It’s true, Merigar East during the winter can be quite challenging, but I would say it’s worth going for it: it is the same boundless stretch of land that we know from the summer retreats with Rinpoche, but this time it is all white and beaten by the cold wind, not hot sunrays. So winter can also be a great moment to see Merigar East exactly how it is: just earth and sky.
Anyway, those who came to the retreat were lucky: during the retreat we had a mild winter, with little snow and bearable wind, and only three days after the retreat the true winter came upon the Gar, with snow falling uninterruptedly for almost three days, covering everything with a white blanket and bringing winds so strong that you couldn’t even move. Those coming for the retreat were able to return home without problems, although they experienced a few little winter adventures: one car had to be shovelled out of the snow on the road to the village and then we had to wait for the special vehicles to come and clear the road.
The Multifun house was more than cosy for the ME guests: with a beautiful Christmas tree downstairs, the house served as a warm and hospitable shelter for the few practitioners arrived from three different countries, a big gentle dog and two playful cats. Nothing was missing!
The retreat coordinated by Zoli was focused on the practice of Mandarava, but we also had daily Yantra Yoga in the morning and Vajra Dance in the evening, plus Chod, Ozer Chenma and Khaita. A retreat with everything, as we could expect from an instructor like Zoli.
As a bonus for the effort of coming all the way to the Gar we had the chance to meet the Black Sea in the wintertime: whiter than ever during the first retreat day, but then back to blue and calm on the first day of 2017. And a few sunsets only Merigar East can give you.
Text and photos: Iulian Lucian Maidanuc