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Updated: Jul 1, 2022

A silent retreat is not an isolated event. There is a string of events, internal and external developments which prompt the call for silent sitting. There is the silent retreat. There is the flow of life which unfolds after the retreat.

There is an attempt to arrest some impressions and notions of the retreat which lies one week behind me. The experience has been simmering, boiling down to its essence.

Meandering thoughts, lines of poetry, faces, attachments, farewells, a parade of associations drifting in and out, sensing an undercurrent, a connection of dots once felt as isolated events suddenly appear in coherence. A calmness envelops me. Suddenly perceiving what embracing myself entails. Reconnecting with aspects of myself I have approached with impatience in the past.

A sense of full acceptance, a fluttering moment, gone already. A short encounter with peace followed by restlessness, where I am so much more familiar with. Nevertheless, the short moments fuelled me up. I enjoyed not getting caught up in thoughts or emotions, the drifting.

Sitting together in silence, listening to life-affirming dharmatalks from Hamid who eloquently combines buddhism, philosophy and poetry. It is a soothing experience, an inner dialogue exposed in open air: full recognition, a spiritual homecoming.

Finding the breath while walking slowly step by step. In, lift, step, full weight, out, repeat. Sitting together, supporting each other in silence, stolen glances, smiles, recognition and difference, united for a week in a communal solo research project. A week, a stepping stone in a string of developments, the next steps are alone, without the silent support of the group. And that is life.

Hannie Dekker

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Leila Worth.
Leila Worth.
18 mai 2022

“Going on means going on, going far means returning” - Tao te ching

Spending a week in Karuna Centre in Monchique has been one of the most profound experiences I’ve ever had. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve left and I just can’t wait to go back to another silent retreat.

An Irish saying that kept coming up for me during the retreat was “Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán fein” which translates: “there is no place like home”. During this week in silence I felt this deep space in my body, my heart and my soul that felt like home. Silence is a homecoming. I felt in touch with my radiant heart and more connected to…

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