Winter Retreat 2022-23
General explanation of retreat schedule
The retreat schedule includes class & guided meditation sessions as well as individual practice sessions (ghatikas). The ghatikasare based on the 24-minute long sessions, which, as Kamalashila advised, is not too long or too short for most people. The 24-minute sessions are followed by a 6-minute break, which allows people to stay fresh through a full day of practice.
At the beginning of the retreat, will be divided the 24 minute gatikas, into very short sessions of 5 minutes of meditation, with 1 minute rest, to learn the importance of quality vs. quantity. As we progress on the retreat, sessions will be longer and breaks shorter. Hopefully at the end of the retreat participants will be able to do one hour sessions with a very short stretching break in the middle.
With the progression of the practice
As Alma Ayon explains: “I feel it is important that people not only learn a full range of shamatha practices but also develop confidence in making the practices their own so they can easily take what they learn into solitary retreat if they wish”. To encourage this as the retreat progresses there will be more and more practice time. There are planned 2 days of self practice at the end of the first two weeks of the retreat, 4 days of self practice after one month and near the end of the retreat I like to have a full week of people doing their own self-guided practice. During the self practice days there are 3 silent group sessions in the gompa, which we ask the participants to attend. (in the morning, afternoon and in the evening.) also during the self practice days there will be a one hour group session in the evening for Q&A about the practice.
Daily schedule of the retreat
6:00 -7:30 3 Ghatikas (In meditation hall, walking, or room)
8:30 -9:30 Class & Guided Meditation
10:00 –11:30 3 Ghatikas
11:30 – 13:00 Lunch
13:00 – 14:24 Class & Guided Meditation
14:30 – 16:54 5 Ghatikas, optional yoga
*16:00-17:00 Three private 15 minute interviews with the Teacher
18:30-20:00 Guided Meditation & Discussion with written questions