|On the Path Center Events An Exotic Retreat at the Wonderland of Hsihu|
An Exotic Retreat at the Wonderland of Hsihu
sister-initiate Sonia Paiva, Byron Bay/Northern Rivers, Australia
From February 21-22, 2004, I attended a wonderful two-day retreat at the Hsihu Center, Formosa. The following is an account of some of my blissful experiences during the event.
The Center is a magical place, and upon passing through its gates, I felt a tingling sensation as my energy rose and vibrated at a very high level. For the first meditation session, I chose to sit next to a little waterfall flowing from the Nectar River. After I closed my eyes to begin meditating, it felt like only seconds had gone by when Master’s Buddha’s chanting tape resonated through the area signaling lunchtime and calling everyone to a feast of delicious fruit and vegetables. Master’s video lectures were presented during and after meal times until the next meditation session started, and all the while I was captivated by Her wise and humorous words.
The landscape at the Center is pristine and scenic, with most of the land being covered by pebbles. A small stream, the Nectar River, flows through the grounds along three terraced levels creating cascading waterfalls. In addition, numerous fish leisurely swim in a large body of water called Dragon Boat Lake, which features a pleasant zigzagging bridge with two evenly spaced pavilions. Also, in the verdant International Garden where a lush lawn and various beautiful plants, flowers and trees thrive, is the log cabin where Master used to entertain guests, dividing the garden into two areas for men’s and women’s meditation. Besides, in the serene Bamboo Grove, initiates can sit in the garden and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and the fragrance of flowers permeating the air.
After lunch, the initiates meditated in the Bamboo Grove, where Master used to meditate; thus the energy there pulled me up very quickly. As soon as I sat down, I entered samadhi. At the end of the session, I realized that I had felt no discomfort, and indeed, never noticed my body at all during the entire session as I had been fully focused on Master. The power during the retreat was so great that it pulled me up easily.
It was just like a fairytale watching all the saints meditating around the Center. Upon seeing the angelic faces of my fellow practitioners, I felt their great purity, and realized I had never seen so many brightly lit faces in one place before. I wish to always inhabit such a wonderland!