There is in the world plentitude of heart. Often it's so under our nose and in such simple and unexpected places that we miss it.
While walking the Camino it was easy to feel deeply in the moment. You have one task at hand.. find the next yellow arrow that confirms you're on the right path. Although the mind can be a cheeky master of limitations and judgements, there is nothing more powerful than being in nature to soothe it. It shows you that you belong to a world far more majestic and wondrous than you think. Between the seduction of the sun or the aroma of the forest after a rain, getting to walk these ancient paths that have supported millions of pilgrims for over a thousand years tend to override the mind and leave you enriched in gratitude. Hearing many times a days "Buen Camino", (a wish for a good walk) by fellow pilgrims or residents of the villages you cross reminds you of the choice that you made to be where you are.
Everywhere my full heart would turn its attention would be echoed by a heart shape. Heart shaped stones, leaves, shadows, paintings on the walls. If I tried to photograph all of them, I’d never arrive until dark. Whether created by man or nature, they invoke in me an automatic sigh. Oh yes! Very grateful! Grateful for the moment that fills me with a sense of presence and belonging unconditionally. The heart is for me a symbol of being in love. When we're in love with the gift of this life, we feel deeply for all its details. Even difficult teachings can turn beautiful with this light.
It made me think of the retreats I have the honour to bring people on in Ireland. When I first went to Ireland, my heart was bursting with connection to the spirit of the land. There too, heart images were bountiful. The profound experiences that unfolded there and the beautiful souls I met watered the seeds to create the retreat.
Now while I'm back in Canada and preparing for the next Spring retreat, reading testimonials of people's experiences are touching me deeply and confirming why creating this kind of container is so relevant now. I am as excited and honoured to host this sixth retreat as I was the first one.
These retreats have been created for those that want to experience Ireland with a little rest and relaxation, those wanting to do a little gentle self inquiry to better the areas of our lives that need oxygen, those that want to deepen their meditation practice, be in the body with gentle yoga and hiking to sacred sites, be inspired, get to be creative, enjoy foraging and culinary delights or discover what we learn through being with one another. It's a full and nourishing week.
A mindfulness retreat is good for the spirit anywhere, with insights to remind us that we can often find gentler and kinder ways to be with ourselves and the world we move in. Taking a retreat in a foreign land where you can see and feel yourself safely embraced is powerful. It’s removed enough from your home ways to grace you insight into yourself as the custodian of your own constantly awakening heart. This is where experience and insight with heart is such a gift.
If such an experience speaks to you please email me. Also, I'm more than happy to have a phone call for any questions and curiosities, big or small. Just send me your number and times that suit you best.
With love, a lotus and a smile,
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Winter is a fantastic time to withdraw from the busyness of life and enjoy internal reflections in any way and anywhere we can. It’s an instinctive time to change the lens to a wide angle to broaden our vision.