Silent Retreat for Awakening the Spiritual Heart and Revealing the Supreme Immortal Self Atman December 27th 2014 – January 4th 2015

Posted: January 29, 2015 / in: Blog / 9 comments

In the heart of the Danish countryside, nestled in a small town on the island of Sjaelland, lies Paradise Retreat Centre. For the past three years, Paradise has been the wonderful host of one of the most important spiritual events of the year – “The Silent Retreat for Awakening the Spiritual Heart and Revealing the Supreme Immortal Self Atman”.

In what has now become a tradition in Natha Yogacenter, this exceptional retreat takes place over the New Year period, bringing to a close the year that has been while ushering in the coming year in profound states of silence and deep introspection – a concept which apparently goes against the grain and certainly stands out among a certain audience as being an odd way to celebrate the most famously raucous moment of the year. An act of non-conformist defiance? Hardly. Nobody that comes to this retreat is trying to make a statement; in fact to reach to this point can be quite challenging for some and it is certainly not a decision to be taken lightly or superficially. Perhaps one can say that training deep meditation at that time of the year when everyone is partying and having fun represents a sacrifice that we sometimes need to make in order to achieve something higher. Such an endeavor definitely has its challenges, but judging by the experience of the participants, the reward is worth the efforts.

silent-retreat111One thing is for certain, it takes something more to reach to this point. To be able to take that leap into the relatively unknown domain of meditation and inner reflection, there needs to be a call within, and for most of us this means being able to quieten the mind enough in order to be able to hear that inner voice that calls us to such an experience, to make that choice to go below the surface of our, often, shallow existence. However, every year the number of participants at the Silent Retreat has grown, showing not only that the need for such an occasion is increasing but that people are now starting to wake up and realize that there is indeed more to life than just obedience to the consensus social reality. A sign of the spiritual awakening of our times? Or a clear consequence of the increasing need generated by what is currently lacking in our society? Either way, the need is here to meet the solution and this is what matters.

This year’s retreat saw a record number of participants from many different countries. For the first time we had to expand the facilities to include another room for meditation and practice and to also rent out an extra location nearby in order to accommodate everyone and to have the facilities to cook for so many. While the external, quantifiable success of this year’s retreat was obvious, its real success lies in its immense spiritual value and in the immeasurable yet clearly perceivable spiritual transformations of each participant. For me this is the true value of this event and nothing warms my heart more than to see people spiritually transform; to see them having success in their efforts and to reach to profound revelations of their own accord.

During this retreat I could clearly see that the method provided in our school, which will be the subject of a coming book, is an effective method that, when its training sequence is correctly followed, can successfully lead anyone and everyone on the path of meditation.

silent-retreatThis year there were beginners and advanced practitioners; people who have never sat still in their lives sitting next to seasoned meditators who have clocked countless hours of meditation, and yet it did not matter at which level you were, the techniques taught were relevant for everyone, taking each from the level where they were and leading them forward. Even those who had never tried to meditate before were able to succeed in attaining certain levels of concentration and meditation. It made me very happy to see the amazing revelations and exceptional states they had. And in the moment of sharing our experiences that came at the end of the camp, I was deeply impressed to hear the accounts of the beginners who went from the pits of despair to the peaks of happiness in only a few short days, successfully navigating the minefield of the lower mind and exploring the amazing treasures of the “secret cave” of the spiritual heart, by applying the simple techniques that were revealed.

The year’s Silent Retreat might now be over, but its echoes live on in the hearts of all the participants; its mysterious reverberations being felt and experienced and reflected in the daily life as a shower of bliss that makes everything around reveal its luminous essential nature.

Here is a short clip we have made about this retreat. Please enjoy and feel free to comment.

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Advaita Stoian

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Comments (9)

  1. Advaita Stoian Advaita Stoian says:

    I was made aware that there are many experiencing problems with posting a comment on the blog. We are working to solve it. I apologize for any inconvenience.
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  2. Mona says:

    Hi, Advaita! Your article about the Silent Retreat is very inspiring. I have been struggling with calming down the agitation of the mind for years and heard about Gurdjieff’s clock technique that you are also presenting it in this retreat. What is the catch behind this technique – how come staring at a watch will help the mind to stop and the Self’s awareness to appear? It looks very artificial to me… Thank you for taking time to answer.

    • Advaita Stoian Advaita Stoian says:

      @ Mona
      Indeed, the clock is an artificial object … but this is not the point of the technique. 🙂
      The clock is serving only as an external object that can be a support of the attention, an easy target for the concentration. Supplementary, its the seconds tongue of the clock that is the target of the attention when doing this technique. What’s important is to get and keep the mind “busy” with the regular motion of the seconds tongue, eliminating in this way the possibilities for the attention to be lost to other stimuli that appear from within or without. On the background of this unidirectional focus of the attention we will be able to allow/search for the deep, divine identity that will naturally emerge from within.
      The technique is therefore a way to take away the “clouds” that are covering the core of our being, letting it to shine through and therefore come forward from the background of our inner life.
      Before successfully practicing this technique one still need to perfect the control the orientation of the attention.
      More details about this technique you can find in the meditation course that is offered in Natha Yoga center.

  3. Blue says:

    So interesting how such a simple method can really ”do the trick”. Maybe you can offer some ways to increase the attention focus?

    • Advaita Stoian Advaita Stoian says:

      @ Blue
      There is an upcoming book where you will find the description of the method with many details and exercises. In order to increase the capacity to focus the attention you need to realize the training of the willful orientation of the attention. It is not the attention that is interrupting the process of concentration but the accidental shifting of the attention to something else outside the object of concentration.
      One fundamental idea that would help you in this attempt to train the attention is this: when you are inattentive on something you are attentive to something else. You need to train the voluntary orientation of your attention toward the chosen “target”. Exercise this on the daily basis, with all that you are doing. This will not allow anymore “attention theft” to appear.

      • Blue says:

        Thank you, Advaita, I will try that. I know it is a very important and basic requirement.. on a daily basis. Whenever I do that it feels that also my solarity increases.

  4. green says:

    Hi Advaita , after succeding to focus and having a good meditation (personal evaluation), i notice that every image and colors that appear during the meditation it has a specific smell and sligtly taste differ according to the image or colors is this normal? or is something wrong the way how i do the meditation? how is for you?

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