The principal meditation practice that we teach at Guanock Retreat Centre is an age old method of yoga mantra meditation. This technique is simple and natural and can be mastered by anyone. It forms the basis for all the yoga techniques and practices that we offer from the most basic to the most advanced. The purpose of meditation, as we see it, is to merge our individual minds with universal mind or cosmic mind. We think of our minds as – “my mind” – something very personal and individual, a separate object that belongs to us inside our body and is not part of a bigger whole but in reality our minds are an integral part of universal mind or cosmic mind. There is no separation.
Through the exploration of many meditation and spiritual practices our principal teachers have synthesised a number of Yoga meditation techniques from the most basic to the most advanced that we believe serves modern people, living busy, modern lives. We believe that in the current age the leading edge of human development is no longer to be found by seeking out remote Yogis living high in the Himalayas or in ashrams in the Far East. The leading edge in human development necessarily involves the tussle of every day modern life. The conjunction of deep meditation practice and the full experience of living in the world is where rapid progress is made.
Director of Guanock House
Michael comes from a background of deep immersion in the material modern world. Originally trained as a civil engineer, Michael worked for 20 years in a number of the world’s leading banks and created his own businesses employing hundreds of software developers in the intense world of financial derivatives trading technology based in the heart of The City of London – the world’s leading financial centre. After many years of ups and downs – of spectacular successes and failures, he came close to complete burn out and needed to rebuild life from the bottom up.
It was the discovery yoga meditation practice that brought about a rehabilitation and a reintegration of life for Michael. By trying out many different spiritual practices and techniques Michael found a way that incorporates the ancient wisdom of the Rishis of India with the pressures of modern life. The techniques and practices used at Guanock House Retreat Centre are tried and tested methods whose roots are deeply in the Yoga tradition and the Vedic teachings of ancient India. But no longer is it a requirement to give up everything and take a begging bowl and sit outside the temple or live as a hermit in meditation for 16 hours a day or become an acolyte and follow a guru for twenty years.
By returning to the simplicity of daily meditation practice, by reinterpreting the Vedanta – the final and key stage of the Vedic teachings, we have found a simple, pure and highly effective method of reaching the goal of total fulfilment in life. The essential methods and the teaching is no different from what it was a thousand years ago – we have rediscovered that essence and simplicity, which was always there. In truth, there was never any need to bury yourself in a reclusive life performing contortions and austerities. Fulfilment in life was always and still is about living life fully in all aspects, integrating the depths of absolute pure being with the beauty of the natural world, living each moment fully.
Michael has been leading human development workshops for over twenty years and has been practicing and developing the meditation techniques of the Guanock Retreat Centre since 2014.
Has been working with women’s spiritual Circles for over twenty years. In that time she has gained deep insight into the power of ritual and shamanic journeying to heal and to bring forth insight and guidance. Michelle works in particular with ritual space, with beauty in nature, and with colour to give a deep experience of our connection with nature and its power to heal and restore us.