I especially enjoy the silence. For some people, it’s difficult to get used to. But I have never met anyone who kept suffering from the silence. Most come to appreciate not having to do the social positioning. My name, my job, my background, how much I make a month and social networking. As much as the sociable part of me enjoys the chitter chatter, getting into discussions or getting to know the stories people tell, I never miss it in retreat.
Oh, the mighty silence when everyone shuts up. And not having to explain me or conceal anything, pretend anything, at least there is the possibility of not doing so. Relief, relief, relief. That gives me space not to be distracted from the inner process. Not having the possibility to run away by talking about the weather or rushing to tend to somebody else’s need. No one in need of my service, everything is taken care of. It’s really true: There is nothing to do and no one to tend to but me myself and my inner circus.
I have a bed, two pairs of trousers (one to wear and the extra pair in case I fall into the lake), a couple of t-shirts, a sweater. It’s a relief not to have to make myself pretty. I love the simplicity. No children to get out of bed, pick up from school, bring to kindergarten or fight with, no wife or mother with a birthday party, no boss with a deadline, no client with a demand, no meetings after work in the kindergarten, no examen at the end, no paper to hand in. A dramatically reduced amount of daily social responsibilities.
No newspaper, television, no talking on the phone, no SMS, no facebook, no emails. Gone is the ever-present social noise, comparing myself to others, family, friends or colleagues. Well, of course, that’s not entirely true. The judging continues through the retreat but it slows down and it is easier to let it pass.
Not having to cook and yet get delicious and healthy food served every day. That is such a luxury for someone who has done service in the family kitchen for more than 20 years. No planning, shopping or chopping. Just sitting down to eat and not even having to make conversation with the lady opposite. A chance to actually taste what you are eating.
Did I mention the guided meditations, the mindful body movements, the exchange in pairs and the time for reflection in the group?. That’s not too bad either. Or the last lunch, when silence is lifted and you talk with the people you have now come to know in a much more intimate way through the shared silence and it turns out that the stories you made up about them are either totally far-fetched or exactly right. It won’t really matter because by now you have come to know them as human beings for who they really are. Just as you have come to know yourself a little better for who you really are when the noise is turned down.
Come back to the present moment
A retreat is a constant invitation to come back to your body in the present moment. It’s a choice. Even if you have a pain in your shoulder, your left leg hurts or your heart is aching, you can feel at home now. Everything you need to be complete is available to you, just now. Don’t be a stranger to yourself. That’s what you learn in retreat. And who do you meet, when you come home now? That depends. We promise you this much: it won’t be boring.
Being with what is
Being in retreat helps you to get into the habit of being with what is. Instead of getting overrun and overruled by habitual negative self-talk, or trying to fight back, you become more skillful at noticing when it pops up. And then you stare back. In time you will learn to let those negative thoughts fly like birds into the vast sky where they will leave not a trace behind. The thoughts won’t stop, but you can stop being a slave to them.
Moving the body mindfully
You probably move your body in your normal life. But do you do so mindfully? And kindly? Do you live in your body or do you think you have a body, that serves you and that from time to time you have to give it a beating, by taking it to the fitness center or putting it on a diet or into far too tight trousers – so it looks better, socially and sexually more appealing to fit the ideas of others, whom you would like to like you, not for what you really are but for cultural ideas of what a success is.
In retreat we practice meditation in the body, becoming aware of what is happening in the vast universe inside of you, ever-changing sensations. And since there is nothing else to do and you can’t take the next bus from the mountaintop, you can’t run away from yourself. You will strengthen your capacity for being with whatever pain arises and the ability to choose the joy-channel even when everything is not okay in the relative world.
Just Retreat – you can do it
A retreat is a journey into your inner landscape. You will reconnect with creative resources, joy, peace, and knowledge about what is important for you – and how to make space for that in your life.
The effect of the slowing down, turning your gaze inwards towards your inner world has immense effects. It’s not just a little getaway. Far from a romantic illusion of how life could be if only. The effect of the retreat will reach into your everyday life. And you will want to come back for more.
A retreat is a withdrawal from the business of your life. A simplification with space for immersion, meditation practice and rest. Our retreats create optimal conditions for resting in unconditioned mind and discovering the natural peace in your heart. They are unique opportunity to connect with sleeping resources and creativity. To release pain and reconnect with the joy of living.
In a retreat, you leave your life as you know it and the way you have come to see yourself. You explore another world; your inner world. Meeting yourself, discovering life.