Self-care for Sensitive Souls
Reconnect with your inner resources
Many of us know how challenging it is to keep up a meditation practice, even with the help of a regular class. (Or even to try meditating at all.)
Oh, the distractions.
So is it really worth it to take a whole day out to retreat into silent contemplation?
I should say straight away that I’m biased. I love silence and stillness.
From time to time I love to dedicate a day to enjoying that inner journey in the company of like-minded people.
So I fulfilled a promise to myself to go on a retreat led by Kathryn Buxton of Spacious-Mind Meditation, at Holland House near Evesham.
Wherever you are, I hope you can find something like this.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a complete newbie or you’ve just come down from the mountain-top for a bit of company.
Nor does it make any difference whether it’s your first or fiftieth (goodness!) retreat.
The blessings are the same …
1. You can focus
Away from home with its clamouring responsibilities, you are in a cocoon of peace. You can give yourself to your practice without interruptions.
You have an experienced guide to hold the space, so there’s nothing for you to do but open up to the invitation to reconnect with yourself.
Your needs are taken care of. Cushions for comfort. Flowers for beauty. Food for a happy-Buddha belly.
2. You have peace and quiet in uplifting surroundings
A retreat typically takes place in an atmosphere created and nurtured for the purpose of inner connection. Choose a retreat in a secluded setting where you can enjoy nature outside and a spacious, peaceful room inside.
If you’re lucky enough to be within reach of Holland House, you’ll love its exquisite cottage-garden grounds sloping gently from the 17th century manor down to the river Avon.
3. Group meditation is especially powerful
When we meditate in a group, the meditation becomes much easier.
In meditating together we create a kind of synergy, where we effortlessly come into alignment with each other. It acts like the rising tide that lifts all boats, and so we’re each able to do more than we could on our own.
This experience deepens our practice and is welcome encouragement for when we’re back at home.
4. You feel more connected
In everyday life we rarely relate to others beyond inconsequential interactions. But when we come together in group meditation and share an intention – for inner stillness, or loving-kindness, or even simple silence – we experience a wordless connection with each other that's subtle and supportive.
It’s like singing in a group rather than singing on your own – you feel a heightened sense of joy and unity in the atmosphere you’ve created together.
5. You are giving yourself something beautiful
A meditation retreat is a precious gift to yourself, says Kathryn.
When we meditate, we enter into a uniquely nurturing state. When we give ourselves a whole day in the company of others with the same aim, under the guidance of a skilful teacher, the effect is intensified. It’s a powerful and joyful experience.
Update: I'm very happy to say that Kathryn and I are now offering these retreats together. To find out when the next one is, click here and then bag your space now. Before you get distracted.
image © Jinyoung Lee | Dreamstime Stock Photos