Because modern life tends to have a pace that is too fast for our bodies, hearts and minds. Most of us benefit greatly from a handful of days with a lighter schedule in a stunning setting, and a perfectly supportive environment for catching up with ourselves.
Meditation and yoga can help us with that. The experience of yoga takes us out of the thinking mind, and helps us rest attention in the body instead. The body becomes more supple, and so does the mind. Adding meditation to the mix, the mind discovers that inside us which is not obsessed by thinking. The still center, the silent witness inside.
We give our brain some well deserved downtime, and encourage awareness to rest in body, in breathing and in our emotional centre instead. We start to hear the quieter, wiser strands of our reflective ability. In Buddhism that’s called wisdom, in the West we tend to use the word intuition instead. I cannot think of anything our world needs more right now.
If this process sounds idyllic, it isn’t always so. When we come to retreat, we don’t arrive as blank sheets of paper. We carry with us some of what’s gone before, and that luggage isn’t always uncomplicated or light. Once in retreat, as our awareness sharpens and brightens, as we relax into the silence and the support of likeminded people, our capacity to feel ourselves deepens. Then what needs our attention inside tends to emerge. All it needs is for us to become aware of it, without judging or analyzing or wishing it would go away. Paradoxically, that kind of attention is exactly what the painful emotion or memory needs to lift and and evaporate.
Then of course there are the long delightful stretches. As we become more present during retreat, we savor the glorious vegan food at Cal Reiet with a growing relish. We notice more of both the natural and the man-made beauty that surrounds us. We soften and feel more connected with and curious about the people around us. And at the end of retreat, we return to our lives with a growing sense of courage, trust and gratitude.
Björn Natthiko Lindeblad is an MBA from Stockholm School of Economics who spent 16 years as a Buddhist monk in the Thai Forest tradition. Since he came back to a life
in trousers in 2008, he has established himself as a public speaker and meditation teacher both in Sweden and abroad. He has his own podcast, his own radio-program, and contributes frequently on Swedish television.
Petra Bensland is responsible for the Yoga practice during the retreat in Cal Reiet.
Born in Switzerland, co creator of Yoga Elements Zürichsee and Cal Reiet, Holistic Retreat, Mallorca, she is based in Herrliberg, Switzerland with her family of three teenager.
Petra is a 500h RYT certified teacher after the classical Yoga tradition. Her focus during the yoga practice will be breath, body alignment and mindfulness.
Her early bird and afternoon classes will prepare your body, mind and spirit for the Dharma talk and meditation with Björn. (No Yoga experience required)