Meditation in the Sabine mountains, a transcendental experience
La Casa della Meditazione nel Bosco through the eyes of Eliana Lazzareschi Belloni.
A few days ago, Joinbed allowed me to live a wonderful experience: la Casa della Meditazione nel bosco (House of Meditation in the Woods). The place is near Rieti, in a wonderful natural setting.
My experience with Joinbed:
My host was called Divya, who lives in a stone and wooden farmhouse set among the Monti Sabini, immersed in absolute peace, broken only by a few sounds: the bells of the goats, the meowing of the kittens and the “singing” of the cicadas. Clouds chased each other across the slopes and the branches of the trees rustled in the shadow of the forest. A peaceful, tranquil environment, where my host and Stefano, her companion, lead a life oriented towards self-production and happy degrowth.
Divya prepared lunch for me and we sat in the garden. Kittens and dogs were playing all around us.
We ate our meal talking about nutrition and meditation and I immediately felt in tune with their philosophy of sustainable life.
Divya used to be a sea captain before she changed her lifestyle (and her name from Claudia); she also had experience directing a short film and as an actress. She had travelled far and wide, but she confessed that she didn’t miss the sea because everything there was balanced and in harmony with her inner self.
She offered me the cheeses made by her neighbour, a shepherd with a small flock of goats. Each type of food has a story that goes with it, which she promptly tells me and in her words I can sense the respect that she has for these people. She also has a strong desire to support local enterprise.
An excursion to discover the hermitage of San Leonardo:
In the afternoon Divya and Stefano took me for a hike. They explained that the paths we were walking on were once used by Benedictine monks. I listened to them while they told me about places that they knew by heart and I felt privileged to have them with me.
The path wound through the woods with the afternoon light filtering through the branches. The route was very simple, being on a dirt track with not much of a slope (level of difficulty: E).
We come to the remains of the hermitage of San Leonardo, an ancient building set in the rock. According to some historians, it dates back to the VIII-IX century. The holes in the rock ceiling for the water to drip into the well are still visible. And there are frescoes from 1450 depicting San Leonardo and Santa Caterina d’Alessandria.
We ended our trip with a delightful walk through the Borgo di Roccantica.
Meditation with Divya:
This was the heart of my experience. My morning in the Casa della Meditazione nel Bosco began with a view of the wooden terrace framed by the mountains. The soft sunlight caressed the slopes.
My breakfast consisted of a fruit extract, a ricotta and chocolate tart, fresh yoghurt with blueberries and various types of home-made jam.
I liked the attention that Divya gave to the environment: she separates waste for recycling and tries to be autonomous also from an energy point of view; in fact, the water is heated by a wood stove.
I recognise a lot of me in her and one of the best things about this experience was the chance to have long chats, getting to know each other. I am convinced that exchanges take place with everyone we meet – even apparently chance encounters – and that these are opportunities for us to evolve.
Our meditation started at 9.45 in the morning. It’s nice to be able to focus on my breath and to block my incessant mental rumination.
The previous evening, Divya had told me about the law of the mirror. According to this law, our outer world reflects the inner one. People show us parts of ourselves, parts that are very much a reflection of who we are.
When we experience feelings of irritation, anger or hatred for someone, it is because we have recognised in that person qualities that we have as well; qualities that we unconsciously condemn and criticise harshly.
We should learn to see these people not as enemies, but as invisible messengers who bring us lessons that are valuable for our evolution (if we can interpret them). Meditation serves to block our inner judge and one of the exercises that Divya made me do, consisted of this technique.
At the end of the meditation I felt completely regenerated.
Another positive thing about this experience was being able to continue to share thoughts and reflections after meditation and not run away, as happens in most travel packages, where everything is regimented by strict timetables.
The role of Local Heroes consisted precisely in this: let those who are passing through live an unforgettable experience. And who could be a better testimonial than someone who lives a place every day and is able to transmit to others the passion for what they do?
My time in the Casa della Meditazione nel Bosco was unfortunately over, so I said goodbye to Divya with a promise to continue doing meditation and to come back and visit her soon … as well as to try all of the experiences offered by Joinbed!
Article written in collaboration with Eliana Lazzareschi Belloni.