A sprinkling of thoughts on the Poulstone Court Retreat – by Julia Hecquet
This was a beautifully organised and totally stress free retreat environment with a very warm and welcoming atmosphere from the moment you arrive.
The venue (hand picked by Liz and Molly) feels perfectly suited to letting go of the usual worldly concerns and immersing yourself in the dharma and sangha. The rooms are comfortable, the food fantastic and there is ample time to explore the beautiful countryside between sessions. As a member of the Bath sangha, one of the things I found really lovely (and this was mirrored by others I talked to) was the opportunity to get to know other sangha members from Bristol and London.
In contrast to previous years, where we have had shorter meditation sessions with fairly long breaks in between, this year Liz and David thought it would be good to “stretch us” a bit and so lengthened the sessions. I found that placing a little more emphasis on the meditation worked well for me. Although sitting for longer was a challenge (physically), it was good to do and certainly informative in terms of my own practice and the much needed application of effort – something I definitely need to improve upon!
Observing and spending this time with other sangha members, I feel newly inspired by their dedication and discipline and will try to bring them to mind when I find myself making excuses about why I can’t meditate today. Thanks guys!
All in all the retreat has provided a much appreciated opportunity to quieten my mind and immerse myself in dharma practice with fellow practitioners. This has been a precious time for me and I know that all who attended would like to offer their gratitude to Liz and David for organising this retreat.