Refresh

This Summer I was in the mountains on a month-long silent retreat, sleeping out under the stars. We were 30 people, living in community, doing all the work, from chopping vegetables and serving our meals, to mopping the floors and scrubbing the toilets.  

 The Ridge in the Santa Cruz mountains. Photo by Dayamudra Ann Dennehy

The Ridge in the Santa Cruz mountains. Photo by Dayamudra Ann Dennehy

As a language teacher it is so interesting to be with other people without speaking. To just be. Silence allows space around the space. It allowed ease in meditating 8 times a day. It allowed us to slow down, to embrace stillness. It allowed us to be in Nature, observing, appreciating, delighting.

It was demanding in the discipline, but the structure of our days led to ease. No phones, no screens, no media. Just bees in the lavender, ferns and moss on forest paths, dragonflies on the pond, families of deer and wild turkeys in fields of golden grass. 

I feel refreshed. Rejuvenated. Alive.  

 The Pond. Photo by Dayamudra Ann Dennehy

The Pond. Photo by Dayamudra Ann Dennehy

LOST by David Wagoner

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here, And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, Must ask permission to know it and be known. The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, I have made this place around you. If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here. No two trees are the same to Raven. No two branches are the same to Wren. If what a tree of a bush does is lost on you, You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows Where you are. You must let it find you. 

 The Trail. Photo by Dayamudra Ann Dennehy

The Trail. Photo by Dayamudra Ann Dennehy