Heartmind News Update - Spring/April 2022

So, the Spring has technically arrived, although here in the Glen it still feels like we are waiting to feel the warmth of the sun on the ground and on our faces. There have been some lovely days here, but mostly it still feels cold at night and in the morning, which is really only an issue for my seedlings waiting to get planted out and for the flowers to get going in the garden. Otherwise, it is lovely to see an end to the long dark days of winter and have light until about 9pm now.

Since my last update, I have made some small changes to the set up here at Heartmind Retreat. Everything that I mentioned before in the Winter News Update is very much the same regards 'Friends of Heartmind' who may wish to visit and stay with me for a few days and experience retreat. The major change is the accommodation I can offer and the space for meditation. I had originally planned for friends who wanted to visit to stay either in my 4m wide teepee tent with wood burning stove, or to use accommodation providers in the Glen, and to use the cabin I had built last year as the meditation space. However, reflecting a bit more on this I have decided to offer out the new cabin for friends to stay in as it is warmer, more comfortable and appealing to most. If friends would prefer to book into other accommodation in the Glen and just walk up to the retreat for the day, that is also still possible, and I can highly recommend three providers; Eco-Nature Holidays, The Watermill and Home Farm Cottages, which if you Google you can find the websites for them. However, if you would like to stop with me at the retreat, as a friend, you are most welcome in return for your ongoing donations and support.

I recently had two friends visit and stay in the new cabin and they absolutely loved it. Both said how toasty warm the fully insulated cabin was with the wood burning stove, how spacious and light the room was, how comfortable the beds were, how quiet and relaxing the actual retreat was itself and how much they loved the privacy of the little cabin situated down in the woodland. They brought their own little camper cooker and most days were sitting out in the early morning sunshine in front of the cabin eating porridge they cooked themselves. They brought their own food and most of the time they were pretty independent in the cabin space, except for the days where we shared meals, went for local tours or sat together in the Hermitage chatting and meditating.

They also enjoyed my cooking, the walks by the beach and the several nights looking up at the stars while bathing in the warm healings waters of the Japanese wood fired hot tub, soaking in the spring water, bentonite clay, epsom salts and essential oils. It is also a real joy for me to provide these little luxuries to those who have been so kind and supportive of my endeavours here. As I knew they were coming, and wanted them to have a bit more privacy and personal space, as you can see from the photos above, I built an eco-compost loo with a view, next to the little cabin. This worked so well and is no different to using a normal loo if you have never used one before, the only difference being instead of flushing you add a scoop of sawdust to the loo to aid with the composting. There is zero smell and is actually much more healthy for the environment. So this has been a great little addition to what I have here available at the retreat for when friends come to visit.

Sadly, they didn't get to meet Monty the red squirrel who visits most days wanting nuts. While the red squirrels are super friendly here and not afraid of humans, they are wary of dogs and new comers. So, we didn't see him for the time they were here, but normally he is at my window wanting hand feeding. Here is a little video of just how cute he is;

...and a photo of how he has now allowed me to stroke him. If you come and stay, and you don't have a dog with you, there is a great likelihood that you will get to meet him and see some of the other wonderful wildlife here.

Back in February I had a visit from my son, who also trialed staying in the cabin. It was a long way for him to come from London, but even a few days in the Glen and walks on the beach can help to reset ones heart and mind with nature, which is so very present and powerful here in the wilds of the Cowal Peninsula. It was a great time for us both and I am so pleased I can spend this time here with my family.

So, the next steps here at the retreat are to set up a composting system, build a proper long term wood store (having plenty of dry wood here is essential to life almost off grid) and to build a greenhouse/workshop for my tools and a place to work when the rain comes down, which can be often in Scotland especially in the winter months. Today as I write, it is glorious sunshine and I will be this afternoon going out to inoculate some logs with Oyster and Shitaki mushroom spores, part of the ongoing development here to try and grow as much of my own organic food as possible and also to share with guests when they come to stay.

