This summer Merigar East opened its gates to practitioners coming from near and afar. We had an intense schedule and there was a lot of movement in the Gar! We are happy that altogether we managed to organize these special retreats, that the Gar was very alive and that we enjoyed and collaborated all together. We give thanks to everybody who participated and contributed in making this a very joyful and busy summer in Merigar East!
We started with a Yantra Yoga beginners’ course with Magdalena Ourecka, where many people slowly but surely fell in love with practicing the Union of the Sun and Moon. We were especially lucky to have Magda stay in the Gar for one month and a half. Magda offered everyday morning Yantra sessions after and before the course and helped beginners to really get into the practice and integrate it into their daily lives. We are happy to hear that for some newcomers YY proved to be the perfect practice and that they now enjoy doing it every day in their homes.
Then after some time the full month of August started with the visit of Gianfranco Brero and Charo coming for the Communication Course. It was just a few days, between 4-6 August, and although the schedule was quite busy, we managed to socialize and go out and check the fish restaurants on the Black Sea shore – not to mention going to the beach as often as possible, as it takes only 10 minutes to walk there from the Gar.
Gianfranco and Charo fell in love with the place and remained a few more days after the course, really being able to relax and enjoy – particularly the serene and “nutritious” atmosphere of the mud-bath lake called Techirghiol. The name is derived from the Turkish Tekirgöl which means “the lake of Tekir”. According to a legend, a blind and crippled old man named Tekir and his old donkey reached the shore of the lake by mistake. Trying to pull his stubborn animal out of the mud, Tekir was miraculously healed so he could see and walk normally again. Since then the lake has become famous for its healing properties. Tekir and his donkey are featured in a statue located in the center of the town.
The name also means (in Turkish) “Striped Lake” (tekir – striped, and göl – lake). This is because of the salinity of the lake; when the wind blows, white salt stripes appear on the surface of the lake.
A few days after the goodbye bonfire with Gianfranco and Charo, the Gar filled again with practitioners coming to learn the Vajra Dance of the Song of Vajra. Our instructor was Zoli Cser from Budapest, who was brave enough to accept our invitation to teach the whole dance in one go! 11-20 August was a very busy time in the Gar: morning Yantra, VD learning session, lunch break, VD learning session, VD Thun outside on the mandalas, ending with Chod in the evening. As noted by Zoli, Merigar East is perfect for doing such long VD retreats, as the spaciousness and remoteness of the place, the very active elements and the very nearby beach dissolve all stress and tensions that might come up during such a long time of studying and practicing. Not to mention the special connection that Merigar East has with the Vajra Dance Upadesha – and the three outdoor VD solar mandalas.
Even if this course meant more dancing than some of us could ever imagine, and even if the 10 days were filled with practice, our time together was full of joy and ended very fast. It was difficult to say “goodbye! See you next time on the mandala!”
Sunday 20th August, as Erwin was driving Zoli, Tibor and their newly found hitchhiker and YY instructor Magdalena Ourecka out of the Gar all the way to Budapest, Elio Guarisco landed with the iron bird in the nearby airport of Constanta – about one hour drive from the Gar.
On 21st August we started our 21 Semdzins Practice retreat, on the auspicious day of the new moon and sun eclipse. For many of those who participated in both retreats, it was very interesting and challenging to switch from dancing so many hours a day to sitting around 4 thuns per day. Still, somehow we managed to settle down and bring the mind back, again and again. We greatly benefited from Elio’s experiential instructions on these very simple methods of the Dzogchen Upadesha – which can prove to be very hard for the ordinary mind to understand or to apply. The Black Sea showed us again her support and so the participating yogis and yoginis were very happy to jump off the meditation cushion and move their legs in the refreshing seawater. Needless to say, this retreat was also sprinkled every evening with barbecues and wine or “palinca” tasting (a strong local spirit made of plums or other fruits which one can apply in order to increase clarity during long practice retreats).
And soon we had to say goodbye again to all those leaving the Gar. At the moment Merigar East is accommodating two great karmayogis: Anastasia Panfilova, YY instructor from Russia, doing a personal retreat taking care of the trees around the Gar, and Federico from Italy, perfecting his VD of the Song of Vajra and enjoying his daily intake of Karma Yoga. Soon other karmayogis are joining us and the Gar is happy to be taken care of by a constant flow of dedicated practitioners.
What comes next for Merigar East?
On 27th September we are hanging 500 lungtas in Merigar East, to bring good fortune and prosperity to this beautiful place. You can also hang some for yourself if you like.
If you would like to participate, please tell us: https://goo.gl/forms/X5kGxSeQwLgC49db2
Then the following days we will be working on the camping extension, coordinated by Lubo Michna who will be joining us and who has a lot of building experience with alternative materials. If you would like to concretely contribute to the wellbeing of all the hundreds of practitioners who will be camping in the Gar in the future, now is the perfect opportunity! We will enjoy together, combining practice with karma yoga. If your heart jumps at this, please let us know: https://goo.gl/forms/X5kGxSeQwLgC49db2
Even if you cannot come to help us hammer the nails into the wood, it is still possible to support this beautiful project by donating whatever amount you can:
Last, but not least, we will soon receive the visit of yet another distinguished guest and SMS instructor: Elias Capriles. Elias is coming all the way from South America to share with us his experience in making the leap from mind to nature of mind. We will have a practice retreat focused on Rushens and Semdzins, between 13-15 October, benefiting from Elias’ special instructions on settling into our own spontaneous perfection.
If you want to come, please register at https://goo.gl/forms/pInmjwnsJDbYgdcT2
We hope to meet you soon in Merigar East!