Frequently Asked Questions: Retreats
A retreat is an opportunity to withdraw from your normal daily activities in an environment that offers quiet and freedom from distraction. It is a time to step back from external stimuli, your job, daily responsibilities, from the news, from planning, projects, from society at large. A retreat provides positive conditions for going inward, for stilling our energies so we can attend to the inner life. Sharing a retreat with others creates a happy environment. Communication often becomes naturally positive and supportive and friendships can be formed.
We run weekend retreats under three different categories:
First Retreat or Newcomers - for those who have not been on our retreats before or who are very new to meditation and Buddhism.
Open Retreats for people who have learnt the two meditations we teach, although some are also suitable for newcomers (check the description for whether they are suitable for you). These retreats provide a relaxed programme of meditation, and will not assume you have much knowledge of Buddhism or experience of Buddhist ritual.
Sangha Retreats will often have a Buddhist theme, and will assume people are happy to participate in a Buddhist ritual without much prior explanation. There may also be a more intensive programme of meditation. These retreats are also suitable for mitras and Order members.
To find out about longer retreats run by other Triratna Retreat Centres look here.
Retreats are residential, with simple but comfortable sleeping accomodation. Most rooms are shared but you can request a single room if you have a particular need.
Retreatants help with the cooking and washing up (a good opportunity to get to know one another!)
The timetable is usually pretty relaxed, with a mixture of sessions of meditation, discussion, talks, ritual, and free time. The exact timetable and activities will depend on the retreat. But you don't need worry about having to sit for hours on end!
We ask you to commit to attending the entire retreat. It is important that we value the time that we and others are putting aside to be on retreat. A successful retreat is the fruit of everyone’s wholehearted participation.
Accommodation is mainly in single sex shared rooms for 2-4 people. So, to attend a retreat you need to be prepared to share a room. If you have a serious medical condition or disability that impacts on room sharing please contact the office at the time of your booking to discuss your needs.