I have found in the course of my research that the vast majority of
meditation retreats are based on Eastern religions or philosophies. It
is true that retreats, in the general sense of withdrawal from the
world for a few days of inner contemplation, are well-established in
the Judeo-Christian tradition. However, such retreats typically do not
involve meditation, or at least not the secular activity that most people
would call by that name. Instead, the Judeo-Christian style of retreat
is generally devoted to prayer and scriptural study. Prayer is not the
same thing as meditation, since it implies that one is addressing some
entity or spirit with specific cultural associations.
Many Catholic retreats, for instance, are conducted according to the
precepts of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Jesus invites His disciples, "Come away to a lonely place all
by yourselves and rest a while" [Mark 6:31]. A retreat responds
to that invitation as Christians gather in quiet to listen to
God's Spirit and pray. The Church offers many ways to do this.
Montserrat, honoring nearly five hundred years of Jesuit
tradition, gives retreats according to the Spiritual Exercises of
St Ignatius of Loyola, by far the oldest handbook still in use. It
gives the structure to Montserrat's weekend retreat, which has
been hammered out over the centuries. You can be confident that
it will guide you to enter deeply into the revelation made in
Jesus Christ and open you to greater spiritual freedom.
Montserrat Retreat: What Is A Retreat?
I assume that this kind of retreat, which involves Christian theology and
prayer, is not what you think of as a meditation retreat. If, however,
you do think of prayer as a kind of meditation and wish to choose a
Christian retreat, you will find a useful summary and broad selection
in the following Budget Travel Online article.
The Religious Retreat Vacation: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and
Buddhist retreat centers across the United States: Page 1
I should warn you that the address given in the article for the Genesis
Spiritual Life Center is inaccurate. The correct address is the following.
Genesis Spiritual Life Center: Home
I also draw your attention to the final page of the article, which
mentions "two Hindu retreat centers, both highly popular and well
respected in the Hindu community".
The Shree Muktananda Ashram located in South Fallsburg, NY,
calls itself a "spiritual University." The focus is on ancient
Hindu teachings, although serious seekers of all faiths are
welcome. The Ashram was founded in 1979 by Swami Muktananda,
and is a modern representation of the traditional gurukula,
the school of the Guru described in ancient Hindu texts, where
students gather around a spiritual master to learn both scripture
and the way to lead a life of righteousness (dharma). Students
participate in a full daily schedule of meditation, chanting,
contemplation, scriptural study and selfless service (which
could include anything from chopping vegetables in the kitchen,
to caring for the Ashram grounds). Classes cost between $150 and
$475, and room and board cost from $57/night for dorms, $90 for
twin accommodations, and $95/night for singles. Shree Muktananda
is affiliated with the Gurudev Siddha Path Ashram in India, which
was founded by Swami Muktananda in 1956. For information on either
center, contact SYDA Foundation, Information Center, 371 Brickman
Road, PO Box 600, South Fallsburg, NY 12779-0600 (phone 845/434
2000 ext. 2450) or view its Web site at http://siddhayoga.org .
For a more varied, camp-style, but still thoroughly spiritual
approach to Hinduism, Arsha Vidya Gurukulam (AVG) in Saylorsburg,
PA offers something for people of all ages. Located on
15 wooded acres in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains,
AVC can provide for up to 200 students at once in a complex
of 15 cottages, five residential complexes and nine "family
residences." AVG's comprehensive brochure regularly lists more
than a dozen programs for summer and fall (three of which are
family retreats), as well as regular retreats on the first and
third weekend of every month, focused on a variety of studies
including the Upanishads, Bhagavatgita, Bramasutras and other
classical Vedic texts as well as such topics as Vedic Astrology,
Ayurveda, Meditation and Yoga. For more information, contact AVG,
P.O. Box 1059, Saylorsburg PA 18353 (phone 570/992-2339, e-mail
email@example.com). Also online at http://arshavidya.org .
