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 Czech AYP retreat 2012 - a short report
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tadeas

Czech Republic
314 Posts

Posted - Jul 13 2012 :  08:01:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hi everyone :)

We did a 9-day retreat at the begining of July.

We arrived at the site on Friday evening, so that we could have a weekend of coming up with adding more practices (2+1 sittings) and the whole week (Mon-Fri) of 2+2 sittings and then a weekend for coming down with practices (2+1 sittings).


The program on the full days was the following:

* 2 morning practices: asanas + sitting practices + 20 min rest lying down.

* breakfast, walk/activity, reading, painting, etc.

* 15 minutes of silent awareness, then lunch

* rest, reading, painting, journaling, etc.

* 1-hour silent awareness period

* 2 evening practices: asanas + sitting practices + 20 min rest lying down

* dinner, walk, rest

* sharing period - talking about experiences, adjustments in practices & overall development

* reading/rest/sleep


There were some differences in the schedule and organization from previous years. We talked more thoroughly about the schedule this time and about what exactly to do so that everything would run smoothly.

On the full days of the retreat (Mon-Fri) we observed silence except for the sharing period in the evening. Silence adds a lot to the retreat and it takes a lot of social obligations off people so that we can just relax into the retreat process more fully. We will defeinitely do this again next time, maybe even starting with silence one day earlier.

The short 15-minute silent awareness period before lunch turns out to be very nice, too and we'll keep it there. It adds more concentration into the quite long period between the morning and evening practices.

For the first time, we were also doing a short asana sequence (each their own) before every sitting practice - this means that for example in the morning practice, we did asanas, sitting, rest lying down then we'd get up and do asanas, sitting and rest lying down all again. To me and most people this was a major improvement. After quite a long time of sitting and lying down, doing asanas takes you more on the surface level again and helps to integrate the whole process into action.

This time, we also planned the food a little better, having lighter and a bit more simple food overall, lots of salads, with lunch being the main meal of the day. We also had a little notice beside table saying: "Less food -> more intensity in practices; More food -> Need to be grounding". We did this so everyone would know how much food they were getting and how much they really want. Last year the food was so nice that some people were overeating a bit.

All the evening sharings (we did 3 or four of them during the retreat - not every evening) turned out to be really very nice and working. There were two rules: one could only speak if they had a "talking stick" (to avoid runaway discussions) and second, the default setting would be not to react to what was being said if the person didn't request that reaction. It worked pretty well. The sharing period has a lot of potential in it, I think. We'll see the next time :)

For the next long retreat, we're considering shortening the initial ramping up period (that is not starting with 2+2 practices immediately, but going to 2+1 first). We'd like to experiment with just the first day being 2+1 and then on the second day we'd start with 2+2. We'll see how that goes and report back.

A friend of ours cooked for us - thank you! :)

There were only 6 people on the retreat this time + 1 cook + a friend taking care of the house etc. who was also partly meditating with us.

We have yet to see any overloads or problems from the retreat, but overall, considering how much practices (26 sittings) we've done, it's been very calm and balanced. After 2-3 days, the depth of the retreat starts to be very noticeable, culminating at around day 4 and 5. These middle days (monday-wendesday/thursday) just really zoom past quickly as we move through the same routine everyday, opening to the infinite :)

Thanks everyone for participating and for any of you who're interested for reading :)


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mimirom

Czech Republic
368 Posts

Posted - Jul 13 2012 :  08:19:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit mimirom's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Good job everyone!

...proud to be a part of it!


_/\_
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maheswari

Lebanon
2328 Posts

Posted - Jul 13 2012 :  4:13:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
that sounds very very good
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emc

2071 Posts

Posted - Jul 15 2012 :  12:38:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Sounds like an amazing retreat!
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