Meditation and Dharma Weeks

Meditation and Dharma Week Long Retreats

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 extended periods of sitting meditation and days spent in silence.

2018

The Path of Purification

With Atula, Mandarava & nagasiddhi

September 20-28 (8 nights) | £395/365

Atula will guide, with great skill and kindness, a group of individuals into a congruent relationship with both themselves and one another. This retreat involves group work in which with honesty and sensitivity we explore our patterns of communicating and relating. We will develop a deeper awareness of how our inner experience is impacting and affecting our interactions, and come into a more compassionate relationship with ourselves and others. All this takes place within a ritual context of meditation, devotional Vajrasattva practice and periods of silence. A profound retreat that has been known to help manifest lasting changes in the lives of the participants. To attend the retreat you will need to have been regularly practising within the Triratna Buddhist community for at least two years and be willing to allow others to see you, and to see others, in all our own glorious imperfection.

Please note: This retreat starts on Thursday evening and lasts 8 nights.

Gravity & Grace – Exploring Mindfulness and the Imagination

With Vidyamala, Padmadarshini & nagasiddhi

October 12-19 | £350/320

Vidyamala, Padmadarshini and nagasiddhi are excited to be joining forces again this year. Combining their passion for mindfulness, body work, 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.

Vidyamala founded Breathworks which has now spread internationally with trainers in over 25 countries teaching many different aspects of mindfulness. She has written three books: Living Well with Pain and Illness, Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Women. More details: breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk. Padmadarshini is a yoga teacher and has trained as a Somatic Movement therapist and educator with the Institute for Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy. nagasiddhi has lived at Rivendell for 10 years where he regularly leads and supports retreats. nagasiddhi is also an artist his own art work can be viewed at nagasiddhi.com

Uncontrived Mindfulness – Meditation Week

With Vajradevi

October 19-26 (Half-term week) | £350/320

Sangharakshita has said that to practise we need to be aware of our minds at all times – but how do we do this? And what are the benefits to our practice? How do we really engage with mindfulness in a way that doesn’t feel contrived and ‘added on’, leaving us feeling stiff and unnatural? How can we connect with awareness that is completely natural, unfabricated and uncontrived? During the retreat we will explore mindfulness as a path to wisdom. We will work with awareness and right view to 'watch the mind' in all its guises. The focus will be on how we use mindfulness as a support to 'vipassana', or clear seeing, and the end of suffering. We will also look at the role of receptivity in mindfulness and the 'wise' or 'unwise' attention we bring to every aspect of our experience. We will be looking at how continuity of mindfulness can touch and transform our experience through simple presence and intelligent awareness, developing both steadiness of mind and heart and insight into the nature of all things. The retreat will mostly be in silence with input and meditation reviews.

Vajradevi has been meditating for over 30 years and was ordained in 1995. She regularly leads meditation workshops and retreats based around the Satipatthana Sutta and has explored approaches to awareness with the Burmese teacher, Sayadaw U Tejaniya, and with Joseph Goldstein.

Vajradevi's blog: uncontrivedmindfulness

Mindfulness of the Heart

With Danapriya, Khemmananda, Maddava and Silanandi

November 23-30 | £350/320

Our hearts can get constricted by our self-limiting views, our habitual patterns and our old stories. These can all restrict the emotional flow within our life, therefore create dis-ease. Mindfulness of the Heart is a retreat that will help free us and see what views and stories to let go of, bringing about our own unique freedom and possibility. This helps create an ease that leads to the ‘true self’ living fully with an abundant heart. We will use mindfulness, metta, talks, poetry, nature, some silence and space to help us enter a realm freer from the suffering we create. We will also learn how to do this in everyday life - not just on retreat.

Danapriya is an experienced retreat leader. He is an acupuncturist and founded, and has been Chairman of, the Deal Buddhist Group for the last 10 years.

“New Eyes Each Year” -  New Year Retreat 2017/2018

With nagasiddhi, Manjunaga & Sraddhasara

December 27, 2017 - January 02, 2018 | £310/280 (6 nights)

New eyes each year
Find old books here,
And new books, too,
Old eyes renew;
So youth and age
Like ink and page
In this house join,
Minting new coin.

- Philip Larkin

The Buddhist Tantra works alchemically through the imagination to unify all of our natural energies for the benefit of ourselves and all beings. On this retreat we will use the framework of the four Tantric rites of purification, destruction, fascination, and prospering to take a different perspective, and possibly even to transform our experience, to mint new coin. An opportunity to come together and to stand on the threshold and reflect, look back at the old and look forward to the new possibilities of a new year through new eyes. With meditation, ritual, discussion, creativity, gentle body work and periods of silence.

