Monkey Mind (with Vessantara)

To attend this retreat 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, Buddhist devotional practice and spending most of the retreat in silence.

Many of us spend large parts of our day, and our meditation, adrift on a flow of habitual associative thoughts and feelings that carries us off in unintended directions. This flow, called prapancha in Sanskrit, is often semi-conscious at best, driven by forces in our being that mean we have no freedom.

The problem isn’t with thoughts and feelings in themselves. (For instance, you’ll need to think and feel in order to decide to come on this retreat.) The issue is that we can’t find the off button, so we’re saddled with our mind chuntering away continuously, like a radio we can’t turn off, or a monkey that’s always moving from one branch to another. In this way not only do we lose our freedom, we also stay stuck on a superficial level of ourselves, so that our experience of life is never as rich and fulfilling as it could be.

During this week we’ll take a good look at this ‘monkey mind’ tendency and Vessantara in his teaching will offer a wide range of ways to liberate ourselves from it – from how to skilfully use antidotes to how to look deeply into the nature of our heart and mind.

The retreat will be mostly in silence, to give us the best conditions to investigate the ways our mind functions. It will include teaching, guided meditations, meditation reviews and some devotional practice.

Vessantara and Ambaranta have often teamed up over the last decade to offer retreats for experienced meditators at Rivendell.


Retreat numbers

We have returned our retreats to their normal capacities in 2022 and will be taking bookings on that basis. However, should we need to reduce numbers because of future changes to government Covid guidelines, those who have booked first on each retreat will retain their places, whilst others will be contacted and given the options of a full refund, to transfer your money to another retreat, or perhaps to consider offering their fee, or part of it as a donation.

Covid-secure requirements

In addition to the confirmation email you will receive at the time of your booking, you will also be sent joining instructions about your stay at Rivendell. We still have some Covid related requirements that we believe helps to ensure that Rivendell is a safer environment (such as asking each retreatant to take a lateral flow test and letting the office know the result before travelling to Rivendell), and we will only accept bookings on the basis that those who attend our retreats abide by the requirements of our Covid risk assessment.

We want those that come to Rivendell to be confident that we are making their stay here as safe as possible.

Concession information

Unfortunately Rivendell is unable to offer concessionary rates in 2022, as we are still in a very difficult financial situation as a result of closing for a year and a half due to the pandemic (2020/2021). However, please consider writing to our office team via if you really are in need of some financial assistance to help enable you to come on retreat here.

Cancellation policy

If you wish to cancel your place on a retreat, we require a minimum notice of 4 calendar weeks before a retreat is due to take place, in order that a refund will be possible. All deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable in all *circumstances. If you cancel and we can't replace you, you will be required to pay half the total cost of the retreat. Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel, as there may be other people waiting for a place on the retreat to become available. A refund will still be on the basis that we can the fill your space.

*However, if Rivendell has to cancel your retreat due to further Covid restrictions, then you will be given the option of a full refund, to transfer your money to another retreat, or perhaps to consider offering your fee, or part of it as a donation.

Retreat Leaders: 
Vessantara and Ambaranta
Single Room Availability: 
Sorry, but the single room is not available on this retreat now
Date: Friday, June 10, 2022 to Friday, June 17, 2022

Prices for this event are: £370

Selected Price: 

This event is no longer open for bookings