Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013 Winter Silent Retreat

One year ago....The stillness of Winter Silence was upended by howling winds and crashing waves along the Lake Michigan shore, while at the Inn at Bay Harbor we were cradled by inner quietude. From January 2-5, 2013 we went inward each one practicing within a group, while all alone.

Early morning walks in the twilight moon, snow crunching under boots, wind whipping at escaped tendrils as the dawn rose without fanfare of sun’s light. Yoga sessions proceeded in the monochromatic light from 3 hours in the morning to 2 hours in the afternoon and an hour in the evening. Mid-days brought the blessedness of unstructured free time... hours spent reading, sleeping, walking or receiving body work. 

Reading from the Pratyabijnahrydayam we encountered the truth that we are all bejeweled facets of the whole, each one of us known only as a small spectrum of that Whole. Each one of us unknown fully by any other one, each one of us unknown fully even unto our selves. We pondered the mystery that Consciousness itself creates all that is, including our perceptions of ourselves and one another. That we are vehicles through which Consciousness plays itself out into the world, for its own pleasure and delight. 

Being fully present means a rip-roaring ride on the ephemeral experience of the senses. The food- oh, the food! How much more amazing in Silence are the exploding tastes of quinoa done in coconut curry, salmon on risotto with crispy bright asparagus spears, deep rich chocolate brownies and lemony custards... laughing orchids on the plates. The chefs at The Inn outdid themselves for us, to our combined pleasure. We linger... how much longer a meal takes when you are truly savoring. We inwardly chanted all the words to the top 40 instrumentals from the glorious 50's Muzak, while we wished we could have moaned and swooned out loud with gratitude! 

Thank you all, Winter Silent Retreat participants, and Boyne/Solace staff for supporting the majestic Silence so soulfully.