RECOGNIZE YOUR FUNDAMENTAL GOODNESS.
Since 1991, here at Sala Capriasca, in Tessin, Switzerland, we have a small
living community intended for those who want to end their drug addiction or
overcome a period of crisis.
We are located on the south-facing slopes of Sala Capriasca with a view of
the valley and the lake.
Our day begins with Yoga, meditation and the chanting of mantras. In the
afternoon we work around the pottery wheel in the ceramics workshop. In our
friendly community, every person has his or her own personal space. The
daily rhythm of the Yoga program and the creative work with clay enables you
to calm your mind, feel differently, giving a broader and greater
consciousness to freedom and life.
Audio - MP3
The foundations of my work with the people who have entrusted themselves to
me are supported on simple and solid bases:
We live in an interesting time. We live in a fascinating period. We live in
a dynamic time. Everything is constantly changing and never before have
there been so many cultural and relational exchanges worldwide. The
ideologies, the faiths, the concepts and the principles evolve, broaden,
modify or disintegrate. The certainties of the past sometimes become
obsolete, sometimes become useless.
But this world is rough and difficult. The consumer society is hard and
competitive, superstition has become materialistic. Knowledge and values of
internal life get lost and for many remain totally misunderstood. The human
being's quest for fulfilment is overshadowed in the exterior world.
Today really, it is logical that so many people turn to drugs in order to
have some peace of mind. But the boundary between material life and
spiritual life is absurd. There is only one life. It is important that one's
attention is not focused only on the external or internal world, but to have
a balance between the internal and external world. A "Me" built only on the
exterior, without the central experience of the "Self", does not live in a
My task is to restore the dynamic balance between the external and internal
world, so that the person can again develop him or herself autonomously.
Activities should be part of daily life, but also tranquillity and the
beauty. The messages of all the senses should be beneficial and beautiful.
So that, when the mind starts, functioning clearly and quietly again, my
task is to animate, to stimulate, to awaken sparks in order for the internal
flame to be revived. Everyone should be able to live with his or her own
initiative and develop his or her own energy. So, they have to learn to
experiment the strength and the beauty of their inner consciousness, to find
a central attitude which allows them to live completely.
"Awaken sparks", so that the internal fire may revive. This process takes
diverse expressions: music, chanting, yoga, ceramics and other forms of
artistic expression. What matters is that the internal life wakes up and
that it gives a direction to existence. From Having to Being, that is the
The ideologies and the principles have no major importance here. For me, I
am neither Buddhist, nor Hindu, nor Christian, nor Muslim, nor Jew. I belong
to no religion, sect or political party. For me the diverse religions are
the expression, in different cultural languages, of the same spirit of the
human being. However, as I have a religious attitude towards life, I could
say that I belong to all religions. Personally, I practice yoga as a
spiritual discipline. Universality and tolerance are important to me.
Fanaticism, ideology and intolerance on the other hand bring me
difficulties. Each person should be able to live the divine nature of his or
her consciousness, feel joy, love and peace in his or her heart. The
cultural shape which he then gives to this experience is of secondary
importance to me. Only the experience is the most important thing.
Unfortunately the experience cannot be passed on. Each person must create
his/her own experience. It is clear that words are useful only if the
understanding is already there. I can only create the general conditions so
that life can again develop in all the fields of existence.
WHY MEDITATION IS USEFUL IN REHABILITATION FROM
The first contemplation is the easiest. Meditation lets us
naturally experience a condition of deep peace. A person with problems
always has a restless mind. Meditation provides us with a natural, medicine
free, experience of calmness. Morning and evening meditation allows us to
relax our restless mind at least twice a day. This natural tranquillity
makes us gain distance from our problems, which shift to become duties. With
a quiet mind, we have a higher capacity to cope with our emotions, being
more and more able to face our duties. The quality of the experiencing our
own life is influenced by and dependent on our identification mechanism. Our
identification depends on our experiences. We tend to identify ourselves in
relation to our experiences. Each experience has three aspects:
1. consciousness (witness, level of Being)
2. sensorial perception
3. object of perception.
The main aspect of a human being is his consciousness. If we have problems,
we loose ourselves in totally exterior things, being bewildered by the
complexity of our perceptions. Identifying ourselves with pure appearance,
we loose the consciousness of being and end up living estranged from
ourselves. The world is seen as hostile and life becomes a struggle. Daily
meditation is not an intellectual exercise, yet the experience of calmness
and silence of our proper consciousness. Thus, the identification mechanism
is being normalised, the level of consciousness resurfaces again to the
front. Meditation naturally induces us into a evolution from having to
being. This gives us a completely new way to experiment ourselves, gradually
increasing our self-confidence. The internal address has been located. We
learn through the fact, that love and joy are being anchored in our proper
internal space. Nobody can ever remove this internal address. Every time we
find ourselves in difficulties, we have a method, a starting point to
rebalance our life. Meditation can also simply be defined as mental hygiene.
Daily meditation helps us to break free even from the most radicated
dependences. Throughout the years, we will observe small but significant
improvements in all aspects of our personality. These improvements allow us
to live our life with more balance and pleasure. Until today, meditation is
part of the religious practice of all cultures. Given that in present times,
humanity is less interested in religion, one should recognize that
meditation, independently from any kind of religion or ideology, is of great
use to our mental hygiene and development of consciousness. A lot of books
could be written about this issue, but the above shall be sufficient for the
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday :
We begin the day with Yoga, the chanting of mantras (approximately 20-30
minutes) meditation (approximately 10-20 minutes) and sometimes a common
reading with discussion. (approximately one hour)
Then follow the domestic chores, shopping, preparation of the meals, etc.
In the afternoon we work around the pottery wheel in the ceramics workshop.
