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The Nâm retreat is an intense inner experience which helps you to open yourself for your true potential which we call Nâm.
Nâm is natural, it is what you are. The Nâm Silent Retreat is an occasion in which you open the door for its guidance and its brilliance. By using very simple instruments for inner orientation and attunement during the Nâm silent retreat, you will be guided away from the trap of ego satisfaction so that you can draw full spiritual benefit from your endeavor.
During this retreat, you will stay in Asharum Amonines. It is a 300-year-old characteristic house with all the comforts you need and surrounded by the beautiful nature of the Belgian Ardennes. Your stay is based on bedrooms for two which are simple and comfortable. Two single bedrooms are also available. There are rooms with a private shower. Other rooms share showers and toilets in the hall.
In the house, there are various rooms for general use, such as a lounge, a dining room, a reading room, as well as a room of silence in which you can withdraw at any time of the day for meditation, personal prayer, or just to be in silence.
In addition to central heating, several communal spaces are heated by wood stoves, which provide a pleasant warmth and a cozy atmosphere. Around the house, there is a large garden with various seating arrangements. The location is accessible both by car and by public transport. There is also a private parking provided. Bed linen and towels are not provided. You can rent them for 7.50 EUR.
The quest starts at the transcendence of the human being from the limited state towards your true nature. This requires a knowing of oneself that transcends considerations of rational and emotional analysis. Nâm yoga is also not about learning skills but about actively doing nothing to allow your system to let go. A Nâm retreat can have a life changing effect, many people who have gone before you saw life through very different eyes after a Nâm retreat.
The different instruments aim to help you become aware of your transcendental nature. An investigation that starts with a question mark, “What does transcendental mean?” Slowly but surely this question grows towards a certainty, the certainty that you are transcendental by nature. This certainty is what is called as Nâm. The yoga is the orientation, investigation, and discovery.
During these retreats, you will use instruments such as meditation instead of physical exercises. The Nâm retreat is a product of Nâm yoga which is way of life founded by the mystic Yoginâm Abbahjí. It is a specific way of living in which life ethics (what you naturally want to do), attitude (putting ethics into practice), and attunement (to what you really are) are the basic elements.
Because it is such a specific and different way of living, it is also called as “The Way of the Return” or “The Third Way”. The first way is the way of religion, the way of dogma, morality, mythology, and believe. The second way is the secular way, like we have in modern society. The Nâm retreat is facilitated by a staff of people who are on this third way and has been guided intensively by the founder Yoginâm Abbahjí for the last ten to twenty years.
Many people draw great psychological benefit from regular meditation and from attending silent retreats. However
psychological benefit is not the ultimate purpose of these instruments. For thousands of years, they have been used by people for exploring what it means to be human and for searching guidance in finding, in a very practical sense, the purpose of living.
You could meditate for hours every day without drawing spiritual benefit from it. You could sincerely enjoy a silent retreat but, upon return to the ‘ordinary’ world, again be confronted with the same stress, discomfort, and anxieties. While at the same time the benefit of meditation and silent retreat could easily be profound and lasting.
In order to draw the greatest benefit from meditation and silent retreat, both psychologically and spiritually, they should
correspond as much as possible with the Task of Living in which all members of the human species equally share.
The problem with much of the spiritual activities nowadays is that they are directed at obtaining individual well-being and therefore not spiritual in the real sense. Universally all spiritual endeavor, from ancient times onward, has always been characterized by transcending the customary self.
The promoted aim of the consumer society is to reach the best
possible satisfaction. Of course, lasting satisfaction does not exist and needs to be replenished by more buying, more workshops, more methods and more courses.
The ideal of the spiritual endeavor is not satisfaction. It is a realization and general application of the Drop-Ocean-Water triangle. Of course, it is a metaphor but it is a very illustrative one. Although you may see yourself as an independent drop and act, think, feel and desire accordingly, in reality, you are an integral part of an ocean. You flow in the ocean and together with all creatures and environment, you constitute its currents and its waves. But beyond this sharing of all the drops together, both the ocean and drops are also nothing other than water. In the realization of water, there are no drops and there is no ocean. This is the Bliss of the Return.
