A meditative retreat is a personal adventure. It’s a small investment of time that has the potential to affect the rest of your life. It is a space to silence the noise and distractions and come face to face with yourself, creating the opportunity to start a new direction.
A meditation retreat is the ‘best time’. There is nothing that is required from you. When life runs at a fast pace, with incremental levels of stress, there are few opportunities to pause and allowing the mind and the body to fully recover. Going to a retreat allows you to exit from the daily routine, and offers the precious time that you need both at mental and physical level.
Silence can be a challenge for some people at first, because it is a new and unfamiliar experience. Staying in silence can be confused. This is especially true when the primary association with silence is uncomfortable. However, our experience tells us that most people appreciate the silence of the retreat. Even those who were intimidated by him at first, often find that peace in the silence that become reluctant to end the retreat. As particants become aware of their wealth, they embrace the silence instead of fearing it.
Silence allows a heightened sense of intimacy with the world.
In sustained silence our senses become more acute, and both the inner world and the outside may seem to us more clearly. For example, we begin to notice the birds singing or we can tune into our thoughts and emotions more calmly.
The main objective of this silent retreat is to support our meditation practice. Silence helps keep our focus on growing mindfulness and concentration. The continuity of mindfulness is much easier when you do not speak. The complex interplay of emotions and attitudes involved in most social interactions tend to keep a very active and fragmented mind, not allowing deep concentration.
This retreat is also a great time to find out what Buddhism calls the “noble silence”, a beautiful state of mind that emerges when discursive thought slows. The discursive thought refers to the internal dialogue in our own minds. As discursive thought subsides the mind becomes more peaceful. As the excitement diminishes, the desire and aversion also decrease. When this calm interior is accompanied by confidence, purity and equanimity, then it is said that the mind experiences the fullness of the “noble silence”.
This retreat is conducted in group and practitioners will spend much time in silence in the company of others. As the collective silence develops practitioners often find that being with the other in silence allows a rich sense of connection, which can be even more rewarding than if they were involved in a conversation. Instead of knowing the other through the stories of who they are, what they do, and have done, silence highlights our shared humanity and an empathic and compassionate relationship. A wonderful lesson of a retreat is as peaceful ways of being with others may allow a deep sense of connection.
This retreat prepares you to face the ups and downs of your existence. Reduce your stress, fear and concern. Restlessness recedes and passion moderates itself. Things begin to fall into place and your life becomes a flow instead of a fight. All this happens through understanding. Meditation sharpens your concentration and your power to think. Your intuition clears up. The precision of your thinking process increases, and gradually comes to a direct knowledge of things as they really are, without prejudice and without illusion. So, are these enough reasons to worry? Hardly. These are just promises on paper. There is only one way to find out if meditation is worth the effort: Learn to practice it correctly and do it on a regular basis
By discovering the great value of silence practitioners can explore their uses in everyday life. Learn to be comfortable with silence expands what is possible in our relationships with others and with ourselves. In particular, it can be a great support to help us find greater (spiritual) freedom wherever we are. And with freedom we can experience stillness and peace, even within the frenzy.
Try it for yourself !
ABOUT THE VENUE
About 50 kms from Oporto airport Nestled in the beautiful North of Portugal, this center is the perfect site for retreats. It offers fresh air, mountain vistas, gorgeous wooded acreage, personalized service and the best facilities around. Located just 40 minutes from Oporto Airport, with great accesses, you will feel a million miles away from the city, but we're close enough for an easy getaway. The meditation gardens offers sanctuary to reflect and recharge in natural beauty with sounds of water all around.
Accomodations - Good bedrooms with its own newly remodeled private bathroom with toilet, sink and shower. Sheets, blankets, towels and soap are provided. Rooms have adjustable heaters and wireless internet. The food is great and ajustable to specific needs.
What time should I plan to arrive? When do we finish?
We will begin checking people into the retreat at 9am on the first day of the retreat. However, it may be possible for you to arrive before 1pm and have access to your room. We ask that you plan on arriving no later than 9.30am so that we can begin with the full group in attendance at 10am. We plan to end the retreat by 2:00 pm on the last day so please plan your travel accordingly, using the time guidelines above. Sometimes situations arise in which people have to leave the retreat earlier than noon on the last day but we strongly urge you to avoid this if at all possible.
Is there wireless service/cellular phone use?
Please do not expect to get consistent, reliable wireless internet service while at the retreat center. It is most advisable to leave your computer at home because of the retreat nature of the training, however we recognize that sometimes computer use is a necessity. Most cellular phones will work in this location. Again, however given the nature of the training there will be limited opportunities to use them, so informing those who may need to contact you of these limitations ahead of time will be helpful.
Is it possible to stay extra nights at the facility or arrive a day or two early?
The retreat center is often booked both right before and right after our training, so arriving early or staying an extra night or two after the retreat is over is not likely to be a possibility. You can of course arrange to stay at lodging near the retreat center if you would like to extend your stay. Contact us directly at email to make such arrangements.
What do I need to bring?
If it is at all possible, please bring a meditation cushion (zafu) and a yoga mat. We will have a few cushions but not enough to go around, so if you have one and can squeeze it into your luggage or bring it as a carry-on please consider doing so. It is always advisable to check the weather forecast prior to traveling, to help guide you in proper clothing choices.
The relatively remote location makes security a minor concern, but we do want people to know that with shared sleeping quarters and very limited availability of keys to lock rooms, we highly recommend leaving valuable items at home to reduce the possibility of anything being lost or stolen. Certainly some of us will have vehicles where such items can be secured if this is necessary.
What should I expect regarding the format of the training?
This training is taught in a retreat format, which means there is a great deal of mindfulness practice embedded in the training. The venue very much facilitates this format; we will will meet, eat and be housed in a relatively secluded area. There are no other large groups planned in the center that week so it should be relatively quiet and secluded. The rooms are clean and comfortable, but not by any means luxurious.
Karunavira is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable instructor that you can find internationally and exceptionally skilled at creating a safe learning environment, supportive and deeply engaging, allowing participants to seek, explore and inquire.
|€50 “Early-Bird” Discount if you book on
or before July 30th
|On or Before July 30th||After July 30th|
Room and Board and Local Fees Single or Double Occupancy
Orientado Vítor Bertocchini, PhD.
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