Discovering a Weekend of Meditation

by Inspyria  19-09-2017

Propped up against the door is a sign with a warm welcome written on it and I have a sort of feeling that I’ve been here before – yet it is the first time I’ve set foot in Can Gironès (Barcelona)

Can Gironès experience

Discovering a Weekend of Meditation

It’s a feeling that whispers to me: You’re home.

Little by little, the other participants of the retreat arrive. Our first reactions, on seeing each other, are bright eyes and a smile. There is a happiness and an expectation of what will happen.

We exchange names and, with a type of fizzing energy running through my body, questions come into my mind: What will happen? Who will these people be? What are they like?

At 7 p.m., the official start of the retreat, we go into an activity room, a large space imbued with an atmosphere of harmony. There, waiting for us, peacefully and calmly, is Marc Ribé, the organizer.

Everybody sits down and Marc serenely explains the rules, in a friendly informal way, shot through with a sense of humour.

They are basic rules, just common sense. Then, he introduces his team to us – they normally work together in the centre Espai Obert (Open Space) in Barcelona.

There is Clàudia Casanova, the girl who welcomed me at the door and who is in charge of the infusions and herbal teas that will be a constant feature throughout the retreat; Paula Souto, a professional chef who will supply us with healthy food, following a vegan and detox diet; last – but certainly not least – Clara Arnedo, the yoga instructor who will give Hatha and Yin yoga classes.

Marc tells us that he will divide us into groups and at each meal we must take turns serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Next comes the explanation on the practice of meditation. It is clear and professional, using examples and simple language, but at the same time there is depth in the content. Marc explains everything with a shining intensity. He enjoys explaining his experience and vision on meditation.

It is dinnertime. we sit at the table in silence, except for the people serving. We wait untl the last peson is seated before starting and we eat silently and conscientiously, savouring every mouthful of food that passes our lips. Each meal will follow the same pattern: Silence and Awareness.

After dinner, we have some free time and rest a little before going to sleep; time which everyone fills however they like. Some read, others go for a stroll, others chat together, and some go to their bedrooms. Each respects the decision of the others: some time alone or being sociable.

The bell rings out each morning at 7.30 a.m. We have half an hour to get up and we have an opportunity to have a little snack before our yoga session. There is an abundance of fruits, biscuits, juice, infusions, and even coffee for breakfast, which we can enjoy before and/or after yoga.

Every morning to wake us and every time an activity is about to start, the signal is a bang of a tray, similar to a gong. The tray bongs and we go to yoga. There are no clocks or alarms here.

Clara, our yoga teacher, awaits us with a sweet smile and she welcomes us warmly and peacefully. She always looks after each one of us, giving us instructions so that the postures are not damaging our bodies in any way.
At this retreat, every day there are walks in the woods. This is called walking meditation. It helps me to wake up, be alert, be conscious as I walk through nature. It’s an experience that anchors you in the here and now. Meditation in movement.

The retreat develops in a harmonic way, balancing meditation, yoga and nutrition, and creating a synergy inside you and the group: a perfect combination.

Marc is an amazing therapist: simple and deep. In my opinion, these are two great qualities that a person can possess. Clàudia, a nurse who also uses medicinal plants. Paula, a creative and expert chef. Clara, a fantastic communicator, writer, and yoga teacher. Thank you so much to all of you in making this experience a point of change in my life.

I’d also like to thank my 15 companions who experienced this retreat with me. They are wonderful people, each of them with a thousand stories to tell and share. You will be in my mind and in my heart. It’s a beautiful thing when you share an experience of internal transformation with others. I’ve had moments of being alone and of being with people, two diametric situations which are equally wonderful.

I highly recommend this retreat. It will not leave you feeling indifferent: it will change and transform you.

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