Purification from the sea, sand and air; Ramsey, a pristine place where truth abides. Fears from thoughts arise and pass away. The stream of consciousness is ever present clearing these pebbles and stones; returning to silence, to the source. A poem by Linda
This month, another mini-retreat was held in the stunning coastal area around Stackpole, giving another group the opportunity to spend time in nature and deepen their meditation and inner journey together. In the words of one of the participants...
"…after a meditation has taken place between souls who share a common empathy, a common bond, and a pure feeling of the heart, there is a beautiful experience in the silence that follows, of pure collective love, a love that deepens, flourishes and gives rise to that 'peace which surpasseth all understanding.”
There’s no need to miss these opportunities, as another Island retreat is planned for 17-19 August. The venue can accommodate up to 7 people, plus space in the garden for 3 tents, with further accommodation in Bed & Breakfasts and local camp sites. Although the venue itself is quite small, with the large workshop and garden room doubling as a dining room and quiet space, the venue can hold a total of 13 people.
Please contact Anthony (firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 01646 672626) for more information and how to book your ticket for the boat trip to Ramsey Island.
Read more about people's personal experiences of being together and take in the pictures below.
Ramsey Island retreat 13 to 15 July 2018
Deer park view, Stackpole – Wales
Our Retreat started with triple “thirteens”, commencing on Friday 13th, with 13 in attendance and the address of the venue is no 13! We arrived throughout the afternoon from Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, London, Wales, Oxford and France and helped with setting up the venue and preparing the food for the evening meal.
After a lovely meditation, we celebrated Aarti with the singing accompanied by ringing bells that created a very joyful atmosphere. We sat in silence for our evening meal, still in the energy of Meditation.
An early start, preparing breakfast and the picnic lunch; morning meditation followed by breakfast in silence and our departure for St David’s to catch the boat from St Justinian’s to Ramsey Island.
On our last visit to Ramsey, the island appeared from the mainland as a vivid green splash of colour in a turquoise sea. This time, due to the recent drought, the island’s grass had turned to golden yellow and glowed like a jewel in the ocean.
Unusually we were the only people that day visiting the island and, after a short crossing, the boat landed and we were welcomed by the wardens. Ramsey Island is only a couple of miles long and a mile wide, it has been settled since the bronze age and, in St David’s and St Justinian’s time, it was a sacred place for spiritual devotional practice, with a chapel once occupied by St Justinian and some monks.
We walked up a hill, meditated and absorbed the very pure atmosphere of the island. One of the group shared with us some of his deep spiritual experiences of the St David’s peninsular.
We continued our walk around the island taking in the beautiful, natural scenery only interrupted by two stags that crossed the path right in front of us.
On our return to the mainland, we visited St Non’s, (the mother of St David). We meditating in the ruined chapel - the birth place of St David - and also where Swamiji gave some discourses during the retreats we used to hold at Penrhew, and we drank from the pure waters of St Non’s holy well.
We returned to the venue, enjoyed a little free time until evening meditation and Aarti, then we shared our evening meal in silence. As the evening’s darkness descended, a bonfire was lit in the garden and we watched the flames dance into the warm summer sky and then to bed.
Morning meditation was followed by breakfast in silence. A change to the programme – with a walk that seemed to take in all of nature - we walked in silence through the village into the shaded and refreshingly cool woods, to the lakes whose still and expansive waters held a perfect reflection of the trees and hills opposite. They appeared to be surrendering to the lakes!
A little further along and the landscaped opened up into sand dunes shimmering in the morning sun and cloaked in bracken, blackberry bushes, white and black thorn and flowers native to the location. Above us, we were greeted by the expanse of a cloudless sky; sun beaming over a sparkling sea.
The beach was almost deserted because of a local marathon, which meant most of the roads were closed, preventing tourists reaching the coast. Some of us bathed in the sea, while others took in the beautiful views.
We continued our ‘nature pilgrimage’, walking along the giant, ancient limestone cliffs, visiting the ‘oratory’ - a massive circular opening in the cliff, carved out by the sea over millions of years and filled with sea water from a subterranean cavern.
Further along the cliffs, we saw the last remaining occupants of a colony of guillemots – migratory black and white birds that stand up and look like miniature penguins - very cute!
