In September, I was lucky enough to take part in a retreat organized by Scarlett and Yoshie .The theme of the retreat was "Photography." The subject of the photographs was creations of Master Ferdinand Bohmé. The retreat was accompanied by yoga classes, meditation, pranayama, healthy food, walks to the mountains, swimming in lakes, conversations about mindfulness and Japanese and Austrian culture.
There were seven participants. People came from different countries: Germany, Latvia, Netherlands, Kazakhstan, Slovenia and UK.
The main idea of the retreat was “spontaneous planning”. Initially, Scarlett has spelled out the details what we could see in the district of the village Bad Mitterndorf. We have decided that we would be nice and easy-going with each other, no matter the situation. We were asked to treat everything with love and be open-minded during the retreat. To take care about the house, to give help in the kitchen and to create. During the opening ceremony, everyone told how they got to the retreat, what was the purpose and what were our expectation of the weekly rest period.
This my fifth or sixth meeting with Scarlett and the third time when I came to her classes. Every time I learn not only yoga which is stated as the subject of the retreat, I also learn when I live with her, I watch her creatively approach to the organization of the retreat, how she cooks and keeps the house, I see the deep attention she pays to her partner, garden, chalet and how she gets on well with people.
Besides, we all managed to see the statues closely. When you focus on the details of the statue, it comes to life. I would say that I am exaggerating my emotions, its not an illusion. Probably we figured out how to observe Ferdinand’s works through the camera. This invasion into the art came smooth and naturally.
There was an interesting experiment which was offered by Scarlett. We have lighted torches and took a walk through the park in night time. We lighted up the statues with a help of torches and took photos of the them. It was unusual experience. To make clear for you, I would notice that Scarlett and Ferdinand’s house is located at the bottom of the Alpine mountains. During the night the mountains and fields are lighted only by the light of the moon. Its breath-taking night landscape.
Sculptor, Ferdinand Bohme
Three days of sculptures Ferdinand Bohmé told about how he worked on statues: from the stage of searching for inspiration (how he waited for the moment of realization to what a huge block of stone and the color of the stone will lead it) to completion. He repeatedly said that choosing a stone is an easy task, it takes place at the level of intuition. But only time would show the final resul of the work. The stone may stand untouched or unfinished from 5 to 15 years. He said he could not sleep at night, walk around the stone, feel it, smell it. I visit his house and I saw a working place filled with sketches, books of Da Vinci and other artists. There are books about anatomy and art which have a peculiar white plaque of stones in his workshop. Once he said that he wanted to organize a retreat where all the participants would create their own Buddha from clay every day. Because working in a stream, being fully absorbed into work, a person enters a state of meditation easily. He gave an interesting example: "When Osho speaks, he makes a long pauses between words. The listeners wait silently for the continuation, not realizing that it is this very pause that soaks their consciousness with the moment "now. “This is how they get into the meditation. And it doesn 't matter what was the meaning of Osho 's words. The moment of pause, the present moment of listeners is important. "
Any of his statue went through the study of books, myths, legends, sketches, the preparation of a model of clay and years of work with stones, the design of the statue and the search for a place. "Stones are my essay of life, its the diary" often says Ferdinand. Each bend reminds him of a certain period of life.
In the evenings you can hear classic music in Ferdinand’s house. Scarlett says that they start their day with practicing. Walks to the mountains, swimming in the lakes, taking care of the garden this is a usual routine which became a part of her life before she quitted teaching classes.
If she gives classes or retreats, it means that she just shares her lifestyle with us. She turned her wishes and practice into real life. She doesn’t like talking about herself. But it is necessary to mention that the house which we lived in all these days, is full of love, life and energy which is everywhere.
This wonderful couple lives alone with the nature, without phones and social networks. This allows to pay more attention to art, gardening and music.
One of the organizers of this retreat was Japanese girl, her name is Yoshie. She cooked for us. For the last ten years, Yoshie has visited almost all countries of post-Soviet Union territory. she studies the history of the USSR and the consequences of the collapse of this super power.
It was interesting to talk to her and she easily shared her culture and experience of her travelling. At the end of the retreat, Yoshie gave away all of her stuff, because she said she didn’t need it during the trip. Only necessary things. She said to me “My baggage is my home”. I am very excited to meet her in my country, I wanted to listen to her more and I want to learn to cook like she does. Yoshie looks like a little samurai while she cooking. She manages everything so easy and fast. The combination of souses, oils and toppings are the result of her many years of experience. She cooks and eats in silence. It is pure pleasure to learn from Yoshie.
Get back home, I 'm ready to reconsider how me and my family are spending time. As I said before, any meeting and training with Scarlett take a toll on me. I 'm quite inspired and ready to work hard! I realized what I missed for myself. I need to meet these people more often to keep on working and creating.