The first part of an interview with The Drunken Monk by Mia Jafari from Yogipreneurs about Enlightenment Intensive, self-realisation and business… and how does it all work together. Thank you, Mia and Peter!

2018 was coming to its end. It was a year to celebrate. It was my year of ups, downs and achievements. A year of taking risks, falling and flying again; it was about reaching personal milestones.  And yet here I was, standing at the entrance of the Mandali Centre for a retreat in something called the ‘Enlightenment Intensive’.  What was I doing here? The centre nestled high up in the cliffs against the postcard perfect backdrop of Lago d’Orta in Northern Italy. 

It is thought that this lake was once part of a much larger body of water; connecting the great northern glaciers all the way down to the south. Alas its environment changed and the lake became separated, isolated, disconnected from its source. I was here as I wanted to reflect on my core purpose of who I am to build a future and business that is truly aligned with my purpose. In Hindi, Mandali means a grouping of people who have joined together because they share an interest or belief. That made sense I thought; create a centre that helps people find their connection with themselves and others over a lake that had lost its own connection. Somehow I knew I was in the right place. 

The ‘Enlightenment Intensive’ is a five day retreat led by Peter Harper based on the teachings of Charles Berner. With the aim of unravelling how can we all attain a single moment of true Enlightenment. For three days we were placed in a completely silent environment with no distractions and blasphemously, no cell phones!! We filled our days with short but frequent sessions ranging from contemplative walks, physical exercise and deep meditation built around five meal breaks and what they dubbed the Dyads (conversations).  The Dyad forms the central core of this process. During the Dyads we were encouraged to break our silence, looked intensely into one another’s eyes and either ask or answer the question… ‘Who am I?

  • I know I am not my thoughts but they are still there. 
  • I know I am not my emotions but they are still there. 
  • I know I am not my past but they are still there.
  • I know I am not my future but they are still there. 

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