Smile, The Inner Revolution Has Begun!
The first time I heard about Peace Revolution I was volunteering for a cause that means a lot tome. I was cooperating with a Non-Governmental Organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. The goal is to empower women and help them to find professional and personal success and fulfillment. In the event I met Alexandra Bouças, the first Portuguese Peace Rebel, who told me about her own path of empowerment and mentioned Peace Revolution as part of that process.
A few months later, I decided to try the Self-Development Program. I remember that the first meditation had a great impact on me and, therefore, I decided I was going to explore the meditation benefits. Who knew that, in the end of that year, I would be in the Meditation Sanctuary for 12 days of pure magic and priceless teachings?
Only those who lived this experience can understand the powerful feeling of stepping onto the boat in Krabi and be overwhelmed with the expectation during the 30 minutes trip to Kah Yao Noi. The reception at the Sanctuary was warm and friendly, and I immediately felt home. The first two days were dedicated to integrate the participants in the Sanctuary’s routine and to ice-breaking activities. I have to point out the bubbles exercise, which reminded me that there is still a child inside every one of us. The group got really connected through these activities and lifetime bounds were seeded that day.
Meditation is the most important part of this fellowship, and we had four sessions a day, leaded by one of the four monks, sharing this experience with us. I had wonderful meditation sessions in the island, especially when we meditated outdoors. The beautiful scenery and the sounds of nature helped me to reach new levels of inner peace and I feel that I really improved my meditation technique.
Apart from the meditation, we interacted with the monks several other times. ‘Google with the monks’ was an informal talk that allowed us a first approach to Buddhism. I was surprised by the monk’s honesty about the implications of this life choice. It made me admire each one of them even more. I feel truly blessed to have had the privilege of getting to know them and I will keep every teaching in my heart and in my mind.
During the retreat, we had the realization that mind and body must be in total connection. We must always take care of both. For that reason, the morning yoga class led by the lovely Ana was perfect. I lived wonderful moments in the viewpoint, enjoying the sunrise and doing yoga. And who can forget the moment Barbara, from Argentina, sang to us for the first time, at the end of a class? I feel that I was constantly surprised by this talented group of people.
The food program was also very important to purify the body. Despite the time that it took me to get used to the two-meals a day routine, I am still following this program and I feel my body lighter and healthier. I eat even more mindfully now.
I cannot forget those who really made this experience unforgettable for me, the other 30 participants that came from all over the world with the same goal as me: meditate for inner peace and make a difference in the world through outer peace. Every one of them shared their beliefs and thoughts and offered me invaluable knowledge of their country and culture. I am so grateful for every bonding moment, every silent company, every word of love and encouragement and for every new friend I got.
And also the staff’s true dedication to this event and to our well-being was incredible. They also taught me a lot and showed me that smiling and being graceful is the best way to make everything go smoothly.
If I had to summarize this experience in only one word, I would choose ‘purifying’. The dictionary says that this means “cause to change; cause a transformation; to rid of foreign or objectionable elements; to become clean or pure.” And this is what I brought from the ‘Island of the Pearl Sun’. I came back improved, cleaner, more focused and aware of the world and of how I want to place myself in it. And most important, I brought the tools to keep on working in this process.
In the present day, a few weeks after the retreat, I find myself teaching strangers to meditate just because they saw me doing it and asked about it. I became a spokesperson of the Peace Revolution movement without any effort or plan. I just wish that others may find the same peace of mind and growth that I have found.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”. I believe that each Peace Rebel, on its own way and area of influence, will be this change. We just need to keep in mind that ‘ain’t no mountain high enough’.
Joana De Sousa Costa