Monday, 5 May 2014

Mindfulness retreat at Trigonos

This is Trigonos:

a study/retreat centre in Nantlle, Snowdonia. It's a wonderful place, well suited to a weekend silent retreat for people who have already taken the eight-week evening class in mindfulness meditation, or one of its variants.

I want to try to explain some of the things I have taken from the experience, in the hope that some of it may be useful to my legions of reader out there.

Trigonos is in a very beautiful dramatic setting,  and these pics only give you an idea, a sketch; they can't capture the particular atmosphere and ethos of the place. This is the view from the house down to the lake:

It is a place of calm, although silence and meditation can release powerful and unexpected feelings, of which more, you'll be delighted to hear, later. But Trigonos is a natural choice for a place to be, for at least some of the time, in the present moment.

One point for now: it was a non-speaking 36 hours, rather than a silent one, since one of the techniques is to place your attention in the ears, as it were- simply listening and accepting all you can hear, whether it's the birdsong outside (loved the honk from the geese and the raven's croak, as well as the blackbirds) or a distant dog, or a chainsaw, or the tummy of your meditation neighbour who is overdue for some lunch. 

Sarah Maitland's "The Book of Silence" is as much about solitude as silence, I felt when I read it. There is nothing lonely, nothing solitary, about communal silence, non-speaking, whether it's in the meditation gallery or during meal-times. It's very powerful.

More on this soon.

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