By Lynda Shadbolt
Published Aug. 28, 2018
I fell in love with camping, and sleeping in a tent at a very young age. My parents purchased a little “pup tent” for my sister and I and we would camp in our backyard. My mom would pack up a little cooler with cereal and milk and we would have our own adventures just steps from our house.
Being in the tent was like our own little magical peaceful oasis. We loved it. In high school I joined the outers club and did a semester long “total immersion” four-credit course where I did a number of winter, spring and summer camping trips. I then went onto Lakehead University where I studied outdoor recreation and camped across North America for four years.
And then I married the love of my life and we have camped together, with our daughter and with our friends for many years. I just love the simplicity and the quietude of being in the tent. It’s our portable cottage.
When I spend time in it I remember how good it feels to live close to nature and also that I don’t need a lot to be happy. Nature is restorative and healing. The trees, the lake, the sky, the birds don’t judge or evaluate anything. They are just purely in the moment, present and accepting of all that is. Nature reminds us of our true nature which is that we are all vast, spacious and non-judgmental, like the blue sky.
That place of deep calm and peace is who we all are at our deepest level of being. This calm space exists below the surface chatter of “I’m not enough, I need, s(he) did this or that, etc.”
It is a part of all of us. We just don’t connect with it often enough.
This article is being written from a funky little café on Wolfe Island, a 20-minute ferry ride from Kingston. I’ve been having my own little adventure where I have been fortunate enough to combine my love of nature, camping, yoga, meditation and silence and really kind people.
I’m staying at the Shanti Yoga Retreat (in my tent) and am participating in a couple of retreats. I did four days in silence and then I had one evening off before my second retreat began.
I decided to head into the main town, Marysville, on the island and ended up having dinner at a funky little restaurant that had really friendly staff.
I was looking over the lake having a glass of wine and feeling so grateful and full of adventure. I met some local people and chatted about their lives and the island. It was so fun to feel the local energy. These practices of yoga and meditation remind us to find that quiet, beautiful deep inner space of acceptance and peace and love, and then the real work is to take that energy out into the world and into our lives and all of our interactions.
It’s good to retreat, and it’s good to live the life we have fully with a big open heart.
So here is a gift from Shanti to you. This quote is on their fridge that holds the organic almond milk that we put on our homemade granola every morning. “Joy does not come from what you do. It flows into what you do and thus into the world from deep within you.” Eckhart Tolle. www.shantiretreat.ca