This is not just a nice idea. The Task of Human Living is reaching, by means of this very living that we do, the Water realization. A drop could describe the drop, it could also imagine what the ocean would be like, but water is beyond that. This is Nâm: the affirmation of Certainty.
In order to reach this ‘water’ realization you do not need a religion or a belief. It emerges in the very living that you do, provided that you observe the right attunement. which implies attitudes and behavior. Nâm is not something apart from life, like a philosophy. It is the living itself and most of all it is the constant reminder that this living is expressing infinity itself.
Nâm is natural, it is what you are. Meditation and Silent Retreats are occasions in which you open the door for its guidance and its brilliance. By using very simple instruments for inner orientation and attunement during the Nâm silent retreat and meditation, you will be guided away from the trap of ego satisfaction so that you can draw full spiritual benefit from your endeavor.
Never forget you are sharing in the Certainty of Nâm, while the stage between birth and death is a phase of living with a particular purpose. Only fulfilling this purpose generates an unconditional state of Well-Being that applies to living, to dying and to post living.
You are sharing in all, your spiritual endeavor is an act of service to a whole, that is so all-embracing that it is unknowable for us. What we do know is that all that lives share equally in it.
Therefore always perform your meditation and observe a silent retreat as an act of service to all and everything. When you do, and you will find out for yourself, this is the deep joy that your direction in Nâm generates.
You can also join easily, for Nâm yoga focuses on the root core of what binds them all and does not claim any truth. The experience will only add to your personal life vision, religion, and practice. Experience with meditation is also not needed, you only have to open yourself and allow your attention to move to deeper layers of self. The methods used here are easy to learn and the practice follows naturally.
Observing regular periods of silence can be very beneficial. The modern lifestyle with its flow of impulses often allows for little space to wind down and yet, such winding down is very important for the system. Without it, the arranging and digesting of both the conscious and unconscious impulses remains incomplete. This may result in stress, anxiety, burnout, loss of sense, depression, and a host of other problems.
Nam retreats are a solution. However, sudden silence for a number of days can also be very stressful, particularly when you are not used to “doing nothing”. Meditation is just another word for doing nothing. Because doing nothing can be difficult, people have the tendency to fill this space with all kinds of “exercises”, in which the beneficial aspect of the meditation may get lost.
It is natural that whenever you sit down and close your eyes for meditation, the mind takes over. It may run wild with all kinds of ideas and projects. Consequently there is no meditation, there is no unwinding, and instead of becoming tranquil you may become tired and stressed.
Your living environment makes a difference in whether you easily reach a state of meditation or not. Just because most people nowadays live in an environment that is heavily charged with impulses, a period of silence offers a relief. For this reason, the Nâm retreat has been developed. Such a retreat lasts five to ten days.
A worldview that is rooted in certainty is the seed of well-being. True certainty, which should not be confused with the surrogate certainties of rational thinking and emotion, enriches not only your individual life but by means of its resonance, it influences human living as a whole. In this way, individual certainty can contribute to a better world.
The certainty that transcends rationality and emotion is called Nâm. All spiritual traditions in the world find their origin in the quest for Nâm. They may differ in methods, imaginary, and language but their objective is the same which is the transcendence of the human being from the limited state toward the Nâm of your true nature. This requires a knowing of oneself that transcends considerations of rational and emotional analysis.
In Nâm yoga, the Triple A is an instrument to establish a worldview and a way of behavior that can contribute to a better world.
These three principles are interconnected. Asha is the visibility of Abbah. Though Abbah is ultimately unknowable, it becomes knowable for in Asha. Attunement is the way how to deal with Asha in such a way that behavior and attitudes are conforming to the ultimate Abbah. Abbah, Asha, and Attunement are simultaneous. You cannot speak about Abbah without Attunement. Consequently, you have to measure your attitudes and behavior, which means Attunement to Asha and Abbah.
Nâm yoga is the culmination of the ancient tradition in which the realization of Abbah, Asha, and Attunement leads to a way of living that generates well-being for the individual and for the environment of living as a whole.
In the certainty that Abbah is one and Asha demonstrates the interconnected, in which individual activities, thoughts, emotions, beliefs, desires, and opinions by means of their resonance, affect the entirety of the interconnected oneness, you chose to live according to this manifesto for the purpose of improvement of life on this planet, for the quality of which you, as human beings, are fully responsible.
