I was asked recently by one of my teachers to try again. To find a way to make it possible. These teachers of ours always know where to push! Reluctantly, I started thinking about how to make it actually work for all of us. Luckily, I had a wonderful conversation with a friend who had taken her family to a retreat center in France while they were living in England. The place was completely set up to support families doing retreat together with their children, with other families and still have time to do their practice. Thinking about that model I started to brainstorm and came up with a plan.
Sheshadri was a little reluctant at first and then when I suggested the other family, he was hooked. Our dear friends, Beth and Tim, spend practically every holiday with us. We've been lucky enough to have become their adopted family. We don't have any family in the area and it's sooo sweet to connect with such amazing people. Luckily, Tim and Beth study with many of the same teachers and there was a strong harmony between our children. After speaking with Beth and Tim about the idea, I started making plans.
We used Tim and Beth's second house in Wilcox, AZ . I set up a practice schedule and then rounded up some wonderful people to hang with the children while we were in session. Even Annamika got excited about asking people to come help us in our pursuit. We started on New Year's eve with a party - music, dancing, the ball drop in Times Square, confetti and of course a wonderful dinner to start the whole evening off with a bang!
During the retreat, I was relaxed, happy, silent and got more practice time over 3 days than I can usually get in a month! Annamika was happy to have friends and times where she could just be the kid that she is! Beth gave me a huge grin and the thumbs up sign half way through.
I knew that we really had made it work and be a huge success when Beth and Tim were debating over our final lunch together in Benson on the way back to Tucson. Tim wanted to plan to do a family retreat 3 times a year and Beth was only up for 2 times! Well, that's certainly better than my reluctance to ever try and do it again!
Stay tuned for more details and story about this silent family retreat. Please e-mail me with any stories you may have about doing family retreat. I would love to post them with your permission of course. Plus, Beth, Tim and Sheshadri were asked to post their own stories on this blog about our time together. We're waiting......