Then and Now

Acem Meditation World Retreat 2016

By Ingrid Rentel

waterOnce upon a time…

Way back in the 1960s, young students in the West entered a period of radical breaks with all established truths. They sought new ways of thinking and new perspectives on life. They wanted to change the world with their utopian thoughts and revolutionary ideas.

At that time in Norway, a group of young students also sought new views of the world. They did not want to use drugs for that purpose. Instead, they were convinced that man has an inner potential for change. In the beginning, they looked to the East. There they found meditation, but they soon discovered that Eastern ways were not always suitable in the context of Western culture and psychology. So what would be left if the religious element were omitted from the meditation technique? They discussed, experimented, tried things out, and did research. On 27 January 1966 they established Acem as an organisation.

Today, fifty years later, Acem Meditation is taught on several continents. The method has been well received in many countries across the world, almost as if people had been waiting impatiently for this. The World Retreat in the Spanish Pyrenees 16-23 July is a good opportunity to meet and share in the experience.

What lies in store for us in the Pyrenees?

coupleIn the mountains, a pleasant summer breeze awaits us. We will stay in nice, small hotels. Every day we have the chance to meditate more than three hours in our own room. Small daily guidance groups will be available in several languages. Acem’s founder Are Holen will give evening seminars, with simultaneous translations into different languages. He will answer questions from the participants. There will also be a number of parallel sessions with a variety of workshops, talks and games, spanning from the science of meditation to the flora and fauna of the Pyrenees, and a lot more. The choice is yours.

Enjoy wandering in the mountain area with new and old friends. Bring friends who always wanted to learn Acem Meditation but never found the time. There will be beginner’s courses in several languages. You may combine this week with a summer holiday, for instance in Vall de Boí, an area of natural beauty and with a long and fascinating cultural heritage. Or you can walk the old pilgrim route called Camino de Santiago. Or maybe enjoy the wonderful city of Barcelona before or after the week of calm and quiet.

How will we get there?

guitarTo Barcelona we’ll need to fly on our own, that’s no big deal. There will be buses waiting for us both at the El Prat Airport and in Barcelona city centre. The buses will take us through wonderful scenery to the retreat centre a 3-4-hour drive away.

This will be an unforgettable week.

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Ingrid Rentel is an assistant instructor in Acem Germany. She is a teacher and an authorised economist.

Translated by Anne Grete Hersoug
Photos: Joan Parés, Halvor Eifring

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