Miles and I just came back from teaching a six-day retreat in Switzerland, and it was not until I arrived to the Los Angeles airport that I realized how quiet my mind had been. At the customs line, there were a couple of ladies behind us wearing a turban in their heads, and they were asked several times for their passports. Two men were removed from the immigration line, just because their skin was darker and looked “suspicious”. Interesting enough, police didn’t question the white ones like me.
I crunched and held my breath confirming once again the racial discrimination in the US. And this thought felt like a sharp knife cutting through a field of yellow flowers and a rain of blessings that I had groomed while teaching in Switzerland. Before my arrival, my mind was quiet, entertained by the poignancy of the present moment, admiring nature and catching up with trains, taxis and planes.
Experiencing inner calm and peace for a week became so “normal” that only after being removed from that state brought me the self-awareness of it. Isn’t that funny? I guess I needed darkness to see the light that I already had inside. It made me think of when my teacher said that one only becomes cognizant of having been in inner silence after the silence is over. There is no self-reflection in inner silence—we are simply IN the state.
Our retreat took place in the dreamlike mountains of the beautiful city of Brienz, on the Bernese Overland region of Switzerland. The village, on hour and half from Zurich airport, is surrounded by turquoise large lakes and the Brienzer Rothorn mountains.
Maurice, who had been dreaming this event with us the entire year, drove us from Zurich to Brienz and we couldn’t stop gazing at nature with our noses glued to the windows. The quality of the sunlight shining through the orange and reddish autumn leaves took our breath away. We saw a few boats as if pained in the background of turquoise and deep blue lakes. The outstanding beauty of the snow painting the peaks and the freshest wet and clean air made us feel as if in a dream. Then, we arrived to another dream, that of Schweibenalp.
The Schweibenalp Center for Unity was founded in 1982 by Sundar Robert Dreyfus, Fredy Aly and Silvia Bollag, upon guidance from the Indian teacher Sri Haidakhan Baba. It is a place where traditional religions and cultures meet a new religion of the heart; founded as a place for multicultural community on the way to the realization of Truth, Simplicity, Love and the experience of Unity.
The center has a powerful venue built is an octagon, with large windows where we could watch deer coming while practicing energy passes. The wood floors and the natural sunlight accompanied us throughout the week in our quest to find our real selves.
We walked to the forest mountain stream in the early morning, among the fresh foggy air, and ate delicious meals between our sessions. Truly, organic, vegetarian and CLEAN! Swiss perfect and clean kitchen that made me feel at home.
I was moved by the sincere and honest welcome of Sundar, Schweibenalp’s founder and his staff. They walk their talk and practice daily the returning to the heart!. Sundar took us on a walk around the property and shared about a very auspicious finding just before our arrival. In their property they found three trees of different species living together, joined into a common base tree trunk. They saw it as an omen and a symbolic expression of their vision.
Highlights from the six-day retreat:
- Sundar also invited us at 7:00 am on a rainy day to a full Fire Ceremony, to thank mother earth and to ask for the removal of obstacles in our dreaming
- An amazing 3-hour hike in the mountains towards a green alpine lake, hiding between granite peaks and high forest terrain
And, the long recapitulation-witnessing exercises that gave us the time and depth to liberate our hearts and brought clarity and sobriety to our minds
Ah, wait, something important. For our entire days we explored, experienced and worked with the “four natural enemies” of man described by Carlos Castaneda: fear, clarity, power and old age! Below find some feedback form the participants.
It was so good that we are coming back to Schweibenalp on October 26-29, 2017!
With gratitude and love,
Here is what the retreat participants said:
“Everything about the Schweibenalp retreat was a joy–the energy movements, especially with music, the mountain setting, the delicious food and the energy of the place, a place dedicated to mindfulness and the unity of all seekers. However, for me personally the very best part was the deep exploration into places where each of us has vital energy stuck in the memory of an event. I cannot describe how powerful it was when my group of three, each willing to be honest and open, really listened to each other, without judgment or criticism, just being present and reinforcing the wisdom that each of us already carries within. Thanks so much to Miles, Aerin and all the participants!” – Tom Reavley, USA.
“What a pleasure it was to see you guys, to spend such an amazing week together and to get to know Axel! I so enjoyed it all even though it was also a very deep and intense experience to go through the recapitulation sessions. I will be processing it for a while! Heartfelt thanks for your energy and excellence” – Ena Xena, England.
“Now that few days has passed, I can examine with more clarity what happened during our “energy boot camp” in Scheweibenalp retreat.
1) Schweibenalp is truly a place of power. I never felt such a harmonious, nourishing and gentle energy and if you’re looking for a boost for your transformation process, it’s the place for you. Seems like it’s almost impossible to act like an asshole there. Almost. And the food was truly great and so was hiking in the Alps and that lake…my god…never seen such a beauty.
2) We did some serious energy work during those six days. We examined and recapitulated four enemies of man: fear, clarity, power and old age and did some other interesting stuff. All those exercises were truly powerful. At the end of day, you were just exhausted, but it was a good exhaustion, because you felt you did something very, very important to yourself.
3) But most of all, it was a BE family meeting. It was truly a pleasure to see you in flesh, chat with you, crack jokes with you, listen to your stories, have a lunch with you. I’m deeply grateful for that and I will keep it in my heart. We are a band of brothers and sisters because we share the same trenches, the same battles. The seed of freedom is firmly planted into ourselves and there’s no escape, so we move on, following Intent with open hearts. Thank you all who were there in flesh and in Spirit” .- Sami Penaman, Finland.
“Dear Aerin and Miles, you really hooked me with your program. I enjoyed these six days with you very much and I already set the intend to be there next year again. Thank you for the wonderful pictures.
I’ve done many retreats and workshops of various kinds and most of the times I couldn’t get the experience back in daily life. But I’m really confident that this time it will work. If it’s interesting for you, I will write some more in a couple of weeks. Really daily life will begin tomorrow for me again. I’ve also decided to join your upcoming Path with Heart Class in December. So, I’m looking forward to see you there again. Love” – Andreas, Germany.
“The six-days retreat in Schweibenalp was extremely interesting and very well organized, sharing body movements and witnessing exercises allowing us to, as you say, update old beliefs and misinterpretations…The group was extremely open minded and respectful and it was a great pleasure for me to have participated in this workshop. I thank Miles for his very attentive and kind listening during private consultation. In fact his suggestions how to see our lives in a positive manner were very much appreciated.
I would not forget to congratulate Maurice for the tremendous work he has done in order to make every thing perfect. His kind “omnipresence” was very much appreciated by all the group. And I will either not forget you Aerin for what you have done, showing perfectly exercises, giving explanations and being attentive to each of us. With my warm and kindest regards.” – Zina, Switzerland.