April in Amonines

Asharum Amonines Journal March

 

The Garden

If you look outside a green haze is slowly emerging over the trees. A little more sun is needed for the green to take over the brown, muddy and watery world. The moisture and rain cause the dead trees to rot and fall, as was the case with an old apple tree. The top of the tree was hanging over the road and slowly began to lose height, urging us to take action. This was no job for the firemen, whom we had asked to come and check, but they were friendly enough to improve our construction with the strap around the tree, to prevent the tree from falling down completely until we would have some manpower to help us bring down the tree without further damage.

 

 

What a relief when help was on the way! A secure plan was made and a team of three people together with one of the guests were able to take the tree down, with a lot of fire wood as a result. After successfully doing this the team was so inspired that they decided to also take down an old plum tree which had been a risk for some years already.

 

We are a little overwhelmed by the course of nature through which three dead trees have been removed in a short time and the change this brings to the garden, but we will enjoy planting new trees.

 

 

The Weekend of Silence

What do you see in this picture?

 

Those who have been to Amonines will no doubt recognise it. This photo was taken opposite the house, in front of the car park.

 

Marieke, visitor Weekend of Silence:

"I was in Amonines in early March to attend a weekend of silence. I deliberately came a day earlier to shift gears in advance. I had seen the various walking routes on the table before and was now eager to walk one of them. I decided to go for route 3. I tried to figure out from the map where I could most easily pick up the route, but I couldn't find it. I didn't quite understand how and what and didn't see what I was looking for ...  If I walked across the bridge, I was sure I would find a signpost. It took some searching, but the route turned out to be perfectly signposted. White signs, with a blue stripe and number 3 on it. I enjoyed the walk, the beautiful nature and being here again. On returning, I discovered that right in front of the house hung a signpost of this route. Do you also see it now? On the tree on the right of the picture. A sign that had been hanging there all along, but had simply never occurred to me before, so I had not seen it.

Thus began my weekend. A beautiful metaphor for what was yet to come and what I experience here time and again. That which was already there, but of which I was unaware until then, appears. It changes, it shifts. Not for a moment, but permanently so that it can no longer be ignored either. It makes its way into my everything and leaves an indescribable gratitude and wonder.

 

Some testimonials from the yoga retreat

 

A lovely place

What a lovely place with lovely people It was everything I needed and more. I will definitely go back. The house feels like it embraces and carries you. Lovely.

 

Refreshing Change

The experience at the retreat was like a breath of fresh air. Katelijn is a very calming soul and the house is also very quiet and peaceful. I also enjoyed the quiet meals which made me appreciate the food more than what I usually do.

 

A huge smile

Thank you again for the nice yoga retreat, I am still carrying a huge smile with me and on my face.

 

The car

For those who come regularly and can recognise us by our car, a short but profound note. We had to say goodbye to our twenty-four year old Toyota Corolla and now have a twelve year old Toyota Auris. By the end of this year the Corolla will be too old to be allowed on the road in Belgium.

 

 

Impressions

Who digs dens like this?

Awakening in the garden

Ungoing work

 

March in Amonines

Asharum Amonines Journal February

 

February started with ice on the windows and brought a mix of cold winds, rain and sunshine. Some work could already be done in the garden, but most guests stayed inside. Apart from the people for whom the connection with the Asharum is since long part of their personal history we are very happy with the more recent and slowly growing group of people for whom the Asharum is becoming an important haven in their lives to reconnect with themselves.

 

 

The Nâm Retreat of Silence

One of the events of last month was the Nâm Retreat of Silence. We had a small group of new participants. In the process of the retreat one of the participants clearly got more energy and seemed to be glowing with curiosity and wonder. In the end she shared with me that all kind of thoughts had come up, amongst which also was the urge to write to Yoginâm about how thankful she was. While this was true, she recognised the thoughts themselves as distracting and reached the conclusion that the only thing she could do was give in and just sit with all her thoughts and restlessness, waiting for it to pass. As the retreat ended and we thanked each other in silence, I realised the intensity of our experience in these five days and felt moved by it. It reminded me of something Yoginâm once said:

It is well known that joining in Silence creates a much stronger bond than joining in discussion and debate.

