Happiness depends on balancing the mind. Balancing depends on avoiding extremes and learning to live in harmony with the way things are. One of the most profound realities of our existence is that everything is a constant state of change. If we accept that change and flow with it, we become flexible and wise. From this arises deep, lasting, happiness.
We can become free of our difficulties if we deepen our understanding of the mind. We work towards this freedom by contemplating our attitudes and the way we understand life. Contemplation helps us experience things differently, more in accordance with how they are, instead of how we mistakenly assume them to be.
This Retreat will involve periods of meditation interspersed with deep reflections within the magnificent and majestic natural settings at Susurumba.
COURSE PRESENTERS: Dave and Pam Sheehan
DATES: Tues-Sun December 3-8, 2013
- Start time – Suggested arrival 14:00 – 16:00 hours on Tuesday 3rd December 2013; evening soup is at 18:00 followed by Introductory Talk at 19:00
- Finish time : 10:00 Sunday 8th December
- Shared accommodation – $150 (or $35 per night ). Single room 50% surcharge
- Camping $100 (OR $20 per night )
- Plus, Retreatants may be asked to make an offering of soup or a pre-cooked meal but we will contact you closer to the time when numbers are confirmed.
VENUE: Susurumba, Juliasdale, Nyanga (immediately behind Pine Tree Inn) – approximately 70kms from Rusape, take the Pine Tree turnoff and follow the driveway to the hotel. At the hotel car park, branch left behind the hotel buildings. Follow this road for +/- 1 km, keeping left.
BOOKINGS: Please contact Dave or Pam Sheehan at zimsheehans [at] gmail.com for a booking form.
BACKGROUND ABOUT RETREATS:
Regard joining the retreat as an act of compassion to yourself.
Retreats offer us ‘time out’ from our busy, often stressful lives, to ground ourselves in our meditation/mindfulness practice. The peaceful seclusion and mountainous setting of Susurumba, Nyanga, assists in the process of allowing our busy, distracted minds to settle, allowing our deeper energies of kindness, compassion, wisdom and clarity to reveal themselves. Retreatants can find solace and a deeper inner peace through meditation, taking breathtaking walks, swimming in the clear mountain dams, etc.
While there is now limited cell phone reception at Susurumba, we recommend that you keep your cell phones turned off – you are, after all trying to get away from the bustle of everyday life. If you must use a cell phone – even for SMS – we request that you do so in the privacy of your room/ tent and not in the public spaces. While in the shrine room or dining room, they must be switched off.
All attending will be encouraged to observe “Noble Silence” for part of the day, as this will help you obtain maximum benefits from the retreat. Noble Silence will be explained at the beginning of the retreat, but in essence it acts as a method to access deeper tranquility and to connect with others at a level beyond words and concept. If we are constantly engaged in conversation it becomes increasingly difficult for the Mind to settle.
The day will begin with early morning meditation followed by breakfast. After breakfast there will be meditation instruction, discussion and meditation practice. This will be followed by tea, then sitting/walking meditation, mindful activity leading up to lunch and rest.
There will be one afternoon sitting/walking session followed by tea and a guided walk around the valley
In the evenings there will be soup followed by a talk/discussions/loving kindness training.
Participants have total freedom to attend as many or as few sessions as they see fit; there is no pressure whatsoever. Mindful walking and even swimming are encouraged (although Nyanga water can be quite invigorating in winter!)
WHAT TO BRING:
- Bedding (remember Nyanga can be quite cold –especially early mornings), pillows, towel
- Raincoats/umbrellas (it can rain at Nyanga at any time of the year)
- Torches/headlamps & spare batteries (very important)
- Toiletries/bath soap. Hand washing powder if you need to do personal laundry
- Comfortable walking shoes (plus optional CROCS?)
- Loose, comfortable clothing
- Warm clothing plus wraps for when sitting in the meditation room (tracksuits, extra socks)
- Hat & sunblock cream
- Notebook and pens
- Towels and swimming costumes (lovely refreshing mountain dams and small swimming pool).
- Personal meditation cushions and mats (there are cushions available at the retreat centre)
Some feedback from those who have recently attended retreats:
I had a wonderful peaceful time in the mountains. I have learnt that there is light even in dark places, and the real challenge is not how you fall , it’s how you pick yourself up, that’s the real challenge. And not only was the retreat mindful and educational , it was also fun and difficult at the same time. I am going to start saving up money to go on more retreats.
As a beginner I found it very easy to fit in where I could and loved that there was no pressure to do everything every day. It felt like a very accepting environment.
The venue was beautiful and impressive. The scenery was to die for, especially the mountains and the sky during a clear night.
What I found beneficial was that I got to understand meditation on a much more deeper level, and also learn about and practice Walking meditation.