I have just come to the end of my three weeks at Healing Castle Schochwitz. I came in to this experience not really knowing what to expect. I had only the information given to me by a friend who had visited the castle previously. She told me that the experience would be difficult at times but one of the most rewarding things that I would ever do. Boy was she right.
My first few days were confusing, it takes a while to adjust to the rhythm and time of the castle. I wasn’t sure how to feel or how to best spend my time here. Slowly but surely the castle and Ingrid guide the way forward.
The structure of the work, life lessons and activities were not as I had expected (and now I know not to have expectations in the first place!). It turns out the work is the lesson, the lesson is the work and the activities like meditation and yoga tie all of this together! I found this working therapy style to be very rewarding. The castle provides a space to practice invaluable life skills. One of the lessons that I have found to be most valuable is the practice of focusing on the task at hand and staying present in the moment. My mind has the tendency to be all over the place, in the past, in the future and many other places it has no business to be in! The daily practice of training the mind to only focus on thing at a time (which should be the task at hand) has been an effective way of calming down my mind and body. Learning to bring everything back to centre, learning to control your mind and not let it control you or your energy are lessons that everyone can benefit from. Moving out of the head and in to the heart is the end goal to strive for.
Now I by no means say that I have mastered these skills in a few short weeks. However, the castle and Ingrid have given me the knowledge and practices to take with me and continue to practice forevermore. Meditation is one of the practices that I will definitely be taking with me. I find it to be a difficult task but the daily practice fostered by the castle makes the benefits of meditation very clear! Clearing the mind and becoming more connected with your energy is a very calming and grounding experience.
I am so glad that I made the decision to come to the castle. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions, a barrel of laughs and a very unique, special experience. Ingrid and Jim are caring, wonderful, kooky people and I am very grateful that they have dedicated their time to sharing their wisdom with people like me.
I am excited to put my new knowledge to the test in the “real” world. I feel like I am returning to my world with eyes more open and more importantly, a heart more open. I am leaving the castle feeling truly awake.