The Religious Retreat Vacation: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and
Buddhist retreat centers across the United States: Page 5
On the same page, there is a list of "top seven retreats" in the Buddhist
tradition, without discussing meditation retreats in particular. Indeed,
the article is primarily concerned with a casual type of retreat that
appeals to vacationers rather than to students of meditation. I therefore
carried out my own research on meditation retreats.
Even though Christian churches are not known to promote secular
meditation, there is a recent tradition among Catholic priests, especially
those belonging to the Jesuit order, of teaching Zen meditation in a
non-denominational setting. One relatively old Christian-Zen interfaith
meditation programs is run by the Mercy Center near San Francisco.
The East-West Meditation program at Mercy Center celebrated its
20th year in 2004. It was founded by Father Thomas Hand, SJ, known
to the community as Hando. Hando's approach to spiritual practice
uniquely honored both Christian contemplation and Zen meditation.
Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., and during his
intensive retreats and Zen-style sesshins, Fr. Greg leads the
community in an engaged dialogue on the immediate experience
of meditation, offering new visitors and long-time meditators
alike a safe space in which to explore the spiritual path.
Mercy Center: East-West Meditation
The Mercy Center offers "private retreats", which are structured by the
individual participant, as well as more formal "directed retreats".
provide time for you in a supportive and contemplative
atmosphere, with opportunities for prayer and spiritual
direction. They are uniquely designed by each individual
retreatant. Spiritual direction is available in Spanish.
are more structured and guided, with the help of a
spiritual director who is a listening and supportive person. The
frequency of direction sessions varies at the request of each
Mercy Center: Private Retreats
One upcoming directed retreat is the weeklong Meditation Intensive
Retreat in June.
June 16th- 23rd, 2006
Begins Friday @ 6:00pm
Ends Sunday @ 1:00pm
Cost $510 / $450 Commuter
Enter the silence. Introductory and advanced Zen meditation
instruction, conferences and individual meetings with director Fr.
Mercy Center: Meditation Intensive Retreat
Mercy Center: The Place
Later this year, in November, the Prairiewoods spiritual center in
Iowa, founded by Franciscan nuns, offers a three-day introductory Zen
November 3 - November 5
5:30 p.m. - 12 p.m.
Facilitator(s): Judith Edwards, Nancy Hoffman, FSPA, Ann Jackson,
PBVM, Zuiko Redding
This retreat is for those just learning about meditation or who
desire to deepen their present practice of meditation and want
to spend a weekend in prayer and silence. This weekend will
includes tracks of: Zen meditation, mindfulness meditation,
chanting and sounding, teaching and practice of centering prayer.
Offering: $175/commuter fee $100
Prairiewoods: Meditation Retreat 11/3-5
One's stay may be extended at the center's Guest House, Hermitage,
or Delhi Retreat Cabin.
One more Christian-Zen instructional program that may interest you is
offered in upstate New York at the St. Ignatius Retreat House. Six-day
meditation retreats are scheduled for June and August this year.
INISFADA INTERFAITH ZEN CENTER
St. Ignatius Retreat House, 251 Searingtown Road, Manhasset, NY 11030;
Phone: (516) 621-8300; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
Six-day zen retreats with Robert E. Kennedy, S.J., Roshi, June 6-22
and August 4-10, 2006, $355 ($255 shared). Silent meditation and zen
practice beginning on Friday with dinner and ending on Thursday
with lunch noon. Cushions and/or chairs provided. Some experience
with zen practice recommended. Please register directly with
St. Ignatius Retreat House. For questions about zen, please
America Magazine: Retreats
June 16-22, 2006
Inisfada Interfaith Zen Center
St. Ignatius Retreat House
251 Searington Rd., Manhasset, NY 11030
Zen practice integrating Christian life, prayer and liturgy
"Robert Kennedy is one of the most eloquent exponents of a
Catholic Christianity rooted deep in his own lived experience
of faith. His wonderfully poetic style speaks of Zen as a way
to overcome the human tendency to theorize, by total immersion
in a stillness where an intuition of God's immanence can be
realized..." (Michael Barnes)
"The group is serious and committed and at the same time has
warmth and openness. There is simplicity and a minimum of ceremony
yet sufficient structure to support earnest practice."(an Inisfada
Silent meditation retreats with formal instruction and
teaching. Cushions and chairs are provided. The retreat starts
with dinner on Friday at 5:30 and ends with mid-day lunch
on Thursday. The price will be announced. A $60 deposit is
required six weeks in advance. Internet access and swimming
pool available. Travel from JFK via airlink to Jamaica LIRR
station and train to Mineola, and then cab. Use Ollie's taxi
516-437-0505 or Plandome taxi (516-627-0900) or classictrans.com
for airport pickup.
