Silence, Solitude and Simplicity

24 Oct

Over the school holidays a number of students and teachers joined me for a 3 day silent retreat. The impact on both them and myself was amazing. I never fail to be surprised by the mystery of silence, solitude and simplicity.

Since then I found myself staying home from an event I had been invited to because of Gaye’s (my wife) health. Over that weekend I challenged myself to refocus my life, to embrace the 3S’s as a philosophy for daily living.

The first question to be answered was: what is essential, or conversely, what is not? What is the one thing I need to do to day that is essential to my life and my hopes? Doing this every day and staying with that one thing until it is completed has been powerful. Exciting things are happening and I will say more about that in another post.

Last weekend because another plan broke down I decided to take Gaye away for 4 days for her birthday. I booked a room at the Bundaleer Retreat at Broken Head, and discovered a place that was the epitome of silence, solitude and simplicity. It is set in a rainforest space and only has 4 cabins and a maximum of 12 people present. Quiet and secluded it allowed us to enjoy the time, place and each other in a way that was special for us both.

We discovered Lennox Head and the beautiful people there. We turned off the TV, actually, didn’t turn it on, read a number of books, went for works, had afternoon naps and ate very well.

As members of a consumer society we fall for the art of distraction – more, bigger, popular, loud is always better. It maybe for the economy, but it rarely is for our souls. Our souls crave silence, solitude and simplicity.

A favorite Zen saying of mine is: “Be still, be very, very still; and above all else, don’t wobble!”

Or as the Psalmist says in Psalm 46: “Be still and know that I am God.”

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