In the coming months, I also aim to write a blog once a month, just for friends, about the deepening of my spiritual life here in retreat. It is something I have been wanting to do since I arrived here some three years ago in September, but it has had to take its own shape over time and honestly until recently I have not known quite what to share that could be relevant, helpful or interesting. I didn't just want to regurgitate or parrot sacred teachings that can be found endlessly online. So, the first year here was spent very much adapting to lockdown and renovating the cabin to live in. The second year was also in lockdown, where I lost both my parents (I believe to adverse reactions from the vaccines they were coerced into taking) and I spent much of that year building the little cabin, taking time for grieving and reflecting. I did try to put out some videos on Youtube for friends to keep them up to date, but I appreciate they were more just about me and things happening here, rather than of a spiritual nature, or sharing from that sense to perhaps help during extraordinary times in human history.

I have stopped doing the longer Youtube videos for several reasons. Firstly, they just take me such a long time to produce, edit and upload from my remote location without wifi access, time which I simply can't afford to spend when there are so many jobs needing doing here and I am on my own to do practically all of them. Also, I am trying to go deeper within and not just be about producing long outer expressions of video content, especially as I am not sure many watched them. I also feel Youtube is such an unethical platform censoring free speech now, that to remain part of it in any form is unethical. I have quit all large social media platforms on the same basis, except for Instagram, which is useful simply because when I post photos of the retreat progress on there, it automatically updates on my website page, so that those website members who also don't use social media can go to the website, see my photo updates and shorter videos, being both convenient for them and much easier for me to share.

Now things are more organised here at the retreat though, and I have facilities set up for friends to come visit and spend time on a personally tailored retreat with me, I feel I have so much I now want to start sharing and say in creative writing, that hopefully you will find uplifting, inspiring, useful and even at times a little challenging (which is the edge where we grow the most). These blogs are going to be from the heart and very personal, so this is the reason I wish to only share this with friends; those of you who have a good sense of who I am already and the work I have done in the past; those of you who feel like me a certain way about life that is often difficult to share with those generally around us in everyday life. I am not looking to develop a wide audience, just those who are drawn to read, reflect and share together, with the opportunity to do that also in person here at the retreat. I am not looking to change the world, nor develop an online following. I have absolutely little interest in that, in fact quite the opposite. I seek only to live in the spirit of the living truth of divine creation, beyond dogma, religion, tradition or the plethora of new age teachings being marketed daily all over the internet. I do not want to be part of any of that. Yet I have an urge to share what is precious, what I have found finally in my long spiritual journey to where I am now. An urge that I feel needs to be expressed like a plant drops seeds, hoping at least one of them will germinate and continue to grow towards the light, sustaining its life essence long after the parent plant has gone. Not that I have anything special to say, more a sense of duty to keep alive what I feel is special (dharma) at the heart of this amazing experience of Creation.

In closing then, this will be the last general post out to website members. My blogs and reflections on life here at the retreat will in future just be for those of you who kindly support what I am doing here through a small monthly donation to Heartmind as a genuine friend of my endeavours. If you are one of them, thank you, I am eternally grateful for all your support, encouragement and inspiration. Without your support and coming here to share in the experience of retreat, being here would feel a little self-centred, and my life has always been about giving and sharing. You are in my heart always and please do not forget that you are welcome here to spend some time away from the wider world, and although it may seem quite a distance to get here, those friends who have been, have found it a blessing even just for a short time.

If you have not signed up as a Friend of Heartmind yet, can I ask you to consider that just £4 can make a huge difference to me from small numbers of supportive friends, and its just like buying me a coffee once a month. I am not looking to get rich, just get by, and to provide a place of respite for friends who need it, and hopefully in future share some of the dharma I find spiritually inspiring with you in future blogs. As a friend, I am also available to talk via Zoom or on the phone, and share some of the practices of Heartfulness that have helped me to find my spiritual path and long awaited dream home in retreat.

May you all be blessed with peace, well being and be free from suffering.

Much love

Hosshin 🙏🏼❤️🌸

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