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Silent Meditation Retreat in the UK

A silent meditation retreat creates the ideal conditions for revealing and experiencing the peace of the heart. This is an invitation and opportunity to connect with the joy and simplicity of being. Spending time in silence, watering seeds of love and wisdom is a precious gift for you and for all of existence. The Kalyan Yoga silent meditation retreats are inspired by the Hridaya Yoga format of retreats.

Meet the instructors

Sabina & Adam
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Highlights

  • Hatha yoga sessions
  • Introduction to meditation techniques
  • Inspiring lectures on a variety of topics
  • Regular meditation sessions throughout the day beginning in shorter segments
  • Q&A sessions + practical advice for going deeper in meditation
  • Vegan meals prepared by The Wild Fig
  • Time for personal practice
  • 4 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

5 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 15 participants
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
16:00
Check-out Time:
10:00

Facilities

  • Hot tub / Jacuzzi
  • Sauna
  • Dining area
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Smoke-free property
  • Terrace
  • Yoga shala
  • Free parking

You will stay in simple twin rooms with en-suite bathroom.

Program

Each meditation practice is shared free from dogma and on the basis of non-dual philosophy or ‘advaita vedanta’ in Sanskrit. Known as the pearl of Indian philosophy, advaita vedanta has influenced virtually all schools of Indian thought. At the core of this philosophy is the understanding that there is no separation between anyone or anything. There is a shared consciousness that lies beyond the realms of the mind and personality and this can be experienced directly through the practice of meditation.

Through consistent practice, (as well as other yogic practices), you can start to touch deeper and more subtle aspects of your being. Meditation is an experiential exploration of the fundamental questions of life – ‘Who am I?’, ‘What is this Existence?’.

These days dedicated to silence, are a profound journey of self reconnection. Each retreat is fully guided by the teachers. They present the yogic philosophy underlying each meditation and offer Q&A (by way of written questions), so you can gain the best possible understanding. They guide and supervise all meditation practices, creating safe and supportive conditions for you to go deeper into your practice.

Gentle Hatha yoga sessions are provided each day to balance and invigorate the energies of the body. Every aspect of the retreats are fully dedicated to creating the best conditions for the revelation of your true essence and the awakening of your hearts.

This four night retreat consists of three full days of silence and two shorter days (one to arrive and settle and one to integrate and depart). This format of retreat provides a great introduction to the practice of meditation for beginners and can also serve to enrich and refresh the practice of experienced meditators.

Mauna (noble silence)

The entire retreat (including breaks and meals) will be conducted in silence, or ‘mauna’ as it is termed in Sanskrit. Mauna means not only to refrain from speaking, but also from gesturing and any other kind of communication (urgent needs and pertinent questions can of course always be expressed in writing to the retreat leaders).

The observance of mauna is fundamental to creating the proper conditions to allow you to go deeper in your practice of meditation. Pausing social interaction allows the mental energies connected with communication to cease and be redirected to the practice of self exploration.

Training yourselves to not speak for a few days, (or even more), is a powerful way to purify the mind and develop a greater awareness of speech.

Tapas (self-discipline)

The term tapas originates from the Sanskrit root tap, which means ‘to give off heat’ and is often used to mean self-control or self-discipline. Tapas is a yogic practice of making a commitment to perform a practice or observance for a specified amount of time. The commitment to keep silence is a very powerful form of tapas and can be deeply transformative.

It is important to mention how challenging a silent meditation retreat can be. You may face some discomfort, physically, energetically, emotionally, or mentally.

Through the practice of self-discipline, an inner friction is created or resistance. Friction creates heat and heat creates an inner fire. It is this inner fire that purifies and transforms our body, speech and mind. This process can feel blissful but it can also feel uncomfortable.

  • ‘If a man gives way to all his desires, or panders to them, there will be no inner struggle in him, no ‘friction,’ no fire. But if, for the sake of attaining a definite aim, he struggles with the desires that hinder him, he will then create a fire which will gradually transform his inner struggle into a single whole.’ - Ouspensky

When there is so much friction, so much heat, the conditions are ripe for surrender. As you become more familiar with the art of letting go, through an act of surrender you are able to transcend the lower impulses of your being associated with separation from the whole and experience the peace of the heart.

