They could come up and stay here at Beacon Bank, we have developed a retreat weekend specifically for people who work in stressful city jobs who need an escape and want to focus on their health and well-being. The weekend is called the Off the Grid Weekend. There will be like minded people on these weekends. A very important part of feeling good is a balanced body and balanced mind this is what th
Hugo Sandon escaped financial search and recruitment after a burnout to set up a retreat place, http://beaconbankfarm.org/" rel="nofollow">Beacon Bank Farm, to do a six month meditation retreat. After the retreat he stayed on to manage Beacon Bank Farm and help make available a space where people can come and de-stress and enjoy the fruits of a simple approach to life. Hugo lives in a yurt under a tree and has never been happier.
They could come up and stay here at Beacon Bank. We have developed a retreat weekend specifically for people who work in stressful city jobs who need an escape and want to focus on their health and well-being. The weekend is called the Off the Grid Weekend. There will be like-minded people on these weekends. A very important part of feeling good is a balanced body and balanced mind - this is what the weekend aims to bring about for those who attend. For those that want to look into this further we would advise them to go on a 'Just Let Go' weekend with Burgs (http://theartofmeditation.org/" rel="nofollow">www.theartofmeditation.org), our meditation teacher who specialises in helping people who are burnt out, stressed and ill, to put themselves back together.
I live in a yurt with only a bed, a wood burning stove, and a cushion for meditation. During the day I manage Beacon Bank Farm which is a space reserved for people who need an escape from the vexation, stress, worry and complexity of modern life.
I look after the guests that come to do retreat and work hard to keep the space nurturing and settled. We often have very ill people here who need a stable bolt-hole. The rest of my time is spent gardening and growing vegetables to feed our guests and for use in their detox juices.
Other daily duties include making lunch, yoga, chi kung and meditation.
Prior to this I worked as a Search Consultant a financial recruitment firm. I was responsible for all trading recruitment globally for both investment banks and large hedge funds.
I was on call almost 24hrs a day and worked weekends. I did this for 2 years. I decided to change because I was exhausted and I felt that it just wasn't for me.
I just realised I couldn't do it any more. I was too tired and stressed and one morning I just realised I had to leave.
I finally realised I was free when I took my Blackberry into the office and drove off into the sunset in the taxi.
Honestly, I was very impractical in how I left. I had to get out and after leaving I just went home and gathered myself for a while in a state of shock.
Later I started to go on meditation retreats with my teacher and we decided to set up Beacon Bank. We borrowed some money to set up the house and just went for it.
The reality of doing something like this is different to the dream. There has been agony and ecstasy. Compared to the stability of a city salary, the world of retreat is very hand-to-mouth. We don't ever really know whether we will pay the bills each month, but the freedom which comes with letting go into this instability is life-giving at one level.
For all the stress, the space and appreciation of how deeply enriching a simple life of few needs can be, will be a life-long lesson I take to my grave. There is also the deep sense of appreciation that comes with watching people go through their stuff and come out the other side much healthier and happier.
The best advice I have received is: 'Just Let Go'. This is something that I have used as I approach all aspects of life. This would be the same advice I would give to someone else.
Life is too short and wonderful to spend it wondering if there is more out there. Go and find it and don't worry if it doesn't work out. But do make sure you have the necessities of a way to support yourself if you can because it will make the ride so much smoother.
I haven't looked at much as the approach to my escape was just to dive in recklessly at the deep end without too much reflection. Whilst at one level this is an unskillful way of doing things, heading out without a plan is liberating.