Thinking about a retreat?
Need time out? A retreat may be the answer.
Are you caught up in an endless round of doing? Are you constantly thinking about your endless “to do” list, deadlines to meet or other peoples’ needs? Do you want to take a step back, take a break, recharge your batteries and get yourself back on track?
If you are longing for a chance to stop and breathe for just a moment, then think about attending a Lifeflow retreat. Just giving your mind and body a chance to power down and refresh makes a huge difference in life.
You may be unsure or cautious about where a retreat will take you. At first I was tentative, not being sure if I could cope with meditating for a whole weekend. Now, having attended several Lifeflow retreats, I find that it is the most luxurious gift I could give to myself. It’s a chance to stand back from life, to see it in its largest context.
The first thing that I noticed was my body relaxing.
The retreat centre, Tara Hills, is set in a beautiful, quiet bushland environment in the Adelaide Hills. The bird life is abundant and blue wrens hop across the paths. The whole centre is conducive to comfort and pleasure.
The rooms are well appointed with excellent heating for those cold winter nights and mornings. There is plenty of time for long walks through the area and these are an experience of great beauty, watching the sky, starlight, sunset feeling the wind and hearing the birds.
All my senses come alive and cause me to feel moments of appreciation and awe.
Quietness is encouraged. Smart phones are put away or placed on Do Not Disturb. I found this to be heavenly. It is a little harder at mealtimes initially as I am used to being sociable and it would be natural to chat with people at the same table. Eventually, I settle into this spaciousness and appreciate the opportunity to stay with my thoughts and not to have to make the effort to converse.
The food is wonderful – truly alive and delicious. What a treat to let go of this responsibility and be looked after in this way, to be truly nourished. The routines provide a clear structure and support for the weekend but are flexible at the same time. I don’t have to do anything that I don’t truly wish to do. I choose to skip an afternoon session and enjoy a nap instead. I do take advantage of the stretching sessions to help undo the knots in my body. At night I sleep and sleep, for 10 hours at a time. Amazing!
My mind is usually goal oriented and the thoughts flow non-stop, circling the laps of past, present and future activities. By halfway through the first day, my mind has found the pause button. The guided meditations and the kindness and generosity of the teachers, soothe my emotions and tensions are released.
I learn that I could set up routines and rituals for myself to maintain the feelings of spaciousness and soft focus even when dealing with the daily distractions of city life and work commitments.
By the end of the weekend, my body, mind and emotions are nourished in a way that I never thought possible, especially in such a relatively short time. I left feeling deeply refreshed.
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