild Adventure at a Buddhist Monastery

A couple weekends ago I was invited by a friend to spend four days at Magnolia Grove Monastery, a Buddhist meditation center under the auspices of the famous Vietnamese Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh. My friend comes to the center regularly, and had been wanting to share one of her favorite places with me for a while.

Tucked away in the woods and fields of Mississippi, it was a bit like going to another country. The community of monks and nuns (with shaved heads and long brown robes) speak Vietnamese with some broken English. They are gentle and friendly, and make visitors feel peaceful just to look at them.

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