Listening to Country: The Luminate Yatra
A meditative walking pilgrimage (yatra) through Canaan Downs to deeply meet the land that holds us during the festival. This will be a unique opportunity to honour our connection to country through collective wandering and the practice of listening with all our senses. The key element of the yatra format is walking silently through country together with others.
The Sanskrit word “yatra” means journey, pilgrimage, or path of life. The key element of the yatra format is walking silently through country together with others. We will go over the concept of a yatra, particularly focusing on how we can open ourselves through all our senses to fully feel our connection to land, from the physical sensations of walking and breathing to the emotional/mental responses to the sights and sounds we encounter along the way. We will also cover the practical protocol, including the practice of maintaining sacred silence, leaving adequate space between one another as we walk in a line, and staying between the “head” and the “tail.” Following that will be a short sitting meditation to centre ourselves and to expand our awareness of the diversity of sounds near and far, developing the core component of deep-listening.
The silent walk will be in single-file procession and will include one or two stops where we will gather together and engage in an experiential exercise of stillness. We will loop back and return to the original spot, reconvening, breaking the silence with small group sharing.
We will leave the experience embodying the expansiveness of cultivating the inner silence and having tapped into a collectively held reverence for the elements, the life that surrounds us, and the soil beneath us.
Christopher now lives in the subtropical rainforest of Northern New South Wales, Australia, although originally from the US. Combining a B.S. in Human Ecology with Taoist and Yogic teachings, Christopher enjoys bringing people of all ages in closer contact with the basic ways we can connect to Nature as Spirit. He has worked as an environmental educator for over ten years, and also specialises in managing projects that aid in connecting farmers to local consumers. Christopher also runs a men’s empowerment program called Yoga For Every Man, and has been working with the yatras for over a year as a yoga teacher, manager, support staff, and caterer.
Ronny has studied and taught in various traditions of yoga, buddhist meditation and personal development since 1992. He is an accredited yoga and tai-chi instructor, a qualified outdoor recreation guide and has trained in Hakomi mindfulness-based psychotherapy. He facilitates yatras and nature-reconnection retreats all around Australia for over ten years.