It was an utter honour to hold a weekend of silence with May, Catarina, Barbara and the animals. An honour to walk, eat, sit, be together in the wonder and at times awkward of our internal worlds.
The practice of periodic silence is a feature of our life here at Mount of Oaks. Daily we hold silence in the mornings and it is welcomed to help us tune in to our internal worlds in the midst of nature and our work. The sounds of frogs, the breeze in the trees, the peacocks, woodpecker, hoopo or blackbirds, the sounds of the night and the morning and afternoon, changing as the position of the sun.
During the retreat we rose early, before dawn to welcome the day in silence, to watch the sun grow in the sky….
And walked harvesting herbs, harvesting smells and beauty…
With our hands in the silence we made our harvesting take form and we gave thanks…
And we ate well, thanks to Barbara!
Time slows down when you allow yourself the opportunity to listen and take stock, to encounter yourself in gentle silence. Nothing fancy, just some dedicated time to sit and be still in the company of others being with the same intention.
We shared poems, liturgies and smiles.
And we sat, we lit our candles, followed the simple format or liturgy, and we sat.
And the animals sat with us….
And we appreciated the beauty of place where we were….surrounded by local oaks….
On a personal level I was really glad we were a small and intimate group for this opening gathering of 2019. However, I look forward to welcoming more folk who are interested in a simple and gentle invitation into the practice of silence in August.
Dates for the next retreat are 23-25th August. A suggested donation is 120E, this is if you bring your own tent. We offer the guestroom and tents with mattress and bedding for a little more. Get in touch if you are interested and want to know more!
This blessing we shared together on the final day Barbara left on the table for us to read over lunch….may it bless you as it blessed us.
May the grace of new beginnings enliven your soul with possibility and promises.
May the valley sing to welcome you and the grace of home be yours,
May a river of delight rush through your body and soul, refreshing parched terrain baptizing your spirit anew.
May the towering strength of oak mind your spirit and guard your heart.
May mountains surround you and shelter your life…
And may you find within the mountain of deep peace, upon life’s rough seas, may be held in locked embrace until fear and worry are stilled.
In times of trouble, may the peace and protection of our paths in the woods lead you to wisdom’s light.
May your eyes ever dance the wondered of creation and your gaze hold and heal your loved ones.
May you touch God’s presence in the woods and in the hand of a stranger and life up the lonely to the silence that knows your name,
And there in the stillness, may you know yourself and in doing so, find God.