Send checks (made out to St. Ignatius Retreat House) to
St. Ignatius Retreat House, 251 Searingtown Rd., Manhasset,
NY 11030. Please include your email address. Inquiries about
zen in general: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directions can be found at http://www.inisfada.net/index1.html
Morning Star Zendo: Sesshins (retreats) [scroll down for description]
Zen is not just a philosophy and a therapeutic practice, but a school of
thought -- in fact, a group of several schools -- within the Buddhist
religion. The styles of Zen meditation that are familiar to most
Westerners have their origins in Japan, where the two most prominent
Zen traditions are called Rinzai and Soto.
Zen sitting meditation is called zazen. Walking meditation is
called kinhin. Meditation as a practice can be applied to any
posture. During zazen, practitioners usually assume a lotus,
half-lotus, Burmese, or seiza sitting position. A round cushion
(zafu) placed on a padded mat (zabuton) is used to sit on, or
a chair may be used. Rinzai practitioners traditionally use a
square cushion and typically sit facing the center of the room,
while Soto practitioners sit facing a wall. Awareness is directed
towards one's posture and breathing.
In Soto, shikantaza meditation ("just-sitting") that is,
a meditation with no objects, anchors, "seeds," or content,
is the primary form of practice.
Wikipedia: Zen: Zazen
Due to the typically secluded and Spartan nature of Zen temples, they
rarely have websites of their own. However, the BuddhaNet directory
offers text descriptions and phone numbers for several temples in Japan
that offer meditation retreats to foreigners. You may be especially
interested in Kaioji Temple, which schedules formal meditation retreats
but also provides some instruction for individuals who arrive and depart
as they please. You can expect to pay modest Japanese youth-hostel rates
to stay in the temple's dormitory.
642 Katsuura, Nachi Katsuuracho
Tel: (07355) 2-0839
This is one of the few temples in Japan where foreigners are
made welcome at any time for Zen instruction. It is a small
Rinzai temple with a relaxed atmosphere. The priest in charge,
Sosen Takeuchi, speaks a little English. He has also prepared an
English language pamphlet with basic Zen instruction. Kaioji is
suitable for those with little or no Zen experience. The temple
is registered as a youth hostel.
The temple boasts its own small zendo, and regular sesshins are
held there: These are scheduled for February 10-15, April 1-8,
June 1-7, August 1-7, October 7-12, December 1-8, and December
31-January 1st. Three of these: April, August and the end of
the year sesshin are for women only.
How to get there: A ten-minute walk from Katsuura station.
BuddhaNet: Japan Directory: Meditation & Teachings
If you are looking for a more hard-core experience in the Rinzai school
of meditation, you may wish to ask Kanemaru Roshi about his weeklong
introductory Zen retreats.
International Zen Dojo
611 Tsurushima, Uenoharacho
Kita Tsura-gun, Yamanashi-ken 409-01.
