Have just returned with Martina after our having spent a delightful fortnight healing and rejuvenating ourselves at an Ayurvedic retreat centre in Sri Lanka. A long journey out and a long one back but boy oh boy was it worth it.
I previously knew next to nothing about this beautiful cleansing and rejuvenating system, which in a nutshell revolves around taking certain remedies, having many different kinds of massages with healing oils, and eating a healthy diet tailored to your specific body type.
But as with all healing systems, they are only as good as those who administer them and the people who worked in our retreat centre and who cooked for us and massaged us and looked after us generally, were truly extraordinary human beings. They all operated out of a very kind and gracious open heart and despite – or perhaps more because of – having little money, they were completely unmaterialistic.
I reflected on how sad it was that most of us ‘Westerners’ lose this quality of heart with which we all initially come into the world – I thought of Wordsworth’s great line about our ‘trailing clouds of glory do we come from God who is our home’ – but which we gradually ‘lose’ as we grow up and become increasingly absorbed into our materialistic and consumerist culture where you’ve ‘gotta make it’.
“Make what?”, I asked myself!
Here, in this little sanctuary, I felt the people who worked had never ever lost heart. They weren’t interested in making anything, except being present in the moment and focusing on being of service. I felt deeply respected for who I was, and eminently aware of the healing power of love.
Taking myself on a retreat as opposed to giving them (which is my natural wont) was especially important for me and I got to see clearly how, in certain aspects of my life, I didn’t always practice what I preached. While talking the talk of the need for more ‘being’ than ‘doing’, I saw how I was really a bit of an over-busy bee and that there was a need for slowing down and for more balance in my life. I saw I needed to eat less and play more, especially play my ukulele more and limit television viewing in the evening, especially that goddam CNN news and the latest antics of Herr fuhrer Trump!
But I managed a good hour and a half’s meditation most days, and a good 45 minute swim, and this played a key role in my own healing process. I also saw a baby Komodo dragon that happily didn’t try to gobble me up.
I returned home full of gratitude for the blessings of life and my heart felt full of joy. I felt closer than ever to my truly wonderful wife and ever more conscious of the many gifts which her presence gives me.
For those interested please visit their website: The Privilege Ayurveda Resort
The Oxford Dictionary defines liberation as: ‘the act of setting someone free from slavery, imprisonment or oppression’. Liberation, therefore, has both inner and outer dimensions which are intrinsically inter-related because if we are not free inside ourselves, it will inevitably limit our ability to live a liberated outer life, even if the society we live in is a relatively free one. The same can hold true the other way around as well. Many of us, therefore, need liberating not only…