Monday, 26 October 2009

A Beginner's Retreat

A Beginners’ Meditation Retreat took place at the beautiful East Down Centre deep in rural Devon over the weekend of 23 to 25 October. There were 14 retreatants including the team. The theme was 'The Heart' and was co-led by Amaladevi and Bahiya. Organisation and catering support was very generously provided by Padmapala and Kumada releasing the co-leaders to concentrate on the programme of dharma talks and meditation.

Saturday was wet and miserable with the gloom added to by the sound of gunfire as a pheasant shoot took place on the neighbouring estate. But on Sunday the sun shone. The sight of dozens of surviving pheasants raised everyone’s spirits and the glorious contryside was transformed as the sun drove away the mist and clouds. Taking advantage of the unexpected good weather,the team was able to introduce a walking meditation into the programme. It was so warm that many were able to walk in bare feet, enjoying the sensation of the grass between their toes and the sun on their faces - a memorable introduction to this form of meditation

Amaladevi introduced the beginners to a 3-fold puja on Saturday evening and led the final metta bhavana meditation on Sunday afternoon during which each individual attending the retreat was named and sent metta by the group.

Padmapala and Kumada, having provided food of the highest standard and more than ample quantity, ensured that everyone left clutching apples and bananas for their journey back to Bristol on Sunday evening at the conclusion of what everyone agreed was a thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring weekend. My heart-felt thanks to everyone who made it happen.

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