Monday, November 11, 2013

53 5 Day Silent Retreat

This was such a pivotal event I ever experienced in my life.
I had never given such luxury exclusively to myself for that long; paying attention to, nurturing, forgiving, mothering myself for 5 days straight!

5 Day Silent Retreat took place at our teacher Lola's lovely and secluded house near Ojai, California, looking out to the mountains from the living room and the wide shady terrace, and about 30 participants in variety of ages, nationalities, and occupations gathered for variety of reasons. The classes took place from morning to night, and we all stayed at the nearest hotels commuting by car-pool arrangement.

We were supposed not to take sugar, alcohol, caffeine, or anything addictive for 16 days prior to the event, so we could start clean, and healthy meals were served during the retreat. To avoid caffeine and sugar at continental breakfast, I prepared a bag of avocados, a loaf of organic bread and herb teas in my room.

The first day started out with orientation and introduction, then after lunch, all participants went silent except for necessary communication. We were supposed to focus within since it was a rendezvous with our (large) selves. Therefore no outside contact such as Internet, TV, e-mailing and talking was allowed  during the period.

After a while, it became so comfortable being silent among people, only feeling their affectionate presence, respecting each other's privacy, not interacting but just being there for ourselves as well as for the group.

Lola was the only person who'd speak to us and instruct activity accordingly. We chanted together, meditated, walked around the house, lay around in the sun, feeling our feelings or just sitting on boredom. Laughing, crying and singing was OK anytime as long as we respected other participants' silence. Actually Lola intentionally made us laugh a lot.

I had to give myself a permission to set myself free from dropping how I should look, act, react like in front of people. That was such a relief!

Sometimes we exchanged healings and written messages if we wanted.

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