 

A mix of Retreat participants and Regular visitors

Next to the Nâm Retreat of Silence the Asharum was open for other guests as well. We took care that the other visitors who came during the retreat were already familiar with the Asharum. We informed them in advance about the retreat and the importance of supporting silence. We also had arranged it so that the regular visitors didn’t exceed the number of retreat participants. Although a bit uneasy about the prospect of this new combination it beautifully came together. The silence was carried wider and because we all shared in the same field, the process that took place during the retreat was also affecting the other visitors and staff, which was as challenging as it was welcome.

 

Sharing in a contemplative life

When people leave the Asharum you see a different person from the one that came over the doorstep a few days earlier. Their face looks softer, and they have become quieter, as if they changed their inner pace. Through the simplicity of life in the Asharum with its rhythm of meditations our guests seem to pick up the resonance in which all that is unnecessary or even obstructive and detrimental is removed. When we empty ourselves, things become quieter.

 

Deep Silence is one of realisation

We are at the moment very much inspired by a quote from Yoginâm about silence.

 

This is the deep Silence; the silence of Abbah. This is far removed from the silence of not talking or not making noise. It emerges not from an avoiding but from a realising.

Yoginâm 2023

 

It is the search for this state of silence that has more and more our focus in Asharum Amonines. It also means we try to avoid unnecessary chatter. To avoid this is a powerful tool and a good starting point, but more important is our intent to constantly return to this silent state, again and again. Our guests are invited to join in this search to touch on something below the surface that is hard to define.

We try to provide an opportunity to open up to this silence by realising that the less we interfere, the more silence can become a companion in everything we do.

 

Deep silence and the Breath

Not interfering is a lifelong exercise and Yoginâm offers the Breath as the most important instrument that touches this deep silence. The Breath consists of two inner sounds, synchronised with your breathing and is received in a specific manner, infused with resonance by Yoginâm. Never spoken out loud, it is carried at the level of permanent silence and because the sounds contain no specific meaning it has the ability to lift us above our likes and dislikes and the ensuing inner- or outer dialogue. As we have the intent to constantly return to this silent state it is the Breath that can carry this intent.

It is possible to make an appointment to receive the Breath for those who are seriously interested to use this as a tool for transformation.

 

Different possibilities to share in the contemplative life of Asharum Amonines

We have the Exclusive Guest Retreat, where you can meditate with the house two times a day, benefit from the strong resonance present in the house and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

We have the Regular Visit where the level of engagement is higher, as besides the two meditations a day you also share in the work for two hours in the morning.

We have the Private Meditation Retreat where you share in all the four daily meditations of the Asharum. You do not share in the work and can compose your own programme with regard to being in silence or not, although we do recommend some time in silence.

And we have the events, which have a different dynamic and focus. For the coming period we have the Breath Meditation Weekend, April 5-7, The Reflection Week April 10-14 and the Nâm Retreat of Silence, April 24-30. You can book the events through the agenda included in the mail.

 

A Yoga Retreat participant sharing her appreciation:

'A very beautiful place, inhabited by people of integrity with their hearts in the right place. They live from true empathy and authenticity. Here you can be who you are. This place has awakened something in me and I am grateful for that.'

 

February in Amonines

Asharum Amonines Journal January

The Garden

 

 

Just a few days after we admired a beautiful white and quiet world, the weather became soft with a hint of spring. The birds are exuberant and whenever an opening is made in the wet humus, a worm immediately comes to check it out. Trees are already budding and though it is still very early it can't hurt to clean up the garden, let the soil breathe and make space for new growth and for the light to come in. With the help of a donation a beautiful new chain saw has been bought to make it all happen.

 

 

The Pond

It has been for some time that we observe the fish in the pond. Two of the fish really grew big, which made us wonder if they were pregnant. Our wonder grew into worry when after more than half a year they were still having huge, round bellies. This prompted us into a research about a possible illness and its cause. When reading about diseases involving fluid retention and swelling of the fish's abdomen, questions arose about the extent to which we can intervene. How do we know what a fish's world looks like and what their perception of pain is? How far should we go in treating a fish?

