A special long meditation retreat: Las Piramides Guatemala

If you can create the opportunity: GO!! For the courses, for the lake but mostly for you, a life changing experience.

Chaty and her staff boosted my own personal development twice.

My first contact:

The first encounter took place when I was still very busy making career. My manager at that time called me in his office and told me that I had achieved all my year targets for that year……except for one. Since my bonus and next career move was depending on reaching all targets my heart stopped beating. He paused and examined how I was taking this news. He continued telling me that I had not succeeded in using and bringing down my leave and compensating hours as I had promised.
Working over time and not taking leave had been a habit for a long time. I had told myself and had my self told that it was the way to advance myself in the corporate world. I was convinced at that time that it had served me very well. Although…I felled somewhere that it was not good for me. But what can one do if one feels the urge to move up?
At the beginning of that year I was advanced to the roll of program manager for a strategic project. The aim of the project was to start the integration of four different, long time independent, business now all fully owned by the corporation. The project was the idea of the group CEO and had with that a very high visibility. Good for my career but also very risky….what if it failed? My manager on the project had ascertained the risk of me going in overwork mode very well and had forced me to make the specific overwork agreement at the beginning of the project. It was as he pointed out; “Not about working harder but smarter” I must admit he had also showed me the way during the year but I was unable to break my habit of fear.
Half an hour after breaking the news to me, my manager and the CEO had both approved my leave request. There I found my self behind my desk official on leave for the next seven weeks! I felt horrible! What to do with so much time? My presence was not needed any more! All my overworking and personal sacrifices seemed suddenly very stupid. The corporation could do with out me very well. I felt sad and relieved.

Getting the adress:

In order to deal with the stress of working and the negative effects on my body I had started yoga. That evening was the weekly class. With nothing else to do I went. Full of the story I shared it with Anita Tamming my yoga teacher. She heard my story and gave me the address of Las Piramides. She had done there the complete so called moon course. The name coming from its start and end date, from full moon to full moon. Anita had told us enthusiastically about it on previous occasions explaining among other things its non-religious character.
As she brought it carefully; “Maybe you like it, maybe not. But check it out!” Yeh, Yeh I thought. I will go there for maximum a week and then go back to drink, dive, party, sunbath and travel to see “the todo list of the lonely planet” as quick and comfortable as possible.

The lake:

Little did I know. After doing the normal backpacker’s routine for a couple of weeks I went to Lago Attilan in Guatemala and entered the course. I hated it! Not a little but very much! Every aspect seemed designed to work on my nerves:

  • The slow boat passage to get there.
  • No signs to tell me how to find the place.
  • A Spanish only speaking receptionist that didn’t seem to bother that nobody checked the email for the center.
  • No reservation and with that no place for me in one of the nicer accommodations.
  • She could not explain me when and where the course was going to start.
  • When the course started the chill and relaxed manners drove me nuts. Everybody was welcome, resulting in a complete different group every day. New people asking the same questions every day.
  • The topics how interesting they might be didn’t seem to have any coloration and to lead to a specific point and everything moved so slowwwww. (I had no lack of ideas how to improve and speed things up around the hippies there).

How was it possible that other people seemed OK with it? I was paid very well to be a highly adaptable consultant helping people and organizations to change. Now I had to change and I didn’t seem to be able to. How was it possible that I could not break with my, as I was going to see it, high goal oriented pace, supported with alcohol and caffeine and endless distractions to make it bearable?
With my curios logic brain running high on the, for me, outer world concepts. And with my determination strong on not willing to give in to my inability to adapt. I decided firmly that I was going to do the complete course. So I did. (If everything else would fail at least my ability to set a goal and reach it would still be intact). I was in for a very enjoyable, life changing month.


But I had to go back. I was only, not like most of the people doing the course, on a holiday. On my return I finished the project and started looking for a new project. Being back in my old environment the relaxedness, everybody noticed in the beginning, was quickly wearing off. I went back to life as normal. Except: I kept on feeling the urge and longing to do something completely different. Having to look for a new project I was constantly conscious aware of this longing. All the things I could choose from didn’t seem to really interest me.
In the end I did choose for a job in marketing. Not a quick consolidation of the previous project achievement but something I had always liked. I liked the people (very much), I liked marketing, I still like the organization but my heart was no longer in what I did. Time to change! I decided to go after that longing for something else and combine an outer and inner discovery trip. I cancelled all the utility contracts, sold the car and the bike (the house was just sold), placed the remaining things in storage, bought a ticket and a backpack and went.

The second encounter with Las Piramides, Chaty and staff. A longer trip:

My ticket was bringing me to Mexico City from there I would travel along the beautiful Maya ruins slowly down into Guatemala back to the lake and the pyramids. Boy was I longing to see the lake back. I planned to arrive in time to do the Sun Course. This course runs the 3 months between each sun equinox and is open for everybody who has completed the moon course. The welcome back was warm and felt like coming home.
I started preparing for 3 months of course. My main preparation was buying some drawing materials and some extra clothing in Pana. It is not convenient if you have to leave to center during the 3 months and having the small village of San Marcos around you for your basic needs there is also no real reason.
In the weekend before the course I started reading the mandatory two books. (Dion Fortune’s book “The Mystical Kaballah”, and the Three Yogi’s “The Kybalion”.) Of course I had planned to read them earlier. It would have helped but didn’t happen. In the Netherlands I didn’t make the time busy as I was to plan the trip and traveling there was just too much to enjoy.

