Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mount Shasta Retreat Experiences: Discovering the Eternal Silence

Self Retreat Experiences

Back in the ‘90’s, my life was very different than it is today.  I was running a small,  bustling nonprofit in the Washington, DC area.  I dealt constantly with financial crises, personnel issues, and micro-managing funders and Board members.

The only thing that made it possible for me to hang in there for as long as I did was my annual trips to Mount Shasta.  I’d come out each Summer for a week or so for a camping retreat and all the my accumulated stress would fall away.

I remember arriving one year even more stressed  than usual.  I drove up the mountain right away and found a quiet spot to meditate.  Just when I was starting to settle in a bit, I heard the loud noise of a nearby helicopter on a rescue mission.   For the next 20 minutes or so, I was miserable as the helicopter droned on. 

Finally the noise stopped.  I drank in the nectar of the silence, savoring every moment.

Then, after a while, the noise of the helicopter started again.  But, this time, it didn’t disturb me at all.  I continued to enjoy the silence, which was still present even in the midst of the loud noise.

Life had offered me an incredible gift through my helicopter friend.  For the first time, I realized that silence is not the absence of sound.  As sounds come and go, silence is always present.

When I returned to my life in DC, I was much less impacted by the noise and busyness of that environment.  The silent stillness was there too, always patiently waiting for me to slow down enough to notice it once again.

It is this kind of life skill, aka inner development, that retreat participants cultivate (or enhance) on my guided retreats. To learn more about guided retreats in Mount Shasta - click here.

Andrew Oser has been offering spiritual life coaching, along with guided retreats on Mount Shasta since 1982.   Through hikes to little-known sacred sites, guided meditations, spiritual life coaching, and time drinking in the silence of the mountain, he helps clients to deeply renew themselves in body, mind, and spirit and receive clear vision for their lives. 

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