Retreats

I came thinking I would learn about meditation and I was so inspired by the discussions and material I became immersed in the Triratna community and teachings. ~ Laura, Upper West Side

Retreats

What is a spiritual retreat?

For over two and a half millennia, there has been a strong tradition among Buddhists of going on retreat in quiet, secluded places. The Buddha recommended that his followers stay in one place and meditate more intensely during the three-month rainy season.

Today there is perhaps even greater value in stepping back from our worldly activities in an environment that offers quiet and freedom from distraction.  A retreat offers a chance to withdraw from our usual external stimuli: our job, our daily responsibilities, the news, planning, projects, and society at large. A retreat provides positive conditions for going inward, for stilling our energies so we can attend to the motions of our deepest being.

What happens on a retreat?

In addition to meditation, there is some devotional practice on retreat with an optional introduction for those who are new to it. On weekend retreats we usually remain in silence at least overnight, or for the whole retreat after the first evening. There are often more extended periods of silence on longer retreats. You can get more of a sense of how things go on our retreats by looking at this below.

Retreat schedules vary depending on the leader, the theme, and whether or not it’s a meditation or study retreat. Some retreats have yoga as part of the program. Here is the schedule from a recent weekend retreat (not an intensive meditation retreat):
Day 1
7:30pm Meet in lounge for welcome, logistics, & introduction to the retreat
8:30pm Meet in Meditation hall for Dedication ceremony, ending by 9:15pm
Day 2
6:30 Rise
7:00-8:30am Meditation
9:00 Breakfast
[9:30 silence ends]
9:30 Short orientation for those on retreat for the first time.
9:30-10:45 Work period & breakfast cleanup
10:45 Tea
11-12:45 Yoga, and meditation
1:00 Lunch
1:30 Lunch cleanup & free time
3:30-4 Short talk on theme
4:10-5:10 Discussion groups
5:20 Chanting
[silence starts]
6:00 Dinner
6:30 Dinner cleanup
7:30 Meditation
9:15 End
Day 3
6:30 Rise
7:00-8:30am Meditation
9:00 Breakfast
[9:30 silence ends]
9:30-10:45 Work period, breakfast cleanup, pack and clean rooms
10:45 Tea
11-12:45 Yoga, and meditation
1:00 Lunch
1:30 Lunch cleanup & general cleanup
2:30 Reporting out
3:15 Depart

To prepare for a retreat, we suggest learning our two foundation meditation practices (the Mindfulness of Breathing and the Metta Bhavana) by taking an Introductory Class.


Upcoming Retreats:


Outlying Sanghas Retreat 2017
The Five Spiritual Faculties