Daily distractions abandoned at Centre of World Peace and Health
FOUR weeks on an isolated island with no TV, radio or internet has been an
enhancing experience for Langholm resident Steve Scofield.
Steve has just returned from the winter retreat on Holy Isle at the Centre for World Peace and Health.
The centre is run by volunteers and is part of the Holy Isle project. The island is owned by the Rokpa Trust, the same charity which is run in Samye Ling at
Steve decided to take the retreat because of the benefits he found from going in the previous two years and this year even more so.
He said: “You feel more balanced, confident, patient and generous.
“Your body and mind
becomes more adaptable and you eat fresh, organic food from the garden in a stunning environment.”
He was given his own room with a bed, chair and sink. It took him away from all the distractions of newspapers, TV, radio and internet.
He spent one to two hours of practising yoga and meditation in his room each day. Group sessions were also optional in the morning or afternoon.
Steve said: “You’re almost guaranteed that there will be periods of utter boredom and can expect a few scary bits.
“You may feel totally serene from time to time. You will almost certainly know yourself better by the end, learning to accept the inherent impermanence of the existence. Facing yourself and there is only you and I to blame.”
About 15 people at a time stay from one to 10 weeks. They do get to chat to each other for a short time after lunch and find out a little about their companions, about their religious and spiritual backgrounds or none at all.
The journey to Holy Isle
involves taking two ferries. It’s a small island so there is no getting off if you want to.
Steve watched the wildlife while there: ravens flying, a peregrine falcon, many sea birds, otters and red squirrels in the beautiful gardens.
Steve was due to complete 28 days on the island but, because of the stormy
weather which came in last weekend, he cut it short to 26 days.
More information is available at www.holyisle.org.uk