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Vous en avez marre des hôtels de luxe ? Venez vivre une expérience différente dans un lieu peu ordinaire, apprenez à connaître la cuisine du Sri Lanka, la culture, l'art et l'histoire de ce pays. Vous devriez être impatient de participer à cette retraite !
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Inside the entrance hall at Samadhi you are watched over by a silk tapestry depicting seven Buddhist monks each holding a lotus blossom in their hand. Each monk is a different shade of brown. Likewise, the cultural diversity of this island is reflected in the villagers, who form the core of what makes Samadhi run smoothly. They are unspoiled and courteous - every man, woman or boy will calmly break from sweeping the stone pathway, lighting the oil lamp or picking fresh produce for your lunch to wish you Ayubowan! the traditional Sinhala welcome which means Let there be long life!
The inspiration for the design and architecture was born of meditation. And so you willingly leave your city husk behind at the gate with no signal for mobile phones, it is the perfect opportunity to let nothing interrupt the sounds of forest birdsong, of tree frogs and crickets, and the whisper of the breeze from the trees.
The thirteen pavilions, which lean out of the hillside, are veritable temples of tranquility. They are designed to make you feel you are the only person staying here. Privacy is everything. Yet there are no unnecessary walls. This results in a truly serene environment surrounded by urns, art and treasures dating back to a time Kandy was a royal realm. There, everything is king-sized. The Indonesian teak bed in a double room is spacious enough to sleep three people comfortably. But even the smallest suite provides a four-poster bed to dream in.
The spacious verandahs of each suite of rooms give onto paddy fields, nearby mountains and bench terraces filled with herb gardens or pineapples. Bamboos reach out with their four-fingered leaves to fan a breeze at you. In the surrounding natural forest, mango, toddy palm, mahogany and jak trees rub necks with giant bamboo, avocado and Chinese guava.
On waking in the early hours listen to tree frogs whose cacophony seems like a child tinkering with a Xylophone, the birds call to their mates, the deer cough, the wild boars are evident only by the rustle in the bush and the porcupine is even more timid. In this retreat, only you can experience such an extraordinary surrounding and ambience.
The concept of Samadhi is a testament to a new era in Sri Lankan development where the ambience of old village life and the westerners desire to escape to nature can merge. But take heed - no two visits to this unique place can ever be the same. The visitor constantly finds new levels of intrigue and inspiration. You need time to absorb the intricate nuances, which begin to unravel between visits.
There is no Sinhala word for goodbye. The person about to depart calls out Mama gehilla enang! which means, I will go and return. To which the response is Gehing enna! which means, yes, go and return! Once you find your way to Samadhi, you will understand why returning there is also part of your journey. This will give you a cultural experience that you have never experienced before.
Fifty minutes northeast of Kandy, the fertile landscape becomes a mass of lush vegetation reverberating with unfamiliar birdsong. The human populace too seem a different breed, profligate with smiles and allowing their abundant good sat sung to spill over and cloak the visitor. Go past the triangular ambalama and up the steps where you squeeze past the statue of a giant Hindu goddess - half woman, half horse. There you will find the beautiful Samadhi Retreat Centre located.
The Kukul-Oya river meets the Hulu-Ganga, conveniently creating several spots for river bathing amongst the rocks and baby rapids. There, Plumbago (graphite) was found in lumps amongst the pebbles. But the locals had since been driven to eke out a meager living selling fruit and vegetables off roadside stalls.
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Breakfast taken in the dining pavilion, which is open on four sides to the forest and the river sounds, is sumptuous by any standard. Steamed manioc (cassava) with grated coconut, gotukola mallun, egg curry, pumpkin, sambol and milk-rice are preceded by home grown pineapple, papaya and guava.
All the food prepared at Samadhi is organic and freshly picked before each meal. It is vegetarian cookery at its best. The rice you eat is home grown and one of thirteen ancient Sinhala varieties organically farmed in the paddy fields across the river. The water you drink is sourced directly from an unpolluted mountain spring on Samadhi land.
This is a very old traditional therapy by two therapists, who work in tandem, synchronizing their strokes and massages according to the circulatory and marma points for one hour. This is the most rejuvenating treatment of Ayurveda. This can be treated for various ages and for common disorders.
Medicated oil is poured slowly over the forehead. Shirodhara is highly beneficial in treating headaches, mental tension, insomnia, stress and disorders of the central nervous system. Medicated oil is also poured on to the body, which is beneficial in curing neuromuscular disorders, rheumatism and general debility.
Shirodhara gives the best results when taken after an Abhyangam. Dhara is good for all ailments. Changing the liquid as per the dosha condition with necessary alterations in the procedure is useful to alleviate any dosha.
This is a common treatment for various diseases, including inflammatory conditions of the bones and joints, arthritis, spinal problems, sport injuries. Herbs, leaves or powders with warm oil applied over the affected areas of the body for massaging.
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