Sacred teachings

Throughout the retreat they will share sacred poetry and spiritual literature of saints, sages, and mystics across the ages. You turn to these masters for the words that explore the greatest questions of this life and ignite the fires of your soul.

What you will learn

  • Techniques for calming your mind, relaxing your body, and opening your heart
  • Ramana Maharshi’s Self-Inquiry method (asking “Who am I?”)
  • Practices for centering in the spiritual heart and ways to infuse your daily life with its wisdom
  • The fundamental principles of non-duality (the teaching that everything is One)
  • Traditional, contemplative Hatha yoga

Itinerary

This four night retreat consists of three full days of silence and two shorter days (one to arrive and settle and one to integrate and depart).

Day 1

Please arrive between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Day 1 of the retreat. There will be a welcome and orientation meeting starting at 5:15 p.m. until dinner.

Day 2 and 3

You enter into mauna (noble silence) and will follow the full retreat schedule outlined below.

Day 4

You will follow the retreat schedule until dinner. After dinner there will be a short meditation and then you will conclude this period of silence. Participants will then be invited to share their retreat experience with the group.

Day 5

On the final morning there will be meditation between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., an early breakfast after meditation and then you will aim for a 10 a.m. check out.

Sample daily schedule

  • 07:00 - 08:00 Meditation (beginning in shorter segments)
  • 08:00 - 10:00 Hatha yoga
  • 10:00 - 10:30 Meditation
  • 10:30 - 11:30 Breakfast break
  • 11:30 - 12:45 Lecture
  • 12:45 - 13:30 Meditation
  • 13:30 - 16:30 Lunch break
  • 16:30 - 18:00 Meditation (beginning in shorter segments)
  • 18:00 - 18:30 Time for personal practice
  • 18:30 - 19:30 Dinner break
  • 19:30 - 20:00 Q&A
  • 20:00 - 20:30 Daily themed spiritual discourse
  • 20:30 - 21:00 Meditation

Guidelines

Even if you have previously attended a silent meditation retreat, please read these guidelines carefully. In order to create the right conditions that facilitate the access to deep inner states, mental peace, and aspiration, it is necessary that certain rules be followed for the duration of the retreat. The retreat atmosphere has been evaluated carefully as to how it can best support the attendees’ spiritual efforts. The guidelines are part of this support.

Kalyan Yoga would like to emphasise that the retreat guidelines must be followed for the benefit of all participants. Before joining the retreat, carefully consider whether you truly accept the parameters of the retreat and its rules.

Voluntary restraint

A meditation retreat is an extraordinary situation (although meditation is actually perfectly normal). A group of people must live together in very simple conditions, while relating to each other in a completely new way. Here, you relate through the common experience of meditation, with all its pains and joys, discoveries, and frustrations. During the retreat your lifestyle is built around a common purpose rather than the more self-centred purposes promoted by the world today. To accomplish this in harmony, you must agree on certain conventions. The most important are mindful silence, giving way to others, sticking to the schedule, and following instructions.

Mauna (noble silence)

Mauna is compulsory. The period of mauna will begin on Friday morning, with the consecration of the retreat, and will end after the last meditation on the last day of the retreat. Absolutely no talking by participants will be allowed.

Much energy and ego goes into your speech. This not only makes the world noisy, it makes your own mind noisy. If there is nobody to talk to you just chatter away to yourselves, in your own heads, without even realising. In meditation, this can be an annoying hindrance. So you keep silent by not speaking or passing notes to each other during the retreat, in order to quiet your mind and maintain a quiet, peaceful environment for everyone. This can be difficult at times, but most people find it a powerful and wonderful experience. Even training yourselves to walk, move, and do things quietly leads to a calm and graceful experience.

Electronics

Retreat participants are asked not to use any electronic equipment including cameras, phones, kindles, mp3 players, laptops, etc. for the duration of the retreat. Thus, there is to be no listening to the news or music, checking email, watching movies, etc.