In the atmosphere that is created by means of the instruments, the established habitual programs are shaken so that a new balance can be established. This makes a Nâm retreat special and very different from other retreats.
Meditation is not just a matter of sitting down on the floor with crossed legs. Meditation is a state of mind that can be maintained in a sitting position but also while walking or reclining. During a Nâm retreat, there are five daily periods of sitting in meditation communally. The periods are relatively short and last between 30 and 45 minutes.
Such relative short periods of sitting meditation are preferred, because for many people lengthy periods of sitting meditation can be stressful. The dynamic meditation implies that you carry the state of meditation during the rest of the day while walking, sitting, or lying down. In this way, the entire period of the retreat can become a continuous meditation with various intensities.
The breath is a double sound. The double sound is synchronized with breathing in and out. The breath is an ancient psychological instrument that is used in various spiritual traditions. Its purpose is to reach a one-pointed attention. It is natural for the mind to wander as soon it is left to itself. You cannot stop the mind. The only thing you can do is to replace the continuous monologue of thoughts by something else.
There are various mantras that have the same effect by forcing the mind to concentrate on the content of the phrase that is repeated. The breath is different. Concentrating on a meaning of a mantra is still a mind activity. In the breath, the sound has no meaning in a rational sense. Its value is trans-rational and it invites a state of one-pointed attention that is beneficial for a spiritual unfolding and openness that is in accordance with the transcendental nature of life.
In order for the breath to have its psychological effect, it should have been received in a particular manner and it should be guarded in such a way that it is not shared with others. This would disrupt the essential intimacy which is essential for its beneficial effect. Of course, once having received the Breath, its usefulness is not limited to the period of the retreat.
For many, it becomes a valuable lifelong friend and a support in periods of stress and anxiety. Those who have not yet had the opportunity to receive the Breath from Yoginâm Abbahjí will receive some instructions for breathing that can be used instead.
Asha meditation is helpful for shifting quickly between the state of attention that is required for ordinary living and the state of meditation. Asha meditation is particularly useful when the time that you have for meditation is limited. The effect of rhythm on the brain is well-known and widely documented. In Asha meditation, this effect of rhythm is used for bringing the mind into a different resonance.
In practice, it means that the period reserved for meditation is divided in two parts. During the first part, a regular rhythm is maintained usually with a rattle, as a preparation for the state of silence in meditation proper. Asha meditation has proved to be very effective and particularly helpful for people who lead a busy life.
The jewel is an instrument that is directly linked to the realization of the transcendental nature of living. Dynamic meditation, breath, and Asha meditation are primarily psychological instruments. The Jewel introduces a spiritual aspect in the Nâm retreat, which is also a psychology but of a different level. All life is transcendental in the sense that you are primarily spiritual beings with a material expression in the human body and the human universe of perception.
Ignoring your transcendental nature is the same as ignoring the essence of our lives. Such ignorance has a consequence and the state of the modern world with its stress and anxiety is a symptom of this ignorance. Realizing your transcendental nature is a psychological necessity for reaching harmony, inner peace, and well-being. As long as you ignore it, you are prone to confusion by following detrimental directions.
This is not the place to describe in full detail the transcendental nature of living, suffice it however to indicate that you are primarily sharing in an unknowable all-embracing oneness that lies beyond any rational consideration. You cannot know it because you are of it and your knowing itself is one of its infinite expressions. That which is unknowable is nevertheless very real and intimate.
You are of it and therefore you cannot have a relationship with it. You cannot communicate with it. All you can do is open yourselves for its realization. For the purpose of opening yourselves for your essential essence and as a skillful means, this unknowable over-all-ness is indicated by the sound “Abbah”. This sound is not defined. There are languages in which the sound “Abbah” refers to a meaning.
However, this is incidental and not relevant for the way in which it is used here. There are two psychological states that contribute to the gradual realization of Abbah. The first is the state that is indicated as sovereignty. This state is expressed in the guiding attitude of awe and wonder. The next state is indicated as guidance. This is expressed as letting go, spiritual poverty, and the openness of non-knowing.
Beyond these states and outside, as in concentric circles, there is Abbah, which no longer has a circumference. The jewel expresses the essential nature of the spiritual unfolding. Though many have the tendency to search inside for their spiritual nature, the transcendental nature of life indicates that rather than towards inside, the movement of attention should be directed outside.
