We decided to spend part of the May Bank Holiday exploring some ideas and themes for the weekend retreat that we’re going to be delivering in a few months times. As it’s going to be in a beautiful location where the mountains flow down to meet the sea, we figured that general area would be the place to tap into inspiration.
We took a walk along a hidden bit of coastline and in very little time, we found ourselves in an environment that felt ancient, primal, elemental and untouched by humanity. As we interacted with these surroundings, we mulled over the fact that it takes no effort at all to sink into the state of meditation or absorption in such places, in which an easy contentment and fulfilment occurs. Wondering on the experience and mind state of our ancestors thousands of years ago, who were constantly in such environments, it’s difficult not to try and contrast it with modernity, its man made structures, noises, lights and many other features, where there always seems to be something that will pull us out of any gentle state of expansive awareness and absorption and over stimulate or agitate the mind.
I think most of us recognise the challenges of the modern world , the constant bombardment of our senses and minds with input and information, while our instinct realizes the importance of serenity and stillness, and understands that the flow of nature brings us harmony, and connects us with ourselves.. As Mark Whitwell often remarks, “there are no straight lines in nature”, so perhaps the surroundings we have built for ourselves over thousands of years add to our general state of unease.
Certainly here, in Ireland we are quite fortunate to be living somewhere with a fairly low population density and easy access to the countryside and the natural world, meaning for most of us, a little time in nature is easily found. But even if that’s not accessible for you today, this flow of nature, of life is already occurring within you, in the cycles of the breath, the patterns of energy that move through the body. So even a few minutes of yoga asanas to slow breath and energy can be enough to allow that absorption to occur, that state of meditation, union and harmony with your immediate environment and your self.