Sunday, January 6, 2013

Winter Silent Retreat at The Inn at Bay Harbor

The new year raged in with a howl. January 2 to 5, 2013  brought blistering winds off Lake Michigan, creating ice castles and caves along the shore at the Inn at Bay Harbor. While the waves churned, we enjoyed the rousing dance of the the outdoor energetics, as we cozied into our Silence, our study and our practice.  

Brisk early morning walks, crunching along in the morning moonlight, whipping tendrils of escaped hair and stiffening fingers. The world is so full of sounds when one is silent. Our senses were honed sharp by the clean cut of empty mind. Every breath rich and pumping fuel and fire to stoke heat and life into every snowy step.

Inside, warm, safe and sound we found ourselves supported, holding the space for one another to go deeper, deeper still. We rode our magic carpet mats for
three hours in the morning, two in the afternoon and one at night. Without any but inner navigation, we found our way through postures old and sweetly familiar, and some never before explored. We astounded ourselves by what we intuited, and what we knew before we even knew. 

The ancient practice of yoga was elucidated by our study of the Pratyabijnahrdayam, the Splendor of Recognition. In silence one realizes the “recognition” is the remembering that we are each facets of one mighty Divinity. We are aware that we each are the center of our own reality, each seeing ourselves and everything else from our own centered perspective, creating it afresh moment by moment. It is the unified field of consciousness – the whole that we cannot know from the thinking mind, that we glimpse in solitude and silence. It wasn’t and doing that we were doing. It was undoing. It was gaining a new perspective that includes the affinity we are and have.

Among the insights of silence is the awareness that with the withdrawal from sensation and stimulus, there is a profound freedom. Not obliged to communicate outwardly, we are free to experience the wonder of communion within. 

The senses- sound, sight, scent, taste, and touch, are all honed and sharpened by the clarity of spacious mind. Sound: We chirpily chanted inwardly, keeping time with and astonishing ourselves at knowing all the words to those Top 50 instrumental Muzak tunes of the !Fabulous 50's!, as they piped mindlessly into the nearly empty dining hall. 
Sight: We raptly watched endless waves and candlelight crawling across the carpet. 
Scent: We drank in the delicacy of our meals, before we even took the first morsel. 
Taste: Oh– The food! My goodness, it’s beyond description: Quinoa in coconut curry, braised salmon on risotto and crispy asparagus spears, dense chocolate brownie, lemony custard, bright fresh berries, tender chicken and crunchy salads with sweet pecans and juicy cherries... With time to linger and savor, the tastes simply explode! The chefs at The Inn outdid themselves for us, and I don’t know who took more delight, us or them. 
Touch: We noticed the feeling of the slightest things- the lay of our clothing, the warmth of the fire, the luxury of a deep bath, and we so appreciated the loving hands that cared for us on the massage table.

Beginning the year in Silence we consciously laid our intentions for being there, and for being here, now. We wish you the grace of your own intention fulfilled. Happy New Year. 

The Next Big UNION/YOGA Event? March 1-3, 2013 Partner Retreat at the Inn at Bay Harbor. We'll be practicing yoga with a partner! It’s fun, funny, sensual, supportive communication and communion. So bring someone you love. 

Space is limited to just 6 partnerships. Go to Solace Institute to find out more, and don't be late- sign up today!