Hi guys. And welcome to another play time session.I’m not sure if this is actually going to be a playtime session. I’m not going to do a Q&A. This week instead, I just really felt compelled tonight to share with you what I’m doing and where I’m at, at the moment.
So I’m not sure if this qualifies as a playtime session. I think maybe it might be more of a Daring session where I just take a moment to get really real.
And so right now, I have returned to one of my most favourite places in the world which is a place called Guayrapa which is a retreat centre on top of a mountain, in a small village, kind of near the coast, a couple hours south of Barcelona, in Spain.
And this is where I spent six months meditating full time when I first discovered meditation and where I became a monk and where I trained with the Ishaya’s of The Bright Path. I graduated from that course three years ago this week. And so, quite nicely really this week I’ve returned for the first time. And I’m planning to spend all of September here.
It’s been a really magical few days coming back to this beautiful place. And I just want to set the scene for you a little bit. Right now I’m actually sitting on the roof outside of my home for the next month. Tonight the sky is clear and there is a full moon and I’m staring right at it right now. And I just had to come outside onto the roof and record this episode. So you might hear a little bit of wind. There’s a small breeze coming through. I’m hoping you hear the crickets because there is a little background symphony of crickets going on.
And this place in terms of a retreat is kind of everything you would want or hope for a retreat to be. The village that it’s in is really small, it’s called Mont-Ral. There’s probably less than 100 houses in this village. It’s based on the top of a mountain and right at the top of the mountain is this amazing old church. I’ve never had a chance to go onto it yet because it’s always been locked. I’m not quite sure how old it is that I will take some photos and I will share them on the show notes so be sure to link through to lilab.life if you want to check them out and then the retreat centre itself. It’s called Guayrapa and it’s on quite a large property, kind of on a sloping hill and we have a dining room and a student lounge which is where all our meals are prepared and we get food three times a day. Breakfast. Lunch and Dinner.
All mainly vegetarian food. They have this beautiful organic garden just below the kitchen so a lot of our salads and fresh vegetables come straight from the garden. Below the garden, there’s actually this kind of clifftop lookout that you can walk along to and then above the student lounge you head up the hill and the first thing you come across is a beautiful little yurt which is just a lovely place to spend time and meditate, particularly in the afternoons.
Go a little bit further up the hill you’ll find a swimming hole and it’s September now it’s just starting to cool down. The weather’s just about to turn slightly into autumn but I dipped my toe in the pool today because the sun was out, really for the first time this week and it’s not quite warm enough.
And then as you go further up the hill, we get to our meeting room where we spend most of our time meditating and have meetings a couple times a day. Normally one during the morning and then a big meeting during the evening with our teachers. These meetings are an opportunity for people to share their discoveries and experiences of their meditation that day. And for the teachers to give guidance and students to ask questions and for everybody to kind of just learn and discover more. And that’s also where we often will receive homework and things and focuses to place our attention on as we are meditating. And so the whole point of being here is basically to meditate as much as possible.
But it’s not a silent retreat as such. It’s very social. You get to meet everybody,…