(2 to 4 hours approximately)
In the evening we usually watch a movie or play a game.
General cleaning of the house and the carrying out of particular domestic
chores, purchases and preparation of meals, etc.
In the afternoon we work around the pottery wheel in the ceramics workshop.
(2 to 4 hours approximately)
In the evening guests are invited to join us for a Yoga session.
Indeed, there are often modifications to the daily program. For example:
Going to the swimming pool, to a course, on an excursion, a visit etc.
Saturdays and Sunday are more spontaneous.
We have already made week-end excursions to Venice, Florence, Pisa, Geneva,
Piacenza and Milan and even some more distant journeys to places such as
London, Barcelona, Sardinia, Graz and Vienna...
Working with the pottery wheel is the first thing taught in the ceramic
workshop. After having acquired sufficient experience in this art, as in the
expression of the form, teaching continues by starting with the decoration,
the magic of the various forms of firing and in the aesthetic uses of
enamels. This work requires commitment, concentration, resistance, will,
coordination, creativity and a sense of aesthetics. Nothing is given away,
but with personal commitment we obtain good results and great satisfaction.
This work is good for everyone.
At the end of the course, I provide a work certificate.
The meditation which I teach and which I lead personally has good
therapeutic results. It is important to note that I remain independent from
any school of meditation or organization. Independence is fundamental in my
work. The meditation sessions are shorter than usual sessions in order to
prevent stress and tension from becoming too intense. He who goes slowly
goes healthily and goes far!
For several years I have been using, as with the Yoga tradition, the morning
chanting of a mantra. This practice has proved to be exceptional. Many
feelings can pour out finally and the tensions can be liberated and undone.
The mind becomes quieter and calmer. Almost all my guests have greatly
enjoyed this morning chanting. We notice that a day that begins with
chanting unfolds into a pleasant sense of well-being.
There are one to three staying guests, but generally the house is also
frequented by persons from the outside and, especially in the summer months,
there is a lot of activity from people who come for friendship, Yoga or for
Who enters therapy?:
The people who come here for drug problems, (heroin, cocaine,
alcohol) with generally already 8-12 years of drug addiction on their
These people have problems, known or unknown, which prevented them from
discarding the habit on their own. They come to me and ask for help to get
out of the old repetitive drug addiction program. That is the use of
mind-altering substances over many years to fill a loss, to cover, make up
for a void
I don't care about their past. I do not investigate into the hidden causes.
If the cause is visible, it's useful to examine it, but it is not essential
with my method. I, on the other hand, pay a lot of attention to the fact
that the individual gradually loses his/her erroneous identification and
progressively feels his/her true nature.
Poetically expressed: We do not investigate into the origins of the
darkness. We limit ourselves to opening up the windows in order to let the
This emancipation program contains two fundamental elements:
1st: The chanting of mantras and meditation.
2nd: A period of life (around 6-12 months) without mind-altering substances.
This period is very important in order to then face their new life with
The therapy phases:
The phases are generally identical for all therapies.
1st phase : Relaxation
In the first weeks I notice relaxation, the guest feels really comfortable
A drug addict often lives an extremely disturbing life.
Many humiliating compromises to get the daily fix, ending up in stealing,
prostitution and drug trafficking.
Jobs are lost, homes are lost, the permanent confrontation with those around
them, family, friends, the money troubles and finally the loss of their own
By coming to therapy in my house, this tension disappears. There is a
reassurance and an initial well-being. It is a period of grace where my
guests are open and receptive to what I can give them such as knowledge and
We begin to appreciate the morning chants, we discover their relaxing
benefits. Nine out of ten people appreciate the relaxing effects of the
chanting of mantras.
The meditation experience is above all a "non-experience ". The continuous
and uninterrupted stream of thoughts, give way to mental peace, sometimes to
the complete silence of the mind.
Initially meditation is a simple method of mental hygiene. But, in the long
run, it makes us discover the space of our heart.
2nd phase: Purification.
The second phase normally begins after three months. Thanks to the morning
chants and meditation, one feels great mental calm, and thanks to this calm,
the guest can now start a clarification process. This is the optimal time
for the manifestation of tensions, of inner knots coming to the surface and
the appearance of hidden problems. The nervous system spontaneously begins
to get rid of the useless and heavy baggage of stress which has accumulated
for years. This period of purification is always more or less disagreeable
for everyone but it is very important and fundamental for recovery. The
intense phase of this clarification process lasts approximately three
months, but it then continues more calmly throughout life. The inner knots
come to the surface; the stress shows itself and is projected to the
The aggressions, sadness, anger, anguish and agitation come to the surface
of the consciousness, and in this initial phase they are not generally
recognized by the person for what they are. That is the weight of the
tensions, the thaw of the fears with emotionally strong consequences. The
person tries to find a motive for these disturbed and disturbing feelings.
Generally, it is not difficult to find a motive, an argument which can lend
itself to the need to explain the agitation of the consciousness. I am
mostly the one chosen for these projections. The ideal screen for all the
projections of the father, authority figure, the man, etc.
However, it is useful during this period to rely on my experience and to
follow my indications.
Those who have observed the simple rules have managed to successfully end
the drug addiction during the time spent in this house.
Those who have made commitments have generally extended the time for
recovery from their problems.
We can end suffering, but to do so, a certain rigour is needed and initially
it is necessary to have confidence and let yourself be guided.
Pictures of home
Click on image to enlarge
Daily fee: 230.- Switzerland Francs
Spending money: Fr 160.- Switzerland Francs per month
Possible additional costs:
Clothing and shoes, medication, train tickets.
Vincenzo Kavod Altepost
Residential facility for drug rehabilitation.
6954 Sala Capriasca