Puregg – Day 2 (2006-09-27)

I woke up at 5:00 in the morning. Pepi and I started the day with two meditation periods (a total of 90 minutes).

Puregg. The area is calm and peaceful, surrounded by mountains and nature. The idyllic place consists of a main house, a guest house (including the Zendo), and a garden. Everything is very simple: candlelight only, solar energy just for the kitchen and shower, no luxury or unnecessary items. Located in the main house are the kitchen and library. The guest house is built mainly of wood. In the garden many things are growing: herbs, salads, vegetables, fruits, trees, flowers. And there is a small pond. And a playful, meowing cat.

Pepi. One thing I learned very quickly: Pepi knows. She has a good feeling for appropriate words and actions, and guides you gently – herself a very diligent worker with a lot of foresight, neither haste nor idleness. The tasks she assigns to you are always just right.

Before noon I piled up wood in the cellar (hooray, a 3D puzzle!). Later, while cutting apples, I made mistakes whenever my thoughts drifted away from the present. A cut on my thumb would henceforth remind me of the benefits of awareness. And yet, in the afternoon the arrival of two hiking girls distracted me once again. They were looking for a place to stay, but could not do so as they did not want to join the meditation practice.

Practice. Few spoken words, much work in house and garden, lots of meditation. Could there be a more beneficial environment? With the absence of my everyday distractions (computer, mobile phone, media, ads, belongings, desires, resentments, …), I slowly started to discover what was actually going on inside my mind. Trying to steady that which was so incredibly unsteady, I experienced great difficulties and felt tempted to believe that I was not making any progress at all. This phenomenon might be compared to peeling an onion: you will almost certainly discover yet another layer (a recursive process). Once you get to the core, you can investigate even further with a magnifying glass, a microscope, … and repeatedly refine your insights.

In the library I discovered a book about mindfulness meditation (satipatthana) by Theravada monk Nyanaponika Thera. This would soon integrate perfectly with the upcoming Vipassana seminar, about to start on the third day …

4 thoughts on “Puregg – Day 2 (2006-09-27)

  1. Quote: “I am sure it’s not about the bankroll, nor titles, nor any of the temporary sense pleasures we seek to indulge in.”

    That sounds right to me, though these days I avoid using the word “sure” for comparisons. As I see it at the moment, people are what they are, doing the best they can possibly do in their circumstances.

    The moment I start comparing their lives against my image of an ideal life, I’m trapped in my beliefs about what an ideal life should be. Not only that, there’s the backlash: those comparisons I’m making will eventually be applied with similar ferocity to myself, pushing me further to conform to an imaginary version of myself.

    Heimdall, I’m grateful you’re taking the time to let us know all about your retreat. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for making me aware of that! I sometimes tend to impose such “shoulds” onto myself and/or my environment, and indeed I can say that it does not feel entirely appropriate – if I allow myself to notice.

    Sometimes a subtle difference can have an enormous impact. That which “sounds right” and “makes sense” is not necessarily well-spoken. I tend to get carried away by that which “sounds right” to me.

    Additional thanks for the rest of your demonstration! :-)

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