We often have people returning to our retreats time and time again and we were blessed with the company of Phill & Sandra again in January, I think this is at least their third retreat. After the retreat Phill got in touch to share his experience and all of us who have read it felt the power of his experience rippling through his words, so we had to share! Thank you Phill for sending us this…


My wife and I have attended a several of retreats now and we really enjoy going back to soak up the atmosphere. There’s always nice people to meet and something new to discover which enhances your practice.

During the final session at our last retreat, I opened my eyes and caught site of a tree through the window and gradually started to become more intensely aware of it.

The tree seemed to be greeting me – but more enthusiastically then I had ever been greeted before! If you can imagine being apart from your young child and when you get home, their face beams and they run towards you with open arms – it was like that but stronger.

I had this sense that my own awareness was connecting with the tree’s awareness and it was apparent to me at that moment, that the life force running through both myself, this tree and everything, was one. It felt like being held in a loving embrace, as if this tree was pleased to have been noticed and I started to sense that the other plants in the periphery were vying for my attention too.

I was an integral part of this creation and felt a massive sense of home-coming. Exactly as if this tree was smiling at me – big, friendly, loving smiles. How utterly mad & wonderful is that!

Better yet, it seems to have brought about a shift in me. Whereas before, I would relax into my body when meditating and feel awareness within, now the awareness feels external too and somehow freer. My awareness feels like it’s been ‘set free’ from the confines of my own body. Hard to describe of course but as if it is more fluid compared to my inner awareness, which now seems slightly treacle-like in comparison. Not sure if there is any relevance in that yet but I do feel surrounded by this lighter, more care-free awareness which feels great and I find myself keep checking back, to make sure that it hasn’t disappeared!

Now I appreciate how far out this sounds, especially if your reading this from a pre-retreat mind space, as I too was a totally logical, scientific type for my whole life. No one was going to pull the wool over my eyes! But in fact, I discovered the opposite – the wool was already over my eyes. I was very much a slave to my own thoughts and they were the wool. And really, to consider ourselves as not being a part of this creation… doesn’t that seem just a little arrogant when you come to think about it?

Phill (Guest Author)