Summer has started and the memory of abundant rainfall has already vaporised by the heat of the Andalusian sun. The daily rhythm is easily adapted to hot and cooler moments of the day. The animal kingdom doesn’t seem to be bothered; birds fill the air with their beautiful chants and the humming of all kinds of insects give a meditative touch to the quietness in the garden. Everything seams to be intensified; the colours of nature, the taste of the figs, the gift of a breeze and the stillness of a Silent Retreat.
The 21st of June we have celebrated the summer solstice with the Feast of Greater Light. Our new meditation room was finally blessed with a visit from Yoginâm and an online connection with Asharum Amonines added greatly to the Joy of the Feast. HarpMood, Dances, Chants and communal meals decorated the longest day of the year with remembrance; “Yes, I am sharing in an infinite whole that at the same time is my most intimate essence.”
During the Feast Yoginâm gave a magnificent speech on optimal living, referring to a text that was recently written. “When we go back to life itself and look carefully at the plants and the animals around us, we can see that life wants to live and it wants to live optimally.” And “when Human imagination can take its course, not hindered by the interests of profit, there are solutions to every problem.” A challenging though perhaps, but meaningful certainly in our challenging times. “We are not doing anything to the planet; we are the planet; living and moving particles of the crust of the earth.” The way we take care of the planet, ourselves and each other is the way we treat life itself. *
In that sense, going back to the roots means shaping living according to what life tells us. Something that becomes very tangible in the Monastery Guesthouse. Being in the garden for instance, is more than just putting your body among the rocks, the plants, the insects and the birds. It means sharing in the interactivity of life. Sensing when and where water is needed, branches need to be cut, earth needs to be enriched and a valve needs to be replaced. Everyday we are learning how to cultivate our environment in order to supply for our needs and at the same time we learn to support its optimal natural balance. And, ourselves being part of nature, it inspires taking care of body, mind, soul and spirit too. How we are doing what we are doing? And how to refine towards greater harmony? After all, taking care of ourselves plays an essential role in taking care of the planet…
The renovation of the guesthouse is approaching its completion. After a pause during this summers holiday we intent to build 3 studios that allow people to stay for a longer period of time. So much has been achieved in the last 3 years and in itself this is already demonstrating the miracle of optimal living. Some extra zen-like benches are placed for you to enjoy the scenery and we learned from a guest how to traditionally preserve them in a sustainable way. Now we are finding the time to optimise our presence on the internet so people can find us and enjoy the benefits of this place more easily.
The Monastery Guesthouses primary gift to the world is being a place to retreat. To abstain from the habitual demands of daily life, from the hectic rush of prestige, from the emotional build-up of situations and last but not least from the control that we tend to impose on life. Going through a meaningful change in life can optimally be facilitated by living in a simple and open way for a shorter or longer period of time. A weekend, a week, a month or even a year… It will be a very enriching experience to live the rhythm of the Guesthouse or the Monastery for a while.
So, if you wish: leave behind your time and space and come to Andalusia this summer to explore what optimal living could mean for you. A beautiful garden and guesthouse are awaiting you. We bid you welcome!
* “The Treasure of Human Living”, will be published on the 1st of August, as text of the month, via NâmInside