Here are some thoughts on the retreat from people who were there:
Easier to be Still
For 4 days a week or two ago, the hills surrounding Seven Oaks were alive and alight with singing (in English) and sounding (in Sanskrit).
48 of us attended this ‘residential’ and were acommodated in 2 family farmhouses; the slanty roof cottage; the thatch cottage; and a neighbours guest cottage!
There is something beautiful about the countryside – in rain or shine.
Somehow it seems easier to be still.
This stillness brightens the mind and opens the heart…allowing both Meditation and Reflection to do what they do best.
That was a true blessing.
Attending the residential revealed a few insights. The care and love given to the students, fully met the need. It was observed that with the established self discipline, love, fine attention and sincere discourses the corner stone of Good Company was realised. Added to this was a mix of humour , spontaneity and joy. The satsanga truely met the needs of all the students in arousing the memory if the Self.
The School of Philosophy retreat weekend was over three days. I really enjoyed it, being away from daily activities, work, studies and responsibilities. The retreat was held on a farm in the Greytown area, a beautiful place. This was an opportunity to enjoy the planned studies and activities, unplugging, creating Mindfulness and connecting with nature. The weekend activities were centred around study, quiet reflection, meditation and group meetings where we were encouraged to share our experiences.
One of the experiences gained from the weekend was about being courageous. Its remembering to go forward and face the challenges fearlessly that is, the mental, physical and spiritual.
Spiritual to be inspired, physical is being resilient (not all physical strength), mental ability is the capacity to get it done.
It was a great weekend with many discoveries, one of the “stand-outs” for me was to navigate the grassy knolls and uneven terrain from one building to the other. Walking surfaces are a challenge for me, anything other than “flat and paved” are difficult.
With this in mind and for safety sake I asked for someone/anyone to walk with me. What transpired was always someone with the offer of an arm (or two) which gave me so much more support. Getting from one place to the next was so much more effortless. More importantly this was such a great example of service, which in essence is service to the Self.