It has been a while since I posted here, mainly because I spent January and February leading a retreat for Order members at a venue on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole event. We had an excellent team, a great bunch of retreatants, the venue worked very well, and the scenery was stunning.
There were 33 of us altogether. It was quite something that we all managed to make it, as right up to the last minute there was uncertainty about whether we would be able to go ahead because of covid restrictions. Nearly all our foreign participants had already had to cancel. So it felt rather miraculous to watch everyone turning up. We had a week of mask-wearing and daily testing, after that we were a ‘bubble’ and could relax around one another.
We had lost one of our kitchen supervisors shortly before the retreat, so Vijayamala stepped in, which left me hogging all the teaching duties. We explored mental calm and insight, using a couple of texts from the Tibetan Mahamudra tradition. They use a lot of questions to encourage you to explore your experience in depth. I really enjoyed our group explorations, and it was great to watch people going deep into their experience and making new, liberating discoveries.
As in 2019, we took over a hotel called Parc le Breos. I feel very grateful to the owners for their trust in us, turning the place over to us and leaving us to look after it. We did our best to return it to them in good shape. I’m also grateful to our retreat team, who did a great job, and to all the participants. Someone commented that the retreat was an experience of our Order at its best, and that was certainly my experience.
We’re currently investigating whether it will be possible to go back to Parc le Breos again. I’ll keep you posted about what happens.
Very best wishes,