I have just returned from a spring retreat. I had never been to Lam Rim before. It is a large, rambling house in the middle of beautiful rolling countryside and, incredibly for this particular spring which has been the wettest for 100 years, the sun shone on us all weekend. I joined 16 other yogi/yogini and our two tutors. We were looked after and nourished by two extraordinary ladies who began the centre in the 1970s. At Lam Rim you are expected to help out – preparing vegetables, washing up, working the garden etc. I have no experience of communal living but I did so enjoy it. I shared a bedroom with three other ladies. Silence is requested between 10 p.m.and 6 a.m. Silence in a girls’ dorm is something I need to work on …..
I was considering today how much yoga helps us. We are endeavouring to feel compassion and spiritual love for all living things on this planet – we might not always manage it – after all we aren’t perfect- but the knowledge that this is what we strive for is so powerful. Being in a group of people I didn’t know, it was so comforting to find myself with others who, like me, were trying not to make lightning judgements or compartmentalise one another simply on the basis of height/weight/age/sex/race or fashion sense! We were all looking for things to LIKE and cherish about one another. And we found them. We were a very disparate group but yoga brought us together and gave us laughter and friendship almost from the moment we met.
So I am very grateful for my yoga, and tomorrow I will write about what we did.