On the journey to the retreat my companion in the car asked what my intention was for the next three days. I realised that I had actually given it little thought; I’d been so busy that it was just a relief to get away from it all for a few days.
As we entered the gates of Foxhill House and began climbing the long drive through grounds and woodlands towards the house I felt the outside world begin to slip away, although a slight nervousness fluttered in my tummy as I finally thought about what the retreat may involve. The reception was warm and considerate; the rooms comfortable, the group of people gathered together really friendly and the food amazing. It was the perfect environment to relax and look deeply inside.
Nothing really prepares you for Simon and the way he teaches. Exercises over the three days were both challenging, intense and at the same time incredibly simple – that is really the essence of Simon. His teachings bring clarity through their simplicity and wisdom, although delivered with compassion they also occur in a very direct, no nonsense way. He is at the same time enormously powerful yet unassuming, passive yet forceful, serious but funny – a real enigma, however he always seemed connected fully to a higher purpose. Simon also cuts through the layers we hide from ourselves behind, he sees what we don’t initially see, but has a remarkable ability to guide those of us who are genuinely seeking the truth to the beautiful recognition of our true self.
Through individual, pair and group work we each found our voices and gradually began the process of learning to be honest with and to ourselves. Whilst looking into my partners eyes and telling them all the amazing things I had learnt about and saw in them, I realised that I also held the same qualities and strengths, that in Simon’s words – I can only see in others what I recognise as existing already within myself. There are so many ‘aha’ moments throughout the retreat, Simon draws us unwaveringly to answer our own questions, pushing and pulling us towards realisation and truth. The change I saw in myself and others in such a short time was incredible.
Simon’s teachings are eminently accessible, his language and use of metaphors results in a ripple effect across the room as time and time again the penny finally drops for each of us. He is very direct at exactly the right time, but always with overwhelming compassion. speaks neither with judgement nor through the lens of social conditioning – always from the heart. We laugh, we cry, we even dance until finally the barriers drop and we rediscover our true nature, all the time held in the loving space created by both Simon and our collective group.
I felt a profound change across the three days, initially it felt like being stripped bare, finally being honest with myself, rediscovering who I was, who I had become, who I had always wanted to be. Then I felt rebuilt, stronger and truly connected to my heart and soul, knowing who I really was behind the story I’d told myself. Empowered to continue the adventure, with a tool kit of practices and Simon’s teachings echoing in my mind.
Something truly magical happens at Simon’s retreats, we rediscover within, that which has always been. We learn that the magic was never, and will never be outside of us – it always has and always will be within, we just didn’t know how or where to look before. Now we do.