I have just returned from 10 Days [including 4 day Silence and detox] at Shanti’s Nirvana Wellness Retreat in Beachmont QLD. If you are looking to be pampered in five star resort style luxury with origami swan towels on your bed, then this place is not for you. If on the other hand, you would consider a comfortable and safe environment to explore a holistic approach to unconditioning then you have found the place to stop “doing” and simply “be”.
I must admit that when booking this, I was extremely anxious about the stillness, silence but most of all, going without my usual 10 shots of pure caffeine a day. I guess being anxious was one of the main reasons I decided to take the plunge and go. Controlled stress for me, like so many of us in today’s society, was becoming the norm. Until one day you find it harder to control that stress and it takes over in the form of frustration, anxiety or even physical ailments.
I describe the detox part of the retreat as an energy ‘sling shot’, it took a few days to pull back against the resistance of my caffeine withdrawals but then the energy just skyrocketed. Expect some good tasting vegetarian meals followed by foul tasting herbal medicine. Still, it was well worth it as I can honestly say; I have never felt more alive.
The Silence and Meditation on the other hand was much more profound. Sometimes ‘slowing down’ is like the inertia that opposes a decelerating moving body of mass. Any ‘change of pace’ is going to meet with a certain amount of resistance. The inevitable emptying of the mind over the course of this retreat allowed me to observe my own thought processes in a non-judgmental and curious way. I was able to recognize how the mind tries to fictionally predict scenarios for all sort of life’s little road bumps and triggers emotions that may not only ruin a day but potentially a week, month or even a lifetime. These faux “movie clips” in our head seem so real that we tend to think of them as “our lives”. The invented timelines grow little branches full of “what ifs” and all of a sudden we stop ourselves from living today and instead live a false future with constant uncertainty and fear. All because we believe the minds little tricks. Well…maybe not all of us:) But for many reading this, it may be sounding all too familiar.
I went into this retreat wanting to magically conjure up some detailed resolutions to perceived problems in my life and instead found out how to experience a ‘train of thought’ without necessarily being its passenger. I now decide which train to catch and which I will let just pass by.
Thank you Shanti, for an amazing experience.