They were nesting in the horizontal cracks in the cliff face and many were bobbing up and down in the sea below – a lovely sight (they have now migrated). We then visited the beautiful beach of Barafundel, nestling between the sand dunes and cliffs, before returning to the venue for lunch. After an easy and relaxing afternoon we circle-read from Swamiji’s teachings on “Karma”.
In the early evening, we drove the short distance to Broad Haven and walked to St Govan’s chapel, which is built into the limestone cliffs perched above a rocky bay, and Holy well overlooking the sea – (St Govan was a 6th century Saint). We meditated together, and two of the group saw in the meditation, silver and copper coins embedded in the chapel walls.
On our return we said our fond “farewell” to those departing for home and a few stayed overnight leaving on Monday morning after helping to tidy the venue. A lovely weekend of meditation and devotional practice in the collectivity of pure souls, showered with blessings from Swamiji.
Thank you Swamiji!
Being with nature in silent meditation, Sunday morning 15th July
“The highpoint of this wonderful retreat was a silent walk in collectivity that lead through a mature woodland and then along a path arched by trees that grew adjacent to a beautiful lake, a path which lead finally to the sea...”
“Why was this experience so very special? Why was so much energy experienced?”
“After a meditation has taken place between souls who share a common empathy, a common bond, and a pure feeling of the heart, there is a beautiful experience in the silence that follows, of pure collective love, a love that deepens, flourishes and gives rise to that 'peace which surpasseth all understanding'. In the proximity of Nature, love seems to flow most powerfully through the medium of silence itself because silence seems to enhance the flow of love, which ultimately streams from Paramatma. The energy of Paramatma is the energy of love and this energy seems to flow abundantly when thought and speech are entirely absent.”
“Plants, flowers and trees belong to the process of 'soul evolution' and by 'being with them in silent meditation' we are respecting them, and in the way in which nature is continuously 'giving,' they may become willing channels for the flow of Divine energy. The experience of walking along a path, with the collectivity of water on one side, a collectivity of trees on the other and within a collectivity of human souls in meditation was 'out of this world’.”
“So many thanks to Swamiji for this Divine experience...”
Silence and collectivity
“The meals in silence after morning and evening meditation are so special, saturated in the energy of meditation we share and absorb our food as a blessing from Swamiji. When we walk in nature, in silence and in collectivity, we are completely immersed by nature and Swamiji’s compassion, I feel that when we talk in nature – it only serves to remove us from all of this… (There are plenty of times to chat between the activities!!!). Circle reading from Swamiji’s teachings is also very special – we receive the energy and experience the meaning and knowledge from his teachings.”
“These Retreats succeed from the close feelings of the collectivity who gather here for meditation and devotional practice.”
“With your kind help, support, generosity (and patience) you have made these Retreats very special – a whole hearted thanks to all of you who came.”
Jai Baba Swami
Beautiful open-hearted presence of love, acceptance and surrender
Jai Baba Swami
“Although I was in unfamiliar company and territory and had not attended a Samarpan retreat for many moons, I embodied the magical experiences within nature, silence and wildlife observation on this Stackpole retreat.”
“The others, who obviously had a strong bonding of love and were at ease, were hospitable and kind and individually made a one to one effort to make mySelf feel that I belonged.”
“One of the group gave some teachings that were very eloquent and simple to understand with regards to one's soul purpose.. Enabling one to be oneSelf and feel at hOMe.”
“I enjoyed and will treasure the simple structure and mindful collective complementary devotion.”
“Intermittent contemplation, reflection and deep meditation opportunities mattered and enhanced a beautiful open-hearted presence of love, acceptance and surrender.”
“This is a wonderful firsthand experience and focus to enrich your daily practice. THANK YOU FROM THE spiritual HEART FOR THE VISION AND IMAGINATION!!”
OM SHANTĪ, SHANTĪ, SHANTI
"A wonderful weekend of collectivity, and the opportunity to immerse ourselves in nature and experience the divine energies doing group meditation. I felt that we were bonding very closely as a group. I loved the nature and I hope that many others will take advantage of these retreats. They will surely benefit from this experience."