Retreat of Prajnaparamita, training in presence and awareness
with Aleksander Skwara, October 2-7, 2019
It is a pleasure sharing with our Community the extraordinary retreat we enjoyed in Mallorca from October 2nd to the 7th with the excellent Santi Maha Sangha instructor, Aleksander Skwara. We dove inside the practice of Prajnaparamita of the Heart Sutra, including the practice of the great compassion. We dedicated one day for each of the four applications of Presence applied to the Body, Sensations, Mind, and Phenomena, to have an experience of the Absence of an Independent Entity in Phenomena. Alternating sitting meditation with moving, Aleksander combined his useful knowledge of Zen Meditation, integrating stillness and movement as well as all of the senses in the practice of being conscious and present.
We followed attentively his practice program which began daily at 6 am and ended at 9 pm, a program that was intensive but also well balanced that included a focus on both body and energy. We didn´t suffer from the strictness of the practice, but, on the contrary, enjoyed it. A lot of time and attention was also dedicated to recognizing the hindrances and obstacles that practitioners encounter on the path and in daily life. We decided as a group to maintain silence for the most part, conscious about staying attentive and present even in the relaxing moments when the exquisite Japanese food prepared by Ayako appeared on our table.
The step by step introduction to the practice of Yeshe Zangtal, a quintessential Ati Yoga practice, coming after days of sutra training, opened us again to the profundity of the Dzogchen teaching and instilled in us gratitude to our Master.
Our small group of 9 people (4 from Menorca, 3 from Mallorca and 2 from Madrid) enjoyed the harmony that reigned between us during these precious days, and we also appreciated the special spiritual ambience that pervades the Monastery of Bonany in Petra. Surrounded by nature and amazing views, we were also able to do some practices in the open air. Thanks to everyone who made the commitment to participate in such a special program, and thanks especially to Aleksander who elaborated it and facilitated it in such an impeccable way.