Other participants?

In that last weekend my soon to be course buddy also arrived and we did spend a lot of time socializing. We were going too spent the next 3 months together in a very personal discovery trip and it is always nice to know with whom you are going to do this. The number of participants can vary. Sometimes only two often more. The course will allways be held.

What is the Sun-course about?

If I should summarize the objective of the Sun course it would be more about facilitating a process then reaching a goal in knowledge or skills. I would say: “The aim of the course is to help you, finding the answers within.” This sounds very nice but also very Zen. I will make it more concrete for you by giving you the building blocks that support the aim of the course.

Building blocks?

To find “these answers within” you need a lot more energy then you normally have available. This extra energy will raise your awareness or vibration and get you spinning. This higher awareness makes it on its turn possible to find answers or better you suddenly realize something. No much finding in my experience. You study and have questions but the realizations can be on a complete different area of your life always nicely unlocking other bits of understanding. Before you know it you are spinning between levels of understanding, back and forth between feelings, knowledge and insights.

How do you get this extra amount of energy available in a natural way?

  • Minimize your distractions: You live during the course in the center which gives you a very stable environment with hardly any distraction. You don’t read other things except for the two books mentioned and your own notes. No radio, No television and No sex! (No need to look at girls or boys gives a lot more time and spares even more energy)
  • Follow a strict diet: During the complete course you follow a diet that helps your body in the sense that it is healthier and easier to digest. Giving you a lot more energy in return. Some ingredients: No caffeine, No alcohol, No drugs, No meat, No wheat, No sugars.
  • Relax your body and mind: You practice yoga and meditation twice a day to help you to get ride of the blockages on a body level, becoming more flexible on all levels. Meditation helps you to find the peace within.
  • Minimize your communication: The last 40 days of the course are spent without any communication with the outside world. Speaking, listening, reading and writing are not only taking an incredible amount of energy they are also highly distracting from your own inner truth.
  • Fasting: During your last 40 days you can release even more energy by fasting on liquids only.

How to use these rules of thumb?

Everybody has a different approach to almost every aspect of these rules of thumb. It will be evident that the stricter you follow them the more there is to gain. But! There is a personal balance in all of them. To jump ahead in the story; I decided to be strict and intense in most areas but I over did my fasting/diet. A costly lesson! I wanted more then my body could support and lost too much weight in this process. I was not gaining but loosing a lot of energy. It took me some valuable time to recognize this and to manage the damage.

How is the course organized?

The teachings: They are done in the morning after having started the day with some yoga and meditation. Beside the information in the books most of the teachings were given by Chaty. You get among other things the necessary understanding of the Tarot, Numerology, Planets, Astrology, Kabala and Hermetic teachings. The teachings in the first couple of weeks are dictated to you in the old oral tradition. “Let him who is ready to hear, hear.” Slowly the emphasis moves from information given to questions asked. This helps you in starting to look inside for answers beyond the boundaries of our logical mind. The first questions are still related to the teachings but Chaty quickly moves on to the more open ended questions: “If a tree falls in the middle of the jungle with nothing to hear it fall, does it make sound?” and my favorite “Why do we have two hands and ten fingers?” Chaty encourages you even more by asking you to look for the key to the tree an old spiritual question that helps you to unlock the hidden lessons and understandings.

Yoga and Meditation:

In the afternoon we got yoga and a longer meditation. Both will bring you to advanced levels but don’t worry if you are a starter like me. Although I had done some yoga in The Netherlands I was still very much a beginner when we started. Bending forwards from the hips my hands would barely reach my knees. The teachers bring you to a level that supports the rest of the course. (I was able to put my hands flat on the ground at the end of the course.) I had no previous experience with meditation and it is now my favorite way of reaching insight.

These were the ingredients or building blocks but what did I make of it?

I did the same as I did in my life before. I went in for the full 110%. Smart? Not in all aspects but as Frank sang “I did it my way” For good and for bad.After the first month I reached a point where I felt the need to speed things up. A couple of things made me decide to start my silence to facilitate this. Firstly the course is about you and your insights and I wanted more. Secondly my course buddy had a complete different approach to the course and exchanging lessons did not stimulate either of us. I went in complete silence(no communication at all for me) for the next 63 days till the end of the course. A very good decision I would do it again the next time around.

Where is the accelerator?

Having found the accelerator I was complete inline with my nature, quickly looking for more. Fasting seemed the way to go for even more speed. To be honest I was already having some body discomfort. The discomfort made it impossible to keep any food in my system every couple of days when I made a bigger breakthrough. My eagerness and the way I pushed my self with no love for my body resulted in a big lesson. Instead of speeding up I lost speed and it took me a lot of effort to recognize this and admit that I did it to myself. Reversing was not that easy since my body seemed to reject all things with sugar in it. Battling with your body while you want to concentrate on the insights is not nice. Love yourself do not over do it.
But what did I do with all my time?

