|A view from the "Wheel of Life"|
Your daily life
Is your temple and your religion.
Whenever you enter into it,
Take with you your all.
Greetings from Mother Earth…I should say the “spirit of mother earth”.. which is "Gaia", a health retreat and spa in the hinterlands of Australia, a place I have taken myself to for a mind-fix…five days of therapeutic bliss.
A few months ago I had the notion to visit a health retreat, feeling it would help me prepare for "empty nester syndrome" after dropping my fourth and last child at boarding school. I proceeded to do my due diligence and came across the following…
Surrender to the beauty and healing culture of the internationally recognised Gaia Retreat & Spa, nestled in the breathtaking Bundjalung Country hinterlands of Byron Bay (Australia).. Poised on the highest point in the shire and set on 25 acres, Gaia has 20 beautifully appointed retreat style bungalows/villas set in lush subtropical gardens. This boutique property will seduce you in drift into infinity with its endless beautiful vistas.
You can consider me officially seduced and drifting into infinity.
I can not begin to describe the feeling after spending just three days at Gaia, it has totally captured me. This is not my first visit to a health retreat but it is my first visit to Gaia and I know it will not be the last.
I liken it to a little hideaway, your own personal sanctuary.
Simple and elegant accommodations, beautiful, healthy and delicious food…
spa and therapeutic treatments that could tempt anyone out of their cocoon
and activities to keep you motivated and spiritually connected.
Upon arrival, it was pure joy to see the expanding landscape.
If you have been following Collage of Life for a while,
you know that Tahilla Farm is a place that is near and dear to my heart
and it is the first thing that came to mind when I glanced around Gaia..
mother earth working her best kind of magic.
The views are melodic and embracing.
Folds and folds of lush green grass sweeping from one hill to the next.
A nature walk outlines the property, a horticulturists playground
with a beautiful collection of native Australian flora and fauna.
In the midst of it all, a wonderful organic vegetable and herb
garden filling our plates for every meal.
There are many strategic points to contemplate life
and the view. Day beds are scattered throughout the property,
Adirondack chairs, a hammocks and my favourite…
a dozen boulders strategically placed around a space for a blazing fire.
In my mind there could be no better place
for connecting to mother earth….
every where you turn..
a quintessential Gaia experience.
The highest point of the property is "Samira Lookout" with spectacular views..
from mountain ranges to the sea. Samira- in Sakskrit means “god of wind and breeze,
a place to gather your thoughts". Within this spot you have the opportunity to walk
a labyrinth, inscribed into the earth that takes you to a statue of Buddha.
Walking among the windings of the labyrinth you lose track of direction,
trusting on the shape of the pattern…it essentially is meant to quiet the mind
and lead you to a contemplative state. Having tested the theory,
I can say that it works…if you walk slowly and thoughtfully.
|Labyrinth outline…a work in progress.|
The labyrinth is the symbol of Gaia..and rightly so.
During your journey at Gaia you trust in the people around you to lead
you a contemplative state, to help quiet your mind and body…and they do just that.
From the Buddha you turn to "Easterly",
a magnificent sculpture across the way.
She is grounded, she is strong,
she is the center, she is life.
Amongst her, an artful arrangement
of boulders of different shapes and sizes…
it is breathtaking.
"Easterly" created by Australian sculptor Loui Fraser….
“The sculpture refers to the figureheads on ships that lead explorers
and adventurers to new lands, portraying the feelings the artist has as a woman
living on the easterly point of Australia which greets the new day, everyday,
for the rest of the country to follow.
Mixed media 2006
I will stop here… touching on a just a few of the experiences at Gaia…there is so much more. If you are interested in a health retreat, I encourage you to have a look here. Be sure to view the video to take in the full experience.
I will say, that no matter where you go or what you do, it is the feeling you take with you at the end of your journey that matters most. I feel the transition from one journey to another, one more exciting and fulfilling for having experienced Gaia. Personal mountains have been climbed and with that a few bits of baggage have been thrown to the wind. A health retreat experience is something you have to be open to and if you are…it is just the beginning. Even the crazy ones like the one I created below...
|A new beginning for me, my first attempt at clay sculpting with|
a twist of Henry Moore.
If you are interested in a health retreat
in your corner of the world
you could start here.
For more information on Gaia…click here
|The "Wheel of Life".. created by Australian sculptor Suvira McDonald|
Illustrating the essential spiritual teaching of
Life's Natural cycles:seasonal cycles, the waxing and
waning of the Moon, the tidal ebb and flow.
A special thank you to fellow guests~Felicity, Scott, Chris,
Loretta, Rita, Katia, Ruth and Georgie
for the shared laughter during our days at Gaia…
It was a pleasure sharing the journey with you all!
Until next time…