‘I can’t believe this place! I can’t believe I’m here!’ Laura said to Annie. The two of them were sitting on a terrace outside their little flat at the retreat centre in the outskirts of Taipei. They were gazing at the sunlight emerging from behind the mountains and sipping ice-cold macha green tea. It was early morning, but the warm sunshine was already making the place heat up.

The retreat centre was in a quiet mountanous area, with Taipei within an easy reach. Mountains and lucsious trees surrounded the ancient, red brick buildings. Laura had never seen such beautiful and green nature before in her life. It was excuisite. The retreat centre was truly in a natural heaven, so to speak.

‘I know’, Annie laughed. ‘I can’t wait for all the others to get here in the next few days and for the retreat to start. In a way it is good that we had these first couple of days to ourselves. At least you got to see some of Taipei and also get over the worst part of jetlag.’

‘Oh yes, bloody jetlag’, Laura sighed. She kept on having difficulties falling asleep at night and then even more difficulties getting up in the morning.

Annie had told her that the best way to tackle the jetlag would be force oneself up at the same time each morning and so they had got into a habit of getting up an seven in the morning in order to do some meditation and yoga outside before having some tea on the terrace. Laura was getting used to the early starts and was feeling good about making the most of each day, rather than lying in bed wasting this wonderful opportunity away.

‘You know what’, Laura said thoughtfully. ‘I had the weirdest dream last night when I was trying to fall sleep. I saw these pictures of the Buddha and some Hindu statues right in front of my eyes. They were all different colours and kept changing from one to another quickly, always coming closer to me. It felt so real, like they were there right in front of me. When I woke up in the morning, I was still expecting to see them, but of course they were not there any more.’

‘I’ve also had such a dream before’, Annie shrieked. ‘ Last year, when I was at a cross-roads in my life. A fortune-teller told me that it meant that the Masters, Gods and Godesses were trying to reach out to me and talk to me, to guide me where I needed to go. She said that I should let them talk to me in my dreams and then I would realise what I would want to do with my life.’ Annie shrugged. ‘I don’t know if she was right, but at least I figured out what I wanted to do soon after that.’

Laura looked at Annie in disbelief. ‘Really? I feel that there is so much more in this spirit world that I need to pay attention to. I don’t know, I have been doing yoga for so long, but many aspects of this kind of life I have completely cut off. I probably need to be more open-minded about it.’

‘Well, what better place to do it than this!’ Annie nodded enthusiastically. ‘I am sure that within the next couple of weeks we will both learn many new aspects of life that we never thought about even. Perfect place for relaxation but also for learning something new. By the way, did you know that many famous people also came here to refresh and recharge? The legend goes that even Sir Paul McCartney was here at some point.’

Both of the girls laughed.

‘Must be a wonderful place then’, Laura said softly, as she looks up at the mountains. ‘We’ll see who will be here tomorrow and if we know any of them from before.’


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