We started to clean the pond from dead leaves and curious fish came to have a look what was going on. A laboratory came into existence. We tested the water for its PH-value, total hardness, carbonate hardness, Nitrite, Nitrate, Phosphate and Amonia. The value out of balance was the hardness of the water. The water of the pont was too soft and was indeed, according to an animal shopkeeper, the cause of the fish being ill. Too soft water is caused by rainfall and plant debris causing decay. It is a great relief to find that the water in the pond is mostly healthy and not toxic. We improved the hardness of the water by adding tap water and 2 kilos of salt, which caused a turbid appearance of the water. The salt will not harm the fishes, but help them to remain in balance with their environment, which will support their immune system. We are very relieved and happy to be able to create a better environment for the fish and have regained confidence that the fish population will survive, keeping our fingers crossed for a good recovery of our swollen fish.

 

Field of Resonance

As you might know the call during the Asha Meditation has been left out. This does not go unnoticed by our more regular visitors. Although some initially miss it, others realise there also is a quality in not having to concentrate on both the rattling and the call. Now that the focus can be entirely on the rattling, they notice their rattling merges with the others into one overall sound. They quickly notice when they start to meander and correct themselves in order not to be a dissonant, but rather a co-creator of this widening field of resonance.

 

Heartfelt Feelings

Small and perfectly tranquil place for individual and small group retreats.

Regular Visitor

 

Where shall I begin… It’s difficult to put in words the impact the yoga retreat at Ashram Amonines had on me. This was my second time participating, so I felt more at ease entering this truly tranquil place. It effortlessly draws you in, grounding you. By the end, I felt remarkably centered and connected to myself. The environment, the house, the garden, the food, the yoga, and, of course, the incredibly kind and warm care, all contributed to this experience. I highly recommend it to everyone seeking a retreat to rediscover themselves.

Participant Yoga Retreat

 

A delightful recharge for the soul. What a way to start the new year! The whole team provided a delightful set up for the perfect transformation to take place: a wonderful location, yummy food and truly transformative meditation practice. I'll definitely go back soon! Thank you Asharum Amonines!

Regular Visitor

January in Amonines

Asharum Amonines Journal December

The winter set in on the morning of November 28, showing us a white world and bringing a chilly feeling to our face.

 

 

Lunch Boxes

Mid December Asharum Amonines was rented out to a group of people who came for a workshop to learn about the use of different herbs. The weather seemed a bit cold for such a workshop; they had an intense programme spending the whole day outside. It was a new experience for us, making lunch boxes with pasta salad and seitan pies for the participants to take with them. Fortunately there was a fire in the evening where they shared the experiences of the day enjoying each other’s company.

Colouring the house

As noted with some surprise by the supporting staff, Asharum Amonines relies on the dedication of those who feel connected to the Asharum and therefore want to help. The vulnerability of this situation is at the same time its beauty and quality, because it makes the Asharum into an open place, where life is flowing through in the form of many people colouring the house as they pass through it. And there were many of them towards the end of December.

 

Empty

Our roles in the Asharum shift continuously when we go from being hostess to guiding a meditation or a retreat, cooking, gardening, cleaning or driving up and down to the station. It teaches us the relativeness of all these roles, not identifying with them and not forming ideas about how they should be fulfilled, because we exchange roles all the time and everyone performs them in a different way. We need to be open to allow life to express itself through us.

The treasure is your heart

Start digging and lay it bare

Yoginâm

 

 

 

Different guests expressed their appreciation:

I have been to several places like this, but when I entered here I felt it immediately, this is right. A place you come home to when you step through the door. Everything so natural, so real.

Katelijn brings her own, original style to the yogaclasses that I absolutely loved. The meditation is very pure: highly recommended.

Visitor Yoga Retreat

 

Hopeful, that Yoginâm and this place are here.

Regular Visitor

 

 

Did you know that…

The Private Meditation Retreat is now also available for a period of five and ten days.

Thank you for your guidance during my first ever meditation retreat from 24-29th December 2023. You will be pleased to know that today I did meditation on my own for the very first time (30 mins on Harp music). I am inspired to continue on the path you have shown.

Visitor Private Meditation Retreat

December in Amonines

Asharum Amonines Journal November

Preparing for Winter

The beginning of November showed us a beautiful autumn, with a palette of beautiful colours and one last bouquet of flowers from the garden.