Tel: (05546) 2-3198
Teacher: Rev. Kanemaru Roshi
This is a small Rinzai country temple, little more than an
hour's train journey from Tokyo. The resident teacher, Kanemaru
Roshi stresses that his temple is not a hotel. He describes
his training as kibishii - strict. Students must get up early
for zazen, and he uses the keisaka stick regularly to stimulate
concentration. They will also be expected to study and put in
a lot of work in the fields and gardens around the temple.
Note that some foreigners have just turned up at the temple
without advance notice. Therefore you must contact the Kanemaru
Roshi several days in advance. Beginners are welcome, with the
proviso that a week of zazen for someone with no experience can
be physically demanding.
BuddhaNet: Japan Directory: Meditation & Teachings
One Japanese Zen center that does have an informative web site is the
Toshoji temple in Tokyo. Here, meditation is taught in the Soto style. The
following page will give you a good idea of this school's approach. Note
that the "hitting stick" is used ritually, with a light touch.
Toshoji International Zen Center: How To Do Zazen
An exterior photo of the temple and a brief description are found here,
along with a link to a gallery with many interior photos.
Toshoji International Zen Center: Temple
Toshoji International Zen Center: Gallery
A five-day meditation retreat consisting of intensive Zen training is
offered from November 29 to December 3 for less than $30 a day, which
is very inexpensive by Japanese accommodation standards.
TOSHOJI ROHATSU SESSHIN
Date: November 29-December 3 (Everybody must arrive the temple until 7:00
Fee: 15000yen (students 10000yen)
Toshoji International Zen Center: Schedule
For more information, contact the temple as follows.
4-5-18 YUTAKA-CHO SHINAGAWA-KU TOKYO 142-0042 JAPAN
TEL 81 (0)3-3781-4235
FAX 81 (0)3-3781-6168
Zen falls under Mahayana, or Northern Buddhism, but meditation is also a
focal point in Theravada, or Southern Buddhism. Southern Buddhists tend to
practice a style of meditation called Vipassana. A major Theravada temple
that offers meditation retreats to foreigners is Wat Thaton in Thailand.
Wat Thaton has been a Buddhist center for the learning and
practice of the Teachings of the Buddha for hundreds of years
and has continued to grow and improve in the tradition required
of Buddhist temples. Our Vipassana Meditation courses are taught
We have both scheduled group meditation retreat and individual
open- ended meditation retreat. The Center is open throughout
Please Contact Us for information and reservation on vipassana
Wat Thaton: Home
The instruction at Wat Thaton eschews rigid postures for a more flexible
style called Dynamic Vipassana Meditation.
Following a 2,500 year old Buddhist tradition, Wat Thaton
gives ongoing classes in Vipassana meditation. Luangpor Teean
was an important Thai Buddhist teacher who introduced a new
technique of meditation that can be characterized as "dynamic"
in contrast to the more conventional techniques of "static"
meditation. Luangpor Teean?s Sati (mindfulness) meditation
incorporates rhythmic bodily movements as a way to stimulate,
develop and strengthen mindfulness/awareness. This practice
is regarded as a way through which the body and the mind are
harmonized. This harmony is the first step to "seeing" thought
and is the foundation of the path towards enlightenment. In order
to overcome greed, anger, and delusion, Luangpor Teean suggested
that we have to go to the root of mental impurities. He taught
that we should let thought flow freely and let awareness see
thought and break through the chain of thought. If one persists
in this practice, wisdom will arise in an orderly process,
level by level. Ajahn Suthep Chinawaro, Head Meditation Master
at Wat Thaton, is one of the last disciples of Luangpor Teean,
and teaches vipassana meditation in English. For a detailed
description of the technique, click here, or better visit us!
Wat Thaton: Dynamic Vipassana Meditation
Formal meditation retreats are scheduled for the last ten days of each
month, with the rest of the month open to flexible stays with "loose
supervision of the instructors."
The following rules apply for any application to the Wat:
1. Please contact us in any case by phone or email as soon as possible
before your planned stay.
