“What could we do to help you get the most from your stay?” Caught unexpectedly by the sincere way in which Dolf asks, the tall once breatharian, is gentle and considered in his manner.
Be still, you are here
I observe my life from a distance, so structured, so timed, so full. Space and time is what I need the most. Each moment is filled from the moment I wake until the moment I sleep. Taking time out has, and I don’t wish to admit, become a luxury. That lack suddenly seems to have become so incredibly valuable.
A sense of happiness and relief fills me. Being here I can do as much or as little as I want, suddenly, I feel like a child in a sweet shop.
I look over to the mountain and see the early lights of sunrise, it’s so beautiful here and so easy just to be rather than lost in thought, just to experience and feel. It’s like I’m a part of the landscape.
The demands of life so easily take us away from ourselves. Gurdjieff says we are automatons, machines, and we have to learn to know how to reconnect to ourselves. So easy to see from a simple exercise like I take my first sip of tea? Of course I’m aware, I say to myself, until I’m humbled by my evaluation. Where was I during my first sip? What did I notice? Was I present? What did I feel? What were the sensations? Well, of course I was lost in my thoughts, in the ever-going conversations.
Being led by my automated self, the behaviours and patterns is no easy task to recognise and digest when you realise that it’s what you’ve been doing your whole life. Lost in mental conversations and unconscious behaviours.
I look up and see that Joseph has quietly joined the group. He smiles as he looks over. His slender frame and striking looks give him a youthful and charming beauty. A sensitivity and depth emanates from him and a knowing that he is processing a deep pain within.
The bell chimes, I close my eyes and look inwards. I’m sitting in the Body Awareness meditation. From the top of my head, I slowly move my awareness through my body and begin to notice many things all at once, a feeling of ‘connectedness’ – like when an orchestra comes to play together instead of each just playing their own individual part.
The slow rhythm of my breath becomes trancelike. I come across an area of tension. I straighten my spine and take a slow deep breath. In the distance, I hear the sunrise. Distraction. I come back to my body. I take note of the tension I’m holding, how and why? I stop the conversation in my mind before it begins. I keep my focus and notice something happening. Such a subtle process if I hadn’t held my attention I would have missed it. The only way I can describe it is a dissolving of the tension. An energy rises through my body and I yawn as though something just released. I notice a spaciousness around the area where there was tension and it suddenly feels warm and light.
The bell goes and the meditation comes to an end, forty minutes have passed, it felt like four. I knew a part of me just changed. I wonder what I let go of. My mind always wants to know. Some things just cannot be described in words.
I’m in awe of the unknown universe that resides in me. The depth of connection with myself to be able to change, relate, heal, create, an infinite number of possibilities. This internal exploration is one’s unique personal journey. Imagine discovering latent abilities that reside within you that you never knew existed and all you had to do was simply look. I would never have wanted to miss this.
I stretch out the aches from sitting crossed legged, I feel an acute sense of awareness. Outside the air is getting warmer, the sun is just over the mountain and the purple hues across the sky look mesmerising.
A sense of anticipating breakfast arrives where I will meet Joy. She’s here trying to reset herself she said, “I have to do it every year”. I will enjoy talking to her I know. But before that, there is another meditation to complete.
The Metta Bhavana – the meditation of cultivating loving-kindness to others and to one’s self. It’s one I’ve practiced before. And like many times I meditate, each meditation is different like a painting with its own colours, shapes and meaning.
By Rumana Zahn