Committing Fully to Retreat
Opportunity and Challenge
Committing Fully to Retreat
The decision to commit to a retreat is a very personal one, and one that should be honoured with a moment’s reflection upon what calls you to attend. A moment also to consider the opportunities and challenges that may arise for you during your retreat experience, the structure and format of the retreat itself and any aspects that may influence your ability to fully participate in the adventure of either silent or active retreat.
The Structure of a Silent Retreat
The structure of this retreat has been perfected through experience by Simon to build and maintain an atmosphere supportive of each individuals dive into silence. As we cultivate an environment of trust and shared intention we open to a knowing of our truth within, allowing access to the depth of silence. In that silence we find an awareness of all that we are and all that is.
Each day we will enter periods of meditation, attend morning and afternoon/evening talks and engage in question & answer sessions, all guided by Simon.
We will have three daily meals and additional refreshment and comfort breaks, which will be taken in silence. The retreats are fluid and move with the energy of the group, however they will always incorporate periods of self-reflection, contemplation and enquiry. Outside of meditations sessions, guided talks and Q&A sessions, retreat members will be able to rest in silent contemplation, either within the group or their own space. Sessions may occur inside the retreat venue or within the grounds, dependent on time of year and weather.
The silent environment and retreat schedule can at times be challenging, although all are supported within the energy of a like minded group of people sitting in shared intention and support.
The Structure of an Active Retreat
The structure of the active retreat is fluid, allowing the flexible approach developed by Simon over many years and is tailored to the group’s energy. Although fluid in nature each will incorporate periods of self-reflection, contemplation and self-enquiry. Each of these active enquiry opportunities can be undertaken alone or within partner or group work. As we cultivate the environment of trust and shared intention we open to a knowing of our truth within, allowing insight and awareness to grow.
Each day we will enter periods of meditation, as well as morning and afternoon/evening talks and question & answer sessions each guided by Simon. We will have three daily meals and additional refreshment and comfort breaks, which may of may not be taken in silence. Outside of meditations sessions, guided talks and Q&A sessions, retreat members will be able to rest, either with the group or within their own space. Sessions may be taken inside or within the grounds of the venue dependent on time of year and weather.
Meditation Sessions within Active and Silent Retreats
Whilst meditation and self-enquiry are valuable tools leading to greater awareness and alignment with one’s own truth, they can also provoke powerful emotional responses as these emotions and the associated stress or anxiety are processed. At these times we will simply sit and hold space in silent support of those working through these feelings. Simon will guide and support wherever and whenever he feels it necessary, allowing whatever is arising to move. However it is important to understand that a retreat is not regarded as a substitute for therapy and we are not trained therapists.
Should you have a pre-existing psychological condition you are encouraged to seek advice from your mental health practitioner before participating, ensuring the format and length of retreat are right for you. This is especially so if you are new to retreat.
Alternatives to Residential Retreats
URBAN AND DAY RETREATS
For those who have not encountered a retreat before and feel the residential format may not best serve them at this time, an Urban Retreat, Deep Dive or Meditation Day may allow a less rigorous introduction to Simon’s teachings. The schedule for these events can be a little less demanding and allow greater flexibility around outside commitments.
Should you have further questions about the retreat format or experience, please contact us for assistance.