2. Please arrive at the Wat before 6pm.
3. Please be aware of the following meditation periods:
* 1st till 19th of each month: Individual meditation with occasional
* activities. Introduction to the meditation method and loose
* supervision of the instructors. No fixed daily schedule.
* 20th to the end of month:
More intensive group courses are held. Permanent
supervision of the instructors is given and the fixed
daily schedule has to be followed. If you want to
attend, please come before the 20th. Any meditators
arriving after the 20ths cannot be allowed to stay
until the end of the month.
Wat Thaton: Contact Details
Guest meditators who want to practice meditation in the tradition
of Luong Por Tee-An can stay alone in simple masonry kutis with
attached bathroom. The huts are functional, but do not expect
too much comfort!
What to expect...
Beginners as well as experienced meditators are welcome to
practice at Wat Thaton any time. Wat Thaton Meditation center
offers a scenic environment close to the nature. At the center,
we teach Dynamic Vipassana Meditation as taught by Luang Por
Tee-An. We want to ask the experienced meditator to approach
this meditation method open minded, irrespective of any other
method practiced in the past. We recommend to stay at least 10
days but exceptions are possible for shorter periods. Please
check our CONTACT section for further details how to apply.
Each month, the period from the 1st till the 20th can be used by
individual meditators who can live and practice at the center at
their own accord. They will be given instruction in the meditation
method and all instructors do their best to be available whenever
questions arise or further advice is needed. Occasional special
activities are offered to support the meditator in his progress
but there will be no fixed daily schedule to follow.
From the 20th till the end of each month, there will be a 10 day
Vipassana course with a fixed daily schedule and more intense
supervision of the instructors at the center. This might be the
more suitable alternative for beginner meditators.
Wat Thaton: Meditation
As for fees at Wat Thaton and at Vipassana meditation retreats in general,
a commentator on BuddhaNet has this to say: "There is no set fee for
accommodation, food, or instruction, but donations appropriate to the
accommodation and length of stay are the norm." If you get in touch with
the temple, they will give you an idea of what sums are appropriate
for these "donations". From what I have read, the reputable temples
expect no more than a modest fee, comparable to what you would pay at
a youth hostel.
contact person Connie Merk-Kouwenhoven
contact person Ajahn Suthep
Another Vipassana meditation retreat is held every month in Southern
Thailand at Suan Mokkh.
Suan Mokkh is a forest monastery along the coast of Southern
Thailand, 600 km from Bangkok. It was founded in 1932 by
Buddhadasa Bhikkhu and grew to become the most innovative and
progressive Buddhist teaching center in Thailand. Although
Buddhadasa Bhikkhu has passed away, much of his work continues.
Thu Vien Hoa Sen: Theravada Buddhism
Each retreat begins on the first of the month and lasts through the
tenth. See the comprehensive retreat schedule on the following page.
Suan Mokkh: Typical Retreat Schedule
Contact details and directions to Suan Mokkh are at the following address.
Dhammadana Foundation [ email@example.com ]
c/o Suan Mokkh
Surat Thani 84110
fax: (66-77) 431-597
tel: (077) 431-596, -661, -662
Suan Mokkh: Directions
Perhaps the most famous modern teacher of Vipassana meditation was
a Burmese man named Sayagyi U Ba Khin. His school is now led by an
Indian-Burmese teacher named S. N. Goenka. The following page gives a
thorough overview of this school of Vipassana meditation.
Vipassana Meditation: Technique
If you read this school's Code of Discipline, you will see that Vipassana
is not for the faint of heart. The classic Vipassana meditation retreat
is a very demanding affair, with activities starting at 4 a.m. and
ending at 9:30 p.m. every day for ten days. There is no opportunity for
socialization during the retreat, with speech permitted only between
student and teacher, not among students.
All students must observe Noble Silence from the beginning
of the course until the morning of the last full day. Noble
Silence means silence of body, speech, and mind. Any form of
communication with fellow student, whether by gestures, sign
language, written notes, etc., is prohibited. Students may,
however, speak with the teacher whenever necessary and they
may approach the management with any problems related to food,
accommodation, health, etc. But even these contacts should be
kept to a minimum. Students should cultivate the feeling that
they are working in isolation.
It is not possible to satisfy the special food preferences
and requirements of all the meditators. Students are therefore
kindly requested to make do with the simple vegetarian meals
provided. The course management endeavors to prepare a balanced,
wholesome menu suitable for meditation. If any students have
been prescribed a special diet because of ill-health, they
should inform the management at the time of application.
Dress should be simple, modest, and comfortable. Tight,
transparent, revealing, or otherwise striking clothing (such as
shorts, short skirts, tights and leggings, sleeveless or skimpy
tops) should not be worn. Sunbathing and partial nudity are not
permitted. This is important in order to minimize distraction
Students must remain within the course boundaries throughout
the course. They may leave only with the specific consent of the
teacher. No outside communications is allowed before the course
ends. This includes letters, phone calls and visitors. In case
of an emergency, a friend or relative may contact the management.
According to the tradition of pure Vipassana, courses are
run solely on a donation basis. Donations are accepted only
from those who have completed at least one ten-day course with
S.N. Goenka or one of his assisting teachers. Someone taking the
course for the first time may give a donation on the last day
of the course or any time thereafter. In this way course are
supported by those who have realized for themselves the benefits
of the practice. Wishing to share these benefits with others,
one gives a donation according to one's means and volition.
The following timetable for the course has been designed to maintain the
continuity of practice. For best results students are advised to follow
it as closely as possible.
4:00 a.m.---------------------Morning wake-up bell
4:30-6:30 a.m.----------------Meditate in the hall or your own room
6:30-8:00 a.m.----------------Breakfast break
8:00-9:00 a.m.----------------GROUP MEDITATION IN THE HALL
9:00-11:00 a.m.---------------Meditate in the hall or your own room
11:00-12:00 noon--------------Lunch break
12noon-1:00 p.m.--------------Rest and interviews with the teacher
1:00-2:30 p.m.----------------Meditate in the hall or your own room
2:30-3:30 p.m.----------------GROUP MEDITATION IN THE HALL
3:30-5:00 p.m.----------------Meditate in the hall or your own room
5:00-6:00 p.m.----------------Tea break
6:00-7:00 p.m.----------------GROUP MEDITATION IN THE HALL
7:00-8:15 p.m.----------------Teacher's Discourse in the hall
8:15-9:00 p.m.----------------GROUP MEDITATION IN THE HALL
9:00-9:30 p.m.----------------Question time in the hall
9:30 p.m.---------------------Retire to your own room--Lights out
Vipassana Meditation: Code of Discipline
If you are willing to take the plunge, there are many Vipassana meditation
centers throughout Asia that offer this ten-day retreat. For instance,
here is this year's schedule for English-language Vipassana meditation
retreats in Malaysia, at three different locations.
Vipassana Malaysia: Schedule
Vipassana Malaysia: Course Locations
But the best place to go for this style of retreat is probably the
Vipassana headquarters in the town of Igatpuri, in northern India. The
meditation center here is called Dhamma Giri in Hindi, and Hill of Dhamma
or Vipassana International Academy in English. The second of the next
two links has an extensive schedule and contact information.
Vipassana Meditation: Dhamma Giri
Vipassana International Academy: Schedule of Courses
Another location for Buddhist meditation is the Root Institute, which
was founded in Bodhgaya by exiled Tibetan Buddhists. Tibetan Buddhism
falls under the Mahayana, or Northern Buddhist tradition. The town of
Bodhgaya is significant to all Buddhists because it is the site of
the Bodhi Tree, under which Siddhartha Gautama, the Supreme Buddha,
Most instruction at the Root Institute combines meditation practice with
Buddhist philosophy. However, individuals may opt for self-structured
meditation retreats at any time.
