50 New Things: No. 3 - A Retreat At Innerspace
Well, I've been a bit slack in pursuing my 50 New Things. Indeed, I am well and truly behind, and need to speed up and do multiple things in a week if I'm going to get 50 done in a year! But, as one of my friends so justly pointed out, "Walter - there's nothing you haven't done."
True, true, oh so sadly true. I am a bitter and jaded thing. But this weekend I managed to notch up Number Three:
3. I did a silent retreat at Innerspace Centre for Spiritual Learning - this is a retreat centre run by the Brahma Kumaris organisation, situated South of Sydney, only about 40 minutes from my home. I had never visited before, so I leapt at the opportunity.
Now, I have done retreats before, and I've even done silent retreats before. But this was the first at this particular location and in this particular spiritual context.
The Brahma Kumaris run this gorgeous centre and offer the fully-catered retreats for free (though of course I left a donation equal to what I would have paid at another organisation for the same service). In doing this they display a tremendous generosity and faith in human nature, and I was never once hassled for money or a donation while I was there - it was truly left to my own initiative and goodwill.
Thang and I had quite a fun time, and I will admit that, just occasionally we broke the non-speaking rule.
The centre is in a beautiful bushland setting, and the gorgeous vegetarian meals provided by smiling volunteers were just wonderful - especially the much appreciated cheesecake treat.
I was quite surprised by just how obsessed I became with food throughout the retreat, and how ravenously hungry I was at each mealtime, considering I was doing absolutely nothing in the way of physical work. All of that meditation helps work up an appetite!