The first part of his visit was spent in Bucharest, where many people were able to get a taste of the Dzogchen Teachings, as Elias was able to connect with their different backgrounds. There was a TV interview, a university conference on “Dzogchen, Tantra, Shamanism and Transpersonal Psychology” and a community evening course going into the aspects of “Base, Path and Fruit in Dzogchen”. Probably hoping that intellectual understanding could shortcut practice, a few people asked very advanced questions, but Elias answered skillfully pointing back to the condition of the questioner.
While collaborating with the TV crew, Professor Capriles was introduced to traditional Romanian wisdom: for his sore throat he was warmly recommended to consume horseradish and “palinca” (a very strong alcoholic drink which Romanians use most of the time strictly for medicinal purposes).
Then we had an intensive 3-day retreat at Merigar East on the 21 Semdzins and one Rushen. Elias helped us with his humorous and insightful explanations to become more proficient at “hunting the duck” (i.e. the state of rigpa). No animals were harmed during the process.
Altogether there were practitioners from Bulgaria (we are very happy to be so close to Varna!), Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Romania.
Magdalena Ourecka from Prague offered morning yantra sessions to release the tensions from our rigid bodies.
After the retreat a few of us stayed behind and had some relaxation time. We gave the professor an opportunity to repay the famous Romanian hospitality – so he drove us to a Genovese fortress and washed the windscreen of our car while passing through a gas station.
We were happy to travel all together and create one more episode of the Meritours series.
This is probably the last retreat for this year, as the cold weather is kicking in. However, we will be waiting for you starting next spring with a wide range of opportunities to practice, to relax, to travel, to do karma yoga etc – and we promise to be your guide in navigating the mysterious Romanian territory. Or if you are brave enough you could venture to make a personal winter retreat for your SMS practices!
In any case, hope to see you soon!
Best wishes from Merigar East!