Ahhhhhhh! Hear that? That's called serenity. It was shortlived because once I got home and got back into the swing of things with the kids, it was over but good while it lasted. In an attempt to start doing things for me, in a positive light, I'd been googling meditation classes and this one day workshop just happened to come up. A one day meditation/yoga workshop in the Tweed River/Gold Coast hinterland. So I booked and went on the weekend.
Conducted through the Australian School of Meditation & Yoga, Nadia Retreat is located in Bilambil, about 15 minutes from the Coolangatta airport on the Gold Coast. A private residence with a meditation room located at the front of the property, you might be fooled into thinking you were in Bali or Thailand with the beautiful tropical gardens surrounding the property.
Space was limited to an intimate group of about 25 people and we started with a meditation class. I'd been trying to get the 'hang' of meditation these last couple of weeks. I'd always successfully managed deep relaxation methods over the years but didn't quite 'get' what meditation was all about. I'd hoped to learn all about it at this retreat and that I did. I'm not sure if it was a 'spiritual awakening' or the planets were aligned that day or whether or not I was just susceptible to spiritual guidance, but I definitely felt like I'd 'got' it.
We were mid way through the meditation class on what started out as quite a warm, humid day. There was a lovely soft breeze blowing through the room and then there seemed to be quite a large gust of wind come across my my face and body as I felt total relaxation and peace in my mind. It was such a beautiful experience. Meditation is all about breathing and focusing on that. You're never going to 'empty' your mind but practising these breathing techniques we learnt, you're able to step away from those thoughts and breathe positive energy or 'chi' into your body. It's quite an indepth subject and I'd like to learn and practice it some more. This state of relaxation lasted until about 1:00pm yesterday afternoon and I'd just about had it up to my eyeballs with the kids but I don't think I let it get to me as I'd done in the past. I think this workshop really helped me to keep relaxed and less stressed.
After a basic demonstration class of Qigong, an ancient Chinese practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation, we headed back for a lesson in Mantra Meditation and a bit of yoga. This was also very relaxing and a beautiful experience. A vegetarian banquet was then served. We could smell it cooking all morning and we were all well and truly starving by this stage. The food was beautifully prepared with gorgeous, fresh ingredients and was all very tasty. I hit the cooks up for the recipes on a couple dishes and will try to replicate them.
There was a fried rice, tamale pie, chilli con carne, grilled corn on the cob, nachos, salsa, coleslaw and the most gorgeous dish of a baked ricotta smothered in a red and green chilli and oven roasted cherry tomatoes. That's the one that makes me salivate thinking about it.
After a full belly, we teamed up with another person and gave each other an aromatherapy face massage. It was just beautiful. (Have I used the word 'beautiful' enough in this post?) Another mantra meditation and afternoon tea of a wholesome carrot cake muffin and mug of freshly made hot chai tea before heading home in the pouring rain. It had got quite windy and cool by this stage but I didn't care. I was so relaxed. I collected the kids, had dinner, movie night and managed to doze before the eldest one went off to sleep. It was an early night for all of us. Last night I gave each of my children a face massage and listened to rainforest music before they fell asleep, with only a little bit of talking. I think I may have them hooked as well because they want to do it again tomorrow night.
I highly recommend checking out your local area for meditation classes if you're looking for a way to relax and calm your mind and body. Let's face it. Who isn't these days? I hope to keep it up but will get to one of these retreats again as soon as I can.
Australian School of Meditation and Yoga
Nadia Retreat Centre
323 Hogans Road