Kiranada's Solitary Retreat


How was I able to do this logistically?

Safely: Many worried about what might happen to me if there was an accident when I was off in the bush, alone. With no cell phone service, we considered flares in an emergency. Then I heard that things had improved and there would be intermittent cell phone service and of course, the Community has a disaster and accident plan in place for us Solitary Retreat folks.


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Emotionally: The first thing I did was to check with family and with work to see if I might be away for a whole year with out burning all my bridges and disappointing many who might need me. I have a great family that is used to my roaming and support my aspirations. Most are in good health and we seem to be quiet on the ‘baby front’ for the moment.

Food-Wise: I did a BIG grocery shop when I arrived, buying pounds of dried goods: rice, oatmeal, beans, rice, dried fruit, nuts etc. The Community at Sudarshanaloka did grocery shopping for me every week or two since without a fridge I did have trouble storing fresh vegetables and fruit for very long, especially in hot summer.  We arranged for me to pick up a food box on the Dharma Road where my path crossed. I planned to grow some greens in pots on the hut porch away from animals in the back. I had practiced sprouting beans as well as celery, green onions and romaine in water from stubs. The Community taught me about making a ‘cold box’ outside and they rigged up a small green house from window panes for me.

Financially: Then I looked at, how I might manage financially, not working for a whole year with no income coming in and without savings. In addition to sizable airfares, I paid the Centre for my lodging, as well as deposited an amount to withdraw my purchased food from. In NH, I had an unfinished cottage in Kingston to maintain with property taxes and insurance and an old car that I hoped would keep running and stay insured. Worries. Soon friends stated coming up with ideas. One of the first persons I mentioned this retreat dream to, generously offered to pay for my food for one of those twelve months ($300) and so, in October, I did mentally eat meals with her. Another dear friend offered to set up this website for me, as a gift. Then my New Zealand friend said that she would love to give me the NZ animal, plant, bird, and sky books that I need, to help me. Such friends, such generosity! Others told me that, if I ‘made it easy,’ they felt  many others would want to help me get there by donating to my air, housing or food costs. It´s with deep gratitude that with palms together, I thank you deeply for your donations over the past year.


Kiranada Sterling Benjamin | Retreat Home | What | Where | Why | How