It started last summer in the retreat with my teacher Ton Lathouwers. I was feeling quite free and open. Then suddenly, during zazen, I was aware that I had been sitting for some time without a narrative. I was fully present and completely without any feelings of it having to be otherwise. Deep contentment without words had engulfed me. But not in a sense that it felt I had reached something. It was just plain so. Afterwards I posted a remark om FB stating that I had been a teacher for most of my life, but now I had finally become a practitioner. I came out of that retreat with a lot of vitality and inspiration. A few weeks later Annick and I gave a retreat in the retreat place of Lama Rinchen in Beaumont, Belgium. It was more of a mindfulness retreat and they called it Vipassana. But there was room to go into some serious zazen, stimulated by the Lama. That was also inspiring. After that we went to Ireland for a 10 day retreat with Donál Creedon. He is a Buddhist teacher who did 12 years of retreat under the guidance of Akong Rinpoche. After that he affiliated with the Krishnamurti Association in Bangalore. But the past 6 years he has been training with Drupon Rinpoche in Nepal. Clearly a very seasoned meditation teacher. It was a good and worthy summer.
After coming back from all these retreats both my wife and me were so inspired that we decided we would really put Dharma as number one in our lives. Then the question arises; when do we do that? Apart from our daily practice of course. We decide that we could make the months June, July and August free. So next year we will go on a solitary retreat in those months. We will devise a strict program with about 8 hours of solid meditation, Qi Gong practice and stiff walks each day. Food will be obtained from the Zen Temple nearby. We will have separate cabins and we will meet each other shortly probably once a week to exchange experiences, but that will be decided upon later.
I am really excited about this and looking very much forward to the experience.