Having missed the Winter Soulstice in December last year, I was privileged to join Dehyana for the 2009 Summer Soulstice Retreat at Lucky Valley this June. I had no idea what the Summer Soulstice Retreat is all about but I was told that Lucky Valley is a place with excellent qi and a perfect retreat for the body, mind and soul.
I managed to hitch a ride from Chee Wah at the eleventh hour and we arrived at Lucky Valley in the afternoon. After a hearty organic vegetarian dinner, we assembled at the Pyramid where we were greeted and hugged by Dehyana. She was like a goddess, ever so radiant and warm. After the introduction and a brief 'getting-to-know-you', the session was opened for us to share our purpose of being there. For me, my heart is open to learn.
The session ended at 12 midnight and we were each given this note:
Dear Retreat Participants,
The purpose of your visit to Lucky Valley Retreat is to learn and grow and listen with ears. Talking inside the Temple(pyramid) is okay because it is where we meet each day to learn and to grow through group participation. However, before a session begins if you wish to be in Temple, please maintain Sacred Silence and only speak when necessary. We're here to learn to communicate with our divine Self through the act of Sacred Silence.
When on retreat, we want to listen, with not only our natural hearing, but also with the "ears of our heart." We need to listen to the interior sounds and words of God within. To do this, we need to be quiet and silent. Therefore, there are times and places when it is good to talk and sing and laugh. There are other places and times when we need to respect the gift of quiet and silence.
The lunch room, our bedrooms, corridors, outside near any of the buildings; these ought to be places for quiet and silence. Sound travels easily through walls and windows, so we ask you to be sensitive to others who may be trying to rest or meditate or pray. If you have a cell phone, please turn off the ringer and set your phone to silence or vibrate. As an added courtesy to your fellow retreatants, please use earphones if listening to a CD or MP3 player.
Thank you kindly,
Oh my God, this is a Silent Retreat!! No talking for 3 days.
Why Silent Retreat?
When we are silent, we can listen to the silence of our soul. Our inner being speak to us and we can discover ourselves. Listening is a skill and it takes time to develop such a skill. We rarely take time to listen. How can we hear if we do not listen?
Only when we practise being quiet, going within, taking time to listen and creating the space to listen, will we hear.
What is a Summer Solstice?
A Summer Solstice is when the sun’s path across the sky, the length of the daylight, and the location of the sunrise and sunset all shifted in a regular way throughout the year. The solstice happens at the same instant for all of us, everywhere on earth although our clocks say different times. So it resulted in early dawn, late sunset, longest day, shortest night.
It is an astronomical event, caused by the Earth’s tilt on its axis and its motion in orbit around the sun. Because the Earth doesn’t orbit upright (tilted on its axis by 23.5 degrees), Earth’s northern and southern hemispheres trade places in receiving the sun’s light and warmth almost directly.
Lucky Valley is situated in this God forsaken land in a small town of Pahang called Muazzam Shah.
The retreat is nestled admist 500 acres of fruit orchards, vegetable plots and herb gardens, cultivated on a previously virgin jungle (which still lines the perimeter of the land) lies a remote haven called Lucky Valley. It is also known for its abundant natural healing qi and alkaline water. Surprisingly, the retreat frequented by foreigners and local groups who normally come on organized energy-enriching retreats. As the qi is suitable for meditation, it also attracted many Tai Chi, Qigong or Yoga enthusiasts.
(pix:see these energy balls?)
The magnetic field in Lucky Valley is extremely strong. The centre piece of Lucky Valley retreat is the pyramid or temple. It is specifically built to harness the powerful orgone energy into the pyramid. Those who are sensitive to energies will be very aware of these energies, as well as other spiritual energies that are available there. Believe it or not, I could actually feel myself ‘floating’ while standing on the centre piece.
Food grown here are organic and free of pesticides. Our meals were vegetarian and wholesome. Oh, I love every meals here! Everyone is required to wash their utensils after every meal.
Lodging is as simple as can be. It is back to basics with no television, no hair dryer, no hot shower, no air-condition. We have an option of twin sharing or dormitory. I chose the latter and was glad to share space with Lynette (KL), Kam Lye (Ipoh) and Janet (Malacca). We each had a bed with a small pillow and blanket and yes, that’s about it.
Briefly, the Summer Soulstice Silent Retreat is about getting to know oneself. How well do I actually know myself? It is to stop looking at my neighbour's life and look at what is in front of me. Then I began to discover that everything is a mirror image of my mind and I carry with me along my life.
In the words of Thomas Dreier, he said "The world is a great mirror. It reflects back to you what you are. If you are loving, if you are friendly, if you are helpful, the world will prove loving and friendly to you. The world is what you are."
to be continued