• Amaravati Meditation Hall

  • Flying On The Magic Carpet of Practice!

    July 10, 2019

    By Dr. Manijeh Motaghy – Founder of Perfectly Here and Mindful Business Institute. Member of International Mindfulness Teachers Association.

    It was 10 peaceful, productive and joyful retreat days at the Amaravati in the UK. Magically being picked from a waiting list of 56 people to attend and being cared for by so many human beings from my door back to my door, it was one memorable journey.
    My generous and loving son, our nephew, and my Dharma son, Warren, became angels who carried me on a magic carpet to the cushions of Amaravati in England and back home in West Hills. The fourth corner of this magic carpet was held by the retreat managers, teachers, teachings and the vast meadows and forests of the Great Gaddesden. A powerful, yet gentle float.

    What was miraculous

    Was meeting Warren, a young man, who sat next to me on a cushion for 10 full days like a champion meditater. Diligent, upright and focused. During those long meditation sessions, he did not move an inch except for once like a small branch moved by a slight breeze, which he later explained was a very emotional moment. His posture, his practice and intention was so inspiring to me. He reminded me of my son, Kuroosh, who when he sat in meditation would practice with the same kind of focus, diligence and upright manner. I couldn’t help it, gently broke the noble silence and slipped a note under his cushion, thanking him for his honourable practice and silent support. When we formally broke the silence on the 10th day, like a mother who had found a lost son, I embraced him in my arms, kissed him on the cheek and thanked him for his presence. What an amazing young man. This was his 6th 10-day retreat in the past few years and he planned to go to another one in 2 weeks. He spoke kindly, considerately and so generously offered to house me for the night and take me to the airport the next morning. We chatted till late hours into the night. A natural connection.

    During These 10 Days

    We practiced noble silence, meditation, contemplation, reflection, and being with oneself with no distractions. Our phones were taken away, no journaling, reading was limited to just a few books they had put out. Mindfulness and meditation practice from 5 am to 10pm. I found the structure very helpful, no gadgets to take pictures with, trying to keep memories, which could cause to proliferate in the mind. It would be real hard not to have insights into one’s mind and heart. Once you’ve had insights, specially those that have been strengthened through practice and exposure to wise teachings changing something that causes unhappiness becomes easier. There were so many insights, but one of the things I saw very clearly is that I am ready to detach from tinting my hair and worrying about the grey roots. It’s enough. I’m done with this lifetime habit. So, I came home, cut my hair and am in the process of going naturally grey. Though, I may still remain playful with it. I look forward to the freedom that comes from living in accordance with reality of things rather than trying to constantly change circumstances in order to feel comfortable or happy, which there is no end to it.

    Promise of Happiness

    The Buddha’s teachings of compassion and virtue offer the promise of happiness and of being treated kindly and respectfully by others. As one becomes more and more sincere and consistent in one’s practice wisdom builds and joy develops. People respond with kindness and respect. As time has passed and my practice has developed, this is generally what I have come to experience and I’m grateful for it.
    Warren and several others offered to help me bury my son’s ashes under a young a beautiful tree in the memorial section of the Amaravati woods. We chanted the Buddha’s words on Loving Kindness and Sharing of Aspirations. One of the retreatants whom I had not known before this even offered to place a little Buddha on this site in memory of my son. Kuroosh’s ashes are now in several continents, the countries of Thailand, New Zealand, England and of course here at home in the USA. All in some of the most beautiful and spiritual spots. May the goodness of all these spiritual places benefit all beings on earth and beyond.

    As retreats are so fruitful,

    I wish all of you such opportunity to be with yourself, where all your thoughts, emotions, sorrows and joys are held by most compassionate and wise beings.
    For short term retreats, one day or even half days please check out our local retreats here: https://perfectlyhere.org/mindfulness-retreat/

    With Love always,

    Manijeh