Whether you feel drawn to attend retreat or not, I encourage you to enter into the spirit of retreat, into a wholehearted commitment to eternal truth here and now. ~ Adyashanti
Before you register for this silent retreat, we invite you to take a moment to reflect on what moves you to attend. We also invite you to review the retreat format to consider the challenges and opportunities a retreat may offer and what conditions may support or hinder being able to fully participate in the retreat experience.
The structure and schedule for silent retreat has been developed by Adyashanti over many years of teaching to create an environment which allows everyone to experience the depth of silence. By participating in this atmosphere, cultivated by a shared intention with others, retreat helps promote awareness, reflection, and embodiment of the truth of who we are and all that is.
The schedule consists of six periods of meditation each day, one guided by Adya. Adya will meet with the group for one morning talk, and have one evening period where he will take questions from the group. Adya is not available for private meetings. There are meal breaks and shorter breaks for resting. Apart from the meeting times with Adya, participants sit with themselves in quietude, feeling the support of the larger group of retreatants, who share a like-minded intention.
The schedule can be both supportive and at times challenging. Some find that sitting in meditation, especially over several days, can be physically rigorous and taxing on the body. Although participants are encouraged to rest deeply into the silence provided by the schedule, you are not required to attend every session and may skip a session if needed. If you have a medical condition that may limit your ability to participate or you require special assistance, please consult with your medical provider and make any needed arrangements prior to arriving at the retreat.
Meditation can be a time for contemplation and self-inquiry but it can also be a powerful and stressful activity, which can evoke strong emotions or anxious feelings that may at times be too difficult to sit with on one’s own. At those times, Open Gate Sangha staff is available to meet briefly with you to provide some support and guidance for how to be with what may be arising. However, our staff members are not trained therapists, and retreat is not regarded as a substitute for therapy.
Given this consideration, if you have a pre-existing psychological condition, especially if you are new to the retreat format, we encourage you to consult with your mental health practitioner before participating to ensure that the retreat format, atmosphere, and length are right for you at this time.
For those who are new to meditation or for whom a longer retreat format may not be best, you might consider attending a shorter retreat program, such as a weekend, or attend a daylong program, such as an Intensive or Meditation Day to become more familiar with the teachings. The schedule for these events is less rigorous and does not require participants to maintain silence over many days.
Those who would like to explore the depth of retreat but who are unable to attend a live retreat are encouraged to participate in an Online Retreat offered by Adyashanti. Online Retreats offer broadcasted live talks by Adya, opportunities to ask him questions, as well as the chance to engage with others who are also attending the online retreat.
Some may prefer to create their own retreat experience in private using one of the MP3 download sets recorded on retreat that includes all the recorded sessions of a prior live retreat along with some suggestions for how to design a retreat at home.
Should you have further questions about the retreat format or experience, you may contact Open Gate Sangha for assistance.