This is the second part of the series on my vipassana and Silence Retreat. I now report on my first two days at Benediktushof and my experiences. The retreat started Sunday evening at 6pm with dinner.
Arrival was good, I met an older woman on the bus who was also driving here to Holzkirchen to take a course at Benediktushof. Totally idyllic place. My room is small but clean and with a beautiful view of the courtyard of the Benediktushof. I explore the grounds and especially like the Zen garden which also has a place to meditate outside. I immediately notice the silence of this place and the peace that is radiated. Even the birds seem to be less skittish and do not fly away when you are near them. Dinner begins at 6 pm with a small welcome, the other participants and the teacher seem at first glance to be very friendly, but there is already silence and communication is not possible. The food is vegetarian, very tasty and fresh. 7:20 pm then begins our first meditation. I am having a hard time getting into meditation. There is a short lecture from the teacher on the subject of meditation, which I enjoy. The silence is going well so far. I plan to spend a lot of time in the fresh air during the breaks.
5:45 am the alarm clock rings. I am very tired. A little bit of walking in the fresh air before the morning meditation begins and a cup of warm tea are waking me up. At 6:20 am then the first meditation. 2 times 30min in a row with short break for slight movement. My thoughts are still buzzing in my head. I feel a slight pulling in the back of my feet and lower back. After the first hour of meditation we have breakfast. I long for a cup of coffee. At 8 o’clock I work in the garden, the activity in the fresh air is very good. I enjoy the work in the sun.
At 9:15 am we continue with meditation alternating with mindful walking. I like the mindful walking very much, especially walking outside in the courtyard. The different surfaces such as meadow, gravel, stones feel so different to each other. I notice how i can get more and more involved in the meditation. However, my body is making itself known, my lower back hurts slightly. Immediately after lunch, i go hiking for 1.5 hours and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. This is very relaxing, the weather is very good. I sit on a bench in the sun, drink tea, write a diary and read. I enjoy the nature, the birds chirping, it’s pleasant that it’s just normal here to want to be alone. But everyone smiles at you nicely, I feel comfortable in the group. My mate from lunch jogs by and we say hello.
The mediation room is very nice, clean and structured. At 3:45 pm we continue with the meditation. The breakthrough in my meditation after not even one day. My gaze becomes softer, I have the impression of being washed, clear water flows over me. The first out of body experience follows, I have no arms anymore, gradually also no legs, shoulders, I float at the level of my head. The pulling in my lower back is gone, I hardly feel it anymore.
As the day goes on, I make a few more corrections to my meditation posture. Now I sit comfortably. In addition to the absence of body parts, the feeling of being breathed is now present in the meditation. At the end of the day we do a Metta meditation. The teacher again gives a very interesting lecture on meditation and Buddhism. Again I have the feeling of floating in the final meditation, but not as intense as in the afternoon. Tired and with so many new impressions, I go to sleep around 9:30 pm.