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Meditating On a Plastic Bottle!

by Mike Webster (Deceased)(more info)

listed in retreats and travel, originally published in issue 168 - March 2010

Many of us know people who regularly go on 'Retreats'.

"Things are bit tough, I need to clear my mind, and I am going on a retreat."

There is no doubt that many retreats provide a wonderful sanctuary away from the world with all its stresses, strains and aggravation of one kind or another – a place to pull your thoughts together again, tranquil surroundings, peace, a place of safety and stability. 

This is fine, if the above is all you are looking for.

Plastic bottle

The word 'Retreat' has many meanings, but all indicate some sort of withdrawal away from something, backing away from the world, a place to run to when things get tough, and life is difficult to cope with.

"What is wrong with that?" you may ask. Nothing at all, if you then bring what you have found in the retreat back into the world with you and integrate it into your life. If you leave it behind in the retreat, you will have to face the world again and all that you have left behind for a few days respite.

"I felt great after the retreat, but it was back to normal when I went to the office on Monday."
So why can't we bring that peace and tranquillity back with us into the hustle and bustle of normal life?

There are a number of reasons for this:
  1. A belief that 'sanctuary' can only be found in a particular place, and not in ourselves;
  2. That we don't cultivate what we find in a retreat in our normal lives;
  3. That we have a programming that puts the retreat in a different place to the rest of the world;
  4. An inability to take what the retreat has to offer us back with us into everyday life;
  5. That we see the retreat as an temporary escape from 'normal life' which we have to face again when we step back into the 'real' world.
If the sole purpose of going into the retreat is to find the space to get your thoughts together and find solutions – Great! 

If someone keeps going back for another retreat just because they like retreats and is happy with this, mission accomplished!

However a person who is relying on regular attendance at retreats to make them more 'spiritual' could be missing the point entirely, because to make the most of what is to be gained from a retreat, it has to be taken back into everyday life and practised. 

Spirituality is not a part time occupation.

Retreats more often than not provide a rarefied atmosphere, something separate from normal life. It is an ideal place for introspection, finding the 'god/heaven' within us which, incidentally, is there all the time. Our programming however, subtly convinces us that we can only find this 'sacred place' if we are 'elsewhere', such as a retreat, a church or a monastery, but although at times it may not seem like it, this sacred place is with you whether you are in a supermarket, the office or on a mountainside.

That we do not recognize this important fact is one reason why so many continue to repeat this process, needing to go back for a 'top up'.

There is no doubt that being in a place of peace and tranquillity has a knock-on effect, but this is the same as being in the presence of someone who has found the answer to life's great mystery, and you, for a period of time, bathe in that wonderful light. The light will however fade, as the light is not yours, it is not generated by you, and any peace found will not be lasting, as it is not yours but
belongs to the source of the light.

Meditating on an empty plastic bottle has the same potential to move you into a new perception of life as any icon or item of reverence, that is, once you remove the labels and concepts that get in the way.

The problem lies in not making this profound realization, and creating other places and objects separate from ourselves where it is believed our spirituality can be found; however all this does is to create divisions where there are none, dividing heaven and earth, creating duality out of unity.

In a world that is still torn with conflict within families, nations and religions, it is important that we are true to ourselves and our honestly held beliefs which lie at the centre of who and what we are. This is the strength we can draw on in moments of despair and uncertainty, when life appears to deal us a dodgy hand.

The strength that we seek, and the answers that we are looking for are within us and the key to locating them is in front of us, and also within us every moment of our lives. If we strip away the concepts and the labels we give everything, our perception changes; we start to see a world that is unified, we see our place in the grand scheme of things.

Our path to realization and enlightenment can only be walked by us, so let us do our best to make wherever we are a sacred place by being totally present in the moment. And when we strip away the concepts and labels that blind us to the unity of everything, we can find heaven, whatever we perceive it to be, in all things, even in an empty plastic bottle.


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About Mike Webster (Deceased)

Mike Webster – 1943 -2016 – passed away from cancer on January 24th 2016Mike had been involved in Complementary medicine for approximately 30 years, and was one of the most experienced Shiatsu teachers, practitioners, and practitioner assessors in the UK. He was a Certificated NLP Master Practitioner and the founder of Waveform Energetics, one of the worlds most advanced energy awareness, training and research organizations, with graduates and students from all walks of life in 10 different countries. Mike was also an operational Remote Viewer and RV Teacher.

In the early 1980s whilst farming on a small island in the Orkneys, Mike became apprenticed to a unique spiritual training group. The training he received completely changed the course of his life. Nine years after his return to Scotland Mike had a profound realization which became known as Waveform which he now teaches. Mike was a columnist for a Complementary Health Magazine and published articles on Shiatsu, health, energy, and the path of spirituality in a number of periodicals.

He was the author of A Simple Guide to Voyaging the Energetic Universe available from or directly Mike and his wife Stella lived beside Loch Lomond in Scotland and provided Waveform and Remote Viewing workshops which held annually in the UK . They can be contacted via

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