“In the practice of meditation, you step beyond your hope and fear. You develop trust in the strength of your being and in your ability to extend yourself to others, and you find you have tremendous willingness to do so.”
– Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Join us for a two-week group meditation retreat of shamatha-vipashyana, or mindfulness-awareness practice. This is the basic sitting meditation that goes back to the Buddha, which also includes contemplative practices for cultivating insight and compassion. Practising together as a group creates an atmosphere of courage and wakefulness. This mutual support and inspiration is at the heart of this two-week long journey.
The retreat follows the basic schedule developed by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. The daily schedule begins at 7am and ends around 9pm most evenings. Sitting meditation sessions are alternated with walking meditation throughout the day. The three main meals are served and eaten in the meditation hall using the Zen contemplative eating practice of oryoki. After lunch, there is a mid-day work period (“rota”), when participants have light cleaning and kitchen tasks, which are opportunities for meditation in action.
Silence or “functional talking” is practised most of the time. Silence is not regarded as cutting off or isolating ourselves, but as a profound way to open our awareness and senses to ourselves and our world.
The retreat will be led by two senior teachers, Tessa Racine and David Hope, who will be supported by a staff of experienced meditation instructors. There will be regular dharma talks and individual meetings with a meditation instructor at which participants can talk about their practice.
In this retreat, we will open up to our natural wakefulness, shed light on the walls that we have built up in our lives and emerge from the fog of uncertainty and doubt. Following the foundations of the Buddhist path, we will strengthen our practice of shamatha-vipashyana meditation.
All that we do in the course of each day – sitting and walking meditation, as well as sharing with others in discussion groups – is part of our practice of awareness and mindfulness.
– Mindfulness and awareness practices
– Sitting and walking meditation
– Individual meditation instruction
– Talks by senior teachers
– Body exercises
– Study periods
– Silence practice
– Silent walks in nature
– Mindful eating practice
For beginners as well as advanced practitioners, this programme will provide a powerful experience, regardless of age, stage in life, or previous experience with meditation.
Each day follows a traditional schedule, incorporating the elements listed above:
7:00am Early Morning Practice Session with body exercises
9:00am Morning Practice Session
12:30pm Oryoki Lunch
2:00pm Rota Period
3:00pm Afternoon Practice Session
4:30pm Tea Break
5:00pm Late Afternoon Practice Session
8:00pm Evening Practice Session
9:00pm End of Day
Oryoki (meaning “just enough” in Japanese) synchronizes mind and body by bringing mindfulness to how we eat. Eating oryoki-style, in a prescribed manner and sequence, follows a tradition that began in Zen Buddhist monasteries and has been practiced in meditation retreats in the Shambhala tradition since their creation by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Arrival day (Friday June 7): Intro talk at 8 pm. You’re invited to come from 4 pm in order to register and settle in your room. Dinner is served at 6.45 pm.
End of programme (Saturday June 22): Closing circle and banquet in the evening.
Departure day (Sunday June 23): You may leave anytime (no programme). You’re welcome to stay for breakfast.
This programme is taught in English and will be translated into French. Other languages need to be confirmed (please indicate your request for translation on the registration page).