This weekend retreat is effectively 'self-directed'. By this we mean you are in charge of your time. You choose where you are and what you do. There is no facilitator or workshop leader guiding you during your stay.
Instead you are offered the activities and options below. Some of these options will take place with others, some on your own. You will receive joining instructions prior to arrival. You will also be welcomed and oriented to the venue and your experience when you arrive.
Time for reflection
Reflection is a process often overlooked or lowly prioritised in our busy lives at home and at work. Reflection is a process of conscious conversation with our self. It is an inward looking time about our outward expression of our life, our experience of the play between the outer and the inner. Reflection is also a time of asking questions, contemplating deeper and more meaningful aspects of our existence. Such a process lends itself often to the questions of spirituality.
The reflective time in the absence of our day to day distractions, requirements, work, commitments allows and affords us the opportunity of insight and clarity. In a spiritual sense this process helps us discover and gain awareness of how we see and experience the world spiritually. Whether a faith based context or a broader spiritual aspect the journey of reflection and contemplation invites to explore the mystery of the world within which we live.
Whilst there is no promise of answers there is the possibility of a greater connection and deeper experience that will sustain you going forward. Reflection as well is not a one off task you check off a list. No it is a practice, a way of engaging with your world. It is a way of living and being.
This weekend retreat gives you a snapshot in time of your busy life to do just this live and be. Whether you are already a person dedicated to reflection and contemplation or someone who wants to be, the gift of a weekend is almost a priceless luxury well and truly worth the time.
Periods of silence
Silence is underrated. In our lives we are regularly bombarded with noise, requests and interruptions from others and expectations of engagement. We also gladly and happily engage in the world socially and through work and other outlets. In these interactions we are often in two way communication, whether virtual or in person.
Silence is a way to create boundaries to temporarily insulate our selves from the world around us. The conscious choice of silence is an action you can take to honour and support time with yourself. It is a way to give priority to our inner thoughts and insights. It is a way of respect for our being and the invitation to connect from within to the world around us in a whole different way.
The gift of silence is in a way a conscious, wakeful and purposeful meditation. It allows us to have time to know our self at all levels - mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. Without the distraction of others and the interjection of their thoughts and ideas into our world we are free. We are free to be truly in our own experience.
It is this freedom of our own experience that provides the fertile ground for a greater and deeper spiritual understanding and awareness. This is where our own voice has a chance to be heard. This is where we are in communion with that which we call Divine in the world around us.
In this retreat we give you the option to elect to be in silence at all times, for part of the time or not at all. As others may or may not elect silence in this way we also ask that you respect the choice of your fellow retreatants.
Reflection and internal awareness is often awakened by something as simple as a word or image. It is a useful and fruitful practice to read a passage from a book, a poem on it's own or even gaze at an image. You will likely already have your favourite inspirational texts and images. Please feel free to bring this with you for your own experience. There will also be books and other resources available while on the retreat for your enjoyment and process.
One of the benefits of going away is letting someone else take care of cooking and serving you. Our focus on this retreat is to ensure you are nourished and well looked after. You will be treated to a menu of home cooked meals including morning and afternoon teas, lunch, and dinner. The focus on this retreat is to nourish yourself so our meals are not designed for detox or other health focused initiatives. Should you have dietary preferences or needs these can be catered for whilst you are on retreat.
You may or may not already be a yoga practitioner. Whether you are or not does not matter. This retreat includes a 1.5 hour session with a qualified yoga teacher. The yoga is included in the retreat as a way to support you physically. Yoga is a practice though that also helps us to connect deeper within through our body. Those who practice yoga will already know how it works. For those who are new our instructor will ensure that you are practicing at your level throughout the session. There is no expectation of being able to do postures like anyone else. It is simply a time to be present, be with you and be aligned.
For this retreat we will ask that you complete a form prior to participation in the yoga session about your understanding of the practice and your physical needs or challenges.
Massage can often be seen as an indulgence or pampering. Many rarely have the opportunity to look after their body in this way due to lack of time or more so lack of justification for the experience. Our approach here is to provide the option for those who would like to avail. The intention of the massage is to support you in your time of relaxation and release of some of the physical stresses you may be carrying around with you. A massage treatment may be a process that works for you or not. This is why it is optional.
