Articles - published in December 2013

Opening up to the Light…

Jenny Roberts writes: Along with Samanartha, Khemasara, and Penny, I’ve just returned from an intensive meditation retreat at Vajraloka, led by Tejananda. Those who know the venue and the teacher won’t be surprised at the revelation that this was a very intensive eleven days. The theme was ‘simply being’. And the practice which was explored as the days went on was simply to be present with whatever was happening – be it thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations or perceptions (like hearing and seeing). As in any meditation retreat there was a good deal of formal sitting in the shrine room but, this time, the practice extended to just about every waking minute. As Tejananda remarked at the beginning of the eight days of silence, ‘There is no time off on this retreat!’ And indeed there wasn’t. We were encouraged to stay present at all times: while out walking, while sitting in the garden, while washing up, while doing work duty, while eating, getting ready for bed or getting up in the morning… And throughout each day the whole area seemed full of retreatants walking meditatively through the forest, gazing at the beautiful views or just sitting in the garden seemingly staring out into space. Tejananda made the point that we are not our thoughts, even though our thoughts encourage us to think that we are. So the practice, for me at least, was very much about opening up to my experience, and especially listening to what went on in my head. So for eight days I tuned into my feelings, perceptions and thoughts, trying not to get caught up in... Read more