There’s something wonderful happening at Retreat Farm this summer. Something really special is flourishing and I’m so privileged to be part of it. Many of our guest come back and back again and each time they return their presence has grown and the energy is stronger. I’m staggered by how easy this work is becoming, our new guests are dropping straight into awareness without question and with no resistance. I suppose it’s quite hard for the ego to resist when it’s surrounded by so many living examples of the power of this work. And these living examples are making their presence felt, they are effecting people in their families in their workplace and their communities, and seeing the transformation they too are becoming curious. Curious enough to give up their home comforts for a few days and join us on retreat and have some fun with a bunch of happy, crazy people in orange tee shirts. Many of our new guests are friends and relatives of people already involved in this work, which is wonderful, because that’s how it spreads. But don’t let that put you off from coming on your own or joining us for the first time. Because, if you are reading this then you are ready, these retreats are aimed at you and you wont be out of place, I promise.
After Richard’s qi gong class on Sunday morning I hid in the wheat field for a few minutes, preparing myself for the morning talk. I sat in Mindful presence, meditating on the sound of the ripening wheat kernels popping in the summer sunshine, feeling the breeze and tasting the harvest dust in the air. I was still inside and out.
And then there it was, a curious butterfly landed right next to me. It slowly opened and closed it wings, fanning itself, coyly showing me the glorious pattern on the upper wing and then hiding it again as it closed them. I sat there for a while giving this wonder filled moment the full attention it deserves; then I noticed another butterfly flitting about in the wind, and then another and another, there must have been dozens of them, butterflies everywhere. What a spectacle, a truly wonderful moment, it was one of those moments that come when you are really connected, the moment when something comes through beyond the beauty you can witness with your eyes, something way beyond that, beyond that to the source all natures beauty to the source of all things.
The symbolism of this mystical moment didn’t escape me. The butterfly spends much of its life as a caterpillar crawling on its belly, consuming everything in its path, with no knowledge of it’s real potential, and then one day it reaches the point where it can no longer live in its own skin and it finds somewhere to hide, where it pupates. And then one glorious day in July, it breaks free from the cocoon, emerging into the world as entirely new being, A beautiful butterfly, flying free,gently celebrating life with each fan of the wings.
It occurred to me that although we still had nearly a whole day to go on retreat, I had already seen this transformation take place amongst many of our guest over the weekend. It started on Friday evening but then one by one they found that quiet space in their minds. No longer cocooned by their thoughts, free of the limitation of beliefs, prejudices, expectations and other mental obstruction they discovered their wings and flapping them gently in the sunshine they took off for the first time.
First there was one, gently flapping their wings coyly showing their radiant colours and then there was another then another and soon they were everywhere, radiant new beings, flying free in the July sunshine, with no care care for past and future, simply revelling in their glorious expression of the moment.
There is no greater privilege than working as a butterfly farmer. It was an incredible weekend and I loved every second of it. The weather was fantastic and the team were amazing, Brad, Paul, Jason, Barry, Sophie and Paulette were on top form and are pretty amazing butterfly farmers too. But what made the weekend so successful was you, our amazing guests, who by the end of the weekend had broken free and filled the sky with your colourful wings.
Sophie has put up the pictures from the weekend on our flckr pages and Teresa tells me that we still have a few spaces left for our retreat next week. So all you caterpillars out there struggling to live in your own skin come down to Butterfly farm, we’d love to see you.