Weekend Retreat on Inner Silence and Mudras with Swami Tat Sat Bharati
by Srila Devi
From 26-28 January 2018, at The Beukenhof monastery in Holland, Swami Tat Sat from Berlin guided a weekend workshop on the practices that lead to inner silence. Around sixty people, mainly from Holland and Belgium, attended, although some participants from Germany, Estonia and Poland were present as well.
The workshop started on Friday afternoon in the monastery’s library. From the beginning, we were impressed with Swami Tat Sat’s deep wisdom, clarity and insight. Each of the sessions were a mix of practice and philosophy. Between practices, he generously shared his experiences on the spiritual path with warmth and humour, which uplifted us all.
The topic of this workshop was Silence, and in this framework, Swamiji shared some mudra practices with us that focus on different parts of the energy system. He did not reveal the benefits of each individual mudra, since he wanted us to experience their vibration for ourselves. We started the practice session with some slow and gentle, yet subtly powerful asanas to align our system for the mudras. Then he taught us Shanti Mudra, a practice that serves to activate the pranic system through mentally focusing on each of the chakras from Mooladhara to Sahasrara, and then expanding the light at Sahasrara, before descending again to Mooladhara one by one. The practice felt light and expansive and activated a lot of prana in our systems.
Thereafter, we practiced each of the mudras he showed us: Chin, Chinmaya, Adi, Brahma and Meru Mudra, respectively. We remained with each of the mudras for a number of minutes and focused on the vibrations in our system, before deepening into meditation with either Bhairavi or Bhairava mudra to end the practice. It was a powerful combination that served to guide us deeply within ourselves.
In the long lunchbreaks, we were able to rest, as well as enjoy the beautiful Dutch countryside on a walk that led us through forests, past rivers and lakes, and oddly, a field with lamas (the animals, not the Tibetan kind) and little kangaroos. During mealtimes, we enjoyed connecting with sangha and sharing our experiences with each other.
The morning sessions of Joints & Glands were beautifully led by Uta, who, together with Shailin, assisted the workshop, and in the evening, we all concluded the day together with meditation and the prayers of the Himalayan Tradition.
During the final session on Sunday morning, Swamiji asked for our experiences of the different mudras, before he shared their meanings. Chin Mudra, he explained, helps to balance Apana Vayu (elimination and downward flow); Chimaya Mudra is connected to Samana Vayu (digestion); Adi Mudra helps with Prana and Udana Vayu (Prana and upward flow), Brahma Mudra connects with Vyana Vayu (circulation) and Meru Mudra with Sushumna Nadi. Some people were surprised that their perceptions of the mudras were quite different from what they actually signified! J
The workshop ended much too soon, but we all left with big smiles on our faces and in our hearts, nourished by the blessing of sitting in the presence of a teacher with such a refined consciousness. Deep pranaams to Swami Tat Sat for his generosity, and to Kries, Mannie Sing for organizing such a wonderful weekend.
We are excited to report that Swami Tat Sat will be returning to Holland next February for a retreat on the Bhagavad Gita combined with the mudras.