Our morning Silent Retreat Meditation
The dynamics of our Silent Retreat can be compared with the ongoing movement of a pendulum: breathe in and breathe out, focus and let go, move and sit still, doing from being.
Our daily programme follows the same pattern: time to be on your own, time to be together.
Therefor our morning Silent Retreat Meditation session (from 09:30 to 11:00) is composed of short sequences: 20 minutes sitting in our meditation room inside the house and 20 minutes walking outside in the garden.
It does not crave much to sit still for 20 minutes – longer might be uncomfortable. It is also not too demanding to do the outside walking-meditation for 20 minutes. The idea is to have sequences which will provide a light sense of change, without having to strain yourself.
Sitting still and Being Silent
It is our wish to create a situation where ”nothing has to be done” – which leads to ”sitting silently”.
It is not the sitting silently in itself that is the goal. The purpose is falling into a state that makes you not to feel like moving.
The same goes for not saying anything during the Silence Meditation. Also this is not the goal in itself. Theoretically there can be talking in a Silent Retreat. Though it is up to each of us to see why something has to be spoken: an information that might be practically or necessary? If so nothing would be in the way of doing that. It also is not needed to whisper or feel inappropriate if you say something.
It is actually quite easy to fall into that silent space. Most of our daily talk is coming from a wish of sharing our opinions, attitudes, thoughts or feelings. These are exactly the subjects we are taking a break from during the Silent Retreat: ”Today I do not have to have any opinion on anything”.
The Meditations during our Silent Retreat
• Walking-Meditation is a practice of buddhist monks. A path of approx. 10 m where you slowly walk back and forth. Experiencing every step intensely: the heal touching the ground, the sole of the foot being massaged by the surface, the toes pushing the foot backward… and then the next step, and the next, and the next.. with the ongoing focus on the breath.
It is recommended to keep the same path all through the retreat.
• Tao-walk can be described as ”being moved by the Tao”. Like the coming and going of the thoughts – the shape of the Tao-walk is changing during the 20 minutes it is practiced.
Nothing has to happen / anything can: standing still, walking slowly, kneeling down or lying down in the grass, having eyes open or closed, enjoying the sunlight or being attracted to a dark shadow under a bush. All of it in one flow…
• Camino-Walk is practiced on our longer walks. Again we connect to the rhythm and the continuity of the movement – intensified because we walk together. Also here we are “being walked”. In the beginning it again can be helpful to be aware of the grounding and the breath.
Meditation vs. the Meditative Space
We are not encouraging nor teaching a special way of meditating. You can use your own preferred techniques or just be. Our teacher Michael Barnett said that he himself never meditated – and yes, he often found himself in the meditative space, not as a result of a meditation – but more from welcoming life as it is right now… which then might lead to slowing down and falling into the calmness.