Accommodation is usually shared, in single sex rooms or dormitories, depending on the venue. Single rooms may be available for those who need them for health reasons only. Retreatants are asked to participate fully in the daily schedule of sitting and walking meditation. We cannot accept people on retreat who are under 18 years of age. Meditation instruction is given in group sittings, and on a one-to-one basis during longer retreats. Time may also be allocated to question and answer sessions or Dhamma discussion.
Noble Silence Retreatants are asked to maintain ‘noble silence’. Retreats are a rare and precious opportunity to deepen our practice, and respect for others’ silence is, therefore, very important.
On arrival a light supper will be available
Opening meditation, then as directed by the retreat leader
Noble Silence begins
The Eight Precepts During the course of the retreat, participants are asked to abide by the eight Precepts, these are considered training principles and not vows. Whilst the Eight Precepts are usually taken in a traditional formulation, we have adapted them slightly to fit today’s life-style as follows:
Harmlessness: not intentionally taking the life of any living creature.
Trustworthiness: not taking anything that is not freely given.
Chastity: refraining from any kind of sexual activity.
Right Speech: avoiding false, abusive or malicious speech, and maintaining Noble Silence
Sobriety: not taking any intoxicating drinks or drugs: smoking is also not allowed on retreat premises.
Abstention: not to take solid food after midday. If, for health reasons, you need to eat something a light supper will be provided.
Renunciation: use of cosmetics, perfume, jewellery or immodest clothing; and distractions such as reading novels, using mobile or smart phones, use of iPads, etc.
Refrain from luxuriating in bed and over indulging in sleep.
Essentials to bring with you
(Bedding is usually provided, unless otherwise stated)
Towels and non-perfumed toiletries†
Waterproof outdoor clothing and footwear
Slippers or indoor shoes
Comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. Please dress modestly, no low-cut, short or tight fitting clothing
Small torch, hot water bottle and ear plugs may be useful
† In consideration of others with allergies, please do not use perfumed toiletries
Registration and booking Applicants are required to complete a registration form prior to the retreat.
Please let the retreat manager know at registration if you think you might need to contact someone as a matter of necessity during the retreat, or are experiencing difficulties which may affect your ability to fully participate in the retreat. We also require a contact person in the event that you need to leave the retreat earlier on health grounds.
In the event of an emergency occurring whilst on you are on retreat, please provide a relative or close friend with the retreat manager’s phone number in advance. We will be happy to take a message and pass it on to you in cases of emergency only.
Cost of retreat Because of the expense of venue hire, it is necessary for us to make a charge for residential retreats to cover food, accommodation, travel expenses and dāna for visiting teachers. However we believe no one should feel unable to attend a retreat because of financial difficulties, and aim to offer subsidised places when possible. Retreatants who can afford it are, therefore, invited to make additional contributions in order to enable us to offer subsidised places to those unable to afford the full cost of a retreat.
Retreat Confirmation On receipt of a booking form we will request a non-refundable deposit (to cover the deposit the group is obliged to pay to secure the venue). If you pay by Bank Transfer or PayPal, we would be grateful if you could email the Treasurer to inform them that your payment has been made. Confirmation of your place on retreat will be given on receipt of your deposit. Full payment will be required one month before the retreat begins.
If the retreat is full we will offer you a place on the waiting list and only request payment when a place becomes available.
Cancellation Please let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend in order that your place can be offered to someone on the waiting list. Alokabodhi cannot guarantee to give you a refund if cancellation is made after the full amount of the retreat costs have been paid to the venue if there is no one to take your place.