It was that time again – I needed to get away from the busy work, face my inner council, connect to my higher self, cleanse my body, mind and spirit, and make some choices. I had a 4-day window, during the holiday of Sukkot, to get away.
The Hebrew word Sukkot is the plural of sukkah, “booth or tabernacle”, which is a walled structure covered with plant material such as leafy tree overgrowth or palm leaves. The sukkah is intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt. The story of Exodus symbolizes the transition from a life mastered by Ego (slavery in Egypt) into a spiritual life lived in service of God (Israel – “The Promised Land”). For that transition to complete, Israelites had to endure hardships and suffering for 40 years in the desert to cleanse and purify themselves from old habits and patterns.
To make a long story short – it was the perfect time for me to go on a retreat. All I needed was the perfect place…
Then another option came up: both my parents recently attended a 14-day Vipassana Meditation retreat in Northern Israel, and both highly recommended it for me.
After an epic battle between my Higher Self and my Inner Child, and only after promising my Inner Child there will be other opportunities to play, the decision was made.
So, for last 4 days, I woke up at 4am, had breakfast at 6:30am and lunch as 11:30am, and practiced meditation in silence throughout the rest of the day.
It was exactly what I needed!
Working with Ajahn Phra Ofer was very powerful, and I am very much looking forward for the opportunity to return and practice with him again.
The Center of Vipassana Meditaion on the Healers Map: http://map.healersworldwide.com/p501
Here’s some background information: The Newman Association was established in 2005 with the aim of build a home/Buddhist center for the practice of Vipassana Meditation in Israel, open all year round to anyone who wishes to practice, get acquainted with the practice and develop mindfulness in everyday life.
In May 2010 the Association established the “Center of Vipassana Meditaion practice in Israel” located in Yavne’el.
Vipassana courses in the 16 ñanas tradition are conducted in the center by a number of teachers and by the head teacher Ajahn Phra Ofer. Phra Ofer Adi is a disciple of the Venerable Ajahn Tong Sirimangalo, founder of the method and Abbot of Chom Tong, one of North Thailand’s largest and most important meditation centers. Ajahn Tong studied under Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma, one of the great teachers of Vipassana in modern times, and is one of his successors.
Here’s a video (in Hebrew with English subtitles) documenting Ven. Ajarn Tong Sirimangalo on the occasion of his visit to Israel in June 2011 to inaugurate the new Vipassana meditation center of the Newman Association in Yavne´el: