Meditating in Banjar
Learning to un-focus
So it was time for me to end my winter retreat at this magnificent island that I have come to love. And what would be better than ending my trip with a meditation course. With the chance to be completely silent and slowing down the mind.
For 9 days me and about 15 other students from all parts of the world had daily teachings with teacher dr. Hudoyo about Awareness. This meditation technique in Vipassana, taught at Brahma Vihara Buddist temple, was a more unstructured, (and for me easier method), that allowed the mind to un-focus, rather than focusing. It allowed us to practice awareness by either sitting, walking, laying down or just by looking, listening or smelling, which opened up my relationship with meditation to another dimension. Dr. Hudoyo was constantly repeating “do not concentrate”, “do not focus” during our group sittings, to wake us all up from our meditation cushions and to experience true awareness.
Being silent with a bunch of people I’ve never met and getting to know each other in silence was a fascinating experience. As my french room mate expressed it at the end of the course, “at some point it kind of felt like all students became me”. What we see in other people somehow reflect or tells something about ourselves. And by being silent together we can get to know our inner world more.
My most beautiful experience was that the retreat was held during the Balinese new year, Niepy, also called the silent day. Niepy is a day when the whole island shuts down the electricity and when no one is allowed to leave their house or to use their cars. It’s a time to rest, reflect and to transition into the new year. Bali with its government is the only one in the world who allows the airport to shut down for 24 hours. Imagine if more governments would do the same.