 

 

We made space in the barn in order to stock our wood and protect the garden furniture and statues from the coming winter. The old and dead apple tree at the end of the garden didn’t survive the autumn wind. It fell, but the way it fell could not have been more perfect. There was no damage in our garden, the garden of our neighbour was spared as well and it did not cause any problem on the road.

After a sunny beginning the grey skies and continuous rainfall urged us to bring the fireplace back to life, giving shelter to our visitors seeking silence, peace and restfulness.

 

Questioning

With the winter ahead of us it is a time to slowly turn inward, going beyond the constant ripple of the surface. This might be a gradual process with the pace of the seasons, but sometimes it is also triggered by a sudden life-event that is bigger than us. We feel lost and shattered, not knowing how to continue. We experience the world in a different way which loosens our identification with the world as we knew it before. Questions arise that ripple the surface even more and invite us to dive deeper.

One of our guests clearly could hear this invitation and realised that her words were only enough to point in a certain direction without ever being able to touch on the essential and choose to be in silence. Once back home, she related the following words to me:

"I found the days in Amonines special and very pleasant, but also very natural. The video with Yoginâm and your warm care did me very well. The sheepskin I left behind, but all the good I took home with me. That is the most important thing. I feel good and a lot calmer inside. I also do all kind of practical things with which I surprise myself and that bring simplicity in my home as well."

Regular visitor

To understand that there is a meaning and a purpose to human living which goes beyond the actual physical living as an expression in the resonance of matter. Just look at people and see how non-material they are in their reactions, ideals and emotions. This holds an indication for those who have been touched by ‘Questioning’.

Yoginâm

 

A flute can only make a sound when it is empty inside

Even when one finds him (or her-)self more or less by chance in Asharum Amonines, without having the words to formulate what you are looking for, sitting in front of the fireplace without needing anything else, something is touched that only becomes palpable when you say goodbye.

The spiritual endeavour is nothing else than clearing away the blockages and obstructions that are natural in Ignorance but that are detrimental for the spiritual endeavour.

Yoginâm

When you are open for it, the felt presence of Yoginâm in Asharum Amonines, might cause something to shift without you realising it.

 

What is Nâm?

Because of its nature it is very difficult to say in a few words what Nâm is. In a very different way than other spiritual approaches, Nâm starts with a number of general assumptions about life and allows them, once integrated, to work their alchemy, from which quite naturally a beneficial way of attitudes and behaviour emerges. Yoginâm wrote a little text as an introduction and as an answer to the inevitable question of: ‘What is Nâm’.

Rooted in Consistency Nâm serves as a constant reminder. It sharpens the ability to observe oneself and to discover the inconsistencies that hamper the purification of Soul, a prerequisite for reaching Optimal Living.

The quotes of Yoginâm in this newsletter are taken from this booklet. The little booklet ‘What is Nâm' is now available for €5,- in Asharum Amonines, or as a Free download in PDF format here

 

Grateful

We are grateful for the visitors and staff that make it possible for Asharum Amonines to be what it is, a place where you can open and connect with awareness.

"I wanted to express my deep appreciation for the last days, during which I found much peace and tranquillity. I will continue to carry the inspiration I received during this time with me on my journey and I hope to be back soon."

Visitor Yoga Retreat

 

 

 

 

A poem on Dying

A poem on dying

~ A text by Irma ten Brink inspired by the work of Yoginâm ~

July 21, 2023

Death and Life
It is one and the same
I knew this, for I saw it with my waking eyes already many years ago
Death and Life
One and the same
But life is lived in such a way
That we tend to forget this wisdom
We are forgetful beings
Sometimes, only little moments, we may catch a glimpse
A glimpse of Death and Life
as one and the same
It are these moments that are most precious to me
What a joy was it to know with an absolute certainty
That my dear friend was going home
Stepping over, just a very small step it seamed,
to the other side
A home where time changes into timelessness
Where an illusional difference between Death and Life disappears
‘Search for me there, on the other side’ was the message of his Beloved
And he searched until he found Him!
No sorrow, no pain.
All I want is to celebrate!
What a joy it is, to know our dear friend is back home!

