It’s already been about a month since I returned to the Center from winter break. Time flies.

Each time I return home, I’m reminded that my daily lifestyle at the Retreat Center is quite unusual. I live with around 15 people aged 18-70 from different backgrounds. My teacher is a world renown martial arts and Qigong author and instructor. Our schedules are packed with training, studying, chores, and other work. My free time is almost non-existent. We rarely leave the Center unless we’re teaching, grocery shopping, or running errands. We spend half the day outside surrounded by trees and with a spectacular view of the mountains. It’s a strange mixture of grueling challenges, personal development, lack of free time and independence, highly productive days, lack of personal space, community support, humble living, facing personal demons, spiritual awakening, and simultaneously being disconnected and connected to the rest of the world.

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