swallowdaleguesthouse@gmail.com 705-765-1537


Retreat Weekend

Once a month, a weekend of stillness and quiet for shared and individual inquiry is held at Swallowdale;  Saturday, international dialogue via zoom link and Sunday, a day of silence and meditation.  Please see further information below.   

There is no fee for either day. A simple contribution for a shared lunch each day would be appreciated.
For those travelling at a distance, guest rooms are available overnight at a rate of $40.

Should you wish to join us, please confirm at either contact below. A few days’ notice is helpful.
(705) 765-1537

From “Brain Pickings”, edited by Maria Popova
An excerpt by Pablo Neruda

“One time, investigating in the backyard of our house in Temuco the tiny objects and minuscule beings of my world, I came upon a hole in one of the boards of the fence. I looked through the hole and saw a landscape like that behind our house, uncared for, and wild. I moved back a few steps, because I sensed vaguely that something was about to happen. All of a sudden a hand appeared — a tiny hand of a boy about my own age. By the time I came close again, the hand was gone, and in its place there was a marvelous white sheep.

The sheep’s wool was faded. Its wheels had escaped. All of this only made it more authentic. I had never seen such a wonderful sheep. I looked back through the hole, but the boy had disappeared. I went into the house and brought out a treasure of my own: a pinecone, opened, full of odor and resin, which I adored. I set it down in the same spot and went off with the sheep.

To feel the intimacy of brothers is a marvelous thing in life. To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel the affection that comes from those whom we do not know, from those unknown to us, who are watching over our sleep and solitude, over our dangers and our weaknesses — that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being, and unites all living things.

That exchange brought home to me for the first time a precious idea: that all of humanity is somehow together…

It won’t surprise you then that I attempted to give something resiny, earthlike, and fragrant in exchange for human brotherhood. Just as I once left the pinecone by the fence, I have since left my words on the door of so many people who were unknown to me, people in prison, or hunted, or alone.

This exchange of gifts — mysterious — settled deep inside me like a sedimentary deposit.”



The following link provides some valuable background about dialogue.

David Bohm on Dialogue

We meet at 9:30am for tea with international dialogue via Zoom at 10am, continuing until about noon, followed by a shared pot luck lunch.

This month, the first extended international dialogue will be held via Zoom, for six consecutive days from Tuesday October 22nd through Saturday October 26th,  weeknights from 8:30pm till 10pm and Saturday morning from 10am to noon.  Feel free to join us all week or any day. 


A monthly quiet day held at Swallowdale offers a day’s sustained silence, stillness and shared meditation in the pastoral setting of a century farm amid woods and fields on Black Creek.

The day begins at 9:30am with time to meet over coffee and tea.
Shared, silent sittings are held at 10:30 and 2:30 for one hour.
At noon a meal is shared in silence.
There is time for observations, questions and suggestions before parting around 4pm.
Beverages and fruit are available throughout the day. A simple contribution for pot luck lunch would be appreciated. A little vegetarian fare is provided.

Sunday October 27th, our quiet day begins at 9:30am.