Rim Rock - Way Station 4
All people have stress. Some animals have stress. People are animals, though we usually experience more stress than animals because of our big brains. We essentially amplify troubles by running problems like a closed loop over and over through our minds. We're it not for a big brains, our worry quotient would be less, and so would our stress levels.
People are also fickle and mutable. We see examples all the time. A boy can be sitting with his girlfriend at a restaurant. They're getting along great, and during a conversation he mentions, "I missed your little sister yesterday." The girlfriend hears "I kissed your little sister yesterday." Immediately, the girlfriend flies in to a rage, as she pictures her darling boyfriend sharing a passionate kiss with her little sister - all because of a very slight mis-hearing of one consonant in string of words.
Ok, maybe the above example is a stretch, but there are millions of examples of people flipping out over things that might seem trivial to an objective observer. The message here is: Don't take things so seriously. Don't take yourself and your affairs so seriously. Don't paint your life with such a grave and profound palette. Yes, your life is important to you, and so is are the life experiences of those you hold dear. But try to put things in to perspective.
As mentioned earlier, all these so-called 'way stations' at Rim Rock inter-relate with one another. In other words, diet and state of physical and mental well being are key components to your overall feelings of well being . Yet, so is your level of attachments.
Below are listed some of the things we can focus upon at Rim Rock, in the process of lessening stress.
>>> Look at what you think is causing your stress. Make a list in your journal. Hopefully, one or more facilitators at Rim Rock can then discuss some of the issues with you. Perhaps you'll find ways to lessen the importance of one or more of the stress-causing issues.
>>> Massage is always helpful for relieving stress. Getting a massage at Rim Rock is not a one way street, in the sense that one person is simply going through a routine on the body or another. A person receiving a massage is encouraged to let the masseuse/masseur know which parts of the body seem to harbor the most tension. This is a dimension which is almost never mentioned at massage places in town. In town, a masseur will go to work, but rarely if ever ask the client for suggestions on where to focus her attentions. Also, massage at Rim Rock is not sexually oriented.
>>> So as not to focus too much on the mind and its thinking habits (also known as 'ruts'), one or more activities can be offered. Climbing rocks can be a great way to alleviate stress. Other activities on offer at Rim Rock, at various times, are crafts, singing, hot tubing, hiking, gardening - the list goes on.
>>> Meditation can be helpful for alleviating stress. However, meditation is not just sitting still and looking tranquil. Even monkeys can do that, when they're secretly thinking of how to steal fruit from a kitchen larder. Purest meditation is freeing the mind of all clutter. For many people, that's not easy to do - at least at the beginning stages. So the next best thing is to focus on something which brings deep inner peace. Even that's not easy for most people. That's because people cling to all sorts of thought patterns, even when they're acting like they're meditating. There are some relatively simple techniques to satisfactory meditation, which will be discussed further in the text of the 6th Way Station titled 'Enlightenment.'
Rim Rock 'Way Stations'
Choose your own personal path at Rim Rock
We're at the early stages of developing what's on offer at Rim Rock, but we're gearing toward assisting visitors with one of more of the following options. Each of the categories mentioned below are inter-related, so picking one to focus upon doesn't preclude the others.
The items mentioned below are more like 'way-stations' along the life's path, rather than required check points. And like a buffet, you can pick as many or as few as you like, and tarry as long or as briefly as you like at each 'way station' - though it's recommended you follow the sequence, if you choose to focus on more than one item.
Some people need to detox from years of indulgence. Others need to simply continue their on-going process of cleansing their body and glands. Regardless of whether or not you've been living a clean life, chances are you can benefit from additional cleansing. Each person who chooses to focus on this option is dealt with on an individual basis - in order to gauge which type of fasting regimen is recommended for that individual. The emphasis at Rim Rock, is on cleansing at safe and comfortable levels, so as not to release too much stuff - too quick for the body to comfortably deal with.
We often hear, in news reports, about drug addictions, but there are many other addictions which affect people from all walks of life. Addictions are basically things or concepts which, if a person is deprived of them, they cause that person serious anxiety or withdrawals. One addiction which is growing by leaps and bounds is, not surprisingly, addiction to computers and internet. At Rim Rock, we use a gentle combination of methods to assist those who choose to lessen their addictive habits.
Not only is lessening attachments a basic premise of Buddhism, it's also a great tool for improving one's life, whether one gives a hoot about Buddhism or not. All people have attachments to things, whether they be physical attachments, like tangible possessions or conceptual attachments, like needing to be admired. The number of common attachments is as limitless, as their eradication is satisfying.
Pretty much everyone has stress and anxiety to some degree. There are tangible things that each individual can to lessen such things. Not surprisingly, they relate to the topics mentioned above. So, even if you come to experience Rim Rock without partaking in any particular program, we can almost guarantee that just by being here, will alleviate some measure of stress and anxiety. You've got to see it to believe it.
Think back to your most enjoyable moments. Chances are, some of those experiences were probably when you were younger, and doing creative things. Arts and crafts can obviously be creative, but there's a wealth of other ways to express one's creativity. At Rim Rock, the sky's the limit, with music, hiking, music, dance, meditation being just some of the ways to express one's creativity. Kirtan is a Sanskrit word for 'walking single file with others while singing or chanting' - and kirtans are yet another way to squeeze some more enjoyment out of being.
At Rim Rock, we have a sort of 'patron saint' though we try not to get dogmatic about it (don't want to have our karma run over our dogma). His name is Milarepa, and he can be described as; 'a Tibetan singer of spiritual poems who roamed the Himalayas 900 years ago.' Some, who are familiar with his story, consider him a living Buddha. Among other things, Milarepa was a supreme master of meditation, who walled himself in to mountain caves and fasted for years on end. We won't go that far at Rim Rock, but we can look to Milarepa for inspiration.
7. Giving Back
It's all well and good to improve one's physical and mental condition, yet there should be some degree of balance involved. A sort of 'giving back' or 'sharing' the insight gained from one's journey of self-improvement. The old saying; 'tis better to give than to receive' rings as true today as when it was first spoken.
Rates for lodging and seminars offered at Rim Rock
Free E-book for filling out our brief survey
Just a few questions, to gauge what interests you - in regards to your personal spiritual growth. Click here
For taking the brief survey, you get the choice of one of three ebooks written by Ken the proprietor of Rim Rock Retreat:
1. Fasting For Health and Highness
2. Life Story of Milarepa
3. Farmsteading in Thailand
For a full list of Ken's books, go to http://www.adventure1.com
Boomerang Rock Climbing and Adventure Park
Books written by Ken Albertsen
Work Exchange and Home Stay
Ancient kilns found at the Boomerang site
Yoga & Meditation Retreat