Discover yourself and grow beyond your boundaries. Does reading this sentence excite you? Then you should get to know Samyama. Samyama Mindfulness Meditation Center is located in Ubud, Bali. With meditation and yoga teacher training courses, unusual retreats (such as a Dark Retreat!), healing sessions focusing on different therapies, from yoga therapy to deep tissue massages, and many more unique features, Samyama offers a ‘dream’ experience to its visitors. I think it would be more accurate to call the Samyama experience a journey: A journey to yourself, a journey of returning to Self, to a place where you can step away from all of the identities that limit you. Here’s my exciting news: This summer, I am attending the Meditation and Yoga Instructor Training at the Samyama Meditation Center. My excitement is indescribable! I wanted to have an interview with the founders of this special center in Bali, where I will spend 22 days, so that I can get to know them better and introduce their stories to you. Here we go! (we continue the interview with Dijan after the first question).
Let me start by asking about the story of Samyama Meditation Center. How was this magic place born? How did the beautiful energies that bring this special team together come together?Dijan: We all have a slightly different story. The point where we meet is that we came together in this place and gave it life thanks to our friendships.
Let’s talk about the four partners that make up the backbone of the team…Dijan: During the years that we spent day and night meditating and practicing yoga, my friend, and current business partner, Andrea, would often drop by my house. One day we were sitting outside on my balcony, as was our usual routine. He was troubled. He had just rented a piece of land in Bali and was hesitating to take action to realise his dreams due to personal reasons.
I was offering my work at many different venues/countries back at that time. The constant movement brought up the need to be grounded at one place with one vision. A mature approach to meditation; aligning profound spiritual states with authentic inner work. A sanctuary for spiritual seekers aiming the integration of the ‘high’ to the daily life in kindness and love.
Well, around 6 years ago, we planted a seed on the balcony of that bungalow in Thailand that revolved around this premise. Lots of stories and time intervened, but it was such a strong seed that it became Samyama in 2019.
Andrea: A very valuable inner experience carried me to this place. Its name was unknown at that time. During my deep sleep – yoga nidra – practice, I went beyond the concept of time and space in this manifestation and experienced oneness with the light within me for almost a week. If you ask how human beings experience this state of unity, it is possible to go beyond the form in which we limit ourselves by meeting with that light in contemplation. After this experience, I set out to make Samyama a place where those who enter through its doors can integrate all their experiences in and beyond life.
Devlin: Mine is a love story. I first met Saverio at a yoga school in Thailand. We fell in love and got married. Both Andrea and Dijan were my teachers back then. There was only a professional teacher-student relationship between us at that time but always a lot of admiration and mutual respect. Since Andrea and Saverio were old friends, it wasn’t long before I left like a part of the family. We even visited and stayed with Andrea’s family in Italy. When I learned that Andrea was opening up a center that would feature silent meditation retreats of the kind I had been travelling around the world to attend, I grew very excited at the idea of helping. When we came to Bali, we immediately fell in love with Samyama and the decision to become partners was very clear.
Saverio: Devlin and I had intended to start a life in Sicily, but we couldn’t fit there. When we came to Bali to visit Andrea, we fell in love with the place and the people. It probably took us 20 minutes to decide to become partners. I work as a health worker in war zones. Between my work missions, I think this is the place for me to repair both my body and mind, and I want it to function for everyone who needs it.
In our friendship with Andrea since 2007, we have shared many experiences and transformations. This trust and friendship was also established with my other partners. We are constantly fed by the ups and downs we go through. This beautiful team has taught me a lot. It is my greatest happiness to witness the magnificent transformations in those who visit us.
What are the philosophies and internalized values of the Samyama Meditation Center?Dijan: In fact, the meaning of the word “samyama” is the answer to this question. Samyama; a word denoting a state of unity with the object of meditation at the level of perfection. In other words, it is like ‘being’ a stone while contemplating a stone, being light while contemplating light. We can access this by releasing the pieces of identity that we use to limit ourselves, and releasing the fiction that we call “me”.
While trying to experience this spontaneity, we are constantly sinking. Some people follow high states and forget about life; some can’t lift their noses above the mundane. In the first place, we intend to accept ourselves and everyone who visits us, both mature and raw, with compassion and humility. Authenticity, simplicity, pursuit of reality and the expression of authentic ‘me’ are among the values we put at the top.
What is a normal day like in Samyama?Dijan: I guess you wouldn’t understand much if you showed up at the door. We don’t have an environment of drop-in yoga classes. We love transformational processes. During most of the year, we provide retreats and yoga/meditation teacher training courses where guests experience deep practices and often intense situations. From time to time, we host other events with teachers who we find have similar values to ours. Therefore, when you arrive here, you will come across butterflies flying in a peaceful environment, and a group of people who are immersed in their practice.