I had a lot of time, all to spend on me. A quick calculation taught me that I had 12 hours a day without any planned or necessary activity. What a luxury!

I still succeed in being very busy:

The first month I was busy with the books and the teachings and making them my own. I made a lot of small reference cards making it possible to access the wealth of information quicker and in different ways. For example: By linking the different sources of information by putting the cards together in different combinations and patterns. The next two months went by in no time at all looking for the answers to all the questions in life.

When Chaty started shifting from teaching to questioning my attention was drawn inside. This moment fell together with the start of my silence. I got more and more energy available and my attention started shifting inwards more and more. In the beginning my logical mind was still very much in control of the process. I noticed that this shifted very soon as well. I became more intuitive going back and forth between feeling, insight, knowledge and question. I had officially started spinning. My logical brain was only serving me as a very good tool testing the results and finding ways of expressing the insights. My way of expressing was also shifting.

The effects:

Sacred Tree of LifeNo clue why I had bought a passer in the preparation of the course it is nor mandatory, nor something I ever used in my daily life. I soon found out why I had one. Drawing became my main way of expressing and process of finding even higher insights. I made with my passer out of the blue all kind of “Sacred Geometry” drawings. Not having been in conscious contact with these drawings in this life and not communicating with the outside world I only found this out after the course when others studied my drawings in detail and wondered. (Just like me).
My intuition not only got stronger in the quest for insights. My inner and outer world got more and more connected and with that meaningful. I found more and more clues of the things that I was struggling with on the inside reflected in the outside. I would pick up one sentence of people walking past me and I would have the answer to my problem at hand. I got very strong feelings to go places and would find clues on my way or on arrival. Sleeping became a non linear process as well. I would still go to bed at night but I would wake up from very intense and clear dreams at any moment during the night. Often I found clues how to proceed and had of course to work on them immediately. Working for some time, going back to bed, sleep a little, work a little. A very busy time even with 12 hours at hand doing so.
The process of spinning new insights did speed up to a level that I could not keep up with my thinking anyway. Complete concepts in all there detail where there and would lead to the next before I could even think about writing them down or making a drawing. (I have a lot of notes from which I only know that I understood it all, it doesn’t make much sense now) The insights are as real and practical as can be but have a dream like quality to them. If you don’t catch them the moment they are there you seem to loose them. Just like a dream. I had an enormous feeling that this time was very precious and the dream like quality to the insights made that I felt an enormous pressure to find more asap.
In the last week of my course this feeling of urge changed. I knew I had found what I could grasp in this time. It was time to go back to normal. We decided to end our silence in the same ceremony as the people who where ending the 5 day silence of there moon course.
I felt pretty normal. I was a little sensitive picking up the moods and questions of most people that where near but that was all as far I could tell. The evening of the ceremony came. I was longing for it. Finally I could share my insights and compare things with the people who had done the course before. I spoke my first words. Among them a thank you for Chaty and staff for organizing this amazing experience. My voice sounded strange to me and seemed not to express what I wanted to communicate. Little did I know then!
The next days I started speaking. Not too much but I soughed the company of people I liked and tried to share. It did not work. Emailing family and friends that I was still OK and sane. It did not work. I found that every word I spoke or wrote was so meaningless compared to what I felt and had seen that I didn’t want to. It was also too much and empty. All those questions and information; not relevant! I did put a stop on all my communication and decided to take it step by step. I moved to a complete deserted hotel far away from everybody I knew and looked at the lake. I took a boat trip to Pana to be anonymously under people. (I love to live in cities. This was the best I dared to do.) I sincerely thought about going back into silence. But what should I do then?
Slowly I got out of the spinning. I was warned on forehand that it would work this way but I had not expected such an emotional shake down. I moved back to a house I was able to rent in the village and I started connecting with more and more people. Took a little holiday trip to the beaches in Mexico to give my body some recuperation time and decided on staying around a little longer. I was able to rent a big beautiful house outside San Marcos. After 4 months in San Marcos I found it really time to have a different horizon to look at but I was not up to traveling as yet. This turned out to be perfect in many ways. I gave a couple of people a Tarot/Tree course and devoted some time to write this part of my knowledge down in a Tarot course. I had all the time to read a lot more books about the things that I had been studying. (Eagerly looking for clues how I could make a next move on this path.) Learning different approaches, deepening other aspects and realizing the fastness of what I had first hand experienced and learned.

The lessons?

As I stated in the beginning the experience is personal the only way of transferring the real lesson is helping you through the same process. You are not me and you have different lessons to learn. (That’s also the reason why I left the personal insights out of this account). The universal concepts and lessons I learned you can find on different locations on this site.

How can I learn the same?

You can go through this process in many different ways. Going to the Pyramids is but one way. The same lessons are also available in daily life. With perseverance, knowledge, awareness and some coaching you can learn them every moment and in any environment. That is way I have started this website: To help you find inspiration and the guidance as a private person or you in your business- role to learn as effective as possible, I hope that you found the inspiration to make your next step on your path!
Feel free to contact me with questions,