In-Person Retreats: General Information
During the month of July we will be holding a few In-person retreats at Amaravati for the first time since 2019. The set-up, particularly regarding accommodation, will be different from our usual in-person retreats so please read through the information below carefully before deciding whether to book.
Meditation sessions will be in the Retreat Centre Shrine Room, as has been the case previously. Mats and cushions or chairs will be available. Walking meditation will be in the Amaravati Field or the Field of Heartwood House.
Accommodation will be in shared dorm-style rooms mainly at Heartwood House, a monastery-owned building just down the lane from the main monastery. There will be 3-4 people sharing each of the rooms, with an en-suite or close-by toilet, sink and shower room shared between those in each room. We will also be using the Retreat Centre Men’s Lounge as another dormitory style room for about 6 men, sharing the communal shower and toilet block with male lay guests. Sleeping will be on mattresses on the floor. We will provide duvets and pillows. We ask that all retreatants bring their own duvet covers, sheets, pillow cases and towels.
Please note that, as the retreat sessions will be in the Shrine Room at the Main Monastery, and as most of the accommodation and the meals will be in Heartwood House, attendance will require moving between these two locations (about 5 mins walk). Some of the rooms at Heartwood House will be upstairs, and most of the sleeping will be on mattresses. These retreats may therefore be difficult for anyone with mobility issues. If you have any mobility issues which may affect your stay please give details when booking.
As with our usual in-person retreats, retreatants will be expected to take the 8 precepts, which include not eating after lunch time, so there will be no evening meal, but hot drinks will be available in the evening.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided and eaten in Heartwood House where there are limited kitchen facilities.
The food is vegan, gluten free and dairy free with the exception of milk for beverages and cheese.
Breakfast consists of porridge, muesli, fruit and prunes.
The main meal provides carbohydrates, protein, plenty of vegetables and a dessert.
People who have medical dietary needs please contact the Retreat’s kitchen manager if it will be possible to cater for it. Please email [email protected]
It is not possible to bring your own food supply.
We have yet to finalise the Retreat Schedule but this will be similar to the In-person retreats we have held in the past, and to the Online retreats which we have been holding for the last few years. To give a rough idea, it will be something like this:
16.00-18.00: Arrival and Registration at Heartwood House
(A light meal is provided this first evening)
18.00-19.00: Welcome and Orientation talk by Retreat Managers
19.30-21.00: First Evening session (RC Shrine Room)
Saturday (and subsequent days on 5 day Retreat):
5.30- 7.00: Early morning session – Chanting, Meditation (Shrine Room)
7.15- 8.00: Breakfast (Heartwood House)
8.00- 8.30: Working meditation
8.45- 11.15: Morning session – sitting and walking meditation (Shrine Room)
11.30- 13.45: Lunch and Lunch break (Heartwood House)
14.00-17.00: Afternoon session- sitting and walking meditation, questions
17.00-19.00: Tea Break, Hot drinks (Heartwood House)
19.30-21.00: Evening Session- Chanting, Meditation (Shrine Room)
Retreatants are asked to attend for the entire retreat and to come to all scheduled sessions. Please also be on time for all the sessions in the shrine room to keep the integrity of the group practice.
End of Retreat
Please note that if the retreat ends on Sunday, the closing time will be 17.00. If the retreat ends on a weekday e.g. Wednesday, the closing time will be after Lunch on the last day.
The Eight Precepts
Participants will be asked to keep the eight precepts while on retreat. These precepts form a framework for contemplation, a means for cultivating the heart and mind, and a guideline for skilful daily living. These are:
1) To refrain from taking the life of any living being.
2) To refrain from taking what is not given.
3) To refrain from sexual misconduct.
4) To refrain from lying and wrong speech.
5) To refrain from consuming intoxicating substances.
6) To refrain from eating at inappropriate times
7) To refrain from entertainment, beautification or adornment.
8) To refrain from over-indulgence in sleep.
Our retreat is held in Noble Silence. This will be an opportunity for not engaging in conversations with others (unless necessary.)
You are also requested not to use mobile phones, laptops, iPads etc, and these will be placed in our safe at the beginning of the retreat.
As this is a monastery setting, we ask participants to dress modestly, avoiding scanty, tight or revealing clothing. Retreatants are also asked not to wear make-up, jewellery or perfumes. Please keep this in mind when packing for the retreat.