A retreat literally means you retreat from the everyday life. You can do this in two ways, physically and mentally. For the physical retreat you go to a place where it is quiet and where the conditions are such that you can come to rest. The conditions in which this state can be reached are: 1. a good place, as a protection against the wind and the weather, 2. the right temperature, not too cold and not too warm, 3. the food, not too heavy and not too light 4. the presence of a spiritual friend as a support.
Usually we direct our attention outwards but during a retreat it is the opposite: we turn our attention inwards. If there is at first a lot of turmoil in our minds, it gradually becomes calmer. With patient discipline the concentration grows and the body and mind come into balance. This is the basis for further spiritual development.
We alternately sit and walk individually or in groups. There may also be standing and lying-down meditation. During a retreat we maintain noble silence and we seek no eye contact. We support each other in the practice by being present together in the silence.
What can you expect?
Ehipassiko organizes short and long retreats. So you can attend a day of meditation or join a retreat from a few days to a few weeks in Belgium or abroad. All upcoming retreats and meditation days can be found in the calendar.
Here you can listen to the Dhammatalks from Upul Gamage and Paul Van hooydonck during the International retreat in Nilambe, Sri Lanka in March 2018.
Sri Lanka retreat 2016
More pictures click here
Impressions of other Sri Lanka retreats
Retreat Cadzand Winter 2014
Retreat Cadzand Summer 2013