A Silent Nature Retreat
Where can one go to find quietness?
Find it inside a little-known Andalusian retreat, where silence is nature and breathing is natural. It is called Cortijo Navazo or Cortijo Alegra Luna and is located on a flat plain between mountains within a nature reserve.
People come to the silent retreat for different reasons. Some come to escape a stressful week, others to consider a major career change, or even a partner change. Some are plainly drawn to Cortijo Navazo Alegra Luna to see what a silent retreat is all about.
Finding inner peace is an age-old quest. Some reach it through yoga, others through meditation or even Tantra. Some even find it in an art form or in a long walk. Some seek an evening away from the children or a weekend at a resort. There are many ways to reach inner peace. Silence is one of them.
Located just south of Ronda, Cortijo Alegra Luna offers silent retreats for all kinds of people. Some weekends are specialized, such as the retreat for students or for busy people. Other programs are much longer, such as the five day silent art retreat and even a 40 day silent retreat.
A silent retreat isnít as simple as it sounds as the days are spent in complete silence. At Cortijo Alegra Luna, there are two choices. A participant can attend a directed retreat, in which a 15 minute meeting is scheduled twice a day with a spiritual guide. Another option is a guided retreat, in which a 60 minute lecture is held.
Other than these brief moments of interaction, the rest of the day at Cortijo Alegra Luna is spent in silence. The only telephone ringing happens in the mind of the participants or their mobile phones in their luggage. There are not even radios or TVs. The closest you'll get to sound are relaxation music in the yoga room.
The stillness is enhanced by an austere bareness inside Cortijo Alegra Luna. Rooms are sparse with single beds and cupboard. Three bathrooms are located in various areas of the large renovated Spanish house. There are baths, showers and bidets. Comes winter, then Cortijo Alegra Luna also fills the portable jacuzzi. There are no locks on the room doors and no bright lights in the hallway because of the old Andalusian style of small window architecture.
On arrival you have to switch off your phones, find a shared bedroom, make your own bed and unpack your amenities in the bedroom drawers and in the bathrooms. That's all. The external surroundings are kept to a minimum, so the participant can focus internally.
At Cortijo Alegra Luna, silence is met at every turn. You don't say hello when you see a person. Neither do you greet someone when walking the grounds. This isn't a retreat where you come to meet people, exchange addresses and promise to stay in touch. No small talk is exchanged or "getting-to-know-you" ice breakers. This is a weekend for thought and contemplations.
The lack of speech takes some getting used to. The need to communicate is constant. It's during mealtime that the silence is most noticeable. Meals are mostly cooked by the participants and served at specific times during the day in a large dining hall. Participants sit six to a table, 20 people in total, and not a word is spoken.
As time goes by the participants start seeking out other elements of relating. The most popular is relating to nature. Long guided walks are taken on the 15000 hectare nature reserve, Sierra de las Nieves. Look at some videos about the wild life in the area. Reptiles or Birds or Mammals or Mountain Goats
You will grow so accustomed to the silence that you will find the lectures an intrusion on the day. They break the flow of your own thoughts. So do people, who whisper in back halls and stairwells, thinking their sound won't carry.
For some people, silence can be uncomfortable and Cortijo Alegra Luna offers unique ways to enter such an atmosphere. Nature becomes the only area where silence is accompanied. The wind blows through trees, water gurgles in the creek and vultures chirp from their updraft lookouts.
Cortijo Alegra Luna is surrounded by flat plains, rolling hills, mountains and pine forests. Several walking paths start close to the casa. In autumn the chestnut orchards are in full fruit and wild mountain goats graze on the mountain tops.
This state of inner peace is not easy to reach, and often a spiritual centre can offer the framework. The objective of the Cortijo Alegra Luna centre is to create an environment conducive to divine being and to provide a guide who can accompany participants through their silent experience as well as walking in the mountains.
The retreats at Cortijo Alegra Luna are located in the newly renovated cortijo, close to the cities of Ronda and Marbella. The cortijo has central heating as well as two huge fire places. Swimming is possible in the river, quite a distance from the cortijo.
Each person has a different reason for visiting. "People come to get peace in a relationship, with themselves and others. Some have to take a decision about a new career, new love and a new life. Most people do come when they need quiet time or a time to catch up on meditation, worship and sleeping.
Clearly one weekend is not enough time to have a life changing experience. People come with high expectations. They discover a retreat centre like this only when they're in need. Often a person will want to deal with a lot of issues in a two-day period. This is where a retreat spiritual guide can be of assistance. Martin and Maria are the guides and they are of opinion that a good night sleep is all that is needed to sort out many a mind.
Silence creates an environment for listening to one's own life force being. There is time for contemplation, meditation, breathing or being. Without external distractions, such as the telephone ringing and people demanding attention, it's easier to find the depths of being internally.
One weekend can transform a life as it sets the stage to develop a lifestyle build on the inner, silent, life force found. One that can stay with you, independent of where you are, what you are doing and whom you are with. If you've experienced silence once, you know how it feels and how it sounds. If you listen closely, you'll find it in many places.
Cortijo Alegra Luna is ideally suited to discover inner life and inner peace within nature.
Call Martin 00 34 61 777 92 37 Cortijo Navazo Alegra Luna
For more information on Alegraluz Tantra please call Martin on +34 617 77 92 37. You can also send us a message through the contact page of this website.