Slheimar mountainsThis Year’s Silent Retreat In Sólheimar – The Home Of The Sun
By Mihai Stoian
Copyright www.mihaistoian.net

Almost exactly one year since I last visited Iceland I have found myself here again, in the magical land of silence and natural beauty/inner peace. As we drove to our retreat location early Monday morning (January 31st) I was treated to my first experience of an Icelandic blizzard.

As I strained to look out the front of the bus, the windscreen completely clouded over, save for a small patch the driver had cleared in front of his vision. Outside was almost a white out. We wound our way through the mountainous countryside and I was impressed by the skills of our driver as he navigated through the treacherous conditions to bring us safely to our destination in the south of the island.

This year’s silent retreat was held at Sólheimar – the Home of the Sun. Sólheimar is associated with the Global Ecovillage network and was the first community of its kind in the country, bringing with it the ideas of Rudolf Steiner. It is an internationally renowned self sustainable ecological village which welcomes people from all over the world to experience life in a community built on the principles of sustainable living. The whole atmosphere in the place is quiet and open for the inner journeys, an excellent host for a silent retreat.

As well as its accommodation facilities and Sesseljuhus Educational Environment Centre in which we met for our common meditation and yoga program, Sólheimar also has a church, sculpture garden, arboretum, sports hall, gym and a swimming pool, music garden and an art gallery.

Sólheimar – The Church
Slheimar church

The coordinators of the Icelandic yoga school NATHA, Magdalena and Serafim, are the ones that initiated this annual Silent Retreat. Now in its second year running, the idea that this country is simply made for such an experience is further cemented and becomes even more clear to me. The starkness of the barren landscape awakens an immense longing for Self-exploration. The simplicity of the surroundings brings us back to the simplicity of who we really are. For a person that is coming from the agitated life of a big metropolis, this environment is a great start on the inner journey.

Our Wonderful Nordic Hosts Magdalena And Serafim. Three Times A Day They Offered Us Delicious Vegetarian Meals and they Kindly took Care Of all our needs, giving The retreat the feeling Of A spiritual community that they hold In their hearts.
Magdalena-and-Serafim

Our daily program consisted of 6 and a half hours of meditation and 2 and a half hours of hatha yoga practice. There was also time for the participants to practice more during the breaks, to spend time in the nature, to enjoy the food and most of all enjoy the deep peace and serenity from within and which is wonderfully reflected in the landscape offered to us by this beautiful country.

mihaistoian1


As the days passed, the world grew whiter and evermore wintry. Even the sounds of footsteps were muffled as we soundlessly moved from the sustainable meditation hall to our guesthouses. All around us the silence grew reflecting our silent journey of Self-revelation.

Sesseljuhus – An Example Of Sustainability – A Blueprint Of The Sort Of Buildings That Should Be Built In Order To Prevent Negatively Impacting The Environment
Sesseljuhus

Inside Sessljuhus, The Aspirants Meditate And Practice Yoga Together. The Practice Of Hatha Yoga Techniques Which Facilitate The Revelation Of The Divine Self ATMAN Is Emphasized During The Practice
silentretreatyogi

Last year we had braved the sleet, rain, high winds and hail as we dashed from our small huts to the meditation and eating halls. And that was giving another dimension of our contemplation where the determination to continue was the central force.
This year, when it wasn't softly snowing the sun was shining brightly, bathing the retreat centre and the surrounding mountains in its golden amber hue. The purity of the white snow topped surrounds set against nature’s bright blue backdrop, illuminated by the great yellow god in the sky, indeed making this a magical Home of the Sun, the perfect setting for illuminating the Sun in our Hearts, the Divine Self ATMAN. To witness all this is a direct invitation to enjoy the Divine Bliss that is the source of all that exists.

View From My Apartment In Veghus Guesthouse
Veghus-Guesthouse-view

For those of you who are interested, here is our daily program that we kept in the retreat.

 

Silent Retreat Daily Program

January 31st – February 5th

09:00 – 11:00 Meditation: The revelation of the Divine Self ATMAN
11:00 – 12:30 Hatha Yoga: Practiced in unison – mainly consisting of techniques for revealing the Divine Self ATMAN
12:30 – 13:00 Meditation: The revelation of the Divine Self ATMAN
16:00 – 19:00 Meditation: The revelation of the Divine Self ATMAN
19:00 – 20:00 Hatha Yoga: Practiced individually – the personal tapas
21:30 – 22:00 Meditation: The revelation of the Divine Self ATMAN
22:00 – 23:00 Conference
23:00 – 23:30 Meditation: Communion with Gregorian Bivolaru (Grieg), our spiritual guide

February 6th

09:00 – 11:00 Meditation: The revelation of the Divine Self ATMAN
11:00 – 12:30 Hatha Yoga: Practiced in unison – mainly consisting of techniques for revealing the Divine Self ATMAN
12:30 – 13:00 Meditation: Exemplification with Gregorian Bivolaru (Grieg), our spiritual guide
14:30 – 15:30 Meditation: The revelation of the Divine Self ATMAN
15:30 – 16:00 Meditation: The gradual reabsorbing of the specific spiritual supporting field of the camp

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