Rifugio Vita Luminosa – in the field of a common activity

15. November 2023 – by Sonja Sieben

“In this place, an enlightened activity is to be created that you can enter into – this makes a certain way of being and being together natural. This happens when you begin to see everything as alive, engage with the living and experience it as part of yourself.” (Daniel Hertlein)

When I received the invitation to the work and practice week at the “Rifugio Vita Luminosa”, it was immediately clear to me that I would take part because something important would be created there: A house for our retreats – a haven for inner reflection and furthering my spiritual practice. A place that will support me in encountering my heart so that I can open it more and more.
During this week, the term “retreat” was redefined for me. I experienced in my own body how beneficial it is to be able to really “retreat”. Once there, the challenges of everyday life disappeared. I immersed myself in the shared practice, the shared living, the socializing, the work, without having to leave the house.

“There are certain places that are energetically suitable for inner ascension – others are not. Pay attention to this! Here you can understand yourself more in a field where there is connectedness and subtle communication. You no longer see yourself as an “I”, as a self-contained unit on a path of self-realization.
Experiencing yourself in this field of interaction and aligning yourself more and more with this field is the way.
We have called this place “Rifugio”… a safe place of retreat, of deep inner contemplation into all-connectedness.” (Daniel Hertlein)

I was particularly touched by the way we worked together. The mindful “meditation students” turned into determined, joyful workers for whom no work seemed too strange or difficult. Everyone contributed their talents and knowledge and gave of themselves in a loving, unconditional way – creating synergies that made the work melt away. Although everyone carried out “their” activity, the work allowed us to merge and become one. It was certainly also special that everyone’s pace and effort were accepted without judgment. If we had a less energetic day, there was space to retreat and be alone.

“I am not concerned with “correct” behavior. Sangha (community) means forming a common body. The shared body is a field in which activity takes place and interaction can be experienced. It is a fact that everything influences everything.” (Daniel Hertlein)

I often ask myself what actually connects us students? Certainly the pure love for our master, but also the shared practice that has become an integral part of our lives. How wonderful that there is now a physical place for our contemplation and inner development towards an all-encompassing connectedness.

“If you open your heart to interconnectedness and experience that you are good the way you are, then there is a field of love in which unfolding is possible. A soul can truly grow when it feels supported by love.” (Daniel Hertlein)