Sometimes the opportunity to make significant changes in your life comes at the most inconvenient times, and that’s how it felt when the chance to do a five-day wellness retreat with Samadhi in Victoria, Australia, came my way. With things hectic at both home and at work, and a husband and three-year-old to consider, I wondered how I could possibly afford to go. Yet something inside me – call it instinct or intuition – told me to grab the opportunity. Which is how I found myself enjoying a slice of holistic heaven, and learning how to respond differently to life’s challenges.
10am Monday morning seems an absurd time to have an encounter with God. But there’s no denying I’m having one, and it sure beats the typical start to the week: racing to get to work, fuelled on caffeine and facing a day of deadlines. “So what are you sensing?” Wayne Mirananda asks. “What’s going on?” I laugh as I tell him, not quite believing that God can transcend my boundaries, my expectations and my cynicism. It’s such an exquisite moment, and I’m bathed in such an overwhelming feeling of warmth and grace that I want to sit and never leave the overwhelming sense of love, which has pervaded every corner of the room. When I open my eyes, Mirananda is nodding enthusiastically. “It doesn’t have to stop,” he says. “You can take it with you, or ask for it as you do your emails, as you walk down the street. Even when you’re in conflict with someone.” Now there’s an idea, I think to myself.
It’s an incredible start to my five–day retreat at Samadhi, located at Glenlyon, a cute one-shop town just outside of Daylesford in northwest Victoria, the spa and mineral springs’ capital of Australia. I’d almost picked up the phone the day prior and cancelled. My husband was under the pump and I was anxious about how he’d copelookingafterourthenthree -year- old daughter while I was gone, while also juggling a full time job, a side venture in property development and any number of other things he manages in a typical week. The day before I was due to leave for the airport no later than 4:30pm. At 4:15pm I sat staring at my packed suitcase wondering how on earth I could go. In retrospect, this is the very time you should go. Eventually my husband urged me to get going, and as we raced to the airport I finally let go and embraced what was to come.
Wayne and Annah Mirananda who run Samadhi (meaning “heaven”) Retreat have, combined, over 50 plus years in professional and personal experience in the field of health and healing. The East meets West retreat is intimate, only caters to one person or a group of up to six at a time. After the drive from Melbourne Airport, on a wet and cold winter’s night, it was like arriving into the warmth of a beautiful cocoon. The stylish, self-contained boutique retreat, fitted out with heated polished concrete floors, an open fire, neutral calming decor and Alpaca rugs oozed comfort, safety and welcome. Annah influenced by her background in nutrition and interest in food as a source of vitality and medicine, delivered up the first of many wholesome and artistically striking meals. It was the precise food that the moment called for: a rich, celeriac soup, hot and full of flavour; decorative smoked salmon rolls stuffed with Holy Goat feta; and a glass of local Hepburn mineral water. Sighing, I think to myself, “I’m so glad I came.”