Dear Friends-on-the-Path, I live, as did Sura, in the northwest where winter days are short and cold and often gloomy. This has always seemed to me as the time to go within. Sura had a retreat hut on the back of her property, nestled under old evergreens, reached by crossing a little creek on old boards. My favorite memories are of one winter retreat when it began snowing. After a day of practices, I lit candles as night fell, watched the snow drifting down, listened to spiritual music, and rested in the peace. Occasionally the wind would blow snow from the trees and it would plunk down onto the roof of the hut. Now I know you are not likely to experience snow in Florida, but I am sure you can experience the peace. Retreat is a time to expel the world’s poisons from your heart and make it a chalice to be filled with God’s grace. It is a time to polish your soul to reflect out into the world the Love and Light of the Creator. It is a time to die a small death and re-enter the world into a larger life. Sura has been my Guide for many years and I can assure you, if you choose to go on retreat with her, she will guide you with love, compassion, and wisdom; wisdom not from her ego but wisdom she allows to pass through her from the Divine. Go in peace.
Michael Sun Bear
Recently I did a three day self retreat at home. I found myself going back through the multiple retreats I did with Sura over a few-year period during a challenging time of my life, using what I had learned with her. I had not realized how much of what Sura had guided and taught me through the retreat process, had become part of myself. My memories of being with Sura during those times are sweet. She is so attentive, caring and a big beautiful heart! Those are the memories that awaken my heart!
Taking a retreat with Sura in her beautiful, spacious and peaceful house in Florida was a magical and transformational experience. I felt extremely welcome and at home from the minute I arrived. The room was very comfortable and in a private space on the second floor. The kitchen was on the first floor and I was welcome to use it whenever I wanted. Sura prepared my meals and they were delicious, healthy and full of love. She also made sure to accommodate my dietary restrictions. The retreat itself was one of the best I’ve ever experienced. It was unique, with a format I haven’t experienced before,
which wove the four elements throughout. I felt like the energy for my retreat was held very well. I was able to go deep within, even with the occasional city noises around me. The practices I was given were exactly what I needed. I was amazed by how accurate Sura’s intuition was, and I know this is part of why the practices were so powerful for me. I would eagerly do another retreat with Sura, and I highly recommend her as a guide.
Upon recently finishing 15 days of the most deeply quiet, whole-person nourishing, and intellectually stimulating deep dive into the One Being of form and formlessness, I can only say “YES!” to a retreat with Sura.
This was my first retreat, silent or otherwise. Sura masterfully wove together a perfect tapestry of experience from a diversely colorful palette of practices, prayers, rituals, music, movement, ways of being and ways of knowing in service to the highest ideal of myself and the world. Among Sura’s many gifts and talents is her ability to meet you wherever you are, no matter your religious or spiritual beliefs, and curate your retreat experience, from the practices to the delectable food, just for you.
I feel so much appreciation for Sura’s generous offerings of time and attention in my discerning if a retreat with her was the best fit for me. My room had two big windows with beautiful views into the tropical paradise surrounding the lovely home Sura shares with her husband and yellow parrot. My walks along the bay included osprey, dolphins, secret gardens, tropical flowers and fruit, and a diversity of water birds.
Now I know what it means to step out of one’s life, to let go of responsibilities, distractions, stories, and doings, in many ways to die… and to step into the inner life, the sacred, the One Being… to be held in the arms of Love, Harmony and Beauty, to fill the well, and to return reborn, renewed.