Portovenere, such a beautiful old village, by the sea, always a delight to spend our time there, this time though, a little drawback, the weather was somewhat colder than usual, rather spoiling it for me on our breaks and meals there, plus, the number of steps from ground to grouproom is 119, and that faced me 4 times a day - formidable!

A special feature of our groups there for the last 9 years, and for the many previous groups in Bologna, Rimini, and elsewhere over the previous 30 odd years, is the regularity with which old-timers continue to come, some never missing over the last 35 years, a number of others for more than 20 - every time they mostly come, so it's a collective family.

We drove there - Mishka loves to join me on my Italian seminars, they often turn into kind of a holiday for us both! It's a long drive. took us 8 1/2 hours going, 9 1/2 coming back - because we had car trouble and had to check that out in Lugano on our way home.

Shintai was my 2nd assistant there (with Mishka of course). He and his wife Mayadevi, also there, live now in Italy near Assisi , where they offer retreats regularly over the year. Vandana was once again my translator - as she has more or less always been since she became a Wild Goose in 1985, for all my groups there over the years. Subhuti was as usual also there, bringing pendants, a variety of new t-shirts (with the MB ED on them) and, as always, a fresh batch of sarongs for me - which I wear here at home - when it's warm enough, which is not yet so, just 8º this morning on my Trees&Rivers walk...

There was a lot of stillness and silence this time, the people there getting easy access to 'the space'. We were all embraced. Also there were, as many participants reported later, two great talks during this time together. First: Finding the Hidden Roof Garden In Your Home, and then: Letting Go Of The Life - The Dying Project, relevant these days because many of my older students (including some who were present there) are now having to deal with parents living their last days...

As usual on Sunday evening after the group ended, 8 of us took the ferry to this fantastic restaurant on a little island beyond the mainland - especially great for the non-veggies, as the fish, caught from around the island, is always delicious - and everything else there is too.
Again as usual, both Mishka and I had a massage on Monday morning from Galanda - who once again, with Shamara, organized the whole affair there. She is simply the best. We love these departure massages so much. Before we left, at around 13.00, we had a last coffee together by the water's edge - and then and there, at last, we found the warm sun welcoming us, making me reluctant to depart!

Next week we get a 3-day visit from our close friends Kali & Boaz, on and around her birthday time, followed on the Friday by the Easter Festival - with a promise of much warmer weather! Then, at the end of the month, comes Berlin. Great new place to meet and work there now in the Buddhist Centre!

Many Wild Geese now have their eyes on our stand-out group meeting in Corfu, at the end of May, which includes happy free time too, to just enjoy the energy of this great island.

Also, Mishka's dance-energy workshop in Prague was a great success, they want her there again in autumn, but before that she gives another, this time in Belgium, in Antwerp, from 27-28 later this month. Worth a look-in!

Looking ahead further, a new OPT - number 8 - starts in August, following a terrific OPT7 ending in July. Pretty well all - if not all! - past participants in these Trainings have delighted in them, with such great contributions from Tiago, Mishka & Abava, as well as from myself. A BIG spectrum of teachings and explorations.

We wish you great times out there in your lives and really trust that what happens for you all, through our life work and spiritual work with you, brings expansion and fresh light also to your daily lives.

LOVE&Promotion! Michael