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Sunday Meditations: Slipping into Stillness

For some time it’s been my intention to offer a free and sustaining something on a regular basis at The Hearth. So we’re delighted to announce that Sunday morning meditation sessions are go!

We’ve had a promising start to the season with a group “forest bathing” session, a drumming circle and ongoing ecotherapy sessions in the woods. But we wanted something that guests to the off-grid accommodation could benefit from, even for a one-off ‘drop-in’ experience. And that friends and neighbours, members of the local community could take part in. Most importantly I wanted an inescapable reason to keep my meditation practice going. So we’ve set up the Bell Tent in the spot at the top of the paddock with the best views, ready for anyone who wants to come along.

It wasn’t hard to choose what to offer. Meditation has been an important ~ albeit imperfectly executed ~ part of my life since early adulthood. It brings me peace, awareness, acceptance of current emotional states, relaxation, insight and inspiration. I am astonished by the life-impact returns of such a simple undertaking ~ regularity rather than length of time ~ being key. I am equally amazed by how much I resist partaking of its practice despite its plentiful benefits!

That’s why creating a regular committed space for spending time in silence together feels like such a delightful prospect. Together much of that subtle reluctance slips away and is replaced by the comfort of companionship. The form of the meditation sessions may vary according to who’s there – if there are people who have no experience of meditation I may offer a guided introduction to help ease us in and give pointers to support the experience. If there are old timers I’ll adjust to the needs of the group and allow for self-lead practice. There may be the odd poem or two to kick things off and an opportunity for connection at the end.

Let's have one now – one of the only poems I actually know off by heart, and it’s served me well:

Why are you so afraid of silence?

Silence is the root of everything.

If you let yourself spiral

Deep into its void

A hundred voices will trumpet

What your heart longs to hear.

~ Rumi, 13th Century Persian poet

I love it because it captures the illogical – but, for me, immense – fear of total stillness. The lengths I have been to in my life to avoid the terror that lies at my core! And it seems to me I’m not alone – that stock phrase “I’m keeping busy” indicating that we’re in some way sensible or virtuous to keep ourselves hammering that hamster wheel, despite many of us, much of the time, teetering on the brink of exhaustion or overwhelm. A great silver lining of lockdown for me has been further relinquishment from that spell of collective cultural pressure.

So come join me if you feel so moved, to spend some time in silence together. Birdsong, rainfall, the breeze will be our backdrop. 9.30 – 10am on Sunday mornings. Text me on 07737092625 if you plan to join.

There won’t be any charge because - as they say - the best things in life are free. ;-)

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