The Bali Silent Retreat
As some of you already know, I´ve been back on my beloved island Bali in September this year. Going back so soon after my stay last year wasn’t in my plans at all. But my intuition leads me and I can´t tell you how happy I am with this decision. Mama Bali embraced me from the fist second on with all her brightness. It didn’t even take me a full week to feel back home in Ubud. Meeting so many people again who I now call my friends is magical, epic, breathtaking. This first few weeks have been nothing but empowering, inspiring and on the other hand also confusing. Being surrounded by well educated, spiritual and embracing people helped me a lot in my self-growth as well as personal development. I got inspired in so many different ways that its now the time to put it all together. But before that I was willing to take first a step back. A step back to check in with myself, my thoughts, my feelings. For those of you who follow my journey already from the very beginning on may have recognized the place I got warmed welcomed again. I got back, to this magical, healing and holy place – the Bali Silent Retreat. One of the locations that crossed my yogic path in the very beginning. After my YTT in India, I got this honored opportunity to enter this space for full 10 days and taught Asana and Mediation classes. Since then, I already knew that this place will definitely see me again.
And here I am, one year later. Not as a teacher but as a guest and decided to only do something for myself. For me and my inner peace. Going in silence for three days and leave everything of distraction at the entrance door – my phone, computer, music. Only me, my thoughts and my journal are the things I took with me. I believe it’s one of the most intermediate experiences you can do to contain a deeper connection with yourself. Also, for two years already I´ve been doubting if a Vipassana would be a next reasonable step for me. Till now, I still don’t feel it. I think, I don’t resonate with the concept itself or don’t think the only way you contain such a connection to yourself is by silent, cross legged seated mediation for hours. But that’s just my personal feeling and option about it, what could change at any time.
So, let me tell you about my journey into silence and give you some insights about the Silent Retreat. After the morning class in Ubud, I went on my bike, listened to juicy calm music and drove all the way up North. Already the 1,5 hours’ drive to this magical place, through Bali´s jungles and rice fields filled me with pure joy and inner peace. My heart was opening up and I could feel how much I was craving for this view days of silence. As soon as I arrived on the hill and viewed all the bamboo bungalows in the middle of rice fields, I already felt a big relieve. As soon as I met all the stuff from last year and got welcomed, I passed the gate into the retreat area and committed myself fully to silence for the next 72 hours. And this time the transaction into this state was so much easier than expected. It wasn’t a big effort at all. I just felt from the first second on that is what’s needed now.
As soon as you arrive you get a daily schedule. If you like to follow structures, they make it easy for you. Two times a day guided mediations and asana praxis. In the evening releasing fire ceremonies in the fire house. And my god, on top this crazy delicious food three times a day. I mean the food you can get in Bali is generally above all we can imagine back home. Especially if you live a plant base diet. But what the women from the village cook here, is beyond one can even imagine. All food ingredients are fresh from the garden and everything is home made. Other than that, the whole center focuses on a waste free concept. So, none of us is allowed to leave any unnecessary trash. Especially when its non-compostable. As I said. Pure magic this place. How the place, the garden looks like and how much love they put into details you can see in the pictures.
Besides all these facts, what remains important is how I experienced my two days of silence. For sure there are some things I might keep to myself. But over all I can say this is a live changing experience. You may first think, well that’s none of a big deal shutting my mouth for two days. But is quite more than that. We are used to so many habits, we are quite not aware of. Being distracted by so many things like listening to music, hearing other people chatting, checking our phones, spending ages in front of our computers. When from one to the other second you have none of that anymore, what is left then to fill your day? Only your thoughts and feelings that are speaking to you. Nothing else. And after a while you can feel and hear your thoughts to the fullest. That’s at least how I experienced it.
I got there with a clear mission. I just entered the gate and knew, now is the time to turn your phone off and keep silence for 72 hours. It wasn’t a big effort for me as I went with an intuition. Also, the first view hours were quite easy. You do not really feel a big difference. You are too busy with exploring your new surrounding and enjoying your food babies from this crazy delicious and organic food. But after the first night I already felt a change. The sounds from mother Earth and my awareness of little things became quite clear. I observed the birds, the cats playing in the rice fields and the maize in the grass. I heard the rosters, the dogs and the birds sinning loud and clear. And most of all I started to hear my subconscious. I listened to my thoughts. I observed them and questioned them. I just really connected with what came up and asked myself- how does it serve me? One of my teachers reminded me once – “before you can release something in your life, you first need to lose the attachment to that feeling or that thought. Otherwise you will never be able to let it go.” Quite helpful guideline she gave me for my three days of silent. Now, I really resonate with it. I therefore questioned why particular thoughts came up over and over again. In what kind do these thoughts help me to become a better version of myself. If there was no answer to that question, I then asked myself what it is, that keeps me thinking about it.
Interesting was also to observe, how some guests struggled with the thought of being silent. They then tried to make contact with people in another manner. They tried to use eye contact or gestures. Some of the guest were even struggling with non-talking. They always had the need to express their gratefulness by a small thanks or whatever it was. But I observed, that we sometimes need to think about if these words and the energy we use for it is really necessary to show others our appreciation.
Also coming back to the dinning house and lounge was sometimes quite interesting. It’s the place where we all locked our phones in the “Hand-Phone-Hotel”. Of course, there are no strict rules that say we are not allowed to use our phone. But it’s a suggestion. And what’s the idea of going to a silent retreat and turn silent but using your phone for communication at the same time?! But every time I came back, I saw people on their phone. Even it was just for 5 minutes. But what could be so important outside this bubble that cannot wait for a few days till you leave? How important can a message be, that make you break your commitment. Seeing this other people on their phone just empowered me more. I do not judge anybody for any decision. I really don’t. I just used the thought that came up by observing this people to question my own decision and intuition. And that’s also something I’ll take with me in my daily life.
I ended my three days in silence with a message to my friend before leaving: “my heart is wide open; my thoughts are clear, and I have a vision. I´m coming back home now.” These days helped me in two manners. First finding a way to question my thoughts more mindfully. Why do specific thoughts come up over and over again and is it worth spending energy on them for so many times. Or is it just attachment to a thought that holds us back from releasing. Also, I used these days to get connected to my desires and vision. My vision about my future and to get a clear mission in my head how to continue my journey.
So, peeps do it! Give it a try and trust in the power of such a simple thing – silence. If you have any further questions or you wanna know more about the Baili Silent Retreat or other places I know about just text me. I am more than happy to help you with that.