03 November 2014

Meditation in the Desert 2014 – a photographic essay

Have you ever thought of this? Meditation is the ultimate adventure. For in meditation, we turn our attention inwards and through direct experience, investigate the truth of who we really are.

Of course, along the way there are plenty of potential side-effects. Less stress, lower blood pressure, natural healing, more creativity, better performance in just about everything that has been measure from sport to business, and of course feeling better within ourselves and relating better with others.

But yet, despite all these incredibly positive “side-effects”, the real gift of meditation comes through the inner journey; this great adventure of getting to know our own true self.

Now it has to be acknowledged that this is exactly what makes deeper meditation a little scary for some. What will I find? What will the journey itself be like?

So this is why we go on a meditation retreat. Maybe the initial motivation is directed towards increasing the “Side-effects”. Fair enough regular practice can accomplish all of that; but when we go on a meditation retreat, we take the time, make the time to leave behind our day-to-day life, go to a remote, peaceful and inspiring place, remove ourselves from distractions, join like-minded people and an authentic teacher, create a safe and conducive atmosphere - and venture inwards.

Meditation does have many practical benefits, but more than these, it also does offer a profound experience. Attending a meditation retreat creates the circumstances in which this profound inner experience becomes possible.

So this week, the promised photographic essay from Meditation in the Desert, along with news of our meditation retreats for 2015, but first

           Thought for the day

     Remember: A method is only a means, 
     Not the meditation itself. 
     It is through practicing the method skillfully 
     That you reach the perfection 
     Of that pure state of total presence, 
     Which is the real meditation.

                         Sogyal Rinpoche

            2014. Once more we journeyed into Australia’s red heart

            And came together for
            Meditation in the Desert
            at Hamilton Downs,
            North West of Alice Springs,
            looking out on the majestic
            Western Macdonnell Ranges

We shared good company
and great food,

cooked by the incomparable
Ken Campbell
and eaten mindfully

Stories were shared  

         And along with meditation,

         we did walking meditation…

                And yoga

There was an introduction to the country
and its remarkable food and medicinal plants
by world authority Peter Latz

    And we had the delight of Julia Broome
    and Seikan Cech assisting

      Then came a cultural exchange
      with senior, local indigenous leaders,
      with some time for secret men and women’s         business

       What an experience to share together

And now for 2015

This is an invitation to join Ruth and myself for one of the 3 meditation retreats we will present next year.

The first, Meditation in the Forest, is the annual Pre-Easter retreat in the Yarra Valley where this year the focus will be on entering more directly into the stillness of meditation.

Then in May we combine the simplicity of meditation with a more active inner journey - Meditation and the Inner Journey in the Yarra Valley. Through the use of creative imagery, we will learn how to meet our own inner guide in a way that leads to a reliable experience of our own inner wisdom. This is a well-grounded technique we have used over decades and that many people have found life-changingly useful.

Then to New Zealand in October for Meditation Under the Long White Cloud. This year the theme will be contemplation – how to think things through clearly and gain reliable access to insight and intuition.

So as 2014 draws towards its conclusion, is it time to be making a plan for 2015?

The immediate benefits of meditation are well known and researched – good health, accelerated healing, top performance and long lasting happiness. Extra-ordinary really! But beyond all that is the prospect of coming to know the real you.

Join us? Again? For the first time?

Details, including how to book are on our website www.iangawler.com

We love being a part of these retreats and supporting the inner journey - that greatest of human adventures.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Ian

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos of your meditation in the desert. I have just returned from a pilgrimage into the desert too, with Eremos. It was all that I had hoped for and more. The silences touched me the most; they seemed to trigger a renewed honesty in my quest for truth. I am calling them my ‘songlines of silence’ as they have given me a new vigour for life!