REVIEW: The Universal Medicine Retreat, Lennox Head, Australia 2018

REVIEW: The Universal Medicine Retreat, Lennox Head, Australia 2018

Prior to attending Universal Medicine retreats I had a vague inkling that there was much about life I found hard to stomach, but not the deeper awareness of how to be in the world without feeling reactive to those things that were cruel and callous, such as animal cruelty – or reductionist by nature, such as our media and legal systems – or bloated and bureaucratic, such as our governments.

In the past my first port of call was always to feel angry or frustrated about things that were corrupt, selfish and disregarding of others. I was unable to respond without blame, anger or frustration; I was wrapped up in feelings of negativity, desperate to flee and disconnect from this cold world. This 2018 Retreat gave me a revelatory understanding of how to free myself of this reactionary response – to no longer lose myself in feelings of helplessness and futility.

We can all feel irked by our irresponsible world, from the smallest act such as the person dropping their litter out of their car window, to a big corporation dumping sludge in a river – the reaction to a toxic and blinkered self-interest being a quite toxic irritation I myself had. For any of us feeling a certain level of awareness, we can feel the unease in observing such disregard. I have always felt the hurt of a world not caring, not being considerate and doing things at others’ expense. In this Universal Medicine Retreat I was being given the opportunity to respond to the disharmony with a deeper level of love, free from the poison of reaction.

How often in our day-to-day are we given this opportunity to drill down to the bones of what it is that doesn’t feel true and be offered a way of approaching life that is all-encompassing, considerate, kind, compassionate, but not standing for the nonsense either?

This Retreat explored our relationship with life on a deep level, asking us to be absolutely honest about what it is we abhor about life, giving us understanding on how to encounter these aspects we dislike without going into reaction or judgement and thus adding fuel to the poisonous fire, or recoiling and thus withdrawing from life itself.

This Retreat put me firmly in the role of observer, bringing understanding to a world inhabited by human beings and systems that are not always offering much in the way of love.

The 2018 Retreat (as they all do), involved lots of group work, collectively looking under the rocks at the parts of our own living ways that are perhaps a bit lacking of love, and if we bring enough of that abso-lute honesty we allow ourselves to see where we are maybe allowing life to get the better of us and so hold back our natural qualities out of protection, fear or even lack of responsibility.

The willingness of most attendees to support one another to look and self-reflect offered a feeling of safety that allowed me to be vulnerable, to heal by discarding those old patterns of behaviour that kept me shut down and small. Old ways that serve neither myself nor anyone I encounter.

This was my 6th Universal Medicine retreat and it is noticeable that the quality and depth of the sharing in the group work has increased each year, as students new and old go deeper with what is presented, unpacking life and seeing our role in how our world plays out. In this all you have is Serge Benhayon, a master conductor responding to that depth and offering us ways to understand life on levels that our current human model of intelligence just is not capable of seeing.

This year’s Retreat honed in on our true purpose in life, which I feel is to offer our unreactive love to a world immersed in circulating more of the same emotional reactions.

We have all felt the time we have shouted back at the angry person or withdrawn from what feels like a helpless hate-filled scenario. I recognised the old ways I had of behaving that cared deeply for people, but which were laced with my own feelings of hurt from seeing such ugliness.

I learned in this Retreat to become strong through reading such situations and understanding more deeply why such things play out. This year I learned that to hate the lack of love can itself be loving, if that hate is a proactive, non-reactive response that doesn’t settle for the status quo, calls out the abuse where needed and offers love in action. Any form of reaction and recoiling is just polluting the world with more separation and disconnection from one another.

The Retreat allowed me to deepen in the feeling of not reacting to that which I feel to be untrue or unloving. This is a powerful strength we can all tap into and the way forward for us as human beings in the purpose of giving more of our loving qualities to all situations and people that we meet.

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  • By Stephen, Health & Fitness Teacher

    Stephen has worked in health promotion for his career of 15 years across both the public and private sectors. He works with clients of all ages and levels to make fitness about wellness.