Back with another update! On the weekend of March 27-30, I went to a meditation retreat in Gothenburg, Sweden. A big part of my experience abroad has been exploring new things, and one of those new things was meditation. Through the wonderful website Meetup.com, I found a Buddist-inspired mediation drop-in course in Copenhagen. I went to a few of the classes and that’s where I found out about the retreat! Took about 3.5 hours to get from Copenhagen to the Gothenburg Central Station. I met up with some of the group members there who had arranged to be picked up by a van and driven to the retreat center. It was about a 1 hour drive.
The retreat center is located on the edge of Lake Hullungen, in a beautiful mountain village-town. Residents of the town run the center. The food (vegetarian) was INCREDIBLE. Amazing.
We had classes and guided meditations on the clarity of the mind, led by a teacher from Germany. He taught us how to let go of negative thoughts, how to make peace with ourselves despite our percieved faults and how to seek happiness from within. It was very eye-opening!
We sang prayers before every class (in English, Swedish and Danish), including the Buddhist liberating prayer. Plus, there was a gift-offering ritual performed on Saturday night (the gifts were candies, chocolates, fruit, juices, all arranged nicely on plates. After the ritual we all got to eat some)!
The people were all very nice. Many of us were new to meditation and Buddhism and so this was our first formal introduction. I met a lot of interesting people with whom I’ll be maintaining contact! There was also plenty of time to take walks around the woods and by the lake.
Had an interesting journey back to Copenhagen. Left the retreat a bit earlier in hopes of making it to class on Monday. I’d asked the folks at the Gothenburg Central station for train times on Sunday. The latest time was 22:42. Lo and behold, when I got to the Gothenburg station Sunday night, I was told there were no more trains going to Copenhagen that night. There must have been a miscommuniation somewhere. Luckily, there were still busses going to Copenhagen that night. I go to the bus terminal and found out that the next bus wouldn’t leave until nearly 3 in the morning. So much for going to class.
I thought I’d just spend the night in one of the many hotels around the station. But the rooms were quite expensive for just one night. So I decided to just wait up for the bus. Good thing I had a book to read! The bus ride was fine and dandy, but quite long. I dozed off for most of it. Got off at the airport and took the metro back to the dorm. Slept most of the day on Monday (too tired to go to class) and woke up later in the afternoon to shop, do laundry and go to the gym. Oh and when I went to exchange my Swedish money for Danish money, I was only given 158 Danish crowns for 240 Swedish crowns. The Swedish crown isn’t very strong right now. But Sweden is a gorgeous country with a beautiful language (both written and spoken)!
Here are just a few of the hundreds of pictures I took:
The wish offering plates! I put together the plate to the right of the candle-holder thingy
The main house where we ate and attended meditations and classes
To see many more pictures, (I took hundreds), click on over to: Pictures of Nordic Meditation Retreat