I just finished leading five exquisite days of silent retreat for a group here in Nevada City.  I am bursting with excitement to share with you the fruits of this adventure, and, at the same time, at a loss for words to talk about five days where there were no words.

Silence has always been, for me personally, the greatest teacher.  Sounds paradoxical, doesn’t it?  You think of a teacher as giving you messages, insights, guidance…how can silence do that?  When I look back on my life, it was from discreet periods of silence that the greatest creative flow emerged.  It was from discreet periods of silence that the greatest blessings flowed, synchronicity just happened, and things fell together in the outer world.  It was following silence that opportunities flowed into my life most easily.

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Hilltop-Ranch-vista

I’ve just come home from one of the kindest things I’ve done for my body in 52 years.  Colors look much brighter and sharper than they have before, I can smell flowers and food distinctly, there’s a gentle hunger in my belly that’s no longer a sense of craving, but a health instinct for nourishment.  When I look over at Chameli, my wife, she looks 10 years younger:  her skin is glowing like she’s lit up inside and she’s probably lost 7-10 pounds in the last few days.  For the first time in a long time my body seems to really know what it wants to eat, its natural intelligence has been restored.  Don’t ask me what I’ve been smoking,or what pills I’ve been popping.  I’ve just come home from four days at John Gray’s ranch on the Mendocino coast.  You probably know John Gray’s name as the author of  Hilltop–foodMen are from Mars, Women are from Venus,  the best selling relationship book of all time.  That book has been praised by some as the savior of their marriage and ridiculed by others as overly simplistic, but everyone has heard of it. That breakthrough book has spawned mutliple others.  Just as Gray’s fame as a relationship expert is unparalleled, so his expertise as a health and anti-aging educator is little known.

The four-day retreat, which is scheduled once a month at the ranch, combines several exquisitely crafted elements together into a blend that, in my experience, is unparalleled.  First of all, there is the “Super-Cleanse.”  With a couple of days of pre-cleanse preparation, during your stay at the retreat you eat no solid food.  Instead you take several “Super-Cleanse” drinks per day as well as a host of supplements that helps the body to eliminate toxins without the cravings, headaches and light-headedness that I have experienced before with cleansing.
The second element at the ranch is John’s personal state-of-the art-spa, overlooking a magnificent 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean.  Two outdoor tubs offer a full body iodine soak (which restore the much needed mineral often depleted from out body by excessive chlorine use) and another super oxygenated lithium soak which relaxes the brain while promoting cellular cleansing of the whole body. Several oxygenated infrared saunas allow a cleansing sweat without the excessive temperature and humidity that we often associate with saunas.  The marble steam room with crystal benches completes the experience . We got two hours in the spa utilizing all of these modalities, every day we were there. (more…)