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A week dedicated to the practice of silent meditation, yin yoga and mindful walks in serene hills is a rare moment to connect at a deep level with our own heart and mind without dispersion and distraction. We find many of the answers we seek within ourselves, in the depth of the living and felt the experience of who we are. This week offers the possibility of taking the inwards steps to reconnect with the source of what is healing and nourishing in all of us. That is the gift of silence and stillness.
Accomodation is in shared same sex room for two people in single beds.
Single room is available on request at the extra charge of 5 euros per person. You need to make your request at the moment of your booking so that we can do our best to provide you with a single room as availability is limited.
Zazen (seated meditation in Zen) is at once a bare-bones form of meditation and at the same time, it is not one. Historically it’s a twice millennial practice passed on through generations by the Buddha as the unique gateway to liberating us humans from the rounds of birth and death and the suffering that comes from being trapped in Samsara, the world of delusion and ignorance. But also it is not meditation in the sense we ordinarily understand it to be.
This practice has no object and is not meant to be a means towards some end, it is not meant to take you from here to anywhere in particular. If anything it is meant to help you realize that ultimately there is no getting from here and going there for there is no coming and going. Or if there is, there is no one doing the coming and going.
Clearly, there is a paradox at the heart of Zen practice and Zen meditation.
The sitting that is nothing other than the sitting is what this practice is about. The Japanese name for it is Shikantaza: just sitting. The emphasis here is on the word just. Just being wholeheartedly in full awareness of body, mind, and breath, present to the unfolding of this practice of moment to moment of just sitting. Encountering the resistances and discomforts that inevitably arise as we sit in the openness of just this moment, just this sitting, just this being.
Slowly becoming intimate with the resistance. Noticing the arising of our cravings and aversions and the tensions they create inside. Then the next moment, in the next awareness of body-mind-breath presence to this moment returning to the just sitting. Returning to the release and ease of this just sitting.
Zazen is the practice of paying one’s full attention to just this moment in its arising and falling as silence and stillness come upon you.
When there is justness in the just of sitting, being simply here present to this moment, time and space collapse, all mental categories collapse. In the absence of mental construes, I face the timeless, the boundless in the sheer openness of this moment that is nothing other than this moment of: here I am, showing up completely for one's life!
Meditation is the art of just sitting beyond the projections of the mind, or not being disturbed by the mind's projections. When I can just sit, just breathe, just be the being that I am, then I return quite effortlessly to a simplicity where whatever I encounter is just the being or thing that it is.
What I find compelling in the Zen way of looking at things is how we slowly begin to lose interest in projects, noble as they may be, such as enlightenment or self-realization, the more we move into experiences of immediacy, the more we sense with our pores what intimacy means. Intimacy is letting go of goals, drives, and strivings.
Intimacy with ourselves, intimacy with others, intimacy with the world: The flesh of the world is being part of the silence that opens us to intimacy, resonance, and co-responding with all phenomena and beings.
If you are coming then be an expression of the intimacy of the moment of; here I am, hineni, my voice, I am just coming. I am the coming, the sitting, the breathing, the breath, the just, the thus.
He or she who realizes justness, thusness, things are they are, things just as they are is called in Sanskrit a Tathagata.
Tathagata is one of the names of the Buddha.
There is hardly any place for silence in our lives as we feel ever more compelled to fill all spaces with words and activity thus losing touch with what is most intimate and close to us; silence and stillness. Through meditation, we slowly learn to settle here where at times we receive this formidable and unlike any other mind-blowing revelation: silence is the answer we have always been searching for!
Silence is the source of all the teachings, but even more so, silence is the ultimate teaching itself, the ultimate religion. Once it deeply touches your heart and minds you know you are liberated and at home, free from searching and seeking, free from paths, free from teachers and teachings.
The first five days will be spent in silence and the schedule will include four daily sessions of Zazen (seated meditation), Kinhin (walking meditation), meditative walks in the surrounding woods, Yin yoga, and dharma talks by our teacher, Hamid.
Traditionally, at the end of a silent retreat, the participants all leave with a little time to discuss the thoughts and feelings that came up for them during the silence. However, at this retreat, we will have a group meeting on the last day, during which we can share and open up with regards to whatever we have processed during the meditation sessions.
We can explore further different aspects of the teachings to offer a framework to help you make better sense of your experience, so as to support incorporating it into your daily lives.
Drawn to meditation in the 1990’s, Hamid encountered Japanese Zen Master Ryotan Tokuda in 1998, was ordained as a monk at Ei Tai-Ji Monastery in the South of France in 2000 and, in 2011, was authorized by his master to pass on these ancient teachings. Hamid is also a qualified psychotherapist and has continued his personal and professional development by sharing his expertise and experience conducting lectures, meditation retreats, and personal therapy sessions. Hamid firmly believes that giving unconditional support and guidance is fundamental to a joyful existence.
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Three delicious home-cooked vegetarian dishes cooked by a remarkable cook called Ana.
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