This was recommended to me and I think it is really good.
Update* The episodes have since been added to youtube so if you missed them on BBC iplayer, you can see them on youtube instead. They are on http://www.worthabbey.net/bbc/links-youtubeBS.htm
It is called The Big Silence and was broadcast on BBC2.
There are 7 days remaining to watch the 2 episodes for free on BBC iplayer online. There are two episodes of one hour each. The Retreat Centre used in this programme is St Beuno's in North Wales and has some of the most breathtaking scenery I have seen in avery long time. Stunningly beautiful. Here is a link for the place they attended if you think you might be interested in doing a retreat there. I must admit i was impressed with the Jesuits who acted as guides for retreat participants. They were very, very kind and gentle in my estimation. From what I saw in this programme. Here is a link for the retreat schedule in St Beuno's. For all I know it might be expensive. I have no idea. Monasteries offer retreats that are free or very affordable so do not despair if you have limited funds and would like to go on a retreat :)
Here is the link for the TV programme. http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/vjcp5/
I found it very moving. Excellent program. I loved the skillful insight into how to access the healing power of silence, and the transformation of the volunteers over 8 days. The volunteers were courageous and honest, very imperfect, yet they all underwent a deep transformation. They were humbled by the experience of witnessing their restlessness and conflicts when left with no distractions to 'escape' from their loneliness, boredom, and restlessness.
There are some very nice Christian monastics on here. Plus some very lovely non-monastic Jesuits (ie like you and me because we do not live in monasteries) who have managed to develop a valuable meditation practice despite work and home obligations. If you have never been to a retreat before this will give you an idea of the gentle-hearted people you are lucky enough to meet if you do. It is also an indication that it is not the ? type of path chosen that is important (as ? far as I know) meaning buddhist, christian, jesuit etc, but how much you are committed to the path you have chosen. Basically all people who sincerely and earnestly seek to grow along spiritual lines, and are committed to unconditional truth and love turn into wonderful human beings as a result of their devotional practice. Well thats what I think. 'Badges' such as Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jesuit etc are less important than the willingness to go to any lengths to realize your best self.
Heres the blurb from the BBC iplayer website..
Abbot Christopher Jamison, a Benedictine monk, believes that he can teach five ordinary people the value of silent meditation, as practised by monks in monasteries, so they can make it part of their everyday lives. He sets up a three-month experiment to test out whether the ancient Chrisitan tradition of silence can become part of modern lives.
In this episode, Christopher brings the five volunteers to his own monastery, Worth Abbey, before sending them to begin a daunting eight days in complete silence at a specialist retreat centre.
Have a lovely weekend, ..and of course I hope life is treating you well :)
- An Irish Friend of Bill
- I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.
Friday, November 05, 2010
3 free episodes of The Big Silence on BBC iplayer till the 12th of November
Posted by An Irish Friend of Bill
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I'll have to see if I can get a copy of this; the iPlayer doesn't work over here in Thailand. This video sounds fascinating. I remember a long time ago hearing Shinzen Young (American Zen teacher) talked about how contemplatives of all religions describe the same experiences during meditation - people with no connection describing almost the exact same thing. It may be all those who choose a contemplative path end up in a similar place.
The Big Silence is one of my favorite programs in BBC Iplayer abroad. Thank you for giving the link!
Thanks Michael, I found some nice people who are willing to share it with me. My broadband is too slow for the other option.
Interesting about the Jesuits as I've always thought the Franciscans and Benedictines were the kinder and gentler monastic groups. There is a monastery near here at Mepkin's Abbey where one can go to stay and meditate. It is a lovely spot.
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