For mindfulness practitioners who have experience with group retreats, it can be valuable, powerful and challenging to undertake the practice of self-directed silence. Extended silent practice can provide a level of direct knowing, and seeing clearly, beyond spoken guidance and teacher messaging that may have been very helpful in earlier retreats. In this retreat, we will dedicate time and space for silent practice together as a group, while each committing to independence of practice for ourselves.
The set-up of this retreat grants you the freedom to structure your own practice and asks for your responsibility in following through to support the group. The teachers will be in contact with you well ahead of the retreat to offer guidance in how to plan and schedule your retreat practice. Prior to the beginning of the retreat, you will then lay out a practice schedule for yourself within the designated practice times each day. You will consider and identify modes of mindfulness practice best suited to your needs and learning desires. You will be encouraged to structure the right balance of self-care, challenge and sustainability in your practice schedule. Your fellow retreat participants will do the same.
When the retreat begins, the group will gather and commit themselves to daily practice together, to provide the kind of encouragement and presence it’s possible to draw on with and from each other. Each will practice mindfulness in the way best suited to their needs. We will practice in this way, together. You will be encouraged to maintain a continuity of silence and awareness before and after the scheduled group practice periods each day; in other words, continuously over the time of this retreat.
This retreat will be held in silence. Spoken guidance from teachers will be kept to a practical minimum, to support your own good knowing of what’s here, what’s true, what’s needed and what matters most for you. A teacher will be present for all of the designated group practice schedule. Twice during the retreat, talks will be offered to inspire your exploration in awareness and presence. You will be asked to check in at least once during the retreat with a teacher.
This retreat will convene for each full day of practice using the Zoom™ video conference platform. Your presence and commitment will be felt in the group by maintaining your Zoom connection throughout.
Before the retreat, you will be asked to write about your previous practice experience and goals for your time on retreat. This is to help us get to know your practice a bit, and support you in your time on retreat.