Saturday, May 15, 2010

Love letter

There were so many things to love about Jon Bernie's spring retreat earlier this month where I was enjoying gorgeous California weather while mostly unbeknownst to me terrible things were happening in my hometown. Now that things are getting a little more back to normal every day here (rumor has it Highway 70 just re-opened - I'm so excited to try it out) I thought it would be fun to reminisce a little and tell you about some of the reasons I loved it so much.

Let's just start with the Santa Sabina retreat center itself, full of relaxed and beautiful spaces, inside and out, including a gorgeous papermaking studio that was a welcome haven one evening as I just sat and gazed at all the beautiful paper art surrounding me. And I have to mention the unbelievably delicious food. The retreat was silent(ish), so I'd make all kinds of gestures of rubbing my stomach in rapture. Plus no cooking or cleaning up! This may be the closest to heaven I've been in a good long while.

If one felt the need to get out into more nature, there were wonderful trails just steps away with huge, majestic eucalyptus trees. Huge.

And then the people. Jon Bernie has the biggest heart, as I've mentioned here before. It was so wonderful to get this much time with him and to see how present and compassionate he is with everyone. I feel so lucky to know him. And he creates an amazing container for the group. It's a pretty charged environment, but so full of love. There were many, many people I never really met that weekend, only smiled at when passing in the hallway or listened to in satsang, but I knew I would miss them and I do. There were several people who I didn't know before the retreat, but felt I knew them well, having listened to podcasts of satsangs where they joined in the dialogue. It was such a treat to get to know them better.

It felt so good to be there with dear family members and old friends, too. And to be supported by family who weren't physically there, but so kindly accept my need for things like silent retreats, even if they don't really think it sounds so fun:)

I love living in Tennessee, this is my true home, but there aren't many opportunities for this kind of experience here. So to be in such a beautiful place, with everything pretty much taken care of for us, surrounded by people who are also drawn to this type of experience just filled me with happiness. It was just exactly where I wanted to be for a few days.

So thank you, Jon Bernie's spring retreat 2010. I love you, I miss you, and I can't wait to come again next spring!