A retreat in Black Forest, South Germany.

Today 21st June is the first ever UN International #YogaDay and I wanted to share an experience from a #spiritualretreat I attended in Bermersbach, Black Forest Germany, two years ago. This retreat is only for students and members of #SelfRealizationFellowship (Selbstverwirklichung) with it's international headquarters in Los Angeles, Califorina, European Headquarters at Nürnberg in Germany and Indian Headquarters in Ranchi, India.

The Black Forest (Schwarzwald) retreat in South Germany, 16th-21st July, 2013. 

I had the most wonderful retreat possible at the SRF Black Forest retreat in South Germany, the beauty of which can only be compared to an astral paradise. The picturesque landscapes comprising of mountains, streams, meadows and dense forests together with the experience of the retreat transcends everything that is of the earth. A friend admiring the breathtaking views of the mountains and breathing the pure, fresh air of the forests said to me, "...Es ist wie ein Gebet (this place is like a prayer)!

Black Forest Mountains, South Germany. Image©gunjanvirk

Black Forest Mountains, South Germany. Image©gunjanvirk

The SRF Retreat in Black Forest Mountains, Black Forest, Germany. Image©gunjanvirk

The SRF Retreat in Black Forest Mountains, Black Forest, Germany. Image©gunjanvirk

Glücksweg–a walk in the Forest, Black Forest, Germany. Image©gunjanvirk

Glücksweg–a walk in the Forest, Black Forest, Germany. Image©gunjanvirk

The little village of Bermersbach from the iPhone5, Black Forest, Germany. Image©gunjanvirk

The little village of Bermersbach from the iPhone5, Black Forest, Germany. Image©gunjanvirk

In the penetrating silence and joyful seclusion, one forgets whether one was born an Indian or German or American or Italian and our earthly lives exist merely as dream-pictures of an incarnation long past on a distant planet called the earth. The dream-like faces of our loved ones, our friends and families all dissolve into the Great Silence and our thoughts are consumed into the one beatific Love of Cosmic Nature pouring from everywhere and opening our hearts in an ecstatic union with nature's bliss. 

The gurgling of the brooks, the rustling of the trees, the howling of the winds, the drone of the insects, the enchanting cry of a solitary bird and the mystical gong sound of the church bells ringing every quarter of an hour compose themselves into a beautiful and melodious symphony uplifting our souls and awakening our Hearts' Natural Love. 

A small brook in the mountains. Black Forest, Germany. Image©gunjanvirk

A small brook in the mountains. Black Forest, Germany. Image©gunjanvirk

The Mystical 'Path', Black Forest, Germany. Image©gunjanvirk

The Mystical 'Path', Black Forest, Germany. Image©gunjanvirk

My room was larger than life with a huge section of the sloping roof cut out into a glass-window opening into the sky and filling the room with lots of natural light. One felt so close to heaven through this window! The retreat is located on the top of a hill and the other window of the room opened directly onto the countryside with the most enchanting view of the village of Bermersbach with its tall church, the houses with sloped roofs and pine-forested mountains and valleys intersected by streams and stony brooks. Behind these mountains, the sun would rise and set everyday covering the tall church-tower in a mystical golden light even as it would be in an astral heaven! 

View of the village from the room window taken from iPhone 5. Black Forest, Germany. Image©gunjanvirk

View of the village from the room window taken from iPhone 5. Black Forest, Germany. Image©gunjanvirk

Meditations in the lap of the Black Forest mountain ranges were magically still and blessed with a Silence that nobody made even the slightest sound while sitting still for so many hours! There was silence in meditations, silence at meal times, silence during rest, silence in the forest walks, silence in the smiles of beaming faces and silence in their greetings, just ceaseless Silence embracing all and everything around us.  

Sitting in the dining room every evening, gazing through the big glass windows at the setting sun in the Black Forest mountains, eating the most delectable meals, with Mozart playing softly in the background and the church bells ringing in the distance, it was truly a wunderschönes Erlebnis–a truly unforgettable experience and the most joyful spiritual holiday ever!:)