During the retreat we all walked down to the beach for an early morning meditation. It was a relaxed kind of meditation, where we chose to focus on the elements. No rules, just being quiet and watching, listening, feeling, being with the water, rocks, sky, sunlight, in way that was meaningful to us. It was not for long either, perhaps fifteen minutes of quiet sitting on the stony rocks of a small cove. But it was incredible to listen to what happened for each person in that short time! Come with us now, on the walk, the yoga limbering, the quiet sitting, and the return.
We waited together by the pond until the few who were staying at home had arrived. The waterlilies were still closed, waiting for the morning sunlight to touch them, the caress of warmth and light triggering their blossoming. Are you a bit like that … needing a little fire to get you flowering? Then we walked through the bushland to the beach, and waited again, for one last person.
We loosened up with gentle swinging, stepping, reaching and swaying until our breath was deeper and steady, our muscles and limbs tingling with fresh prana, our eyes sparkling and our whole selves smiling. Stepping carefully over the rocky shoreline, we made our way with great concentration to a hidden place we call Shell Cove. Lined with rounded rocks, it is a comfortable place to sit for awhile, a tiny womb in the rugged northern shore of Mullimburra Point. The smallness of the cove is at contrast with the expansiveness of the beach. Everything feels closer, more intense, more personal.
Sounds are amplified by the amphitheatre shape of the cove. We sat and listened to the sea, rumbling on the loose rocks, splashing and whooshing against the fixed shore. We watched the ruffled and rushing surface, the caressing and smacking of the waves, the way they tossed the lobster boat that came with two men to check on their pots. We observed the silver morning sky, streaking clouds, sporadic breeze, sunlight illuminating points here and there, the dead Shearwater floating on the sea, foaming edges, unmoving rocks shaped by distant volcanic events. The scents of salt, ocean, seaweeds mixed in our awareness with sensations of warmth and coolness, some moving into the small strip of sun warming the cove. We felt the shape of rocks underneath us, lifted then into our hands, began to explore the other flotsam and jetsam. Passed some finds between ourselves as our quietness drew to a close. A stone, a feather, a swirl of dried seaweed caught on a bleached stick. We began to walk back, still reflecting, listening to the elements, earth , air, fire and water talking to us. Flowing in and out of our awareness.
Then we were back at Dadirri, underneath the Mulberry tree, picking treats for our palates, sweet ripe mulberries! People began to speak of what they heard and saw, what they felt, how deeply meaningful were the understandings they received, all in that short time sitting with nature.