HARE KRISHNA, HARE KRISHNA, KRISHNA KRISHNA, HARE HARE,
HARE RAMA, HARE RAMA,
RAMA RAMA, HARE HARE
All respect to Lord Krishna and his devotees!
As the next step on my spiritual journey, I went on a silent retreat last weekend, down in the beautiful county of Fermanagh which was run by the Hare Krishna’s. The retreat was held in a house just across from the island, Inis Rath, where the temple is, but we had a couple of trips over to it. We were over early on the Saturday morning and then back again on Sunday, after the retreat ended, to take part in their weekly feast.
The silence began on Friday night at 9.00pm and continued until 12 midday on Sunday. I hadn’t expected any difficulties maintaining the silence, since I did the six week silence for Lent, which is still ongoing. I prefer silence these days and it is quite difficult to find silence, it doesn’t matter how quiet I am, there is always noise from somewhere intruding, whether it’s from neighbours, distant traffic or aeroplanes passing overhead. But it’s also amazing just how well you can communicate without speaking.
It was great to get away from all the fear-mongering and chill out with others who appreciate the joy of life.
There was a great mix of people both, at the retreat and the feast, and a great time was had by all. The feast is open to all members of the public and is free; you need to be there about midday, to get the boat over, and it takes you back around 3.00pm. It is an experience worth checking out. I will be taking some of the family with me next time. Although, it is free, you can make a donation if you wish.
The Hare Krishna’s are vegetarian and I had expected that I would feel hungry but, I had no hunger pangs at all. The food was first class, fresh, wholesome and very filling. It was so filling I didn’t even eat much at the feast on Sunday. All in all, it was a heavenly experience, getting up early in the morning, sitting outside having a cup of tea with the view of Lower Lough Erne in front of you, and listening to the birds singing and the peacock calling from the island, and one that I will be repeating in the future.
Sadly, they are booked up for the rest of this year and there will be no retreats until next year. They are moving everything to the island, as the house on the mainland has been sold, and the house on the island needs work done before it can be ready for visitors. I am hoping to get back down later in the summer and am negotiating a deal whereby I can come and stay in exchange for work.
If anyone is interested in the Hare Krishna’s here is a couple of links to check out: