These retreats are suitable for those who have a regular meditation practice and who regularly attend retreats, a centre or a group within the context of the Triratna Buddhist Community. You will also need to be familiar with, and happy to participate in, Buddhist devotional practice and ritual (puja) and be comfortable with periods of silence.
Gravity & Grace – Exploring Mindfulness & the ImaginationWith Vidyamala & nagasiddhi
19-26 May | £340/310
Vidyamala and nagasiddhi are excited to be joining forces in this new retreat in 2017. Combining their passion for mindfulness, love, myth and ritual, they will invite you on a journey that plunges into the paradox of being human: the falling quality of gravity and the lightness of grace; the beauty of both darkness and light; a diving into the depths where luminosity resides. The retreat will be an immersive experience involving the body, heart and mind along with all the senses, creativity and courage. Together we can come to rest in the truth in all its vivid magnificence and wonder.
Writing on the Mirror – Creative Writing Long WeekendWith Subhadassi & Kavyasri
May 26-29 | £195/175 (Bank Holiday Weekend)
“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.” - George Eliot
On this retreat we will consider the relationship between creative writing and Buddhism. The weekend will consist of talks, meditation sessions and writing workshops. In the workshops we will experience how two Buddhist poetic forms - haiku and renga - bring Buddhism and writing together. Though haiku and renga originated in mediaeval Japan, their simplicity, flexibility and suppleness make them perfect vehicles to catalyse the transformative power of creative writing.
Subhadassi is an experienced teacher and retreat leader. For the last fifteen years he has worked as a freelance writer/artist as well as a creative consultant and workshop leader. More details: subhadassi.com
Drawing Attention to Life – Art & MeditationWith Khemasiddhi, Vilokini & Vandika
July 14-16 | £155/135
Mindfulness wakes us up to the extraordinary richness of our experience, while drawing enables us to communicate this with spontaneity and sensitivity. On this retreat we will weave together mindful practices and imaginative drawing exercises to discover our own unique forms of expression, with the beautiful grounds of Rivendell providing a realm in which our ‘inner artist’ can emerge. You don’t need any background as an artist, just the willingness to be present and to experiment.
Imagining Awakening: Exploring the Pure Land SutrasWith Ratnaguna
August 4-11 | £340/310
On this retreat Ratnaguna will guide us on a journey into Amitabha's Pure Land, Sukhavati - a mythical realm where the ground is golden, trees are made of jewels, heavenly musical instruments play ravishing music, and magical birds sing the Dharma. It is an 'illumined image' - a symbol of the beauty and joy of the spiritual life. The three Pure Land sutras invite us to imagine this radiant realm, and so imagine the Awakened Mind.
Ratnaguna has been ordained for forty years. He is the author of three books - The Art of Reflection, Great Faith, Great Wisdom: Practice and Awakening in the Pure Land Sutras of Mahayana Buddhism, and, in his civil name, The Little Mindfulness Workbook. He lives in Manchester, where he teaches and trains others to teach.
Exploring Myth - InannaWith Atula, Mandarava & Nagamudra
November 10-17 | £340/310
The story of Inanna, an ancient Mesopotamian creation myth, is as fresh and relevant today as it was when it was first told over five thousand years ago. It depicts the archetypal descent, the trials of the underworld journey and the birth of consciousness. This retreat will be a journey through both collective and personal experience using movement, images, dream and ritual enactment. The retreat also includes discussion, reflection, meditation, and periods of silence.