Living Dharma Retreat

Join us for a very special retreat...

Come and spend time planting seeds, connecting with nature and learn the basics of meditation

Living Dharma Retreat
Sandon Hall
Staffordshire
Mostly Shared Rooms
Camping Available

15th – 22nd May 2020

Deposit £100
Donation Retreat

Book A Place

Following on from last summer’s Dharma Camp, this May, we have a very special week planned for you. 

There will be a number of activities to participate in. Each day will bring something new to learn.

Below is an example schedule of events. We will publish more information and details as we get them.

  1. Learn the basics of meditation (guided audio instructions) each morning.
  2. Planting seeds in the newly restored walled garden
  3. Forest School activities for all
  4. Walking through a new re-wilding project recently initialised
  5. There will be time in the afternoons to connecting to nature and decompress from urban life.
  6. Discourses on virtue, right livelihood and how to live simply, living in harmony with nature.
  7. Learning to use technology intelligently, and how to ensure you live in an EMR free space as best as you can.

What to expect

We have a lot of interesting and different activities planned for this retreat. 

The key element in the morning will be learning the basics of meditation. 

The rest of the morning will be in the walled garden, being directed by the head gardener. 

After lunch there will be time to rest and enjoy the wider reaches of the Sandon Hall.

Later on there will be a themed talk on some aspect of living consciously and simply. Potential guest speakers will be invited. This will include a talk on learning how to manage your exposure to EMR (electromagnetic radiation) in a pragmatic and considered way.

The evening will contain audio discourses on some aspect of right livelihood and virtue. 

This retreat is open to all – Friends, Family and Children…

Arrival time: 5pm on arrival date
Finish time: 10am on finish date

Duration: 7 days

Donations are for food and accommodation costs. We will ask you to contribute something at the end of the retreat.

Deposits are non-refundable, but can be transferred to another event.

The house and nearby larger cottage has many shared indoor accommodation options.

Camping is also available for those who wish to be outside and is encouraged if you feel up to it.

Camper vans may be allowed. Please ask during booking.

There will be outdoor showering facilities for those camping. 

The extensive grounds are beautifully maintained and can be enjoyed throughout the retreat.

Who is it for?

Cost of Retreat

Timetable

House Rules

Noble Silence

This retreat is open to all who have been on one of Burgs’ retreats, their friends and family.

Similar to how we ran last Summer’s Dharma camp, we invite parents with children to attend. We do ask that children are supervised by at least one parent at all times.

If you have any questions about this, then please do email us.

This retreat is offered on donation.

A deposit of £100 is asked to confirm your place.

At the end of the week, we will ask for contributions to help cover venue costs and food costs.

Below is an example of a typical day.

The meditation sessions will start with 20min sits, and move into 30min or more as the week progresses.

6.15am Wakeup
6.45am Open sit – Morning Meditation (unguided)
7.30am Breakfast
8.30am Morning meditation (guided)
9.30am In the Garden
12.30pm Lunch and rest
2.30pm Afternoon activities
5.30pm Group gathering (chi kung / yoga)
6.30pm Evening meal
7.30pm Evening Discourse and open sit
8.30pm Bedtime

The basis for the successful practice of meditation is sīla (moral conduct). It is extremely difficult to develop strong concentration (Samadhi) andThe basis for the successful practice of meditation is sīla (virtuous / moral conduct). It is extremely difficult to develop Strong Concentration (samadhi) and Insight / Wisdom (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 would support this endeavour. 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.

The basic tenets with which we ask you to follow are:

– 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 drugs use will be permitted. Please inform us of any prescribed drugs you will be using whilst on retreat. Insight (panna), while our mind is unrestrained and disorganised. When the Budhha 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 the 3 full days of the retreat. The 2 half days will not be in silence. 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.
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 would advise against as this disturbs both you and the other person(s) involved.

The other rules 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 (see above).
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).

This is a key aspect of our meditation retreats.
We may engage with quiet mornings so as to get more in the zone with nature and meditation.
Below is a description of how noble silence works.

Noble Silence is the foundation on which your meditation practice and progress will be built upon.

– It is a key part of this experience and will be maintained for 6 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 benefit 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 be opportunities to ask questions and seek clarification from the teacher or any of his assistants at appropriate times. It is not considered to be breaking your silence to seek clarification on what you are being asked to do.

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 whole week allows you to fully engage with the teachings being shared in an undistracted way.

– If there is a need to be contactable due to special circumstances such as family illness, then please use the emergency phone number provided. Please discuss this with an assistant upon arrival.

No talking to or distracting of other students. Many people find it hard to take time away from their busy lives to attend 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. No note taking. No writing diaries or journals. 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.