A retreat gives us an opportunity to step back from our busy lives and spend time in conditions that support our spiritual development. Our retreats create those conditions in the natural environment. A retreat can be an adventure; an opportunity to deepen awareness of ourselves and other people around us. There will be time for meditation, guided by experienced teachers, and other activities such as talks, discussion and study groups; and often periods of silence to help the mind really quieten down. The experience can be challenging and sometimes life changing. However, for many the sense of community and friendship that develops is what brings them to return. A retreat is not meant to be a holiday - we are working on ourselves using the activities to develop wisdom and compassion.
On our retreats we are working together to live communally. You may be meditating, listening to talks, cooking, looking after your children, playing games or chopping wood all in the context of practising the Buddha's teachings while involved in every activity. As there are usually a number of people big and small with varying needs, the emphasis is on practising amidst activity and unpredictability. We try our hardest to ensure that all our decisions are ethically considered. This includes how we source the structures which we need for our communal spaces, our transport, how we treat the land which we are living on and the food which we eat. Delicious, nutritious and mostly vegan food is provided 3 meals a day with snacks in between for those who need a little extra. Cows milk is available alongside a number of vegan alternatives. As we are all there for a common purpose the sense of community is palpable - the aim is to build (for a short time at least) a spiritual community who care about each other and will attempt to act with kindness to each other.