Looking back at 10 days in silence, without phone, internet, newspapers etc. Or let's say 7 days of silence because on days 8-10 we were blessed to be able to witness the Dalai Lama and his teachings in his exile home Dharamsala- and there was a bit of chatting within the group then. But 10 solid days without phone, internet and contact to people outside the retreat group.
What did I most enjoy?
1. Feeling completely at peace as there was nothing I could or had to do besides meditate, listen to teachings on Buddhism, eat (delicious peanut butter and freshly baked rolls were served every morning and evening?!) and sleep.
2. Being able to fully concentrate on reading two books that I had been carrying around with me for the past months ("Cave in the snow", and the classic "The power of now"- both of them I very much recommend).
3. Of course the incredible opportunity to experience the teachings of the Dalai Lama! Being sat between all these buddhist nuns and monks at the Dalai Lama temple and just letting his kind, wise words and this magical atmosphere sink in.
What are the challenges of being back in the world after 10 days?
1. Digesting the new philosophical input, the concept of "emptiness" in particular.
2. Keeping a regular meditation practice, or any : these first days
3. Trying to not make up for 10 days without internet and social media
What is best about being back in the world?
1. Finally being able to chat with the people that I've been sharing this silent retreat experience with.
2. Connecting with friends and the outside world again, Hello!!
3. Enjoying mad live music jams and the company of the silent retreat family :)