Planning my own personal retreat

Having left it too late to book on a ten-day Vipassana course this winter, I decided to create my own retreat.

On December 29th, I am going to stay in a bungalow on the Pembrokeshire coast for a week.

For the first three days, I am having complete silence. This will involve a full media detox – no phones, no music, no TV, no internet, no books, no newspapers, no MacBook. No conversation.

Just me, a log fire, walks along the coast, plenty of herb tea and home-cooked food.

Every day I plan to do yoga and meditate for at least five hours.

I would like to remain in silence during that time. In case someone speaks to me, I will carry a little card that says, “I’m sorry, I can’t speak at the moment.”

This part of my retreat is about gaining clarity. I would like silence with no distractions, to let my mind settle and return to stillness. I don’t hope for any great revelations, just a little peace and time to listen to what’s inside.

I plan to go silent upon arrival in Marloes, on December 29th and break my silence on January 1st 2011, after three days.

Then, I have invited good friends to come join me. Offers are open, so friends can come if they feel like it.

I am also taking my guitar, some masks, some books and DVDs so I can immerse myself creatively on the last four days.

This part of my retreat is about energising and inspiring myself. I am hoping that the three days of silence and stillness will aid my creativity.

I guess that remains to be seen! Watch this space for an update.

In the meantime, could you do with some quiet time, with no distractions? Or some time to recharge, creatively? Can you make a space for that, in your life?


(Inspired by the waterwheel at the National Wool Museum of Wales, near Newcastle Emlyn)

Water on and on and
Water on and on and
Ribbons drip drop drip splash
Ribbons on of water
              drip splash
              drip drop drip
Buzzing flies around and
Boring boring water
On and on and boring
Boring but I like it
              buzzing flies
              flying fluff
Dandelions on a
Manmade dry stone wall
Boring but important
I drive everything here

Scurries of dried blossom,
Sunlight glinting down,
Swallows swooping all around me,
Swallows sitting, red-faced, preening;
Swallows with their fork-tails tipping;
Swallows diving, diving, dipping.

Water on and on and
Water drives me round the
Boring boring water
Boring but I like it

Sunlight glinting on the
Sunlight in the water
Clouds are in the water
Sky is in the water

Water on and on and
Water on and on and
Water on and on and
Water on and on and

(Lyndi Smith, May 2011)

Listen to an mp3 of the sound of the Waterwheel

Visit the National Wool Museum