Thank you all for another fantastic retreat. Thank you for all the lovely emails and comments, we must be doing something right. It was wonderful to welcome so many new faces to our Mindful Family and a real joy to see so many old family coming back year after year. Maybe we should start doing season tickets, what do you reckon Bernie, Laura and Matthew?
It’s easy to use words like family without much care for the meaning, but it really does feel like family to me. I could call them friends but that’s not enough to adequately explain what is going on, because there’s something more here, a common connection a shared understanding an a real sense of belonging. Mindfulness gives you a glimpse of who you are beyond the “little me” and you begin to discover connected nature of reality, and your role in the manifesting of it. A sense of belonging to something more than yourself as an individual, being part of something important and valuable.
Like any family we have our differences and there are ups and downs but we are supported by the love of the family and we genuinely care for and help each other. Love and compassion are a natural by-product of mindfulness, so it’s not something you have to work hard at, it’s simply a natural expression of the practice.
The unconditioned warmth of a mindful family, that doesn’t judge, label or make you different is a rare experience and in this environment real healing and growth happens. It’s a safe place to open up, a safe place to be open to new ideas and experiences and to possibilities beyond understanding, and also a safe place to look within, and explore the vast universe within that we are generally too busy or too distracted to acknowledge.
It’s scary to look at first, the shadow will make you want to run and hide again, but with great delight I witnessed each of our new guests find the courage, and with the support of the family, take the light of mindful awareness into the shadow and realise there is nothing to fear other than their own glory. Isn’t that right Tania, Gary, Sean, Christine, David, Andy Leslie and all you other brave adventurers. How you all shine.
About half of our guests have been involved in our work before, they’ve been on retreat or one of our classes so they know what to expect, and they still come back! It’s always lovely to see familiar faces, and talking to you all quickly revealed how you’ve grown in mindfulness. My ego doesn’t like it (so that must be good), because your mindfulness is deepening far quicker than mine did and I’m seeing people make the kind of progress in a few months that it tool me years to achieve. And it’s not as though you’ve had an easy time of it either. Some of our guest have faced real challenges and potentially devastating life events and it struck me how with each life challenge you faced, you’ve become more centered and aware. There’s no going back now. The tougher it gets the more mindful you become.
Mindfulness is becoming how you live and through your practice you are creating a new environment around you. Every mindful interaction changes your experience of the world and the world’s experience of you. Through your mindful compassion, acceptance and non judging you bring peace and healing into the world. No darkness can exist in the light of your awareness and your very being is a catalyst for change. A new world is coming onto existence through you.and so the family grows.
We still have spaces for our next retreat in couple of weeks, dust off your sleeping bag and come and join us. The family is growing.