General Courses on Buddhism are structured for both new and
old students. The courses will teach Buddhist philosophy
and meditation with plenty of opportunity for debate and
discussion. In the process you will learn much about yourself
and the workings of your mind, together with methods to help
you to increase peace and happiness in your daily life.
All courses commence in the evening and end following lunch on
the final day.
Root Institute also offers throughout the year the possibility
of doing personal retreat in retreat cabins.
Root Institute: Spiritual Programme
The following are available all year:
? Accommodation and personal retreat facilities including clean,
comfortable rooms and retreats huts, delicious vegetarian meals
and lovely garden surroundings available for individuals and
? Visit our excellent library and bookshop of Dharma books
and videos, including extensive information on the Buddhist
holy sites, the preliminary practices (ngondro), and the best
practices to do at the Mahabodhi Stupa.
? Meditate in our two beautiful meditation halls and gardens.
Root Institute: Course Schedule
The Root Institute is also offering a formal Vipassana meditation retreat
early next year that combines elements of Northern Buddhist and Southern
Root Institute: Sixth Annual Vipassana and Basic Mahamudra Retreat
Root Institute for Wisdom Culture
Bihar 824 231
Tel: + 91 (631) 2200 714
Fax: + 91 (631) 2200 548
Course enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Health Programme enquiries: email@example.com
Room bookings and all other enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Root Institute: Contact
For a more relaxed style of meditation than Vipassana, you might turn
to yoga. Yoga is not just the contortionist physical regimen popularized
in the West, but a spiritual practice that includes meditation.
Common to most forms of yoga is the practice of concentration
(dharana) and meditation (dhyana). Dharana, according to
Patanjali's definition, is the "binding of consciousness to a
single point." The awareness is concentrated on a fine point of
sensation (such as that of the breath entering and leaving the
nostrils). Sustained single-pointed concentration gradually leads
to meditation (dhyana), in which the inner faculties are able
to expand and merge with something vast. Meditators sometimes
report feelings of peace, joy, and oneness.
The focus of meditation may differ from school to school,
e.g. meditation on one of the chakras, such as the heart center
(anahata) or the third eye (ajna); or meditation on a particular
deity, such as Krishna; or on a quality like peace. Non-dualist
schools such as Advaita Vedanta may stress meditation on
the Supreme with no form or qualities (Nirguna Brahman).
This resembles Buddhist meditation on the Void.
Wikipedia: Yoga: Common themes
There are many packaged yoga holidays abroad, which should not be confused
with the rarer and more formal yoga retreat. The following page elucidates
Generally speaking, a yoga holiday is primarily an activity
holiday. The time devoted daily to yoga usually won't exceed
four hours, in one, or possibly two daily classes, and you
will have time for other activities or just to relax and chill
out. [...] On a retreat, on the other hand, the yoga schedule is
likely to be more intense, possibly including some meditation,
times of silence, etc. The main focus is no longer to enjoy
yourself on holiday, but to deepen your yoga practice. Again, the
choice of location should reflect this, with a quiet, possibly
remote location. Retreats should be fully residential, the food
vegetarian, and meal times carefully thought out to fit smoothly
within the daily yoga routine. You will find more 'hard core'
yogis and yoginis on retreats, and the overall atmosphere can
be quite serious, with much less 'free' time.
yogaholidays.net: A quick guide to yoga holidays and retreats
Among the yoga retreats reviewed by this site, perhaps the most appealing
one is held at an old Portuguese villa in Sri Lanka. The review page
describes the climate and accommodations, and has some useful travel tips.
yogaholidays.net: Yoga and Ayurveda in Boossa
The villa's own site describes the two-week yoga-meditation retreats in
We offer two week program of yoga and meditation through out
the year, conducted by either European or Sri Lankan teachers,
some of whose bio data appears in the teacher's column.
