Written from her experience of attending Sw. Anandakumar’s ‘Power of Awareness’ Gathering, held in Tiruvannāmalai, India.
1. DIGITAL DETOX
It was only after completing my first silent meditation gathering that I realised how much noise we have in our lives. I’m not just talking about conversation here, although on the last day of this particular gathering we were invited to engage once more in conversation, and it was truly alarming!
When you consider that a vast majority of the planet is permanently fixed to a mobile phone, television or the internet it’s no wonder that we never really fully switch off from the noise.
Attending a silent gathering gives you permission to do just that. To switch off from all the external chatter and distractions and be in a peaceful, tranquil place giving yourself the time and space just for you.
Giving yourself precious time to rewind, restore and revitalise is helpful to the physical body and mind, so that daily life can be returned to with greater clarity and a clearer voice.
The myth or barrier a lot of people have around meditation is that it’s about stopping the thoughts. When in fact even the most seasoned meditators will tell you that that is impossible.
A silent meditation gathering gives you the time and space for your mind to settle, all the mental chatter you brought with you from your everyday life begins to quieten.
So, during your gathering when you participate in meditation practice you may find you have the mental space to start to listen to your inner voice and begin the journey of self-enquiry.
Through self-enquiry you are able to develop a stronger inner connection with the Self by observing and being aware of our thought patterns and emotions.
From personal experience, at times silent gatherings such as this one can be a little confronting, but being in a peaceful and supportive environment like Anahata Yoga Retreat can provide an ideal setting to deepen your meditation practice. It’s places like these that allow you to fully relax so that there is space for reflection to gain clarity on fuller aspects of life.
4. EXPERIENCED TEACHERS
Equally important is the quality of the teacher and the teachings they are able to offer through depth of experience. A teacher who has profound knowledge of their subject is ideal, especially for a gathering such as this – and this can only truly be mastered through dedication to their personal practice.
Swami Anandakumar is one such teacher, I recently had the pleasure of attending one of his gatherings in India and it is clearly evident that he is a “master of his craft.”
5. PRACTICES TO TAKE HOME
Knowing which practices to use for your meditation can be a bit of a mine-field. For anyone attending, this gathering is the ideal opportunity to ‘travel to your own centre and find stillness within,’ through experiencing a variety of meditation practices that will help you to find balance, peace and contentment in life. Discover which practices work for you on their own and in conjunction with others to enable you to deepen your own Sadhana at home.
Inspired? Check out our upcoming Power of Awareness Silent Meditation Retreat 2024