David Michie’s Vision
There is a place in Africa, beautiful as it is vast, where the animals roam free from human interference. It is a place of pilgrimage for people from the world’s busy cities who come to re-connect with nature, and re-awaken the wonderment we felt as children – something that arises quite naturally in the presence of awe-inspiring animals. It’s a place where we come to discover the wellspring of peace that dwells within each one of us, and which is our most precious refuge, when we discover how to access it.
This is a place where animals who have been injured and cannot be returned to the wild come for sanctuary, cherished by their carers as well as those who have the good fortune to spend time with them at close quarters.
It is a place where leaders and corporate groups step away from their frenetic schedules to review and plan in an environment that fosters calm reflection, inspires insight and innovation, and innately supports values more important than money alone.
It is a place where young people who have lost their way in the urban wilderness may be brought to discover their strengths and develop fresh skills. Where they may be exposed to different vistas, challenged to discover their own capabilities, and from which they can return to the world, ablaze with purpose.
It is a place where volunteers with willing hearts and many skills offer their service to support all who live and visit, as well as the flaura and fauna of these unique landscapes.
It is a place where local communities, living near the reserve, are uplifted by new jobs as well as by opportunities for personal growth that never existed before.
Mindfulness in its myriad forms draws visitors here according to their life journey: meditation, yoga and Pilates, physical healing and renewal, mindful photography and art, cultivating the intuitive stillness which is the ground of communication among animals. There are many paths to the same experience of wholeness.
In this place, it doesn’t matter how you vote or which postcode you live in. “What do you do for a living?” is a question rarely asked. Reconnecting with the same timeless landscapes as our distant forebears, our minds quite naturally settle. We come to recognise that we share with the extraordinary creatures around us a collective interdependence. We begin to sense the intangible thread of connection that weaves together all living beings on earth.
Whether under the trees or the stars, or in the meditation hall that lies at the heart of this place, mindfulness opens the pathway to an even deeper sense of homecoming. By cultivating gentle, but powerful practices, we learn how to observe, instead of engage, with our thoughts. How to let go of cognition that doesn’t serve us well. Most of all, we encounter the boundless tranquillity that is the true nature of our own primordial consciousness. And when we do, it becomes our unfolding conviction that the ultimate nature of each one of us is nothing other than pure, great love and pure, great compassion.
Whatever our preoccupations when we arrived at this place, when we leave, it is with a challenge to find our own personal response to the question which holds the key to our greatest flourishing: how can I use my unique skills and situation to be of greatest benefit to others?
If you’d like to help make this vision a reality, please contact David at: firstname.lastname@example.org