The Level 3 AOM Retreat is an advanced retreat that is designed to significantly refine and consolidate the skill with which we meditate.
Through Level’s 1 and 2 our practice has been built on slowly so that our meditative stability gives us access to deeply regenerative states of meditation whenever we decide to meditate. By now we fully understand the benefits of a daily practice and we are able to bring ourselves into an organised state from an incoherent state.
Level 3 now seeks to develop our meditative skill further by developing our capacity to feel and perceive clearly subtle material and mental states. The retreat begins by stabilising our concentration preparing the mind for the deeper and subtle work of the retreat.
At this level we are starting to glean profound insight into the nature of our being. Through the meditations on the more stable physical structures of the body like the endocrine system and nervous system, we start to perceive how our mind interacts with the physical body and how consciousness regulates sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. We gain deep insight into the health of our lymphatic system and the interrelationship between the mind, our hormonal system and the nervous system. As our meditation on the chakras matures we start to see clearly how consciousness expresses itself through our being. As we come to meditate stably in the base of the body we come to experience how the integrity of our physical constitution is conditioned by the quality of our mind.
Through this our meditation becomes deep and stable and we can reliably bring about profound levels of healing and cultivate deep energetic integrity that transforms the quality of life and gives us access to ever deepening and beautiful states of being.
Step 1: The Endocrine System: Mediation upon the direct perception of the Lymphatic System and the Glands.
Step 2: The Nervous System: Meditation upon the direct perception of the Brain, Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System.
Step 3: Entering the Subtle Material Field of reality: Developing direct perception of the subtle material realm is a major milestone in real meditative development. Normally this is the point at which individuals tend to lean upon visualization and imagination to fill the gaps in their real perception. Genuine perception of the subtle field depends upon sufficiently developed and stable concentration.
Step 4: The Chakra System: Meditation in the chakras and developing awareness of the way consciousness is distributed through the chakra system and how different types of consciousness corresponds to the different chakras.
Step 5: The Sense Bases, Materiality Produced by Karma: Meditation on the base of the senses, learning to perceive directly this materiality produced by karma. these are the most subtle aspects of our energetic makeup where much of our past conditioning is stored as energy within the body. Learning to discern directly these subtle elements that are produced by karma allows us to begin to directly release layers of our Karmic conditioning and the suffering this produces.
Step 6: Developing confidence in discerning the gross and the subtle to skillfully identify where our blockages are: This aspect of the practice is one that will continue to mature throughout your meditation career as your concentration deepens. As this happens we gradually gain access to deeper and deeper layers of blocked and dysfunctional energy that might be conditioning us at mental and emotional levels. Thus these meditations serve both to deepen our capacity for self-healing and also mental purification within the context of our vipassana practice.
Meditation Retreat Dates:
TO BE SCHEDULED
Arrival time: 5pm on arrival date
Finish time: 10am on finish date
Duration: 7 days
Level 1: Available to those who have completed levels 1 & 2 retreats and online courses.
Price: £TBC shared room and board. Single available on request. Concessionary places available upon request.
Teachings are offered on donation.
This retreat is those who have completed both level 1 and level 2 retreats and their associated online courses.
Arrival time: 5pm for a 6.30pm start.
Departure time: 10am on the last day.
Below is a typical day on retreat. The meditation sessions on retreat generally build up to 30 – 40 minutes, followed by 20 minute breaks. There are exercise sessions at least twice a day, along with a 2 hour lunch break to enjoy walking in the countryside and fresh air or to have a nice afternoon rest.
Meditation sessions are guided by the teacher and assistants and are supported by regular discourses which help clarify and explain the process and practice of meditation, with plenty of opportunities to ask Burgs questions as needed. Instructions are regularly repeated throughout the day.
6.30am Morning Meditation
7.00am Morning Exercise (Chi Kung)
8.30am Morning session (instructions for the day and meditations)
11.30am Exercise session (chi kung / yoga)
2.30pm Afternoon session (clarifying discourses and meditations)
5.30pm Exercise session (chi kung / yoga)
7.30pm Evening Discourse and Meditation (generally of a motivational and inspirational nature)
The basis for the successful practice of meditation is sīla (moral conduct). It is extremely difficult to develop strong concentration (samadhi) and Insight (panna), while our mind is unrestrained and disorganised. When the Buddha taught meditation he suggested that those hoping to make real progress adhere to a simple code of conduct that supports their endeavours. While on retreat we will likewise follow these same guidelines.
It is our aim to offer retreats which enable the student to develop and deepen their practice in the most supported environment possible. As such, each student is asked to observe a few simple rules so that they may get the most out of their time on retreat.
Noble Silence is one of these rules.
– It is a key part of this experience and will be maintained for 6 full days of the retreat. The final afternoon on the last full day will be an opportunity to slowly start to come out of retreat mode.
– Although many people find the idea of remaining silent quite daunting at first, almost all find that it adds considerably to the whole experience of being on retreat.
– The main aim of this practice is to allow the internal mindfulness of the student to develop over the week allowing them to be undistracted during their retreat.
– There will of course be opportunities to ask questions and seek clarification from the teacher or any of his assistants at appropriate times.
Below are the various aspects of Noble Silence we ask you to follow:
– Handing in Mobile Phones. All participants are asked to hand in their mobile phones at the start of the retreat (after supper on arrival day). To be secluded from your daily life for a period of time allows you to fully engage with the teachings being shared.
– If there is a need to be contactable due to special circumstances such as family illness etc. then an emergency phone number can be provided. Please discuss this with the assistant upon arrival.
– No talking to or distracting of other students. Many people find it hard to take time away from busy lives to do retreat. If you feel you are struggling with the silence then you can always speak to one of the assistants who can help you with this.
– No reading or writing of diaries/journals is permitted during the 6 days of noble silence. You can make notes and write in your diaries once we have broken silence on day 6.
– No physical contact with anyone is permitted as this disturbs all parties involved.
– Eye contact should be avoided within reason. Seeking to distract people while on your retreat is something that we advise against as this disturbs both you and the other person(s) involved.
The basic tenets with which we follow to setup a conducive environment for you to learn meditation are as follows:
– To abstain from killing any living being – all meals will be vegetarian during the week.
– To abstain from taking what is not given – all basic requirements will be provided for during your stay such as food.
– To abstain from sexual activity – male and female students will have separate rooms for sleeping accommodation during the retreat.
– To abstain from untruthfulness – noble silence will be observed for 6 days of the retreat.
– To abstain from all intoxicants – no smoking, alcohol or other drug use will be permitted. Please inform us of any prescribed drugs you will be using whilst on retreat (during booking process).