For those who are interested we are making available the services of a professional massage therapist on site. The choice to have a massage is up to you. There will be spaces available and bookings can be made in advance or prior to arrival. Booking times will be allocated in 30, 45 and 60 minute increments. You choose what you want. More information will be sent to you with your joining instructions.
For this retreat we will ask that you complete a form at the time of your massage booking so the therapist understands your needs and challenges.
When our emotions take over it can often feel like we are out of control. Whether anger, sadness, frustration, even happiness, there is a feeling like something else in us is leading the way. As our relationship with emotions is a personal one it is important to respect the differences in experience and response. Our intention is to help you balance and work with your emotions in a way that is right for you. Sometimes it is helpful to in a sense 'ground' ourselves through a connection to our surroundings. This can be both in nature and other environmental.
Nature does not have to be much more than a tree or a patch of earth and grass. Yet nature and the beauty of natural surroundings can help us be more at peace. For this retreat you are located in a small suburban oasis. You will be surrounded by trees, grounds, expansive lawns, reflective places, a labyrinth and even a swimming pool.
Inside you will have a homey and comfortable living space. There will be a dedicated lounge area and large meeting room exclusively available to those on this retreat. Even though there are meals served you can make yourself a cup of tea or coffee anytime. Little rooms and nooks exist to escape for period of reflection as well.
A room to your self
This retreat is for individuals. As a way of supporting your own experience each room allocated will be just for one person, no sharing. Yes. You have your own personal space while away for the weekend. For those who already live a lifestyle where you have the luxury of your own room this may not seem different. Yet it is. You see it is for you to relax and enjoy. No need to take look after the room like home. If you live a lifestyle of shared living space then this may even be a luxury for you. Time by yourself. Time for you in your own little space.
The retreat is over one night. However there are options to extend your stay either before, after or both. Then you will have a room to your self for a little bit longer.
Kind supportive helpers
Whilst this retreat is self - directed by you, there are people involved making sure your stay is just right. Specifically for the retreat there is a spiritual director, a yoga instructor and a massage therapist. In addition there are friendly and helpful staff available to ensure your stay is just right for you.
We have support in our lives from multiple resources. Physically our medical doctors and other practitioners attend to us. Mentally we engage in conversation and learning. Emotionally we socialise, play and immerse ourselves in experiences. When it comes to spirituality our choices vary according to our beliefs and our culture. For some the choice is to be traditional and follow a faith based practice. For others there is a seeking and wondering journey that accompanies our lives. Either way we are often devoid of genuine, unconditional, one to one personalised support. This is where spiritual direction comes in. The words may imply that someone is going to direct you or tell you what to do. On the contrary. Instead it is about engaging with a person who is trained and qualified to engage in conversations of a spiritual nature. This means showing you respect and support for your beliefs, views and choices. This means not being afraid to actually talk about a topic that is often taboo at the dinner table along with politics.
So in this retreat we give you the gift of a session. Yes it is only one session. But it is something and in the context of a single weekend it may be just right. Of course if you want more then there are resources and people we can connect you to that are independent and objective in the process. There is also a wealth of information available online should you wish to learn and know more. For now trust that we selected a person that will walk along side you on this weekend retreat and help you with your journey.
On the grounds of the Centre is an outdoor labyrinth. This labyrinth is available to you at anytime during the retreat. In addition to your own private choice of walking the labyrinth you may also choose to engage in guided walk. We are pleased that we have the skills of a spiritual director who is also a trained facilitator for labyrinth experiences. On the Sunday you are invited as part of your retreat to participate in a group silent walk. This experience is a way to be in community with your fellow retreatants yet still maintain the connection within that you have throughout the weekend.
As you take time out for reflection there will be moments where you gain insight. These insights are fruit for further reflection. The connections you make with the helpers on this retreat provide opportunities for reflective guidance. By this it is meant sharing some wisdom or teachable moments. This is at your request and invitation. Sometimes it may be a question you have about something you see or experience that help you clarify. Either way having the combination of people around you along with your own insights is an opportunity for clarity.