Life at the Moulin takes place in an alternation of seated meditations and walking meditations, from morning until evening. The day is punctuated by two teachings, and by meals, taken in full consciousness. The whole stay takes place in silence (which promotes the inner journey!) except for moments: following the morning teaching, when it is possible to ask questions, and during a time sharing in small groups which is offered once during the stay.
I arrive at this tired retreat. I feel a great need to ask myself, to rest, to refocus, and I know that I am exactly in the right place for that! On the wall of the main house, a sign reminds me of the reason for my stay: “Train the mind, free the heart”.
For the first two days, I watch the snow fall. Literally and figuratively. My mind is like the inside of a snow globe that has just been shaken: restless, stormy, with snowflakes flying all over the place. My walking meditation is hectic too. Until I witnessed a rain of white flower petals, like snowflakes, detaching themselves from the tree branches to cover the ground with a carpet of snow.
As the days go by and the sittings, the steps, the breathing, the singing of the birds, the hum of the river, with patience, curiosity, sincerity and as much relaxation as possible, my presence is refined and the storm softens . As if the snowflakes of my mind settle in the back of my head, as when, finally, the decantation occurs in the snow globe, as when the petals of flowers land on the ground to be deposited there.
Alive and vibrant
Along the way, I let go of a few sorrows and worries, I welcome a few angers and resentments, then I let the symphony of nature fill my heart with joy and gladness. I admire the ballet of carp in the pond, I contemplate the flowers of the fields, I watch the water of the river flow, remembering this phrase by John O’Donohue read in a meditation book: “I would like to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own deployment. I thank what Martin Aylward calls the “fortuitous conditions” that led me to this retreat, to come and sit there, right there, in this seat, with my sensations, with this breath, then this one… I feel both more alive and vibrant, but also more calm and tranquil. As an echo of what Martin writes in his latest book, “Anyone Can Meditate”: “Wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever you hope for, meditation can take you on a journey incredibly transformative, as it has been for me. »
So, even if the path to more peace, freedom and openness is sometimes strewn with pitfalls (whoever has never encountered resistance to sitting on the cushion throw the first stone at me), the game is worth the candle and the retreats at the Moulin de Chaves really encourage travel!
At the Moulin de Chaves, in the Dordogne, count between 795 and 945 € for a week full board.
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How about we stop talking? We tested silent meditation to calm the mind
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