Cedar Retreat is situated at 9,500 ft. in the northern Aberdares in the heart of old growth forest. For this reason it is an ideal location for a nature retreat. The air is cool at nights, and even in the hot season Jan- March the forest provides cool shade set amidst streams, rock pools and waterfalls that within the precincts of the retreat centre offer the options of solitary meditation spots within the heart of this ancient forest ecology.
Walking in silence through the forest in the early morning dawn light one quickly becomes attuned to a very special ambience. It is no exaggeration then to call these woodlands an Enchanted Forest with their mixture of red cedar, olive, and rosewood, their branches hung with hanging moss.
The nearby moorland is accessible within 30 minutes drive for walks that can be planned for varying periods of two hours to four hours that take you through landscapes dominated by the Dragons Teeth and Pyramid Rock Formations, or a longer 6-7 hours walk (up and down) to Le Satima Summit.
The forest, nearby mountains, open moors, the river and waterfalls naturally provide a spaciousness inwardly and outwardly that settles the mind, while living, walking and practicing meditation in nature creates personal connections and mutual support.
The silent retreat is grounded in the practice of Mindfulness Meditation: the natural capacity we all have to be present to ourselves and our environment. Participants will be guided in scheduled formal practice sessions to bring this receptive presence to develop a contemplative relationship with nature.
In wisdom traditions this corresponds to opening the mind and heart, and the nurturing of awareness that allows for these two modalities to work in symbiosis, acknowledging the primacy of the heart-mind as the field of relationality that gives rise to compassion and to an ecology of love.
Silence is our natural habitat, and the work of silence is, as it were, a process of returning to the wild. Maggie Ross
The retreat will commence at 12pm on the first day Friday May 27th and finish after lunch around 2 pm on the last day Sunday May 29th.
Transport for those not driving themselves will leave Nairobi 0700 on 27th.
DAY ONE FRIDAY 27th MAY
14.30 Silent meditation. Introduction to the retreat.
16.00 Afternoon river or forest walk
1800 Mindfulness practice. Nurturing a contemplative relationship with nature.
20.30 Silent sitting.
DAY TWO SATURDAY 28th MAY
0700-0730 – Silent Sitting Meditation on the Deck above waterhole.
0800-0900 – Breakfast
1030-1230 – Nature Meditation and Silent Forest or Moorland Nature Walk.
1300-1400 – Lunch
1500-1600 – Option: Solitary Practice – Being Alone in Nature.
1800-1900 – Mindfulness practice. The intuitive mind and relationship.
DAY THREE SUNDAY 29th MAY
0700-0800 – Silent Sitting Meditation on the deck above waterhole.
0800-0900 – Breakfast Dining Room
1000-1200 – Forest Walk upstream along river into forest.
1300-1400 – Lunch in the Dining Room or on main deck.
1400 Departure for Nairobi.
Meals throughout will be vegetarian. Vegans should notify their preferences well in advance of the retreat as the retreat is remote from shops and supplies. No alcohol will be served during the retreat.
THE COST OF THE TWO DAY RETREAT FULL BOARD COMMENCING Friday 27th May at 12.00 pm is 24,700 KES PER PERSON. This is the current concessionary venue charge per person for two nights full board for this retreat. Teacher’s facilitation at meditation sessions, guided nature meditations, talks or presentations are offered on a gift economy basis, known as dana in the tradition. The above charge does not include anything for the teacher, so donations at the end of the retreat may be offered. Each log cabin has en suite bathrooms and wood burning stoves.
Those who wish a vegan diet will they please notify me when they request a booking. Given the remoteness of the location this cannot be arranged at the last minute.
If transport is required to Cedar Retreat from Nairobi please indicate this when you book. We try and encourage participants on retreats to make use of this to avoid multiple vehicles burning fuel and to lessen the carbon footprint of the retreat experience. It is roughly a five hour drive to the retreat, and not easy to find. Park fees are additional payable to KWS at Shamata Gate. Depending on how many make use of the 8 seater minibus the cost to and from Nairobi (roughly a four hour drive ine way) is roughly between 3,000-6,000 (3-6 persons) per person.