top of page





My reflection yesterday was about mental health and ended with a reference to austerity. Ramana had said ‘the sparkling of truth devoid of I is the greatest austerity’.  
I was surprised and confused by the word ‘austerity’. If he had said ‘freedom’, ‘peace’, ‘bliss’ it would have been easier to understand. I associate austerity with harsh economic measures intentionally hurting the poorest and most vulnerable more than the rich and powerful. But on reflection I marvelled at how much this word expressed about the conditions necessary to restore the dynamic balance of human health. Reduction of excess to just what is needed, self-control and simplicity. Truth is like this and so is health.
At Bonnevaux in May we are welcoming people of all backgrounds to a health seminar which will not just speak about health but ‘experiment’ it. Within the daily rhythm of meditation, we will be reminded by a doctor, a herbalist and a therapist – and by our own experience – that restoring balance to our personal system as to society as a whole requires a gentle, healing austerity. We know it is a just austerity when we realise we are loving it and grateful.
By ‘experimenting it’ I mean the seminar will lead us to see personally how sleep, nutrition, exercise and bodywork along with times of meditation and sharing together are the essential healthy ingredients of human life. The fruit of this health is generosity of spirt and the capacity to love.
Before reaching too quickly for the prescription pad and before starting to despair at our state of mind or the chaos of the world, why don’t we learn first-hand the power of self-healing. Jesus often says to those he healed ‘go home, go in peace. Your faith has healed you’. This is what we hope people will feel as they go home after the seminar.
The first step in restoring our mental health and the health of our planet is to have faith in the powers of how we are made.
Fully Alive. Bonnevaux. May 3-8. 
Laurence Freeman
Lenten Reflections 2022
bottom of page