No use of mobile phones is allowed during the retreat. It is recommended they are turned off for the duration of the retreat. Participants should make a firm commitment not to use the phone for conversations, text messages, or surfing the internet for the duration of the retreat.

Reading and writing

Kalyan Yoga also requests that you stop writing, except for notes taken during talks and impressions of meditative experiences that you may record in your retreat journal after meditation sessions. Letter writing and creative writing will take the mind away from your purpose here.

Journaling

It is recommended that participants record their meditative and daily experiences in a notebook. A retreat journal can help you not only to push through any challenging moments, but can serve to inspire you and provide a point of reference for your growth during the retreat period. A meditation notebook helps you to objectify your experiences and what you understand during meditation. It can bring inspiration to you even after the retreat. Reading it after the retreat is over can be a powerful support in daily life.

Fasting

Unless you are an experienced faster, in order to maintain a high level of vitality and energy for meditation fasting is not recommended for the entire duration of the retreat (although your own tapas of a weekly fasting day is okay).

An attitude of solitude

It is recommended that you aim to cultivate a state of experience resembling solitude by agreeing not to: look at others, touch, hug, kiss, say hello (even nonverbally), smile at each other, etc. At times, this can feel alienating and lonely for people who are very sociable and miss such simple human contact, but it will drastically help your experience of interiorisation. In addition, the opening of the soul will offer you the opportunity to communicate in a much subtler way, through the language of love. Your friends will still love you at the end of the retreat, maybe even more.

Detox

No alcohol or smoking is allowed during this retreat. There is no coffee or caffeinated drinks served either. This is a period of complete detox, both for the body and mind.

Schedule

Please agree to join all sessions and activities of the retreat. The schedule you follow is very moderate compared to some meditation retreats that start the day before dawn. It is important never to leave a meditation session other than for extreme circumstances.

Lateness

Everyone must be on time for all sessions as lateness is very disruptive and latecomers will not be allowed to join until the next session. Please plan accordingly.

If you find yourself late for a meditation session, please be considerate and wait without any undue noise, meditating outside the hall during the session and entering only during the next break.

Instructors

Sabina Macintyre

Adam Thomas

Location

Brimpts Farm lies literally at the heart of Dartmoor. It is surrounded by both farmland and wilderness, with ancient monuments and world-class archaeology on the doorstep.

Food

All meals are included in the price and prepared by The Wild Fig, Totnes. They will lovingly prepare simple, wholesome meals every day. All dishes will be vegan.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegan
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Regular meditation sessions throughout the day beginning in shorter segments
  • Hatha yoga sessions
  • Inspiring lectures on a variety of topics
  • Introduction to meditation techniques
  • Time for personal practice
  • Q&A sessions (with written questions)
  • Practical advice for going deeper in meditation
  • Vegan meals prepared by The Wild Fig
  • Use of hot tub and sauna on the last night
  • Group sharing on the final evening including cacao from Cacao Artesanos
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • All meals

What's not included

  • Additional activities
  • Additional meals
  • Travel expenses
  • Airport transfers
  • Personal expenses

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Exeter (40 minutes)

  • Take the A38 towards Plymouth
  • Take second Ashburton turn off onto the B3357 to Two Bridges/ Princetown
  • Follow the road for 7 miles, past Dartmeet, up the hill, they are the first drive on the right

Driving directions from Plymouth (40 minutes)

  • Take the A386 towards Tavistock
  • Take B3212 at Yelverton to Two Bridges (via Princetown)
  • At Two Bridges turn right onto the B3357 towards Dartmeet
  • Follow the road for 5 miles, turn left immediately after the Hexworthy turning

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
5 days / 4 nights
from --

Availability

Arrival: Monday November 21, 2022
Departure: Friday November 25, 2022

Special discount for the low income

To apply for the low income price, please enquire to apply. Spaces at this price are limited. Kalyan Yoga UK will let you know 90 days before the retreat begins if your application has been successful.

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