Ultimately, this may lead to the realization of the permanence of the infinite all-embracing-ness of your nature, in respect of which the daily “I” concerns lose much of their relevance. The repetition of the jewel creates a mind program with which you can gradually find this direction.
Rationally, this may be difficult to grasp. The jewel is an instrument that may lead to the discovery that you possess other ways of knowing, ways that are more real, enlightening, and certain because they are rooted in that which is the permanence of your being.
The recitation of specific texts is an ancient and proven method for unfolding a direction. The spiritual endeavor is a psychological process which is not rational and which involves the unlocking of your supra-rational abilities of realization. Understanding a theory may be helpful for realization as a start, but eventually it is only in living that a realization is actually realized.
The effort of understanding stops a flow in order to consider it. During recitation on the other hand, there is no space for considering what you are reading, you have to go with the flow. This has proven to be very beneficial for a supra-rational realization, in which other instruments than the rational mind are involved. During a Nâm silent retreat, the book “Oh Abbah: Songs For Lovers” is used for recitation.
The book itself was written as a recitation, which means it emerged in a continuous flow over a weekend of retreat. The different chants are like windows directed toward the same unknowable Abbah, which is ever so wide and ever so close by.
Recitation leads you through a great number of different states that all find their resolution in the continuous repetition of “Oh Abbah”. This has a profound and lasting effect. Recitation opens pathways in the brain that can become highly relevant, also in everyday life situations.
The attunements are an instrument that places each of the daily periods of meditation in a particular framework. This instrument has always been used by monastic communities of various spiritual traditions. The attunements of the Nâm retreat combine the effect of the Asha meditation with that of the recitation. The Attunements give a shape to each section of the days of the Nâm retreat.
The most obvious instrument of the Nâm retreat is the silence. In order to be effective, the silence should be total. This implies that not only you abstain from speaking, but of any kind of communication, even with the eyes with the other participants.
Apart from the book “Oh Abbah”, it is strongly advised not to use phones, tablets, computers, or read books during the period of the Nâm retreat because the distraction that they provide will interfere with the beneficial psychological effect of the Nâm retreat.
During a Nâm retreat in which Abbahjí is present, during the morning meditation, and the evening meditation there is a so-called HarpMood. A Harp Mood is like a satsang by sound. A HarpMood is a spiritual communication in which Abbahjí communicates with the participants on a supra-rational level. This has the effect that many of the blockages that you may experience during the retreat become dissolved.
The effect of the HarpMood is very much determined by the specific need that you may have at that moment. HarpMood is a unique and very valuable element. During Nâm retreats in which Abbahjí is not present, the benefit of the HarpMood will be obtained through a recording.
This retreat will take place in Érezée, Belgium. Asharum Amonines is located in a little village in the beautiful Belgian Ardennes which is by car about three quarters from Liège and four hours from Amsterdam. Asharum Amonines is situated in the Ardennes-region of Belgium, close to the village of Erezée in the province of Luxembourg.
Yoginâm Abbahjí chose this place for a spiritual center because of its surrounding beauty and the tranquility of the area, where life is still lived at a quiet pace. The house itself is situated on the Leylines of Wéris, an area where many megalithic structures are the vibrant remnants of an ancient spiritual past.
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During this retreat, you will be served with daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All meals are prepared with care, vegan, and fresh. Coffee, tea, and fruits are also available. Sometimes, the vegetables and herbs from Asharum Amonines' own garden are used. Asharum Amonines can take most diets into account. If you have other dietary requirements, please let Asharum Amonines know.
The surrounding nature is very beautiful. Medieval cities are also nearby as well as the powerful ancient Dolmens and Menhirs of Wéris. However, it is suggested that during the retreat, you stay nearby and only take short walks. That way, you will be more able to dive deeply into your inner life and benefit from it as much as you can.
Please book your flight to arrive at Brussels Airport (BRU). From there, take a train which goes to the Marloie Train Station. At the train station, you will be picked up by a staff member of Asharum Amonines.
Please arrange yourself to arrive at Melreux-Hotton Train Station. From there, you will be picked up by a staff member of Asharum Amonines.