2019

The Life of Objects – Fall in Love with Life Again

With Vajradarshini

February 15-22 | £355/325

“Picking violets by the side of the road, I forgot my begging bowl. How sad you must be, my poor little bowl.” — Ryokan

A Retreat on the Art of Perception. When we realise how much the world we live in is influenced by mind, we also discover that we can choose the kind of world we want to live in. What we experience is not the ‘thing out there’ but our own perception; our relationship with things is suddenly changed. The teapot and the bowl are no longer separate from us, but intimately connected to us, even a part of us. Go from consuming too much to cherishing everything. Bringing deep dharma teachings together, with meditation, silence, poetry, images, film, music and the world of things around us.

Vajradarshini started practising Buddhism in 1988 and since 1997 has been teaching and leading retreats. She recently started ‘Red Ladder Studio’ as a way to focus on the connection between art and dharma, between meditation and creativity. More details: www.redladderstudio.com

Where Love Meets Wisdom – Meditation Week

With Vajradevi

April 05-12 | £355/325

“It is impossible to have clarity without metta objectifying your perception.” -Sangharakshita

This sentence from Sangharakshita, in one stroke, dismantles any separation between loving kindness and mindfulness. This retreat will explore the meeting place of the two qualities through the mindfulness and insight teachings of the Satipatthana Sutta, and the Brahma Viharas or ‘Divine Abodes’, of metta, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. On the retreat we will cultivate the seeds of awareness and kindness to come to see in our own experience how and where love meets wisdom. The retreat will mainly be in silence, with input and meditation reviews.

Vajradevi has been meditating for over 30 years and was ordained in 1995. She regularly leads meditation workshops and retreats based around the Satipatthana Sutta and has explored approaches to awareness with the Burmese teacher, Sayadaw U Tejaniya and with Joseph Goldstein.

The Heart’s Release - Women’s Retreat

With Mandarava & Sinhacandra

April 12–18 (6 nights) | £315/285

“We have not come into this exquisite world to hold ourselves hostage from love ... or to confine our wondrous spirits, but to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom and light." - Hafiz

Through the doorway of the imagination we will journey into and explore the mysterious realm of ‘the heart’. Our guides will be ancient stories, myth, poetry and image. Once fully dwelling in and at home in the heart, we will set free what needs to fly, tenderly hold what needs to be held and create that which needs to come into being, to experience freedom in all its fullness. With time to reflect, create, share our experiences and dwell together in the sacred space of ritual and meditation.

Please note: This retreat runs Friday pm to Thursday am.

Mandarava is a storyteller and puppet maker known for inspiring creativity in others and creating an atmosphere of magical depth. She will be joined by Sinhacandra, also known for her creativity, playfulness and the depth and accessibility of her Dharma teaching. They have been close friends now for over 25 years.

Gravity & Grace – Exploring Mindfulness and the Imagination

With Vidyamala, Padmadarshini & Nagasiddhi

April 26–May 03 | £355/325

Vidyamala, Padmadarshini and Nagasiddhi will again be combining their passion for mindfulness, body work, 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.

Vidyamala founded Breathworks which has now spread internationally with trainers in over 25 countries teaching many different aspects of mindfulness. She has written three books: Living Well with Pain and Illness, Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Women. More details: breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk. Padmadarshini is a yoga teacher and has trained as a Somatic Movement therapist and educator with the Institute for Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy. Nagasiddhi regularly leads and supports retreats at Rivendell. Nagasiddhi is also an artist his own art work can be viewed at nagasiddhi.com

Reclaim Your Health - Dharma reflections, daily practices and tailored nutrition to help you flourish. Mid-week retreat

with Satyadasa and Joanna Swiecka

May 12-17 (5 nights, Sun pm to Fri am) I | £395/365

Reclaim Your Health is a restorative retreat exploring the role of Dharma practice in the prevention and release from chronic and acute conditions. It is aimed at those wishing to optimise energy, physical and mental well-being through natural, non-pharmaceutical practices which foster the body’s ability to heal itself.

Through a series of structured modules, participants will be given the resources, information and inspiration necessary to make fruitful changes. The daily programme of medical Qi Gong, meditation and practical tools for self-care, will include specific learning on nutritional guidelines, gut health and detoxification. There will also be group acupuncture. The bedrock of this approach is developing an embodied, reflective ability based on the Dharma.

