Reflections on our Silent Practice Day
The group met for a silent practice day at the quiet and atmospheric Village Hall in Cresswell, located at the southern end of Druridge Bay. With an early morning mist hanging over the countryside, and the tide lapping in-shore, it felt as remote as spot as it could be, and perfect for our day of sustained practice. A slightly extended group of 6 soon made the hall comfortable and conducive to practice, with candles and incense, and a shared sense of right effort and intention. A format was agreed for the day, mixing sitting with walking meditation sessions, and at 10am we settled into silence, which would remain unbroken until the end of the day at 3pm when the group reflected on their experiences and thoughts.
The day opened with a 45 minute sit, followed by 30 minutes of walking meditation or yoga as preferred, and then a further session of 45 minutes sitting before a break for lunch. A number of the group took the opportunity to walk outside on the beach at lunch, exploring the dunes and shoreline in quiet, contemplative thought. We reconvened at 1pm for another 45 minutes sitting session, breaking again for walking meditation or yoga for 30 minutes before ending the day’s silent practice with a final 45 minute session of sitting. Afterwards, we shared our experiences, reflecting in part on the differences of each of our practices, which ebbed and flowed like the tide from one session to the next, but all agreeing that the practice had been both valuable and fulfilling. A short yogi-job session to clean the hall before we left gave us all the chance to come back to the “real world” and break our silence with jovial chat and friendship before we left for home (not before the little ones had time for an ice cream!).