Easing into Silence by Frances

Silent retreat at Living WatersJP and I arrived in Yowrie, Australia last week. We are joined by Colin, Greg and Emily in preparing for the upcoming 3-week silent retreat from Oct 18 – Nov 8. This retreat is fully booked.

After Nov 8, we are open to taking a road trip along the east coast of Australia from Melbourne to South East Queensland. If you are in the area and want to meet us, host us or organize a gathering, please contact Colin Carter at [email protected]. We would love to connect with you!

We sent out our welcome letter below to all participants of the silent retreat as a way to invite the mind to prepare for this deep experience.

Welcome to the 3-Week Silent Retreat at Living Waters Sanctuary
with Frances Xu and JP

This is an opportunity to live in community in a deeply reverent way, sharing together in an experience of Silence and listening to the Spirit. There will be opportunities to join in Spirit-guided activities to deepen in trust, stillness, and awareness of the One Self. True Silence is a state of mind and the still relaxed state is our natural way of Being.

The purpose of this silent retreat is to give you an experience of coming back to the natural state of Being that we Are. An extended period of silence brings the mind back to a deeper place of stillness. When the mind is still and open to receive guidance, we can actually “hear” the same guidance at the same time as we recognize that we are truly all connected in the mind.

During the retreat, we encourage you to minimize “horizontal” communication with others. This is a time for you to step out of the construct of your daily life and be open to an experience that is beyond this body and this world. Please communicate with your family/friends and whomever necessary that you will be in a silent retreat and will not be in communication during your stay here. Internet and phone calls will be available for emergencies upon request.

We also encourage you to minimize non-verbal communication (gestures of greeting, for example) with other retreatants here. This is a time for you to go completely inward. Breaking the habit of communicating in the horizontal way will help the mind to loosen up from the belief that you are a body.

Other than guided group sessions we encourage you, to the best of your ability, not to listen to audio teachings, watch movies, or read books (A Course in Miracles excepted), etc. Silence is in the mind and to stop talking is only a small part of it. We want to help the mind to be still. Any mental stimulation is a distraction. If you have nowhere external to go, the only place you can go is inward. You can write down your insights as they come. We would love to collect your expressions, writings, poems, lyrics, etc. to share with friends around the world by posting them online after the retreat if you are so inspired.

Two group sessions will be available each day: a morning group meditation and an evening session. The form of each evening session will be spontaneous and announced on our notice board prior to the session. It could be a group meditation or meditation with live piano music. It could also be a teaching session, a music night or a movie night, etc. All sessions are to be participated in silence, with rare exceptions when expressions are guided and announced during the session. All sessions are optional and are designed with the intention of bringing the mind into a deeper state of quietness. For those who find themselves already sinking deeply into stillness, participation in the sessions may not be necessary. If there is a burning desire to express, one-on-one sessions (spiritual counselling) will be available during the retreat.

We are looking forward to supporting you in the experience of sinking deeply into the stillness.

Much love,
Frances and JP