The 14 day program comprises 10 days of yoga with a two day
break after day five. One day either side allows you to arrive
and depart at leisure. The two day break is designed to give
your body a well earned rest. Click here to find out more about
what you might do in your free time. Whilst our course is for
two weeks, we can accommodate you on a weekly schedule as well.
Your Typical Daily Routine
* Morning yoga at 7:30 am for 1.5-2 hours
* Breakfast at 10:00 am
* Free time until 5:00 pm
* Evening yoga and meditation class from 5:00-6:30 pm
* Dinner at 7:30 pm
Villa De Zoysa: Yoga & Meditation
The fees for this retreat are quite modest compared to the cost of a
hotel stay of such a duration anywhere in the United States.
Villa De Zoysa: Prices & Contact
Closer to home, in Costa Rica, the Inner Harmony Yoga center offers a
one-week interdisciplinary retreat in yoga and meditation. The fees are
much higher for this program, although much of the price difference will
be offset by the lesser travel cost as compared to an Asian destination.
Aug 26 - Sept 2, 2006
Tentalow - $1295
Standard - $1395
Deluxe - $1495
Super Deluxe-4 - $1425
Super Deluxe-2 - $1750
***All pricing is for double occupancy unless otherwise
stated. Prices include, all classes, meals and airport transport.
Inner Harmony Yoga: The Union of Yoga and Meditation
Inner Harmony Yoga: Facility Descriptions
For a truly eclectic mix of near and far, yoga and meditation, Eastern
and Western, consider the Dhanakosa Buddhist Meditation and Yoga Retreat
Centre, which is located on the shores of a Scottish loch.
Our introductory retreats provide an excellent introduction
to meditation and Buddhism. Our retreats are renowned for their
friendliness and harmony. No previous experience of meditation or
Buddhism is needed. Retreats are an ideal situation in which you
can take a fresh look at yourself and your life. On retreat you
can relax and enjoy yourself. You can learn to meditate or take
your meditation further with the help of experienced teachers.
This can help you develop clarity, confidence, energy, positive
emotion - even a deep insight into yourself. A retreat is an
ideal situation in which you can grow. [...]
Accommodation is in shared rooms and all food is vegetarian. Most
retreats of one week will include one afternoon work period to
help us maintain the beauty of the surroundings. Please bring
work-clothes and footwear suitable for light gardening work. We
also run retreats which are focused around activities which
complement meditation, such as the creative arts, T'ai Chi
and Yoga. Yoga is a balanced form of body work that leaves you
well-toned, refreshed and relaxed. T'ai Chi, a series of graceful
and gentle physical exercises, can help develop awareness of
your body and increase levels of energy, suppleness, strength
Suggested donation for a weekend: £125 waged, £85 low wage,
Suggested donation for a week: £285 waged, £210 low wage,
Suggested donation for a 10 day retreat: £365 waged, £270 low
wage, £180 unwaged
tel +44 (0)1877 384 213 (10am to 5pm)
e : email@example.com
Dhanakosa Buddhist Meditation and Yoga Retreat Centre: About
Introductory courses in "Yoga and Meditation" are held according to the
following schedule. Rest assured that although the page title mistakenly
reads 2005, this schedule applies, in fact, to 2006.
In these retreats the yoga body work will be presented as an
integral part of meditation practice, both mutually supporting
and augmenting one another. The classes will be taught working
from fundamental working principles and can be enjoyed by people
with any level of experience.
Dhanakosa Buddhist Meditation and Yoga Retreat Centre: Yoga and Meditation
Dhanakosa also offers stricter Buddhist meditation retreats according
to set themes, such as "Entering Pure Awareness" and "The Open Heart".
The following retreats are suitable for those who already practice
meditation on a regular basis and have attended at least one
week?s retreat. These retreats will be more intense than
introductory retreats and will probably involve several hours
meditation a day and be mainly held in silence.
Dhanakosa Buddhist Meditation and Yoga Retreat Centre: Meditation Retreats
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