28 March 2016

Meditation in the Forest – a visual essay

Rest, relaxation, regeneration. Seven days pre-Easter. The deep, natural peace that comes with retreating from our daily life, joining with like-minded people and journeying inwards.

                 This is the meditation

Then there is the Yarra Valley.
Remarkable natural beauty complemented by years of being tended by loving gardeners.

                   This is the forest

So this week, a celebration in photographs and a few words of this annual highlight of our calendar, Meditation in the Forest, plus details for next year but first

  Thought for the day

   We are what we think.
   All that we are arises with our thoughts.
   With our thoughts we make the world.

   Speak or act with an impure mind
   And sorrow will follow you 
   As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.

   Speak or act with a pure mind
   And happiness will follow you 
   As your shadow, unshakeable.

                 The Buddha

Each meditation retreat Ruth and I present focuses on the stillness of meditation (good plan for a meditation retreat!), and then has its own specific focus. For 2016, during Meditation in the Forest we gave attention to guided imagery which is the cover phrase for addressing how the active, thinking mind works and how we can use it more effectively.

How do our habits and beliefs develop? How does our memory function? How do we draw on memories and how do we plan for the future? And how do our habits and beliefs assist us in some situations, yet bind us or even work against us in others?

Great material to have a week to consider, and speaking personally, I feel this last retreat was the most effective yet for the people attending. Seems many had significant break-throughs in understanding and went away feeling confident of making significant personal changes in their lives.

So enough words.

      We gather at the Gawler Foundation's
      Yarra Valley retreat centre…

 Some of the locals remained nonplussed…

      Others somewhat indifferent…

But we gathered and discussed the mind and its workings…

       Entered into the purpose built
        meditation sanctuary

        to meditate together regularly
        throughout the day…

   Extended the sitting into walking…

          Some also walked the labyrinth
          with its curious way
          of aiding contemplation…

Some joined Ruth for the gentle stretching of body and mind that is yoga…

      Some explored their body
      and its movement
      through Feldenkrais with Julia...

Some just paused a while, and watched the river flow; the Little Yarra River that is…

      While all experienced the delight
      of sharing with like minds…

Very comfortable accommodation, either doubles with ensuites or more economical shared spaces…

              And the food!

                    Just what people expected!



    much direct from the flourishing gardens…

     That for those who have not been
     to the Centre for a while,
     now extend way up the hill.

                  So productive…

Backed up by a big new hothouse so that more home-grown organic produce is available for more of the year…

    And of course,
    fresh herbs from the magical herb garden...

Then more free time to reflect,
to regenerate,
to experience the peace...

and watch the river flow by some more...

       Rounded off by the wisdom of a tree

                           - you had to be there …

         What a great group of people!!!

                       Deep, natural peace

          Meditation in the Forest…

With thanks to Jane Treleaven for sharing 3 of her photographs from the retreat





A unique opportunity to experience the deep natural peace and clarity of profound meditation

5 Day Meditation Immersion with Ian and Ruth Gawler
JUNE 2016 – Monday 6th to Friday the 10th - Yarra Junction

These days, many people have had some introduction to meditation and the power of the mind. Soon comes the realisation of the extraordinary depth and breadth of it all. And often we get a sense there is more to it …..   More to experience ..…

So while this retreat will include ample instruction, the focus will be upon direct experience; finding and immersing ourselves in the deep inner peace, the regenerative power and the clarity of our own stillness.

This process will be enhanced by being in the wonderful, peaceful and majestic forests of the Upper Yarra Valley, by being supported by the staff and amenities of the Gawler Foundation’s Living Centre, and guided by Ian and Ruth Gawler along with Julia Broome.

For details CLICK HERE

Accelerated healing and peace of mind

Probably my only day seminar in MELBOURNE for 2016

Ancient wisdom combined with the latest research in a way that has immediate application in our modern world.

This workshop brings together the best of what I have learnt about healing over the last 40 years.

Intended for those dealing with illness, those keen to avoid illness and be really well, along with health practitioners and anyone interested in our personal power to heal.

Please share details of this event with anyone you know who may be interested as Ruth and I are focusing more on our retreats this year and there will not be many opportunities like this to join us for day workshops.

For details CLICK HERE

1 comment:

  1. Dr Gawler your meditation retreat sounds great and reminds me of something. About 11 years ago, right after my personal relationship was dismantled, I went through a deep struggle I did not expect at work. This put me on different sick leaves, where my doctor pushed me to seek help. It was not easy to open up to a stranger, for I am used to family support whom I did not want to embarrass with a catastrophic event in life. I was also used to help others, not to seek help. Stress was leading my life. Well this professional helped me realize that all my resources (beliefs, habits, memories to draw strength from) were all disorganized in my mind because of the stress level, and could not assist me. With her help I revalidated who I am and all my inside resources. I could then stood up for myself and go on. Then in 2011 two stressful situations made me lose track of all my resources once again. I went back to this professional saying ''I never thought I would need to see you again.'' I was like ashamed. She help me once again to conscientiously reorganized my subconscious mind secret resources and she referred me one book where your name appeared Dr. Gawler. From then on I learned and practiced mindfulness meditation to draw back on habits, beliefs, values, convictions, and memories to assist me in these situations. I am not a new me as I have a lot of inner resources to draw on, but I need to control the stress level that could inhibit access to my inner resources, and this is done through mindfulness meditation. All this to say that I may not attend your retreat, but I practice it at home for the same reasons you list in your great message today. Thank you so much.