What is a retreat?

Meditation in retreat

The significance of retreats: “In order to get the best possible benefit from our increasingly precious time, it is very useful to spend time in an existing enlightened power field. Although the truth state is the same everywhere, the power fields of the joy state condense most strongly where the blessings for them have been specifically placed. The desired increase in mental surplus will be more effective in such places. The prerequisite for the full advantage of such a retreat is the protection of Buddhist refuge and the decision to follow the Diamond Way path of the Karma Kagyu lineage.” Lama Ole Nydahl

What is the difference between a retreat and daily meditation?

One learns to know ones mind through meditation. In this process we loosen the hold of inner habits and outer expectations. A retreat of several days or weeks tremendously amplifies this effect by creating more distance to everyday life. Without the distraction of daily life minds calmness and insight can be more deeply and fluidly experienced. The Diamond Way view allows us to connect the experiences of a retreat with those of daily life.

Please note: The requirements for doing a retreat here are that one has taken Buddhist refuge from one of our teachers and has taken part in at least one introductory course.

What are the different types of retreats?

Each practitioner decides for him- or herself on the length and content of a retreat. For beginners open retreats are meaningful: It this case, one does four sessions per day; the length of the sessions is variable. In the remaining time one helps out a bit in the center and has a natural exchange with the Sangha. During closed retreats one does not talk to others and eats meals alone. This type of retreat is only useful when one already has a few years of experience with Diamond Way meditation.

The Tibetan word for retreat “Tsam” means “separation”. Not leaving the retreat site during the time of retirement is a protection for the meditation practice. Since we view our center primarily as a retreat center, we suggest you follow this advice. If you would like to vacation in the area you are welcome to stay in a bed and breakfast and take part in our evening meditations.