Ponta Do Ouro in Southern Mozambique has been the idyllic setting for the Sound to Silence retreats for the last 3 years. Known for its preserved biodiversity and home to the friendly bottle nose dolphins, we gather a small group of participants once a year to experience the blissful abandon of this tropical African village.
There are only 7 places in the world where swimming with dolphins in the wild are permitted, Mozambique is one of those places. The warm, turquoise tropical waters with their friendly inhabitants, the wild dolphins of Ponta Do Ouro have won the hearts of many, especially Desert Rose who have made this the home of their annual retreats.
Sound to Silence retreats have been running successfully since 2016. The quaint Bougainville Retreat Centre is a five min walk away from the beautiful tropical beach of Ponta. The Centre can comfortably accommodate 18 people. Furnished in a unique style of Portuguese and African decor, each room has its own air con and is tucked away in a lush tropical garden. Privacy, comfort and beauty aptly describes the space in which the retreat is run. The space for socializing is found at the lovely setting of the pool, the conference room and the shared dining room. Space to sunbathe and lounge around on cushions and hammocks are abundant, with a special Om Shanti meditation garden for those who prefer to introvert and take time out for themselves.
This four-day retreat is balanced with healthy vegan food, meditation, sound healing, gentle exercise and of course adventure. The day begins in the morning with the optional Amrit vela meditation. Amrit referring to the nectar hour. This part of the programme is there for those who enjoy this practice. After early morning tea, there is light qigong to warm up the body for Dolphin swims. At dawn we leave for the Dolphin Centre and ride out to sea on rubber ducks to where the dolphins reside. Our guides read the body language of the dolphins to see whether they are in the mood for socializing at which point we get into the water and experience the magic of Dolphin interaction. No words can describe this experience, one simply has to do it at least once in a lifetime. We have seen people who can barely walk and people who can’t swim brave the water only to experience this life changing event.
After dolphin swims we head back to the retreat Centre for a healthy, hearty brunch! There is time to freshen up and shower before the mid-morning activity, which is the master class on breathing, sound healing and mantra. Each day this session goes deeper into the science of sound, how it affects every aspect of the mind, body and spirit and how we can shift these states through music. By the end of the retreat everyone is equipped with this knowledge and are given tools to use sound to improve their lifestyle and quality of being.
After the mid-morning session, a light lunch is served followed by free time. Whilst none of the activities are compulsory, we still try to balance the retreat activities with free time to rest, swim or walk.
Late afternoon offers a light yoga session followed by tea, a beach walk, meditation or swimming. We have a ritual of honoring dusk and sunset with sacred dance in the Om Shanti meditation garden. Evening half hour meditations are optional before dinner. Each night is different, with a celebratory vegan braai and fireside activities.
Late evening is concluded after supper with Sacred Music, Deep Relaxation and Theta healing. In this session we bring our mats and blankets into the upstairs activity space. Desert Rose is well known for designing music that slows the brain waves down into theta state, music therapy. Theta is known as that state of being awake and asleep at the same time, normally experienced just before sleep. In this state we can feed the mind and subconscious with positive input and experience spontaneous healing, from the physical to the emotional.