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Retreat Information

*Vajrasana is closed until at least April 20th*

 

Dear friends,
 

Following Government advice we have decided to close the London Buddhist Centre and Varjrasana retreat centre to the public, with immediate effect, until at least 20th April. We will update you as more advice is given. If you are currently booked on a retreat which falls during this initial closure period, we will be contacting you by email to discuss the options available to you.

We are committed to continuing to share our teachings and practices with you. Sign up here to stay informed about some new online offerings that we’re developing - including day and weekend retreats. This will be the best way to stay in touch with us, and with your inspiration, as we all navigate this challenging time.

The Buddha taught that we are deeply interconnected in seen and unseen ways. This virus has affected us all and we as a community continue to send our well-wishing and care to all those throughout the world who have been severely affected by it.
 
With metta,
From all at the London Buddhist Centre

 

 ***

 

What is a Buddhist retreat?

A Buddhist retreat is a chance to get away from the noise and complexity of modern life, to live communally and to deepen your experience of yourself and of the world around you. 

What happens on a Buddhist retreat?

We will have periods of meditation, talks on aspects of Buddhism and Buddhist rituals. We will also form small discussion groups in which everyone can share their experience of the retreat. There may be some periods of silence.

Here is a typical programme for a retreat day:

6.30am Rise
7am Meditation
8.45am Breakfast (followed by free time)
10.30am Meditation or a workshop
1pm Lunch (followed by free time)
4.30pm Meditation
6pm Dinner
7.30pm Talks and/or meditation and a ritual, followed by silence until mid morning

Do you need to be a Buddhist?

You don’t need to consider yourself a Buddhist to participate.

Living Communally

Living communally is an important and enjoyable element of the retreat. We eat together as a community and accommodation is in shared single-sex rooms. We require couples to stay in separate rooms from one another. The team leading the retreat are volunteers who are on retreat as well. In order to enable us all to live together comfortably and to keep the retreat running smoothly, we ask everyone to help out with some simple chores. Our retreats are known for being friendly and harmonious; we ask retreatants to cooperate with one another and to refrain from harsh speech or anti-social behaviour. It is also important that retreatants commit to attending the full period of the retreat to maintain the integrity of the community and atmosphere.

Camping

If you'd rather camp (between May and September), we can sometimes offer a few extra spaces for this at the regular retreat price. You would need to commit to camping as we likely won't have a room to move you into should the weather turn.

Diet

The food on the retreat will be vegan. Please don't bring any meat, fish, egg or dairy with you. If you have a restricted diet then we must be notified as soon as possible and at least one week before the retreat starts - please email bookings@lbc.org.uk. 

Are our retreats suitable for you?

It is important that you let us know if you have any disabilities, serious health problems, or any clinical mental health problems – particularly if you are on medication. Please email bookings@lbc.org.uk before booking and through an early discussion we can identify your needs and do our best to meet them. Vajrasana is fully accessible for those with reduced mobility, including accessible bathrooms. However, we need to prioritise these rooms well in advance. Please get in touch with us as soon as possible so that we can do our best to accommodate you. Likewise, please get in touch if you or anyone you are booking for is under 18 years of age.

What's included in the cost? 

The cost of the retreat includes all food, accommodation and bedding. Meditation mats, cushions and blankets are provided (you can also meditate on a chair) and there are some yoga mats and blocks available to borrow. Transport is not included, but you can pay an extra £50 for a seat on our coach from London (occasional retreats excepted) or make your own way there. See below for more information. 

What to bring

Make sure to bring toiletries (including shampoo/shower gel) and a towel, indoor shoes (you may also want to bring walking boots), warm comfortable clothes, a raincoat and a pen and paper. There is a well-stocked bookshop so you may also want to bring some cash. 

What not to bring

During the retreat we ask you to turn off all mobile phones and not contact anyone outside the retreat. Please also do not bring laptops, tablets, e-readers, smart watches and similar devices. Please do not bring alcohol or recreational drugs onto the retreat. Smoking is allowed only in designated places. Please don't bring any pets on retreat with you.

Emergencies

In case of emergencies, family and friends can contact you by calling Vajrasana on 01359 259 067.

Location & travel (Vajrasana)

Vajrasana is at Potash Farm, Walsham le Willows, Suffolk, IP31 3AR (on Google maps here). 

For most of our retreats, when you book you can also book a return journey on a coach from the London Buddhist Centre (LBC) to Vajrasana. For coaches to weekend retreats, you'll need to be at the LBC at 4.45pm on the Friday for a prompt 5pm departure. The coach will leave Vajrasana again on the Sunday at 3pm, arriving back in London at about 5pm (traffic permitting). These timings will be different for longer retreats - please consult the retreat page for more information. 

If you're making your own way to Vajrasana you can find comprehensive travel advice here

The Deep Ecology Retreat and Winter Retreat take place in different locations - see event page for details.