Sunday, October 13, 2013

Going Back

The gorgeous grounds at Maitripa Contemplative Centre
This week I've returned from my second silent meditation retreat.

I am still processing everything that I got out of the retreat but for now let me share with you the details of the retreat, where it is, how it works.  Because if you can, you must.  

You must do this retreat.  It is amazing and that is all.

Okay, you don't have to do this actual retreat.  There are many, many out there.

I found this one through one of life's happy random events.  Why picked it and why it turned out to be so perfect for me I choose not to question, but just to be exceedingly grateful for.  

You might choose another, but whichever you choose I encourage you to have the experience as it is truly awakening.

This particular retreat is run in Healesville an hour and a bit out of Melbourne at the Maitripa Contemplative Centre.  And this location is perfect.  It could not be more conducive to deep reflection and contemplation.  The accommodation itself is comfortable but basic (small room, single bed, shared bathroom) but the surroundings are stunning.  Misty mountains for days and the happiest birds in the world.

Many different people and groups use the Centre for various retreats but mine was run by Aruna Giri.  Aruna has spent over twenty years exploring his own spiritual path with meditation at the cornerstone of that exploration.  Now he shares his experiences and knowledge through his retreats and weekly meditation sessions at the Abbotsford Convent.  

He is also a Rolf Structural Integration Practitioner

All this might sound a bit intimidating or transcendental but let me assure you a more down to earth guy you will not meet.  Aruna, like most people I have met who are happy within themselves, laughs easliy and takes his practice, but not himself too seriously.

He is quite simply a gem.  And he runs a good retreat.  Here's how it goes down:

6.00am   Wake-up Bell
6.30am   Meditation- Silent Sitting
7.30am   Yoga Asana (or your own practice)
9.00am   Breakfast/ Free Time
11.00am Meditation - Sitting & Walking
1.00pm   Lunch/ Free Time and Optional Teacher Interviews
3.30pm   Meditation - Sitting & Walking
6.00pm   Dinner/ Free Time
7.30pm   Meditation with Talk, Discussion & Chanting

9:00pm   End & Repeat

All this is supported by hearty and wholesome vegetarian cooking.

For those of you who think that meditating for an hour or more at a time might be uncomfortable or challenging, you are not wrong.  There is discomfort and there is challenge.  Well at least there is for me.  But getting comfortable with discomfort is part of the process and the outcome is well worth it.

Interested in working to create a deeper connection with yourself and the world around you?   Committed to really opening up to your life and the people in it?  Don't over think it.  Just go.

Have you ever been on retreat?

Listen To: Leonard Cohen Come Healing

Image One Small Life