A very warm welcome!

Thanks for visiting this, my second blog! You can visit Heart and Soil to see what I get up to on our 40 odd acres of land in Exmoor, basketry, crafts and general things and stuff.

I thought I would start this blog off by doing a day by day diary of my 2008 solitary retreat. You can find my posts on the preparation for this retreat over at Heart and Soil on this link:

Many people have said to me that they wish they could do a solitary retreat, because 'they really need one'. That's why I decided to share one of my retreat experiences, to hopefully make going on retreat alone, a bit less mysterious and a bit more 'doable'.

Offered with much love for your continued happiness!

Solitary Retreat Diary

Please remember that in order for the diary section of this blog to make sense you should start from Day 1 and work your way through. At the moment the best way to do this is by using the labels list on the right.

I will compile a links list to make this easier when I have posted the last day... and when I have a minute!


Monday, 29 December 2008

Day 8 a - First week summary

Here are some things that I have learned/experienced this week...

  1. We are not separate from nature. We really aren't.
  2. I love to take pictures of mushrooms and sunsets.
  3. I have a fear of humans and our capacity to inflict our suffering on each other and the Earth.
  4. When you experience suffering you are in a position to empathise with others. Empathy is a huge help in the practice of compassion.
  5. When you face fear or pain with compassion, suffering appears to subside.
  6. Experiencing the interconnection between suffering and compassion, it's clear that one simply cannot exist without the other and as such neither exist as I perceive them to.
  7. When there is nothing else to do, I do yoga.
  8. 'as within, so without'
  9. Dependant Origination - "If this arises, then that will arise. If this does not arise then that will not arise".
  10. I am inspired by tempestuous nature.
  11. I need to be aware of the suffering that manifests in my mind in order to perceive the true reality of being human. I then need to use this awareness to practice compassion and be of use to the World and ultimately help as many beings as possible find true happiness.
  12. I'm confused but, relatively, very happy.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful Insights.

Opposites seem to arise from the eternal. If there were only light, then we would be lost in the glare of the light and would not be self aware. We need dark to contrast light and to create form. Cells, membranes, barriers, trap light, but they also are intergral in creation. It's just that when too much pressure or lack of balance occurs in these cells or worlds or universes, then suffering seems to take place. But anyway, yin needs yang and yang needs yin in order to reflect and see its self or to be self aware. And then through the awareness that we find, we can alleviate the pressure and tensions that do build up in ourselves and the world.

Happy New Year. It's fun reading your blog. It's nice seeing someone out there with similar interests.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful thoughts and insights. It is wonderful that you are open with your process of discovery, it helps those of us reading your blog to reflect on ourselves also. I love your picture, you look so happy and at peace. Have a wonderful new year, every moment is a fresh begining.


"Everyone thinks their burden is the heaviest" - Bob Marley

Happy New Year - don't spend too much time alone.

hen said...

Treewright, thank you :0)

This Solitary retreat was only 2 weeks, I tend not to be alone very often, which is why I take myself off.

Being able to practice meditation and spiritual study in nature, alone, appears to deepen my experience and has proved to be one of the best ways for me to progress in my practice.

I know it's not for everyone. I am also under no illusions that my worries are the biggest - from experience I know that is never the case.

I happen to be incredibly fortunate, and delight in that fact most of the time (see my other blog, Otherwise I wouldn't be able to go off for 2 weeks doing a retreat!


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