Once a year we invite others to share this piece of coastal paradise at the Joy of Being retreat. Spring is a gorgeous time here, with waterlilies and lotus flowering on the dam, and huge red Hippeastrums ringing the gardens, which are filled with fresh greens ready to pick for the salad bowl. The last of the migrating whales are still passing our beaches, and the days are not too hot to enjoy walking the Bingie Dreaming Track, or meditating at Mullimburra or Grey Rocks. Honeyeaters are nesting and feeding their young, bustling around the flowering native plants, ducks, moorhens and cormorants frequent the dams, kookaburras and magpies sing about their territories.
This year we are offering a Friday night start, so that we have time to enjoy the relaxation and magic of yoga nidra, that superb transformational Tantric practice. Yoga during the weekend will be slow, gentle, suitable for beginners … using the bolsters, blankets, eyebags and other props in the tranquil Yoga Barn. After relaxing and stretching with yoga we will be ready to learn a new skill, how to weave with native grasses!
I am really excited to have local Koori woman Vikki Parsley coming to teach us traditional skills and natural grass practices. Vikki is young and full of life, always smiling, an inspirational person who will greatly add to our Joy of Being. Not only will she offer a whole session of weaving, but she will also work together with Stuart in the art workshop on Sunday morning.
That brings us to the art … perhaps something that could put people off … thinking that they are not ‘artistic’. Nothing could be further from the truth for anyone in these exciting workshops. Materials are usually all natural, making marks with reed pens plucked from the beside the dam, or charcoal from the fire, or ochres from Central Australia. Stuart has been teaching art since he was young man working with Architecture students at Sydney University in the early 1970’s, where he used rock music to loosen them up to sketch life models! Now his approach is more meditative, usually walking silently in the landscape with clues about observation, then using various media and materials to express inner impressions stimulated by this dialogue with nature. Everyone has so much fun, with many moved to joy, awe, tears or laughter by what flows through them in such a surprising way!
Woven through the days and nights is the fabulous food. Vegetarian, wholesome, organic or homegrown, prepared with love. This year we have the pleasure of Sandra Makdessi’s contribution, so expect a strong Middle Eastern theme through the retreat food. Everyone joins in on shifts before and after meals to set out the food and utensils, and clear them away again, enjoying the cameradie of the kitchen. Dining is usually on the terrace, where the pizza oven might be alight in the evening. After a day by the sea everyone has quite an appetite!
Accommodation is relaxed and casual, with beds inside the house or mattresses in the Barn, or the delightful Barnadette, a small timber tent among the casuarinas. Some people bring their own tent to be closer to the hush of the trees and whisper of the ocean at night. Whatever you require can be accommodated at Dadirri.
Register your interest by emailing bingiyogiATgmail.com, or simply find out more by phoning Christine on +61 (02) 4473 6226.
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