“Come, come, whoever you are……” These words of Rumi fully express the welcoming atmosphere of the seminars of the Gurdjieff Dominican Group. The Seminar at Piedro Blanco can be a life-altering experience, and an entryway into a magical world. Jose and Katiuska ably guide and inspire each person to find within himself and herself a place of reality and truth, and to experience a feeling of homecoming.
River Whisper Farm brought light into a place in me that I didn’t know existed anymore. Everything is brighter now because of my retreat here – I slowed down enough to see every flower, color, to hear every raindrop and frog calling. Everyone at the seminar was as natural and warm as the surroundings. I highly recommend anyone to visit who has a wish to really get away for a while.
No matter what your age, Jose and Katiuska are like parents – nurturing and resolute. The landscape is wild and abundant, an exciting adventure for those from temperate climates
I came to the seminar hoping for a time that will give me some calm since I am in a busy job. Everything was even more than my expectations could wish for! The farm is so filled with natural beauty and far from any big city. The air is so fresh my skin was glowing. The seminar put my mind at peace – through the group dances and guided by Jose and Katiuska, I could feel the presence of something Higher. Not in an intellectual way, but in my body, my emotion and my mind. I will come back as soon as I can. Everyone is helpful from the time you get to the airport all the way back.
Going on the retreat on the farm at River Whisper is one of the only times in the year that I feel in touch with my true self. I always realize at the end of the seminar that a life with less technology (especially my phone), where I can connect to others, nature, and something deeper through wholesome work, feels normal and should be my reality! I get so lost and caught up in modern culture and technology these days that I often become automatic in my own ways, without any conscious behind my actions. The farm brings such a refreshing and stark contrast that I often get a shock after a day of being there, as if a veil has been lifted from my eyes! The place is surrounded by nature: There is a beautiful river that flows right by the location where you can cool off during hot days. Citrus and chocolate trees can be found all around the area. And there is a nice little hike up to the top of a large hill where you can get a great view of the whole farm and surrounding areas! Also Jose and Katiuska and everyone else participating have so much to give. After some time working with meditation, daily tasks, zikr, movements, practical work, and sharing experiences with each other, I always feel like I’ve been given a gift that I can keep with me, and share with others for a long time. Time spent there is priceless.
A place that allows you to remember what is beautiful about yourself and our home – Earth.
A Beautiful Landscape
We arrived at the farm – from the balcony of the farm house a beautiful landscape was sprawling.
Jose decided to climb the mountain that oversees the farm. Each one of us had the possibility to decide whether he follows or stays.
The mountain -in all but few traditions is analogue to the spiritual path. There we were – climbing, tackling ants’ nests, having to, in each step ,decide -be present – sense – where and how to put our feet. What is our attitude? But we were not alone. We were part of a chain. There was always someone to help us. There was someone who needed our help. When the climbing became really tough – a harnelaoot – when it is too far for turning back and it doesn’t seem as if we are approaching the mountain top. The whole chain could not, even, be seen – a few of the group in front – the one behind. It was there that it became even more important to be in the present moment – step by step – one foot – than the other – be there – the supervisor’s bell was calling for the exercise more often – an awakening – so as to be more and more alert and present – there is no peak -no backward – There is the path – the chain – and the step by step…
We didn’t stay long at the peak – and while descending – we encountered moments-places of the climbing …
As Rene Daumal says in ‘Mount Analogue’: we have to descend from the mountain top – but we don’t get down the same as before climbing – A taste of the mountain top stays with us…..
When I reached the river – my feet trembling, bleeding my encounter with the ants’ nest – his water embraced me – pure transparent continuously moving in endless flow; but something was there – a connection has been established – a connection with that which is immobile – that which never changes.
Back at the balcony of the farm house – the view was not a postcard like, anymore- it was part of us – we were part of it;
We have submerged in the mountain, the earth held us when we fell or slide the slippery slope. We were touched by water. The river rocked us. It was felt and sensed and lived by us – it was not just a nice view. I thought it was the same with our body; it is not until we can sense it – that it becomes something more than just a postcard. It is only then, when we are present in it – sliding its earth, tackling its ants’ nests, breathing its heights, climbing its mountain, sailing its life river – that it becomes ours and we really live in it.
We have been baptized in transparent water that alleviated our bruises.
We drank pure, transparent, life water.
There is a taste of mountain’s heights which is a part of us.
There is a sweetness that accompanies since that river- ever since that
But Thirst is still there – a bell – a call – to walk our Path – to further follow our Way….