So I take the plunge and start a meditation course.
At the sober age of 50, I am struggling with depression and have a busy medication regime. I recently explored the thought of meditation as I have heard a lot about the positive effects on the mind so I decide to have a go. I attended the Nimisa Retreat hosted by Adrian and Nikki Wright.
Booked in for a weekend retreat, I arrived at Sudbury station to be picked up by Adrian and taken to our amazing destination. I was taken aback at the beauty of the estate, it was a show stopper. The grounds were absolutely amazing, housing the 16th century Grade 2 Listed building and so peaceful, it was truly breath taking.
Shown to my beautiful room which was much more like an apartment, so big and luxurious; I was tempted to stay there for the weekend!
Settled in, I unpacked my bag which is very rare as I generally live out of a bag on short stays, but everything was so beautiful I wanted to make it home and take full advantage of everything it had to offer.
Once I be-grudgingly left my room I was invited to investigate the house and grounds, quickly shown where everything was and invited to call on Nikki and Adrian at any time during my visit. Their room was conveniently placed in reach of every guest which I thought was incredibly generous of them.
I crept out of my room and investigated straight away like an excited child… and once I checked out all of the rooms, including the amazing meditation studio, I made my way to the tea.
The tea docking station (my description not theirs!), was stocked with so many different types of teas it was hard to choose, but being one of habit I stayed with the ever faithful earl grey. During the visit, you was encouraged to find what you want when you want, including juices and fruit.
To my left was an amazing kitchen where the chef Dominic was busy chopping and mixing the evenings meal, he was polite and we engaged in some sort of conversation about food, and if honest, I didn’t understand as I know nothing about clean food.
I returned to my room with my cuppa, enjoyed the peace and quiet it had to offer until the gong was sounded for evening meditation.
Our small and intimate group of 8 participants met in the huge studio and we were invited to enjoy a grounding meditation to start things off for the weekend, once completed, we were invited to our evening meal in a beautiful dinning room and Adrian introduced everyone; the weekend plans were explained.
After a wonderful, tasty and much needed meal, thanks Dominic, we adjourned briefly to the yoga studio and the lovely Nikki gave a short talk on Ayurveda, the holistic science of health and healing, it was obvious that she is extremely knowledgeable; it showed when she talked with passion about holistic therapy and the benefits of the treatments. Nikki invited everyone to have a chat and pop along for a visit during the stay.
We were then invited to the various lounges on offer and lay or sit on the sofas, read the many books, talk to each other or just relax.
I felt amazing, but clearly my body cried out for a rest, so a luxurious bubble bath with their particular brand of product and bed, so off I popped and left the other guests to settle and chatter.
I put my alarm on for the morning, 8am quite a civilised time, and time enough for a quick shower before our first meditation at 9am and then to breakfast for home made porridge. I had sugar, and scolding myself for my bad habits, Dominic explained something about clean food and clean sugar, so I wasn’t doing as much damage as I thought.
Over breakfast we chatted excitedly about the day and Adrian explained what to expect, so a 60 minute rest and another meditation.
On day two I was invited to join in for a walking meditation which intrigued me, I was asked to walk and not to talk for the entirety of the meditation.
Adrian led this meditation in complete silence, this involved walking around the amazing grounds which meant I experienced the tranquillity of my surroundings, horses, lake and the trees.
In the silence, it was amazing to appreciate the sounds of the trees, the amazing smells of the various plants and the lake with fish bubbles.
I felt at one with nature and quite together with my authentic self.
Curiously many of the participants regularly crept off during the day and returned looking either amazing or so chilled you could push them over; what is happening I ask? To be told Nikki is offering treatments downstairs; no sooner had I been told, I followed the smell of the many amazing massage oils and she suggested a facial. I felt incredible, how I needed that, it was a wonderful treat.
What I enjoyed about the weekend was that everything was optional. All of the meditations and activities were on invite, so if you didn’t want to participate, you didn’t have to, and led by Adrian which meant you got used to one particular coach. I liked this approach, the optional one I mean, no meditation, no judgement.
I decided I was going for it and spent the full three days learning a meditation called Mindfulness. I was the only “newbie” to meditation but I felt relaxed and comfortable joining in and asking questions.
My first meditation I had the lovely Nikki sitting to my left which I am sure had a calming effect. Thanks Nikki.
The Food; what can I say? Fresh, organic, clean, tasty … All of the recipes were gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free and alcohol-free; I felt more energised during the visit, Dominic said it is because I was eliminating these foods from my diet which will certainly make me feel more energised and lose weight. I have to say I am surprised I wasn’t hungry, so the snack bars I sneaked into my bag were redundant.
If you are interested in clean food, Dominic has published a book, which is available on Amazon, it is called Your Favourite Meals Cooked the Clean Way.
The entire experience was tremendously different for me, I had never encountered meditation work before, I certainly kept on the move, lying down one minute, sitting and moving about; no boredom. One exercise was particularly interesting, we explored a creative meditation which involved writing; I won’t give the game away in case you involve yourself in this exercise in the future.
Adrian and Nikki were amazing hosts, they looked after everyone, but I felt they looked after me especially … I think that they have a talent for leaving everyone they encounter feeling so special. Their personalities shine; they make a good team and have the right dynamics and empathy to guide full enjoyment and participation.
The meditation practise itself did have a huge benefit to me and my depression; it certainly calmed it and kept it at bay, I felt I experienced a quiet mind. I felt wonderful and other than when I took my medication, I didn’t give the depression a second thought, so I would conclude that meditation is good and encourage you to experience it.
So now I am back home and supposed to be continuing my mindfulness journey. I participated in practise at home with all the best intentions; I did this twice and then forgot. Disappointed with myself, I didn’t want the time or learning to be lost; I wanted to capture the experience and practise.
I called Adrian; how do I make it part of my life and he told me about some meditation sessions he runs locally. I have booked myself into Shambhala Studios with Adrian to take part in an 8 week mindfulness programme, my next blog will record the mindfulness 8 week journey and the affect it has on my depression.
Thanks Adrian and Nikki for a magnificent experience, I hope you organise one again.
Love Me x