As you may know, our Oakwood retreat is just five months away. That may seem like a long time, but many people need that much time to clear calendars for a week, and Oakwood planning for the retreat committee and teachers begins now.
I realize that some of you may have hesitated to register, as you wondered if John and I would show up, given John’s illness during Oakwood 2017 and my busy life during these past two months since Hal’s stroke. John’s health is much improved, as is Hal’s. I want to reassure you that both John and I plan to be at Oakwood, with deepened dharma drawn from this challenging year. For both of us, this year would not have been endurable without our practices. But we both go past enduring and do continue to find real happiness. This is the fruit of practice, what Aaron calls “The Dharma Path.”
Since January in Brazil, Aaron has been talking enthusiastically to me about his planned direction of teaching, the new year-long course we will begin in September live and on-line (more about that separately), and Aaron’s intention to bring some of the content to Oakwood. Aaron says:
“I might call this course ‘The Spiritual Path’— what it is, why we are drawn to it, in fact, came into incarnation to walk it, and how we may live it. Our two-part focus is waking up and living with love. You learn to use the challenges of daily life as the grist for the mill, to help you wake up. Everything is included—spiritual fatigue, pain, heavy emotion, feelings of shame or unworthiness, feeling out of control, helplessness, anger, confusion, fear, grief. It is all part of practice and of the human experience, all fodder for awakening. Our meditation practices are a vital core … .”
What is this spiritual path? It does ride like a roller coaster at times, with its ups and downs. I’ve been on this roller coaster quite a bit since Hal’s stroke. It may seem to be a simplistic statement, but I am learning to relax and know that it will go up and down, and to let go of trying to hold it steady. Many practitioners reach a point where practice seems to become stagnant or feels too hard and they withdraw or give up, just at the point where new support and dedication are most important.
A retreat is one of the best ways I know to rejuvenate our commitment and practice, and Oakwood is a beautiful venue for a retreat. I am personally very excited about the new course that Aaron and I will offer starting in the fall, and about this retreat, as ways to deepen our practice and support our opening hearts. This year our Oakwood retreat gives us an extra day, too. Aaron, The Mother, John and I look forward to this added time with you and look forward to seeing you there.
With love, Barbara
by Tana Dean, Managing Director
from weekly newsletter, May 2, 2018
As always, it’s a busy month at Deep Spring Center, serving an expanding international community, with local support in Ann Arbor, MI. Of course, the Board of Directors is always busy exploring ways to support you. This month, however, they have also been supporting our founder, Barbara Brodsky, and her husband, Hal, who suffered a major stroke in February. We are indeed fortunate to have the connection with spirit in the form of Aaron, The Mother and Jeshua, who offer their lighted spiritual guidance.
Since January, you have heard from many of the Board members, who not only give their time to serve on the Board of Directors but also lead a team to help run the center. Now we are asking you for help. We need volunteers to help with a variety of tasks, some that need to be done locally, and others that can be done from a distance. Every little bit helps, so when we put out a request, please step forward. The time commitment need not be great, and it can make all the difference in the world to the running and growth of Deep Spring.
The retreat team has extended the early bird registration discount until Friday, June 1 for the Fall Oakwood Retreat. Please take advantage of this extension to get the discount. In response to those of you who were interested in a full week-long retreat, the retreat this year has been extended by one more day, running from Monday to Monday.
You are what keeps me passionate, knowing that many people are helped in so many ways through this non-profit that continues its vision, “To awaken to higher consciousness. We rest in the knowing that this is already so.” Please join with us to help us strengthen our presence in the world.
Ruth shares her experience at this lovely, intimate retreat held in the spring at Steiner House on Geddes Rd. in Ann Arbor, MI…
I wanted to share what an extraordinary weekend it was at the retreat. The Steiner House was an excellent space that accommodated all our needs so well for meditation, separate groups, individual rooms, and food (yum!). It was a small intimate gathering in a safe space that felt supportive of individual inquiry. I’ve learned to trust where I’m guided to be and I’m so grateful for the teachings, healing energy, and sense of community that was nurtured over the weekend.
I am so grateful that my curiosity led me to the Oakwood retreat and now to Ann Arbor, as it’s made my life, inner and outer, richer.