As for how a day goes during our Meditation and Yoga Instructor Training Courses, we start the day around 07:00. After our morning practice, which lasts for 90 minutes, we have breakfast, followed by a theory class. We break up the theory with a short movement, breathing and/or meditation practice and then continue with lectures. After the lunch break, another shorter theory class and a two-hour asana, pranayama, meditation practice in the afternoon. We end the day with dinner and free time which may include different activities depending on your preference. What are these activities? Ice and steam baths, Bhajans, open mics, sharing circles and more…
In addition to offering Yoga Alliance certified instructor training at your center, you also have the opportunity to step into areas such as yoga asana, breathwork, meditation and philosophy from the comfort of your home – and a combination (face-to-face / online mix) is also possible! Can you talk a little more about the training programs you offer?
Our Yoga Alliance certified Meditation and Yoga Instructor Trainings are truly wonderful experiences for not only those who want to turn this practice into a profession, but also those who want to master the philosophy of this ancient knowledge by understanding what they are doing and why. We offered it online during the pandemic; Now we continue to do both online and in-person. We offer 200 hours of basic and 300 hours of advanced level TTC’s at our center. 200 hours of training with abundant meditation, energy-based tantra yoga and vinyasa, ayurveda, in 22-day intensive or 28-day retreats. In 300 hours of training, we deepen the practice: beyond the standard curriculum, advanced training includes both a five-day silent retreat and a kundalini yoga retreat.
Meanwhile, Dijan translated the content of the 200-hour training into Turkish and presents it on our online platform. Announced to those who say, “I can’t stay in Bali for a month,” she says.
Other than that, you can only come to silent meditation or kundalini retreats; or you can participate in the three-day introduction to meditation, yoga therapy, classical tantra initiations and other private / small group retreats. Our center also has a darkroom, ice baths and steam room for intense contemplation. We also offer massage and reiki sessions with wonderful healers from Bali.
Let’s go a little deeper about retreats. What should a person attending a Samyama retreat expect from this experience? And perhaps to focus on one, how do the Dark Retreats go?
In all of our retreats, there are yoga asana classes, guided meditations, talks that convey the depth of the teachings, meditations or one-to-one mentoring sessions in connection with the theme of the retreat. Of course, each retreat has its own unique details, you can check them all out on our website (link it).
A Dark Retreat is a unique experience. In the seclusion, which we recommend to experience for at least three days, your days are spent eating, sleeping and practicing in the dark and silence for as long as you want. The Dark Room was designed to reduce external stimulus as much as possible. It has a single bed, a space for meditation and a dining area. Of course also the bathroom. Our plant-based restaurant Samyama Eatery serves you two or three times a day according to your preferences, and the services are carried out in a light-tight compartment. If you need it, you can send us anything you need in writing from the same compartment – including spiritual support!
The dark room is the right place for inner exploration. The healing side of the experience is that it allows you to face your fears, which are perhaps hidden deep within, so that you can move through them. After the retreat, you experience the quieting of the mind, the deep rest that the body needs, in short, a feeling of deep peace. Meditations done in the dark increase clarity and intuition by stimulating the pineal gland.
Yoga Therapy, Intuitive Deep Tissue Massage, Ajna Light Therapy, Human Design consultations… Are these modalitites that Samyama offers as a healing center? Can we also hear about the Samyama healing sessions from you?
Yes, we offer sessions specific to all these areas at Samyama. We think that a relaxed body contributes to a relaxed mind, and this approach forms the basis of our healing sessions. Whether it’s to relax the body, calm the mind, or gain a better understanding of how the mind works; healing sessions offer our visitors the experience of connecting more closely with life itself.
To briefly mention all of them; We can say that yoga therapy is one of the many types of yoga and meditation that has been diversified especially in the West after the 60’s, and it stands at the intersection of the contemplative knowledge of the East and the science of the West. At the end of the consultation, we create a program of practices that are most suitable for you and your lifestyle, and which will be easiest for you. Because we think that just as a person should wear what suits him, he should also choose the method that suits him best. Deep tissue massage is a powerful and intuitive massage therapy that solves both physical and emotional problems in the body. In this therapy, we work with local Balinese masters. Ajna light therapy is a modality that is good for problems such as sleep, headache and stress, aiming to provide clarity of the mind by activating ajna chakra, which is known as the third eye. Human Design is one of Andrea’s passions. It is a very interesting tool that blends astrology and chakra information, and it helps a person to know themselves.
All information about our healing sessions are here.
As far as I know there is also such a thing as Samyama delicacies! Let’s talk a little bit about Samyama Eatery, which brings people who step through Samyama’s door together with creative, colorful and delicious plates.
Samyama Eatery is the creator of the rich, fresh, colorful and plant-based dishes we serve to our visitors at Samyama. We offer mostly organic, locally sourced flavors and our priority when preparing our plates is our respect for the planet and all its living forms. Mushroom Burger, Beet Root Burger (BeetMac), colorful bowls, pumpkin soup… Our plates are as fun and delicious as they are healthy and respectful to nature!
Finally, is there anything you’ve heard from those who have had the Samyama experience and that you can never forget?
There are expressions that we often hear from the participants and that make us feel very good.
“My life will never be the same again.”
“I feel like I’ve met myself again.”
“I look at the problems that were huge in my head yesterday from a completely different place today.”
“Everyone says I look radiant!”
What more do we want!
Thanks a lot!