Participants need to be well enough to engage fully with the retreat. This retreat will not provide diagnosis, cure or medical treatment for any disease.

Please Note: This retreat runs Sunday pm to Friday am. Bookings for this retreat will NOT be processed through Rivendell. For booking and information contact info@thehealthretreat.co.uk or 0203 222 6073.

Niccalā (Joanna Swiecka) is an acupuncturist and Qi Gong practitioner, trained in London and China. She is studying with Dr Klinghardt and the Institute of Functional Medicine. She works at Pathways Clinic in East London and spent four years organising retreats at Amaravati Buddhist monastery. Satyadasa is a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order and trainee ADAPT Health Coach in Functional Medicine. Satyadasa is also the Buddhist tutor at Eton College.

Heart of Practice

With Atula, Paramananda & Mandarava

May 17-24 | £355/325

An opportunity to benefit from the teaching of three very different and experienced Buddhist practitioners on one retreat. The retreat will explore the relationship between formal meditation practice and communication with others. Our aim will be to experience Sangha in its fullest sense, where we can be with our own experience and be in real relationship with others, both on the cushion and off. Paramananda will lead the morning sessions, which will focus on guided meditation practice. In the afternoons Atula will gently lead us into a fuller relationship with ourselves and others through group work. In the evenings Mandarava will create rituals and images to help us imaginatively connect wholeheartedly with practice.

Breathing Easy – Meditation Week

With Vessantara, Ambaranta and Nagadipa

June 14-21 | £355/325

Meditation on breathing is used in many different ways in Buddhist tradition: for relaxing deeply, healing the body, becoming sensitive to energy, opening the heart, and developing insight into how things are. During this week, we shall use the breath in all these ways. The retreat will be largely in silence, with presentations from Vessantara, guided meditations, meditation reviews, ritual and puja. You will need to have a regular meditation practice within the context of the Triratna Buddhist community of at least three years before to attend this retreat.

Earth, Body & Breath – Movement & Meditation

With Padmadarshini & Inalu Antoli

June 21-28 | £355/325

Creating a space for expression, movement, spontaneity and playfulness. Engaging our capacity for sensing, for listening deeply to the body’s wisdom, finding our own dance and developing an embodied consciousness. We will use meditation, Authentic Movement, guided and improvised movement sessions and hands-on bodywork. Each day we will explore through Authentic Movement, how the body can be a 'doorway' into listening to ourselves and take us into a deeper, more open and easeful relationship to our experience. There will be guided and improvised movement explorations; for example, how is it to feel ourselves made of the earth, to inhabit and breathe our bones and find the movements, stories and images they hold. Our explorations over the week will include movement, stillness, dance, dialogue, drawing, writing stories and poetry. With meditation, ritual and periods of silence. No previous experience of movement or bodywork is needed.

Padmadarshini is a yoga teacher and has trained as a Somatic Movement therapist and educator with the Institute for Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy. As part of this she is also exploring the practice of Authentic Movement. Inalu Antoli is also a teacher of yoga and creative movement. . She has practiced contemporary dance, Sensitive Dance, Butoh and Contact Improvisation and teaches regularly on retreats in the UK and Spain.

Rites of Passage - Archetypal Symbolism in the Life of the Buddha

With Mandarava & Nagasiddhi

July 05–12 | £355/325

On this retreat, with a sense of imagination, adventure and playfulness, we will explore the images, myths and symbols of the Buddha’s journey to Awakening. These mythic images from the Buddha’s story also touch upon the deeper archetypal currents in our own lives. On the retreat we will imaginatively dwell upon the major turning points in the life of the Buddha and reflect on their resonance in our own experience. So, rather than seeing the Buddha as a distant historical figure, we will see how his life embodies the very real journey we all need to embark upon to live a fully human life. With meditation, ritual, discussion and periods of silence.

The Path of Purification

With Atula, Mandarava, Viryapuspa & Nagasiddhi

September 19-27 (8 nights) | £400/370

Atula will guide, with great skill and kindness, a group of individuals into a congruent relationship with both themselves and one another. This retreat involves group work in which with honesty and sensitivity we explore our patterns of communicating and relating. We will develop a deeper awareness of how our inner experience is impacting and affecting our interactions, and come into a more compassionate relationship with ourselves and others. All this takes place within a ritual context of meditation, devotional Vajrasattva practice and periods of silence. A profound retreat that has been known to help manifest lasting changes in the lives of the participants. To attend the retreat you will need to have been regularly practising within the Triratna Buddhist community for at least two years and be willing to allow others to see you, and to see others, in all our own glorious imperfection.

