Springhead Retreat – Oct 2023

Springhead Retreat – Oct 2023


Tess writes:

The long weekend retreat at Springhead was full of love, laughter, tears and trust. Springhead in Fontmell Magna is a beautiful place to be, peaceful and welcoming.
On arrival at Springhead, I felt embraced by everyone on the retreat.  There was a tremendous feeling of loving kindness.  We started outside on the grass by the lake on Friday evening as the sun was setting.  Tew Bunnag introduced some fundamentals of tai chi with some practise before we went indoors for a delicious vegan/vegetarian dinner followed by meditation and ‘good nights’.
Every morning, practice started early on the grass, we felt the cold morning dew wake up our bodies from the base of our feet.  The days unfolded and developed naturally with Tew sharing his wisdom and knowledge to the group with many amusing anecdotes.  The theme for the weekend was compassion, courage and facing fear.
As someone new to Tai Chi and the retreat I was excited to listen and learn, and for me, although the form wasn’t familiar, there was the opportunity of following the group and learning from them.  We chanted, recited prayers & Paramis, meditated, practised the short/long form and had many interesting and illuminating conversations.
Tew is an exceptional person full of selfless love, compassion and support. Everyone was so kind and giving and I felt completely at home.
I could go on and write an essay on the wonderful journey I was fortunate enough to be part of. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and love.

and Sue read read the Lake Isle of Innisfree to everyone. Here is her paragraph on it:

Standing by the lake in the evening at Springhead, hearing the sound of the mill race and the owls hooting in the trees, watching the bats swoop overhead as the sun dipped under the hill and the dusk dropped softly, reminded me so much of Yeats’s poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree. Back in the city he hears lake water lapping reminding him of the beauty and peace of the place in the same way that I can be reminded of Springhead in the midst of London’s noise. But I can keep with me too the teachings of the heart, the love and support of the sangha and my boddisatva vows. As the poet says ‘I hear it in the deep heart’s core’. These were the last words my mother said to me before she died so I can also carry a memory of her when I hear the poem.

What an enormous pleasure it was to recite the poem on my 74th birthday in one of the most beautiful places I know.