At Yoga in Daily Life Melbourne, our Easter was spent on Retreat in Hepburn Springs, Central Victoria. 20 of us enjoyed the long weekend away and were both challenged and nourished by a yoga program geared for people with an existing yoga practice.
Big thanks to Veronica & Steve from Continential House in Hepburns Springs for welcoming us so generously in their beautiful vintage style guest house with all the mod cons. It was so awesome we've already planned our return visit!
Some themes for the weekend came spontaniously from the retreat attendees, regarding letting go, non attachment and change. Maybe it was inspired by the stunning beauty of autumn in all its glory around us, or probably because it is a constant ongoing challenge throughout life. Lucky for us we have our yoga practice to support us.
Over the three evenings of the retreat, in the lounge by the open fire, Swami Gopal lead a conversation asking "who are you"? Are you this body, mind or something beyond? Can peace be found in a world of loss and change? What is permanent and enduring?
“Life” was the theme of our investigation in these evening Satsangs (inspiring talks) . We looked at how existence / consciousness, the life principle in all living beings expresses through the available equipments (body, mind and intellect). We discussed the Gross, the Subtle and the Casual bodies as layers (sheaths) covering our true identity, called Atman, which is represented by the sacred symbol OM.
In reality we are ever this Life centre but, having fallen into an inexplicable misunderstanding, we identify ourselves with one or another of these outer sheaths and in one moment we think we are the body searching for comfort, next moment we think we are a bundle of sentiments and emotions chasing joy, yet another moment we are following an ideology that the intellect has dictated for gaining respect. Each of these personalities demands their own satisfactions and as soon as one finds its fulfilment the others revolt in dissatisfaction. This is how we come to suffer the limitation, sorrow and unrest of this Samsara as long as we remain ignorant of our higher nature.
Rediscovery of the Self ends all our confusion and our sense of imperfection making us masters of our life circumstances and situations around and within us. And this is why we practice meditation.
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Here are some photos ...