Introductie in de Breath

De Breath als instrument

Misschien heb jij er nog nooit van gehoord: de Breath.

De Breath is een instrument dat wordt gebruikt als levensoriëntatie. Het faciliteert een vertrouwen dat is gekoppeld aan de diepste roots van wat jij bent. Dit is niets ‘religieus’, ‘spiritueels’ of mysterieus maar een consequentie van het gebruik van de Breath.

Waarom zou je de Breath gebruiken?

Je gaat nooit een stabiele basis vinden in een emotionele toestand omdat je dan altijd zal zoeken naar een situatie die meer ‘tevreden en voldaan’ maakt. Een continue aspiratie naar geluk is daarom een gevangenis. Betekenis vinden ‘in het moment’ en daaruit de draagkracht en levensenergie scheppen, onafhankelijk van externe omstandigheden; dat is waar een blijvende basis te vinden is. Maar hoe doe je dat?
Het probleem is dat jij dat niet kan ‘doen’. Emotioneel en rationeel kunnen we een hoop ‘doen’. We kunnen uren analyseren en we kunnen bepaalde behoeftes kortstondig vervullen. Daar is niets mis mee, maar als jij op zoek bent naar stabiliteit op basis van een meer fundamentelere grond, dan is de Breath hét instrument dat je laat beseffen dat die grond er überhaupt is.

Wat is de Breath?

De Breath is geen magische formule die iets doet of een sprookje waar je wel of niet in kunt geloven. Het is een instrument dat volledig indirecte consequenties heeft; het faciliteert een vertrouwen, niet op basis van de aan verandering onderhevige gevoels of ratio-zekerheid, maar een vertrouwen dat op een onbewuste manier tot je komt. Je ‘doet’ hier niets ‘actiefs’ voor. Door de Breath te ademen leidt je alle rationele en emotionele dichotomie af en hierdoor dringt er een andere zekerheid binnen; je ‘stalkt’ de onzekere, nutteloze, alsmaar terugkerende innerlijke stem, door de Breath er continue voor in de plaats te zetten.

Hoe gebruik je de Breath?

Met de Breath actief op de achtergrond van alledaagse omstandigheden kun je gewoon normaal rationeel en emotioneel functioneren, maar alle omstandigheden worden voorzien van een andere basis. Het houdt jou met ‘twee voeten op de grond’ en alle omstandigheden komen in een meer relatief daglicht, terwijl je nog steeds volledig betrokken bent. Het laat je in staat stellen zo optimaal mogelijk bij te dragen aan dagelijkse situaties waardoor er vanzelfsprekend betekenis gegeven wordt aan jouw individuele leven, veel fundamenteler dan ‘ergens wel of geen zin in hebben’. Het heeft een sneeuwbaleffect want als je beter functioneert, slaap je beter, heb je meer natuurlijke controle over bijvoorbeeld het voedingspatroon en kun je makkelijker met moeilijk situaties omgaan. In die zin heeft de Breath een positieve connotatie in ‘van het één komt het ander.’

Waarom is de Breath juist nu zo’n veel gebruikt instrument?

Het is een natuurlijke consequentie dat het individuele vertrouwen ontbreekt als dat ook ontbreekt in de maatschappelijke en sociale omgeving waar jij je in bevindt. Welk nieuws is waar? Dragen politici de verantwoordelijkheid voor de mensen op ethisch niveau, of wegen economische en eigen belangen zwaarder? Is er eenheid onder de bevolking; is iedereen bereidt elkaar te helpen op onconditionele basis of heerst individualisme? Iedereen ondervindt de consequenties van wat wij zelf creëren. Dat ligt niet aan iemand individueels, dat is nou eenmaal de consequentie van de maatschappelijke tendens waar wij deel vanuit maken. De Breath laat je het heft in eigen handen nemen en zet jou in de kracht die inherent is aan wat jij bent. De Breath linkt verantwoordelijkheid en vertrouwen aan waar het op een natuurlijke manier vandaan komt: het menselijke waar het onconditionele Welzijn uit voortvloeit.

Als u vragen heeft of belangstelling voor het ontvangen van de Breath kunt u contact met ons opnemen via onze contact pagina.