We’re surrounded by ceaseless chatter, at work, home and even when we’re on our own it’s facebook or twitter and even with the computer off, the chatter continues inside our head, words, thoughts, dreams, gossip…
This weekend Walter and I escaped to the Inner Space Centre for Spiritual Learning for a silent retreat, 42 hours of silence to be exact from 7pm Friday night. Inner Space is in luscious Wilton, about an hour’s drive south of Sydney. It’s run by the Brahma Kumaris. Here, there’s no TV, internet and no mobile reception, just nature, vegetable garden (above), rain water tanks, vegetarian food, mediation, self reflection and, of course, 42 hours of silence.
Behind the pond and greenery from the picture above is our spartan but comfortable room. All up there were over 30 participants some looking to de-stress, others to get in touch with themselves and some to take a selfish time out.
On the first night we learnt about the power of silence. For me it was learning that silence is not just the words you utter with your mouth, but also the chatter in your head. I also learnt when you are silent you can begin to listen to others… and to yourself.
In that silence, I realise how ‘violent’ rushed, daily activities can be, the harsh sounds of doors slamming, feet stamping, glasses clinking. It was a good reminder for me to slow down and take deliberate, loving movements. It was wonderful, now, I’m back home and still feel energised and at peace.
We also ate well and healthy with replenishing vegetarian meals like the potato curry, papadum above.
Baked pasta with garden fresh salads.
And an extra favourite of mine, kiwi fruit cheesecake.
I was astounded by the generosity of the Brahma Kumaris (BKs) who put on the weekend including accommodation and meals, free for all participants. Of course, we were encouraged to donate within our means, but I was touched by how generous this gesture was. And for them not using it as a platform to recruit people. Of course, I don’t know enough about the BKs to recommend them, but I can say their actions this weekend demonstrated a kind loving action.
And of course, if you do go there for a silent retreat, I would encourage you to donate to cover the cost of food and accommodation.
This is another Secret Sydney post. Secret Sydney is a new noodlies Sydney food blog project to uncover authentic, diverse food and culture all around Sydney.
Inner Space Centre for Spiritual Learning
FREE – but donations appreciated
(and I’d highly recommend it given their wonderful generosity)
150 Macarthur Drive Wilton
(02) 4630 8124