What is a Retreat?

Being on retreat at Rivendell is an opportunity to be free of your usual responsibilities and distractions, able to view your life from a fresh perspective.

A retreat, although often highly enjoyable is also not the same as a holiday or workshop. A retreat situation is a place where the boundaries are defined specifically to create a real opportunity to step outside familiar patterns and explore different ways of being.

Any retreat is a structure we give ourselves to for a set period of time so that we can be in touch with who we really are and clarify what we truly value. The boundaries provide an essential structure for the retreat to support meditation, reflection, community living and other Buddhist practices which makes a retreat a challenging as well as a hugely rewarding experience.

We ask you to come being aware of and willing to support the conditions of our retreats. In the context of a place of peace, quiet and natural beauty, you can experience a deeper sense of yourself and the world, through meditation, reflection and real communication with like minded people.

On retreat we come together for a time to share what is most valuable in life and to support one another. This sense of connection comes from engaging in communal activities such as group discussions, eating together, sharing living space and helping out with some of the household tasks. Many lasting friendships have begun on retreats at Rivendell.

Each retreat has a particular theme and can last from a weekend to week or longer. Every retreat will have its own programme, providing a structure with time for meditation, discussion and talks. There will also be free time to go for a walk, read a book, or do whatever you need to do to unwind.

All our retreats are in the context of Triratna Buddhist Community meditation and tradition of practice. The majority of retreats held at Rivendell are for people who regularly practise within this context and are familiar with our meditation system, puja and rituals.

We do hold some Introductory events and to attend these you don't have to think of yourself as a Buddhist, or have any intention of becoming one. Just bring along an open mind and just see what emerges. It could just change your life.

Retreats at Rivendell are divided into three different categories:

  • Introductory: Events marked in olive green are suitable for those new to meditation and Buddhism as practised within the Triratna Buddhist Community.
  • Triratna: Retreats marked in red are only suitable for those who attend retreats, a centre or group within the context of the Triratna Buddhist Community and have a regular meditation practice. 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.
  • Triratna Intensive: You will need to have been regularly meditating for at least two years and regularly attend retreats, a centre or a group within the context of the Triratna Buddhist Community. You must also be comfortable with extended periods of sitting meditation, patricipating in Buddhist devotional practice and spending most of the retreat in silence.
  • Order members: Those in purple are for members of the Triratna Buddhist Order only.