Response to Carpathian retreat 2013
When planning to go for a retreat in a traditional style, I was a little nervous, because my daily meditations at that moment took less than 2 hours, and one year of practice is not that much. But when I arrived, I was charmed by the Carpathian nature, and all my worries became not so important. I had been to the Carpathians earlier, but it never was that far from a civilization. Here, the building, which we lived in, was the only building in the nearby area, and to come here one would need a lorry or a very good jeep.
The first night, I felt that if I do not merge with Dao and fully open myself to Heaven and Earth, my resistance would cause only troubles. I tried to clear my head and relax.
The first meditation was great. Meditations and Zhan Zhuang always go better in the open air rather than in a building. So, after the first meditation, I had a feeling that I could sit even for much longer, and this made me more confident and optimistic. At night, when lying in my bad, I saw a flash of light. My first thought was about a lantern or a camera flashlight, but it was silent and everybody was already sleeping. But when I tried to fall asleep, the flash repeated one more time, and it repeated around three times like this. It was very unusual experience.
One day Vitalii showed a dantians’ synchronization technique. So I was sitting in a meditation, and started observing this process with my inner vision, and then I recognized that the details dramatically increased if compared with my previous experience. At some moment, in the lower dantian area, two channels appeared. The channels were pulsing, growing and shrinking to the size of a thread from time to time. Sometimes, I could feel how Qi was flowing through these channels like a glowing ball. It was fascinating, as all the processes were going without my conscious involvement.
The next day, I repeated the same technique, including the upper dantian. Because on this retreat I was only passing the third level, my upper dantian had been almost not worked out. Qi was going between the middle and upper dantian very badly; it was like creating a road in a field. And it was not surprising that this time it took much more efforts then previously. By the end of the meditation, the only success I achieved was relatively free flow of Qi between the middle and upper dantian.
Days and events have mixed in my memory so much that, from this point, all historical sequence will be lost, and I will describe only brightest events from my point of view.
Once I went much dipper into the meditation. Before that, I had considered my Qi as a chaotic glowing mass that works according to its own rules. This time, I felt my Qi as one single thing, and it behaved differently, not only on its own, but according to my influence as well.
One day during a meditation I had a feeling that I dissolved in the nature, and I felt further changes inside of me. My dantian started crystallizing. Inner Qi began to transform from chaotic variety of different structures into one solid structure.
At the evening meditation, we were making a practice of connecting with stars. When I attuned with the Heaven and Earth, I felt an unexpected phenomena. It was like Qi coming from the Heaven became extremely strong and was flowing into the top of my head. I tried to concentrate on more spiritual and loving state, and, over time, it became a soft warm flow coming down from the sky. When I finished the meditation, I continued feeling this energy flow. By Vitalii suggestion, I tried to finish the meditation one more time and gather all the Qi in dantian, and eventually it disappeared.
On the next meditation, instead of feeling the variety of Qi, I felt my lower dantian as a 3D sphere. Before that, I had felt my dantian only in two dimensions, but now I started recognizing it in three dimensions as an integral structure. It looked like a ball of Qi, but Qi was not equally spread within the sphere. I continued the meditation perceiving it in such a new for me form.
The next time the evening practice didn’t have surprises, but was unusually deep. At first, I started accumulation silence and calmness meditation, to make the meditation deeper and wait for darkness. In this way it is much easier to establish a connection with the stars and planets. After diving deep enough, I started attunement. During the practice, I could feel the lower dantian, but my body seemed to have disappeared. The perception level where I see Qi and the world that surrounds me mixed into one reality. Body, which plays role of a boundary between inner and outer reality, just disappeared. As a result, I was like dissolving, and felt the unity with the world. Of course, it was only partial dissolving in the world, because there was observer and thoughts about this situation. But, nevertheless, it was a new and impressive experience for me.
By the end of meditation one thought came into my head: I need to say goodbye to this place. It was odd because I had at least one more day and one more evening meditation. But I followed this thought and, with a little bit of sadness, I took a tiny piece of this place with me. On the next day, it was raining, and we did not meditate at this place, and thereafter I was leaving.
By Alex Karmazin