A large proportion of Retreat farm is meadow land, natural wild grass which is cut for hay. In between teaching sessions, I quite often take myself off for a walk on my own. I find somewhere quiet to sit and be still, recharging myself in nature. I’m often lost in the rolling light catching the long grass in the wind. It’s full of colourful meadow flowers and with the purple grass heads shining in the light, the whole movement, colour thing, blows me away.
This weekend it was the buttercups turn to display their glory. When I opened my eyes from my meditation I was met with a sea of yellow buttercups. Have you seen how bright buttercups are, have you seen how they shine? No really seen. Like you saw when you were a child. Do you remember holding them under your friends chin to see the bright yellow reflecting underneath and declare it as proof that they like butter?
When I was older I realised that buttercups make your chin shine whether you like butter or not and when I was much older still I realised that people can be like buttercups too. You see when people shine that light reflects and that shine affects other people too and they start to shine whether they realise it or not.
We started the next teaching session with a simple little mindful meditation exercise to help connect to the body and then we went a little deeper into the body. When you are deeply anchored in the body and all available attention is focused in the moment, there is a powerful shift in awareness and when I’m sure everyone is “present and correct” I get them to open their eyes and watch their mind alertly. This creates a space, a space in the thought stream -it’s is a powerful experience, and for many it is the first time they’ve experienced what it is to be thoughtless and completely alive. I opened my eyes and saw all our guest wide eyed and totally alive and just like the buttercups, shining right back. Paulette, that smile could light half of London.
And so that energy spread, it spread and infected people. I sat outside the barn on Saturday evening after dinner listening to the laughter and happy chatter I was conscious that only this morning all these people were strangers. Light reflects you see and when we retired to the campfire the warmth of the company matched that of the fire. But fire is better for toasting marshmallows though!
Sunday started with Chi Kung on the green under the willow. Richard is one of the best teachers in the country, I’ve been learning Chi Kung for about 5 years now and I’ve had a few teachers, some very good, but Richard is in a different league and when he offered to take the Chi Kung class I took his arm off.
The series of standing meditations that Richard taught us at the beginning of the session collectively work on all the main energy meridians in the body. It’s great because you don’t need to diagnose which ones need attention, just do all the exercises and you’ve covered the lot. They certainly cleared something in my bladder meridian because for the rest of the day I could have peed for England.
The Chi Kung really “primed the pump” because apart from it being great exercise and a very useful way to learn mindfulness it’s also a very powerful way to activate the energy field of your body. The energy work at the end of the retreat was particularly powerful this time and my sense is the Chi Kung had a big part to play in that.
Thank you everyone who made the weekend so special and thank you for your generous comments, so many of you said you’ll be coming back which is rather wonderful because that’s the plan.