Please note: This retreat starts on Thursday evening and lasts 8 nights.

The Beautiful Mind – Meditation Week

With Vajradevi

September 27 – October 04 | £355/325

Awareness and Wisdom are both qualities of the mind that is beautiful, clear seeing and free. These and other qualities of the 'kalyana', or 'ethically lovely' mind will be explored on this meditation retreat through the lens of the Satipatthana Sutta, the Buddha's teaching on Mindfulness and the five Spiritual Faculties. We will explore the experience of receptive and open awareness, to cultivate both beauty and truth, while allowing the whole range of our experience to be known. The retreat will mainly be in silence, with input and meditation reviews.

Vajradevi has been meditating for over 30 years and was ordained in 1995. She regularly leads meditation workshops and retreats based around the Satipatthana Sutta and has explored approaches to awareness with the Burmese teacher, Sayadaw U Tejaniya and with Joseph Goldstein.

The Radical Embrace

With Singhasri & Balajit

October 25 – November 01 (Half-term week) | £355/325

How can we learn to embrace ourselves, others and the world more deeply and radically, with awareness and compassion? Together we will meet ourselves where we are, with appreciation and curiosity, inviting all our disparate selves into a space of acceptance and presence. We will draw on resources like grounding, nature, simple mindful movements, neuroscience and creative ritual. We’ll explore our capacity to discover and dwell in more expansive qualities of absorption (dhyana) and deepen our confidence to turn towards more stuck, restricted and painful places within us. Doing this, we learn to liberate restricted energies, break the spell of false views, and allow them to transform in the clear light of awareness. What emerges is a more authentic experience of our innate ability to connect more deeply with ourselves and others. The retreat will include: small group sharing, inquiry (reflection and dialogue into what we are noticing in our direct experience), ritual, outdoor practice and activities and meditation reviews. With at least four full days of silence.

Balajit lived and worked at the Vajraloka retreat centre in Wales for many years where he also led retreats. He is currently based in Birmingham where he combines work as a SHEN therapist with leading Buddhist retreats and events across the UK. Singhashri lives and works in London, sharing her love of the dharma through her work as a mindfulness teacher, trainer and supervisor, as well as meditation and dharma teaching across the UK, Europe and the USA . You can find up-to-date information on her teaching, as well as her latest writings, on her website at www.radicalembrace.org.

Exploring Myth

With Atula, Mandarava, Nagasiddhi & Nagamudra

November 08-15 | £355/325

“Myths are things which never happened but always are”- Sallust

This retreat will be an exploration of the psyche’s quest for wholeness through the exploration of a myth or fairy tale. A journey through both collective and personal experience using story, images, symbols and dreams. Includes discussion, meditation and ritual.

Atula has been ordained for 40 years and is an experienced therapist and retreat leader who has a gift for using myth and symbol to take us into the depths of our being. Mandarava is an artist, puppet maker and story teller. Nagamudra is a story teller and dramatherapist. For more details of Mandarava’s work: www.bluebirdpuppets.com

Simply Being

With Tejananda

November 15-22 | £355/325

There is an aliveness and awakeness that we can recognise at any moment. It’s there when we spontaneously open to our total being – body, senses and awareness. It is a glimpse of what we really are, outside of conceptual fabrications. In recognising and opening to a spacious yet embodied presence, here and now, we may discover a timeless awareness-emptiness that is inseparable from loving, compassionate energy. We’ll explore all this through just sitting meditation and experiential meditative inquiries, exploring our own direct experience as aliveness, intimacy, simplicity and awareness. These qualities are gateways to the five ‘undivided knowings’ (jnanas) which are the essence of the mandala of the five Buddhas. This mandala offers a very practical ‘map’ of our immediate experience, pointing to what has been here all along, unnoticed.

Tejananda has been honing his practice and teaching of meditation for many years whilst living at Vajraloka Buddhist Meditation Centre in Wales and is the author of The Buddhist Path to Awakening.

Meditation Flowers

see also:

Our week long retreats over Christmas and New Year the Awakening the Imagination retreats and also Intensive Meditation Retreats with Paramananda.

Buddha Figure

Images & Text © 2018 | Rivendell Buddhist Retreat Centre is part of Triratna Buddhist Community Surrey | Registered charity No. 270460