Silent Retreat at Springwater Center

Springwater Center

I spent 15 days living in silence surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes up in Springwater NY, about an hour south of Rochester NY. It took me 6.5 hours to drive up there, but the long drive added to the spiritual experience.

The peacefulness can't be put into words. Woodpeckers and song birds consisted of the only noise. I had daily deer encounters and created many little sketches about it.

I ate vegetarian meals and drank herbal tea all day, I hiked steep hills (mountains) and meditated for hours, the first time in my life. I found meditation amazing and want to incorporate it more into my daily life.

By observing and becoming aware of my conditioned mind's repetitive patterned thinking I finally understood what Eckhart Tolle says about paying attention to the spaces in-between, words, thoughts even musical notes. I admit that I got a glimpse of that JOY behind it all that keeps you coming back.

Sitting room

I told the nice folks up at Springwater that I need to make some art they provided my room with a lovely desk.

I wrote pages in my journal, as well as, drew and painted in watercolors and other mediums.

I wrote and wrote and wrote in my journal and drew and did little watercolors... I even harped upon a new sudo printmaking technique involving a small pad of watercolor paper and pressing a painted wet piece (or the opposite page) into the page.. it created relief textures that I further painted on. I did forget to bring a tube of opaque white watercolor, oh well.

Springwater Center is derived from Rochester Zen Center by Toni Packer, who in 1981 dropped all the dogmas of Zen and just kept what she thought was the most important part, the silence and meditation.

See many more pix click H E R E (Relax, you don't have to be a FB member to see).

© Heidi Younger


Luisa_B said...

I love the texture and colour palette on the deer piece. Gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

thank you, Heidi
I have been thinking of going to Sprinwater on and off for years.
Your pictures, both photos and paintings, have made up my mind.

Paty Malka said...

I found your page after I made my first time reservation to Springwater.
After reading your post, I am even more excited to go there. It's only 50 minutes from my house and that's perfect for what I need: peace of mind!
I also just loved your paintings. They are incredible!