Vipassana Retreat Centre (Aug 2002)

The front cover is a photograph submitted by Robert, the caretaker and outreach coordinator of the Vipassana Retreat Centre near Merritt. Marcel and I like the idea that Issues be used to promote spiritual places… spaces that help to heal our souls. Places that are quiet, serene and usually planted deep in nature.

Nature has the power to heal and I believe Dorothy Mclean was correct when she said in her book, ‘To Honor the Earth,’… “Large trees are conductors of energy. They stand ever ready, channeling the universal forces that surround and are part of this planet. They are carriers of especially potent vibrations, sentinels of cosmic energy, transforming the power in an aura of peace. Large trees are essential for the well-being of the Earth. No other can do the job they do. They and humanity each represent the apex of a particular form of life, and you can gain much by association with them. It is no accident that the Buddha is said to have found enlightenment under a tree. Let your love go forth to the trees. Give thanks for their Creation.”

Growing in the midst of these tall trees in central BC are several new retreat centres. The Vipassana Centre in Merritt is one and the Birken Forest Monastery near Kamloops is another. Last summer, log buildings were created near Rock Creek for the Hümüh Monastery Buddist Meditation Retreat Centre.

I just spent two weeks at the Johnson’s Landing Retreat Centre near Kaslo/Argenta where a variety of Findhorn presenters have taken turns enlightening participants with their knowledge and insights. Dorothy Mclean, a presenter, was one of three co-creators of Findhorn, in Scotland forty years ago. God spoke loud and clear to each of them with instructions on how to be. As Dorothy said during her talk… “If we had known what we were doing, we would have destroyed the bigger plan. Instead, we took one small step at a time, following our inner guidance. There were to be no public announcements and yet people showed up from all corners of the earth to participate.” This organic process made it a lasting monument to the trusting nature of all involved.

The Transformation Game was another gift that evolved from that community, along with many deeply committed facilitators, including Brita Adkinson, whose workshop I attended, called Living Your Life with Purpose. I loved playing the Transformation Game. It helped participants delve deep into their consciousness and with Brita’s guidance could see how to change their thinking and open their hearts to the process of living in the present moment. Our understanding of who we are became clearer as the game proceeded and soon we felt the presence of our angels. Once our blocks of fear were expressed, the steps became clear as to what needed doing next to Live our Life with Purpose. Putting our plans into action will be the challenge as well as our gift to ourselves and our community.

Upon arriving back from the wilderness retreat setting, I had a difficult time sleeping. I was awakened more easily than normal by the sirens, the people passing by the window and the roar of vehicles, including one bus that beeped for a long time while it was backing up.

I have reminded myself of that old saying, “Be careful what you ask for, you may get it.” I told the universe I was ready to have a man in my life and gave fairly clear instructions what I was looking for. Lo and behold, he showed up on my doorstep and now, many months later, we are both sure our angels made a good match. The problem for me is that I have a busy life doing things here in Penticton. Richard has a retreat centre in the Kootenays where he would like to create an intentional community. This is something I had thought of long ago but never managed to manifest here. Perhaps there just aren’t enough tall trees to produce the energy needed.

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