3 min read
Have you ever felt the need to be alone? Did you ever feel the need to step back and take time by yourself in nature?
I knew about someone who was one of those people who needed to please its friends and family to feel accepted. I saw that he was completely forgetting himself just because he thought that he needed to do as many things as possible to finally be accepted by someone and therefore to be whole.
Maybe if by then I had known about what was a silent retreat, I could have had told him about it and it would have been a life saver for him. Because after all those empty attempts he never found anyone that had the same convictions and therefore he felt rejected and even rejected himself from his country..
Maybe you too are feeling overwhelmed by some people or just maybe by social medias. Maybe you also need to step back from the news and the situation happening in the world with the virus. And I know that it is overwhelming, you can get easily anxious with the situation and that’s partly why I decided to experience this silent retreat.
Hridaya Yoga, a mediation – yoga school based in France organised a 3 and 10 day silent meditation retreat – in French and English. The rules were simple, we had to be alone for the duration of the retreat and we couldn’t do anything more than what the program was offering. Except eating of course and writing on a journal ; no music, no reading, no talking.
Thanks to the quarantine – if I can say it like that – Hridaya Yoga organised this online silent retreat based on a conscious donation. Anyone who was interested could join and take part in all the courses offered. We were guided through four hours of meditation, two hours of yoga and three hours of teachings each days from 8 am to 9 pm.
Of course if you’ve read my articles, you know that I’m familiar with mediation but I was never bold enough – because it takes courage – to meditate for one full hour. My girlfriend joined the French group and I joined the English one. The French group was guided by Deborah Blin and the English group was guided by the founder of the school, Sahajananda.
Sahajananda stayed in silence for 17 years. Yes, you heard well, 17 years. And when you follow his mediations, it’s wonderful to see how, even through a camera, his peace can touch you. All the teachings given in this school are the product of 17 years of silence.
I’m not going to lie, staying in silence for 3 days was really hard, especially when you know that I planned to do the 10 day retreat. But this is also part of the process, yes, all in good time.
Moreover, as I said I was doing it with my girlfriend, but in a little flat so we had to organise our three days in order for us to not even see or eat with each other. We weren’t even supposed to sleep next to each other, we couldn’t do that so we agreed that we wouldn’t look nor touch. It might seem harsh but since we wanted to have the full experience, we had to play along.
The first day was the harder one, my mind even tried to spoil me by checking my bank account. This too could wait. It is difficult to talk about an experience like this since everything is happening in your mind and especially in your heart. My girlfriend explains her experience here :
“I apprehended a lot before the retreat because of all the things we couldn’t do, like not interact with anyone and especially not having any information coming in or out if I can say it like that, no books, no tv… But despite those apprehensions, it made me feel a lot better, like an introspection, something I wasn’t used to do. It did lift things to the surface of my being but it help me sort things out and soothed me. It was like an exploration of the self. »
As for myself, I know that there is a Ben before the retreat and a Ben after ; it’s a crazy experience and we don’t realise how our mind are busy and how we really have to calm them. Now I’m taking things less seriously and I’m learning to listen to myself even more. Since then, my meditations and yoga sessions are a lot more easier and I go through life more serenely. The retreat wasn’t easy at first but we do have to fall before flying.
I advise you to look for a retreat like this. Another one I heard about is Vipassana. But I’m sure you can find one of your own that suit you best and that you can benefit from. Life can be scary sometimes but remember those moments where you stepped out of your comfort zone, wasn’t it worth it? The fledgling is scared as well when it has to leave the nest and fly but when it does fly, it is finally free.
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