Letter from a Nat Mur

Nat Mur
The Retreat Centre
Bordeaux
France

Dear David

Well after much deliberation, research, pros and cons of the trip and what I am going to get out of it, you can see by the address I am on retreat in France, so I can just get away and be me and what’s more its silent for the most of the day so I don’t have to talk to anyone about why I’m here, what I’m about or worse how I am feeling!
Saying that I am currently very up and down, one minute crying (on my own of course) the next minute happy and the bubbly cheerful me. Mostly I’m happy when we are all eating together, which isn’t silent, well, I don’t want people to think I’m a crackpot do I? And I definitely don’t want anyone asking me if I am alright!
Best thing about this place is the peace, no sudden noises, the only sounds are the gentle bells that call us to silence then call us to have the option of coming out of silence in the evening.
The meditation sessions are great, but I have to compose myself as don’t want to crack in front of people. That exercise you suggested of writing down anything that comes to mind in a notebook was great, thanks for that, and I am writing, but I probably won’t read it over as I’ll probably get angry about it all. I went to a couple of meditation sessions, but I think I may have over thought the process so ended up confused and frustrated on not being able to blank my mind off and be in the moment or get it right and perfect like the teachers. No surprise there then!
There was an option to book a bed in a dorm and shared bathroom, but I chose to the private and ensuite one! Well I don’t want to have to be forced to use a urinal or shared washing facilities! Please no! Thing is cant lock the room door so am a bit worried about coming back from my day and finding I’ve been robbed or someone is hiding in my room so I carry out my usual sweep of the place before retiring for the night.
Food is good, lots of vegetarian options and vegan dishes, no fat or rich foods and luckily no slimy stuff either. Only criticism is that they don’t use salt in their cooking so should have packed a little salt packet to add sometimes. I could kill for a warm pasty though with all that pastry…… yum.
There are plenty of short walks in the hills nearby and the grounds are beautiful so I get up have my breakfast then take myself off once the bell has sounded away from anyone. They have some options of set timetables but I want to keep control of my itinerary on this trip as I need to just retreat from it all really.
The journey here was good, the ferry crossing was excellent, especially as I booked a cabin to myself, and the car did the journey a treat, it took eleven hours and I stopped a few times for a break. But was dying for a wee when I arrived as I couldn’t go for one in the French loos, no privacy! The weather isn’t too hot and there is lots of shade with the plum trees in the grounds so plenty of shade available, besides that why I have chosen spring to come and not the peak of the summer season.
Right better go, as the bell has just rung for silence to end so must have shower to look bright and breezy for the communal dining!

Take care
Nat Mur

A gentle miracle post by David.

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