At 8 a.m. snoring stopped and everyone crawled out of their beds, so they won’t miss out breakfast. No one was in the hurry for mornings sandwiches as if they knew that everyone will be coming down at their own pace.
When the breakfast was over, it was time to get to know each other – more personally. All twenty beautiful souls gathered into the spirit house. Excited for the next day and the beginning of their shared adventure they sat in a circle next to each other – nothing gets people closer than sharing the circle. Rota, their magical fairy, introduced them to the talking stick, which drives the groups attention to the one who’s speaking. With rules and practicals out of the way, the group dived into their first shared reflection, sharing what they had gotten out of the last year. In the next hour participants bravely poured out their challenges, fears, regrets, and accomplishments. Everyone got out what laid underneath. To move on from the past, they all stood up and helped each other heal by singing a powerful mantra and releasing their fears in the comfort of others’ compassion.
When lunch ended, it was time to return to the spirit house for the afternoon activities. However, this time it wasn’t about shouting out mantras and releasing their emotions into the air. During the next hour and half, Rota, Laura and Kristaps introduced the group to the five places we can focus our attention on: the chatter of the inner critic who constantly judges us; the desires of our inner child, the sensations of the body, the guidance of the inner compass, and ultimately, pure awareness. “What is pure awareness,” some wondered. One of them described it as “zoning out”. Another saw it as body and mind working together, shutting off every thought that travels through. Importantly, participants discussed different approaches to arriving at pure awareness. They discovered that it could take many forms – from creative expression to playing basketball or cooking.