Tag Archives: hostel

Imagine them to be family

I arrived as a volunteer in Dzogchen Beara last year august and my first period here I stayed for 5 ½ months. In that period I worked with a few volunteers and staffmembers. Living and working in the hostel (having a bed in the female dorm), I also met loads of other people every day. 

Not everyone was to my liking: some were to noisy with bags in the bedroom, or they cleaned different than I did, they didn’t care enough for the cats here, they asked me questions at the wrong moments. It took me some time, practice, conversations and contemplation to realize that that were all thoughts in my mind.

All of my thoughts and what I might see as ‘facts’ is actually saying something about myself, not about the other.

With some help I came te realise that all the people around me were here to give me a possibility to learn something. I like this quote about that:

“Imagine that everyone is enlightened except you. The people you meet are all here to teach you something.”

Richard Carlson-  (Book: Don’t sweat the small stuff.)

The longer I worked here, the better I understood that when a new volunteer came I automatically thought: “No matter what my first impressions are, we are here together. We are part of a team. We work together. We live together. We are family.”

Some volunteers felt like people I really connected with, others were like an annoying little brother and another one was more like the irritating aunt I would avoid at family gatherings. Still: I tried to accept them all, because that’s what you do in a team, a family.

And you know what: ideally you could do that with every person in the world, we are all connected anyway. But let’s start small, with the people around you. And work with that.

Work with your own habits, your reactions, your assumptions, your prejudices, your preferences, your view.

And spread more love, acceptance and Loving Kindness. Also to yourself. Because yes: some people of them will trigger you. That’s how you practice.

And be honest…. You might as well be someone else’s annoying sister or irritating uncle… Wouldn’t you like them to give you a change, to see you from a more loving perspective?

Related posts:
To live in a hostel dorm for 5 1/2 months
Loads of people

To live in a hostel dorm for 5 1/2 months

In a few days I will be leaving Dzogchen Beara, the place where I came in August to do voluntary work for two months. Instead I stayed for 5 1/2 months.

When I leave here, I can look back at staying in a hostel for 168 days. And sleeping 165 nights in the female dorm. In which I had the dorm for me alone for 2 nights. And the whole hostel to myself for 4 days and nights (that was around Christmas, when Dzogchen Beara was closed for guests and my only fellow-volunteer at that time went to her family in Ireland). During my stay here, there were 3 nights that I slept in on the cottages here, instead of the hostel (that was a few months ago, when my family came to visit me and here.)

If you would have told me before I planned to come here that I would sleep in a dorm for months, I’d probably have said to you that you were crazy. Because it sounded like a very unlikely thing for me to do. Since I’m quite sensitive, to light and sound and well, everything. And in need of my own space and alone-time every now and then.

But I made the decision to come here. And it went fine. It is a nice hostel to be. We’re in the middle of nowhere and there is no alcohol allowed here , so people don’t stumble in drunk in the middle of the night. And most people come here for some peace and quiet time and go to bed early.

And yes, there were moments that I couldn’t stand someone with a massive flashlight (or so it seemed in the dark dorm), a loud plastic bag, talking to me when I just woke up (I need some time before I get social) or snoring next to me. But most of the time I coped fine.

I meditate almost every day here and had the pleasure of participating in lot of retreats about meditation, Loving Kindness and compassion. This all makes it easier for me to annoy myself less, to let things and people be as they are. Without judgement. Without making a whole story in my head about it.

In a few days my adventure here is over. I will go to the Netherlands for a little while and then back to Ireland to do more voluntary work in different places. I hope, and presume, that I will take some of the meditation, insights, peace and Loving Kindness with me to the ‘outside’ world!

 

Do I miss things?

Living for more than 5 months in the dorm of the hostel of this Buddhist center, at the end of a cliff.

Yes, sometimes.

I would like to be alone. Or go to the cinema (the closest one is an hour drive away). Or use the internet where and when I want. Or eat on my own. Or write on my laptop (which I didn’t take with me). Or talk to a specific friend who is in the Netherlands. Or walk to a supermarket (the nearest one takes only a 15 minutes drive, but since I don’t have to care, I have to find a lift or hitchhike).

Sometimes i want things like that. But I realize by now that i want them for a little while and then the longing or wanting passes by. The daily guided mediation helps. The peaceful surroundings too.

It is quite liberating to be in this place in my life where not all of my needs or urges can be fulfilled right away. Or in a few days, weeks or months. 

Because everything passes. Longings come and go. It is very good to experience that. It feels more peaceful to me. And I feel that there is more time and attention for other things. Like having really good conversations, enjoy my food more, pet the cats for a long while, read books,  write, contemplate on life, look at the stars, be amazed by the passing clouds and the sun on the sea, enjoy the Robins that come so close here.

And hopefully I can bring that feeling with me when I leave here next week, and go back to the ‘other’ world.

Loads of people

You can imagine that if you life and work in and around a hostel for about 4 1/2 months, like me now, there are always people around you. Loads of them. Some are coming for one night, most for two to thee nights, some for more nights and few of them for a week, or two.

Besides the hostel there are the guests that stay in the rooms in the Care Centre or in one of the cottages. Also there are buildings where people stay who are on a personal retreat. Some for a few nights, some for a few months. Then there are the people who work and volunteer here. And of course all the people who just come for one of the morning or afternoon meditations, or to go to the lovely bookshop/cafe.

I have had so much good conversations, loving greetings, interesting encounters, funny moments and warm goodbyes. And although I’m quit an optimistic person who tends to like people, I also had some boring conversations, cool greetings, irritating encounters, annoying moments and awkward goodbyes. But there were less of them.

I am a person that needs her alone and quite time on a day. And even with all these people around all the time, I could find the time and place for that as well. It helps that there is a quiet meditation room here. That there are always cats to pet and sit outside with. And I also had to learn to be on my own with people around me. A valuable lesson.

Altogether I feel privileged and thankful to have met so many interesting, sweet, lovely and nice persons.

What’s also interesting to me, is that sometimes I had a great connection or deep conversation with someone that I just met a few minutes ago. It is a special place with good energy here that attracts nice and interesting people, that’s for sure.

Some people I’m still in contact with, others I will meet again someday, others are nothing less than a good memory.

And I always try to keep in mind this sentence I read in a book:

“Imagine that everyone is enlightened except you.
The people you meet are all here to teach you something.”

Richard Carlson- don’t sweat the small stuff.