Heart Essence, Loving Kindness and Dying Consciously

13th – 20th April 2019 [Retreat Full - Email us to join the waiting list]

Join us for this very special retreat set in the stunning mountains forests of the French Pyrenees.

Since the dawn of time man has sought answers to questions such as ‘What is life? ‘How do we fare well and get the best out of this life?’, ‘What is the nature of the mind?’, ‘What happens when we die?’

In this very special retreat, Burgs will share the Buddhist teachings on these topics of interest. Looking at what is mind and what is awareness. Learning how to cultivate the positive and wholesome states of mind that the Buddha suggests leads to a more fortunate life. And finally looking at the dying process and how we might support ourselves and others during this axiomatic moment that every single one of us will experience in this life.

It has been a few years since Burgs has shared these teachings so expect a very special retreat.

Retreat Dates: 13th – 20th April 2019 [Retreat Full – Email us to join the waiting list]

Duration: 7 days

Level: Applicants must have sat two 7day foundation retreats with Burgs, and should have a stable home practice (priority given to those who have attended our vipassana retreats).

Venue: Dhamma Vihara, French Pyrenees

Price: £450 shared room and board.
Limited Single rooms available on request. 
Teachings are offered on donation.
Please read our cancellation policy in the ‘pricing’ tab before booking.

Register now

Who's it for?


House Rules


This retreat is open to those who have a regular home meditation practice and have sat at least two 7 day retreat with Burgs before.

Priority will be given to those who have attended our vipassana retreat already.

If you are not sure whether you are ready for this retreat then please contact us and we can discuss.

The costs for retreat are broken into two parts:
1. Covering the costs for your food and board.
2. Donation to Burgs for the teachings he shares (this amount is given at your discretion).

Buckland Hall has a range of rooms which mostly all en suite. These include single rooms (limited availability), single rooms with shared bathroom (only with one person), twin share rooms and 4 person shared rooms.

Shared room price of £450
Single room sharing bathroom (with one other person) £650
Single room fixed price of £700

If you are applying for a concessionary rate please email us to discuss this before arrival.

A deposit of £100 is required to confirm your booking on this retreat. Without this we can not guarantee your place on retreat.

This is a non-refundable deposit, which may be transferred to another of our retreats depending on when you cancel (see cancellation policy below).

Please note that single rooms will be prioritised to those who are sick and working with an illness. Again please enquire during booking process.

Also note that all of the costs for food and accommodation go to the venue.

Donation for Teachings:

Since Burgs started to teach meditation in Asia, he has always offered teachings on dana (donation basis). You will be invited to make a donation to the teacher at the end of the retreat (anonymously if you so wish). This is a way of expressing our gratitude for the teachings that we have received, and a way to support both the teacher and the teachings so that they can carry on being offered to others. It is an important part of the retreat to take time to reflect on your experience whilst on retreat, and you are invited to make your own reflections on the value of what you have learned and so give accordingly.

* Suggested Donation for Accommodation ( shared accommodation only ):

It is our commitment to provide our meditation retreats on a donation basis. While there are obviously costs involved in providing these retreats, our hope is to be able to make them available to everyone who might wish to attend, regardless of their means. In order to do this our retreats run on the principle of “Dana” or donation / giving / generosity. Your place on retreat will have been paid for by those who have attended before. What you give in return when you leave will enable others to continue to come in the future. Buckland Hall is a fixed price retreat venue so if you can not pay the suggested amount for your shared accommodation or wish to attend on a concessionary rate please email us to discuss this before arrival.

Concessionary Rates:

We do try and support those who really are in financial difficulty and are unable to commit to the full suggested donation amount for shared accommodation. If you feel you qualify for this, then please email us about this during the booking process. Please note we would normally offer concessionary rates to attend retreats in the UK and not France.


A deposit of £100 is required to confirm your booking on this retreat. Without this we can not guarantee your place on retreat.

This is a non-refundable deposit.

You can if necessary transfer to another retreat up to six months after your initial selected retreat date.

Deposits are not transferable within 4 weeks of the start of retreat.

If you cancel within 4 weeks of the event, then there may be a further cancellation charge to cover costs.

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).

Getting to Dhamma Vihara

You will be given a flight to arrive on or a time to be picked up from the train station. If you choose not to be there at this time then please make your own way to the venue (taxis cost in excess of €300 each way).

A minibus will be arranged to pick you up at the designated times for a charge of €30 each way.

Dhamma Vihara is located about 90mins from Perpignan.

There are a number of options to get to Dhamma Vihara, by air or by train.

Flights are direct from London Stansted to Perpignan or Girona via Ryanair.

You can book a train to get to Perpignan from London via the EuroStar website. There is a change in Paris (from Gare du Nord to Paris Gare De Lyon) which takes about 9hrs in total.

Heart Essence of the Awakened Mind

Burgs will be giving the teachings on the “Heart Essence of the Awakened Mind” which he received from Dodrupchen Rinpoche upon finishing his time practicing in Burma under Pa Auk Sayadaw. This is the Mind transmission of what he considers to be the pinnacle of all the many teachings and approaches to meditation. Cutting through the elaboration of the conventional mind it points directly to the experience of awakening itself. These are very special teachings indeed and Burgs has not had the opportunity to offer them for over two years now.

Loving Kindness

This retreat will explore how to transform the capacity for calm abiding and sustained concentration into the most positive mental attitudes of love, kindness, gratitude and compassion. Through the combination of careful instruction, deep reflection and the gradual maturing of our own insight we learn how these states emerge naturally within us, and that their absence or our difficulty in experiencing them is only the result of the unwholesome patterns and conditioning that block us.

It looks at the importance of appreciation and gratitude and the true nature of compassion, virtue and loving kindness which overcomes the negative habit patterns of the mind. It points towards virtuous living as being the key to happiness and success and progress in meditation practice. 

Dying Consciously

The one thing we will all face in our lives is the death of a friend or loved one, and ultimately, the realisation that we ourselves will pass on from this life.

Over millennia religions have sought to help us face our own mortality. In the modern scientific Western culture it is clear that we have little real knowledge of the dying process and what actually happens during death, except as a physical process. This lack of clarity leads to the inability to really know how to support those who are sick, dying or have already passed on. Knowing how to support others can be axiomatic in realising how we can prepare for our own mortality.

The teachings explore the various aspects of the dying process and aims to find ways to approach our own mortality in a more positive and freer way, so we can be less fearful of this inevitable part of life.

Retreat Venue

Dhamma Vihara, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

04 Main buildingDhamma Vihara is a small but spacious hamlet situated on the  South facing slope of the Massif of Mount Canigou, in France, not far from the  Spanish border.

Surrounded by natural forest, Dhamma Vihara is a stone and wood group of ancient  buildings, carefully restored and renovated.

Inside the property one can find an ancient stone circle (Cromlech) and  adventurous trails between enormous boulders and ageless Oaks. The retreat centre is practically on the famous GR10, the Pyrenees track connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean (a two months walk!).