Thanks, Mary, for your feedback on the weather. It had been snowing at home the day we were driving downstate and I was concerned about road conditions, but it was a mostly sunny, balmy day with dry roads. Buds were popping out on trees and bushes there and spring flowers coming up. Yeahhhh!
Tricia joined me on the weekend and this was her first introduction to meditation instruction/teachings and we were talking so much on the drive home that I missed the turn-off to get on 10 to Midland, so we were almost to the Houghton Lake exit before realizing we’d gone too far north on 75!! It was a good hour and a bit out of the way, but also such stimulating conversation that it was well worth it!
Well, that’s it from up north Michigan! I trust that all is well with everyone and look forward to our continued interaction.
Thank you for your loving presence, gassho.
From the President
From Board of Directors President, Tavis Taylor, M.D.
Greetings from the Pacific Northwest! As the President of the Board of Deep Spring Center (DSC), I would like to fill you in on some exciting new developments that have taken place over the last couple of years. Following a major revision in organization that was made in 2016, Deep Spring Center is now poised to offer programming to all of our members located both near and far.
But first, let me introduce myself. I am a Board Certified Internal Medicine M.D. who is semi-retired from private practice, now working part time in an underserved clinic. I also practice complementary spiritual energy healing. Twenty years ago I would have told you that anything outside of allopathic medicine was unfounded and a placebo effect. I am glad I developed a more open mind and keep learning. I have two adult children, one getting a public health degree with plans to go onto nursing; the other working as a personal trainer and a brand new father—which makes me a new grandparent! I like to hike, bike, kayak, read, go to the theatre, travel and expand my spiritual well-being. The latter is why I am a part of Deep Spring Center.
I first came to know Barbara and Aaron personally in 2011. Having read her book Cosmic Healing, I then went to the DSC website and found a listing for a retreat that was to take place in Seattle. Imagine that: the center was in Ann Arbor, Michigan, yet there was to be a retreat in my area of the country! And it was to take place the following month: how convenient. I had no idea what to expect, given that the retreat was in someone’s home and not at a big retreat center. Yet there, in this nice cozy house with wonderful hosts, were Barbara and Aaron, the authors of the book I had just read. Wow! Over the years I have come to know Barbara and Aaron and some of the other members of DSC, despite my being located in the far northwest corner of the U.S.
In 2016 with the advent of an exploding digital world of technology, the Deep Spring Center Board took a new approach and decided to expand using computer media software that allows meetings to occur “face to face” in real time while members are anywhere in the world. I was invited to join the Board and jumped at the opportunity to help DSC expand. This connection via computer is integral to our success. While traveling, I have been known to seek out a pub with good wi-fi in order to participate in one of our meetings, such as in northern Scotland: good thing I had a headset to hear over the pub rowdies!
I am a relatively new president, having served as a board member from summer 2016 until November 2017, when I was drafted to this new position. I have found the DSC board to be a wonderful group of loving, compassionate people who feel strongly about sharing our mission with all those who are interested. We and the volunteers are developing new ways to reach out to as many people as possible. Tana and Bill have become IT whizzes with social media apps and video technology to bring live streaming workshops and other segments to you worldwide. Mary and Celeste are very organized and warmly create multi-day workshops and retreats for people to personally attend; Celeste has also organized an online meditation group. Bob, Isabelle and Tana are keeping us on track with finances and record-keeping. Roann is helping keep us up to date on the business end of things, and on making sure that what we send you is accurate and easy to read. And, of course, Barbara and Aaron are our loving and dedicated founding teachers and guides, without whom none of this would be happening. Tana is the backbone of Deep Spring Center. It is only because of her dedication, expertise and enthusiasm as our manager that we have been able to accomplish so much.
We rely on volunteers to help with the many projects being developed. Thank you to those of you who have stepped up to help move us forward. We are grateful for your specialized skills and your guidance. You are part of our developing international family.
With this new international digital approach, Deep Spring Center membership has grown significantly, which means that we no longer know who everyone is: we’re all over the world. As part of our effort in developing a sangha, a group of people with similar interests, we invite you to introduce yourself to us. Shortly, we will be putting a page up on the website for you to leave a short paragraph about yourself; we look forward to getting to know you a bit.
Thank you for sharing your love and interest in spiritual growth with us. As each one of us grows and lightens our own vibration, it lightens the vibration of the whole.
Light and Love to each of you,
Tavis Taylor, President
Deep Spring Center