By Liliana Serban
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.
Khalil Gibran - ‘’The Profet’’
The end of the year, noisy and agitated for each of us, with unexpected fluctuations, many of them shocking but nevertheless, in a paradoxical way, all in the same way : lacking in essences.
Now comes the moment to ask yourself:
,, How would I enjoy the end of this year and the big entrance in this famous 2012 year? An intimate dinner with your best friends? A splashy party with your playful, priceless clique? Or a lone wolf evening which could turn into loneliness ?
But the answer came right on time. An atypical alternative , a novel experience which sounds like a real challenge : a retreat in complete silence organized by NATHA YOGA CENTER lasting 2 weeks having a structured program in 2 modules : 26 December – 1 January for the first module and 1 January – 7 January for the second module. The place : Stevns Klint. Theme: THE REVELATION OF THE INMORTAL DIVINE SELF ATMAN.
For many of us this choice could be similar to.....torture, convicting yourself to live 12 days of penance with lots of privations and a whole storage of bedevils because the indoor rules of this unedited event claim to all participants without any exception to keep silence, to be more specific, not to say even a word and more so not even a glance for communicating with the others. Men and women separated , keeping as long as possible a state of introspection intended for blocking for as long as possible the endless verbalizing mind flow aiming at the same time to relate yourself for as long as possible , in a continuous way, to the INMORTAL SELF ATMAN.
At the first sight it seems madness to get yourself in such an adventure. Furthermore with such an option you run the risk of having all your friends, your family, your workmates, or school mates questioning upon your state of mental health and also upon your inner emotional balance.
Maybe the reaction facing this choice could be: RUN !
But still…If …
What If, from now on, we will start to embrace only that challenges able to transform and purify both our mind and soul?
So lets bring into the open the daily program of this silent retreat :
7 o’clock: awakening. Every day.
Here nobody can hear any alarm clock but the divine sound of Tibetan singing bowl and so you find yourself outside of time. Then each participant does the usual morning cleaning and purifying of the body, keeping a wise and humble silence. Then comes the gathering for breakfast in the dinning room.
8 o’ clock: the first meditation of the day. Advaitananda, the coordinator of this spiritual camp, synthesizes the main aspects of the mediation . The meditation lasts for two hours. For someone who this kind of activity is not quite a routine, that could sound alarming. But anyone who got through this experience could certify that once this journey started, it is obvious that this amount of time is justified. It is like, analogically speaking, one who decides to ski would allow only 30 minutes for that action, including the additional preparations like the outfitting, climbing the slide and so on.
After this meditation follow 90 minutes of individual practice: asanas , pranayama , oli mudras , other techniques of hatha yoga.
A shorter meditation comes after and then comes the lunch break. Even that common moment could turn into an event because it is really amazing to take the banal act of eating as a ritualistic act.
Eating silently , no radio, no TV, no cell phones, no convenient conversations, just you and yourself, completely thoughtless and one hundred percent awake , conscious, second after second.
Just feeling this healthy, clean, alive food made with lots of soul and devotion.
The longest meditation of the day is starting at 15. It lasts for about 3 hours, then the daily program continues with the second part of the individual hatha yoga practice, a lecture with the same topic: The revelation of the Supreme Self Atman. The program of the day ends at about 23 when Advaitananda is reading and giving the answers to the participants’ questions.
Here it is necessary to mention that all the meditations of this spiritual camp are sustained in a subtle way by the spiritual guide of this yoga school, Gregorian Bivolaru.
Following this program , day by day , one can discover so much peace in his soul, so much purity, so much space in his heart filled with lots of love combined with a lot of mental focusing and above all, a fervent desire to discover the divine spark inside yourself ; the Supreme Immortal Self Atman.
At the end of the first module , I saw people crying of happiness .What miracle has happened from just sinking deep inside your heart , searching for the Spark of Godliness in you , following the same question:
WHO AM I? WHO AM I?
Am I really the one whose name is A or B?
Am I really the one who is living in that place?
Am I really that one who has those habits, those iron-bound principle, those fashionable tastes , those exquisite belongings, This specific lover?
Am I really the one that I have laughed and cried for so many times in my life?
Am l the one who for so many times have surmounted peaks and then have sunk hunting the material success?
WHO AM I?
I am neither THAT, nor THAT .NETI . NETI (in Sanskrit).
I AM THE SUPREME IMMORTAL SELF ATMAN.
I AM A SPARK OF GOD THE FATHER AND IN ETERNITY I AM LIVING IN THIS SACRED UNITY.
The first module of this silent retreat was wrapped up with a certain protective light. It was a fabulous, mysterious, silent journey through each inner profound layer. The magic of inner transformation and purification was reflected also by a very special mystic and confidential moment at the light of a bonfire under the sky blanket full of stars.
The second module was, so to speak ,,the hardcore one” .The duration of the daily meditations was around 6 hours, sometimes maybe more. Advaitananda gave to the participants some specific clues in order to ,,die hard,, into your ego and reborn easy like a baby into a new life.
The spiritual adventure is going on even farther. Analogically speaking, it seems like a journey up to a very high peak , following the narrow path , step by step , in a humble tenacious state , inspired by the light of a high spirit, animated by a ocean-wide faith, focused deep in the ,,heart of the heart”.
Living in the eternal NOW, with an endless profound faith in the Spiritual Guide, The Supreme Atman.
Lots of people who have narrated their spiritual experiences at the end of this module had the same strong feeling of ,,dying in ego“, in their narrow, conditioned being and feeling reborn in full light like a new human being . The magic touch of the Supreme Self Atman detonates the entire being, provoking huge spiritual transformations. Starting now, one can realize that the real life, the real conscious human state is TO BE ONE WITH THE SUPREME COUNSCIOUSNESS, GOD THE FATHER .
I AM that one that is the Supreme Self Atman.
I Am that one that is Paramatman, God the Father.
I AM that one who IS.
We left Stevns Klint, the 7 of the January, late in the night. I, that one who just discovered myself, you that one who are reborn again rising from your own ashes. That one who is, that one who I am, brothers and sisters in spirit, born in light, searching frantic for the light, getting right back to our common lives, among friend, mates, relatives, everyone of us enriched with this colossal experience, beyond any price just because we dared … we dared to say,, What if..,, we dared to be different, we dared to aspire to immortality and perfection…”
That Silent Retreat was Bliss and we are looking forward to NATHA YOGACENTER offering many such blissful events!
Thank you, NATHA YOGACENTER !