May in Amonines

Asharum Amonines Journal April



There was a lot of renewal this month. Renewal in the sense of clearing out the old so that life can blossom, as the blossoms and greenery around us show so abundantly.

With several major gardening projects on our list, a real team is now starting to form. Top of the list for this month was creating a healthy pond environment. If you want to achieve this, the presence of ducks in the water is the first thing to avoid, as they bring parasites and their droppings pollute the water. To clean the pond, we had hired a special hoover, but it turned out to work only for aquatic plants and dead leaves. Although still a bit cold, the only way to achieve our goal was with our bare hands, or actually the bare hands of Roelof.



The presence of ducks in the garden brings something special, but we had to think of something to prevent them from entering the water. We stretched a net over the pond, of which the structure got better and better as the protesting ducks persisted.


With these changes we see the ducks less often. On one of their last visits they witnessed how one of the branches from the cherry, heavy from the cherry blossom, could not withstand the wind and broke off.


The next thing that presented itself was the drainpipe, of which the part that went underground was clogged. Fortunately, this could be quickly fixed, preventing the water from the washing machine to run into the garden.



Opening for the essence

As everything was taken care of, the flow of people continued. They worked in the garden, came to enjoy a course or immersed themselves in meditation and silence during the Weekend of Silence and the Nâm Retreat to open to a wider essence.

After such a retreat you might find small attentive notes like this one:


A new perspective: 5-day intensive - Meaningful Living

This month Irma gave the course 5-day intensive - Meaningful Living (before: ‘The Reflection Week’). Participants clearly blossomed during the course and Irma was enthusiastic about their questions and the progress of the course, therefore we like to share a little of that experience with you. In Irma’s words:


Looking back on a wonderful 5-day Intensive   Meaningful Living Together with a very enthusiastic duo we explored SIWEB from just one angle. Within a clear structure we used different ways of exploring like imagination, reflection, contemplation, meditation and talking moments.

The two participants entered with no expectations of what was coming, their backgrounds were interestingly different, one being Belgium and the other Indian.

The topics of the intensive led to very serieus questions with a lot of free and open space to explore and wonder.

Cultural differences   Because we had two completely different cultures coming together very different questions came up which showed how relative everything is and how much we take for granted as ‘normal’ or quickly conclude ‘that is how it is’.

For example; “Why do people go to someone, like a psychiatrist, to talk to? My wife does so and all of her family, I cannot understand how that works”. And “what is a depression? You have a postnatal depression, a prenatal depression a vital depression…. these words just do not exist where I come from. When a woman is pregnant and after giving birth she is surrounded by all the people of the village and she and the baby are naturally taken care of, such problems don’t occur or probably (he concluded) if they start to occur they are taken care of naturally in a very early stage of developing so it cannot evolve into something problematic”.

“And if you want to be in a community here in the West you have to arrange that (and it can even be considered strange). While in my language the whole word ‘community’ does not exist! Because there is no other way of living than living in a community”.

What am I?!   The topics, which do invite you seriously to start thinking ‘out of the box’ caused some excitement at moments and there was a lot of laughter

And while the intensive was nearing its end the excitement was growing: “…but then, what really is the I?!” Where is it ? If my body is not my I, my mind is not, my feelings are not….,then where is the I, what is the I…!? Is it all of us? Is it in that in what we share, is it everywhere?” And just to go on…”what happens then when we die? Where does the I go or….what goes on, something goes on, no? What happens then? And if the I is All, what happens then with that?!”

Interesting questions and luckily in the beginning they where warned about going home with more questions than answers!

What could be the task of living?   “Now looking back at what we have been doing these last days, what could be the meaning and the task of human living?” was the question on the last day. Again the answer was answered with another question she thought was more interesting “Who is the one giving the task in the first place?!” Or differently put: “Where does the task come from?”

Conclusion….anyone some last questions before we round off?   Once the programme was finished and there was some open space still for questions they wanted to ponder on the idea of this ‘I’ and where or what it was. The serieus life question “What am I” became the highlight of the week.

We already knew that scientifically in the body the I was never found. So the answer to this question had to be searched for elsewhere. For this we watched this wonderful little promo film in search for answers. And in this film we noticed Yoginâm rather speaks about a ‘sense of I’ and a ‘sense of World’. Perhaps this is done with the very reason that perhaps indeed, there is no I in an absolute sense? There are only identifications with ideas and a feeling of some kind of reality that is supposed to be true? The questions upon questions are inviting to explore more of this topic. Therefore all there is more to say is….to be continued…..

This is what the participants wrote:


It made my heart skip a beat, the talks and exercises have awakened a deep sense of warmth, joy, connectivity and a childish curiosity - To think of ‘I’ in a different perspective.


The laughing & openness during the sessions, the food!! - That ‘I’, which was quite important and big is actually just a dot in this never ending universe.


The silence and living in a rhythm, that all I have to do is living life in a simple way. I have to keep it simple - I take Humbleness with me.


Did you know that..?

There is a new resident in Asharum Amonines! We are very happy that Annebeth has come to join our team.