Enos Mantoani: Community teaches that meditation is not a solitary or solipsistic activity.


In this article, we meet Enos, a meditator from Italy who tells us about his experience of meditation and of the Young Adults Retreat which he joined during the summer.

(All photos by Enos Mantoani)

Tell us a little bit about you, where you come from, what brought you to the world of meditation?

I was born in Friuli, a northern region of Italy, in 1980 but I moved to Florence 10 years ago. I studied as a Librarian at University and now I work at the British Institute of Florence (as a Receptionist and Marketing Assistant). In Florence, by a fortunate chance, I met a group of meditators led by don Alfredo Jacopozzi. I always looked for something more “spiritual” in my religious life and I found it (for now) here, in Christian meditation. I think there’s a lack of a contemplative dimension in the common Catholic world in Italy. Therefore I have decided to help the Italian community to spread the teachings of Christian meditation as one possible answer to this “problem”; since March 2019 I am part of the National coordination group.

How do you feel about the experience of meditation? How important is it in your life?

I can easily admit that now it is a fundamental part of my life and I meditate twice a day almost every day. Even when it is hard (and often it is) I think that sitting for half an hour and trying to reach my inner centre is useful in giving the right perspective to the even more stressful days.
But I am also well aware that I will always be a beginner in meditation. Every day is a new adventure, sometimes a new challenge.
Sitting every day and contemplate the world outside me, while entering in my heart, teaches an attitude that I hope (it’s more than a hope, actually) will be useful in the bad and in the good moments alike.

How long have you stayed at Bonnevaux? What have you enjoyed the most about being there?

I spent more or less 10 days in Bonnevaux during the Young Adults Retreat in July/August 2019.
I enjoyed the landscape, the life in community, the openness of everyone encountered and especially the spirit of peace and constant research that one can feel in this valley.

How do you see the importance of being in a community?

Being and meditating in a community it’s fundamental. It’s hard because our “ego” pretends to do everything “our way”, whereas being part of a community teaches that meditation is not a solitary or solipsistic activity.

What would you say to others who are thinking to come and visit?

I’d suggest to go to Bonnevaux without any expectations and to be open to whatever the place, the Spirit and the people there offers so generously.
And to bring a camera!