Retreat Daily schedule:
05:30 – 06:00 Arrival and Orientation (first day only)
06:00 – 07:00 Observe Eight precepts (first day only) & Guided meditation
07:00 – 08:00 Breakfast and stretching (personal exercise)
08:00 – 09:00 Dhamma talk
09:00 – 11:00 Personal meditation (sitting & walking) & individual discussion with Bhantes
11:00 – 12:00 Lunch
12:00 – 01:00 Mindful seclusion
01:00 – 02.00 Walking meditation
02:00 – 03:30 Group meditation & individual discussion (except last day) with Bhantes
03:30 – 04:00 Tea break
04:00 – 05:00 Evening Dhamma talk
05:00 – 05:30 Q/A
05:30 – 06:00 Observe 5 precepts and conclude the retreat
In this Retreat, you will….
- Learn and develop the practical skills of mindfulness meditation, including methods for (a) deepening concentration and (b) responding skilfully to physical pain, stress, and difficult emotions and thought patterns. (Basic practice during the retreat; prior to the retreat, Mindfulness in Plain English by Gunaratana which can be downloaded here)
- Develop competence in communicating about experiences in meditation as well as about one’s practice itself. (Small groups / discussion during the retreat / personal interviews)
- Learn methods for deepening and integrating more mindful awareness into ordinary daily activities when not formally meditating. (Dharma talks / informal practice)
- Gain increased understanding of varying meditation techniques, including (a) how early Buddhist discourses have emphasized the importance of a moral and altruistic foundation for a meditation practice; (b) the goals specified in different teachings; (c) the relationship between meditation and psychotherapy.
- Learn how intentionally to cultivate positive emotions such as gratitude, joy, kindness, compassion, equanimity, and forgiveness.
- Learn and develop practical skills of relational mindfulness that enhance effective communication both to deal well with conflict situations and to deepen friendships.
- Finally, this retreat will help you in many ways, from simple relaxation to freedom from suffering and full liberation of heart and mind. It allows us to: (a) defuse stress and experience greater calm; (b) explore the mind-body relationship; (c) connect to our feelings; (d) expand our sense of who we are, beyond our fears and self-judgment; (e) find genuine happiness; (f) discover inner resources that can change our everyday lives; (g) awaken our capacity for insight and wisdom; (h) transform our worldview from one of isolation and confusion to one of inter-connectedness, clarity and compassion; (i) broaden our perspective and deepen our courage, based on seeing things just as they really are.
We will work to achieve these goals in the following ways:
- Regular sitting and standing/walking meditation practice, as well as cultivation of positive emotions and relational exercises, during the retreat.
- Daily Yoga
- Noble Silence and Skillful Communication
- Living with monastics and getting the sense of harmonious living in a Buddhist monastery (during the daytime of the retreat)
We would like to emphasize that the development of your own meditation practice is the focus of this unique retreat.