Heart Essence of the Awakened Mind

No Date Scheduled

A special retreat set in the stunning mountains forests of the French Pyrenees.

This will be a 7 day retreat open to everyone who has sat two 7day retreats with us already, and has a regular home practice. 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.

Places will be prioritised for those who have already sat Vipassana retreat with us before, but if you feel drawn to this retreat and have a stable and regular practice you are welcome to apply.

The Mirror That Reflects Perfectly
  1. 1. The Mirror That Reflects Perfectly
  2. 2. The Fast Track to Happiness

Meditation Retreat Date: No Date Scheduled

Arrival time: 5pm on arrival date (or whenever direct flight arrives)

Finish time: 10am on finish date (or whenever direct flight departs)

Duration: 7 days 

Level: Applicants must have sat two 7day retreats with Burgs before and have a stable home practice (priority given to those who have attended one of our vipassana retreats). Please email us for more details.

Venue: Dhamma Vihara, French Pyrenees

Price: £300 – £350 shared room and board.
Teachings are offered on donation. 

Register now

Getting to Dhamma Vihara

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. Be aware that these flights do not fly daily.

Alternatively 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.

From Perpignan train station there is a bus that takes you to Arles-sur-Tech which is close to Dhamma Vihara.

We can arrange pick-ups via minibus for a small cost or you can share taxi fares with other students.

Please email us for more details.

Exmaple Daily Timetable

Who is it for?

House Rules


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.

6.00am Wakeup
6.30am Morning Meditation
7.00am Morning Exercise (Chi Kung)
7.30am Breakfast
8.30am Morning session (instructions for the day and meditations)
11.30am Exercise session (chi kung / yoga)
12.30pm Lunch
2.30pm Afternoon session (clarifying discourses and meditations)
5.30pm Exercise session (chi kung / yoga)
6.30pm Soup
7.30pm Evening Discourse and Meditation (generally of a motivational and inspirational nature)
8.30pm Bedtime

The Heart Essence retreat is open to anyone who has keeps a regular meditation practice and has sat at least one 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 individually for enquiries.

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).

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).

The venue has a range of rooms which mostly all en suite. These include single rooms (limited availability), twin share rooms and 3 or 4 person shared rooms.

Hermitage fixed price £650
Single room en suite fixed price £600
Single room shared bathroom fixed price £550
Shared room en suite fixed price £350
Dorm shared bathroom £300
Camping £250 (bring your own equipment – please enquire during booking process to see if this is possible)

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, but can be transferred to another of our retreats within six months of your initial selected retreat date.

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.

Travel Cost:

Please note that there is a (approx £35) transfer fee to cover costs. The charge will cover both pick-up and drop-off journey.

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.

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 ask concessionary rates to attend retreats in the UK and not France.


You can cancel anytime up to 2 weeks before the retreat starts, If you decide to cancel less than 2 weeks before the retreat you may incur a cancellation fee, but this will be dependant on whether we are able to fill your place on retreat and is left to our discretion.

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!).