Silent Meditation Retreat
A silent meditation retreat creates the ideal conditions for revealing and experiencing the peace of the Heart. This is an invitation and opportunity to connect with the joy and simplicity of Being.
Dates & Prices:
21 – 25 November, 2022*
24 – 28 April, 2023*
You can book a space in a shared twin room on our website. If you are staying in a shared twin room, you will be sharing with another retreat participant of the same gender. If you wish to enquire about private room availability, please contact us via email.
Spending time in silence, watering seeds of love and wisdom, is a precious gift for you and for all of existence.
‘Your own Self-realisation is the greatest service you can render the world.’
The Kalyan Yoga silent meditation retreats are inspired by the Hridaya Yoga format of retreats.
Each meditation practice is shared free from dogma and on the basis of non-dual philosophy or ‘advaita vedanta’ in Sanskrit. Known as the pearl of Indian philosophy, advaita vedanta has influenced virtually all schools of Indian thought. At the core of this philosophy is the understanding that there is no separation between anyone or anything. There is a shared consciousness that lies beyond the realms of the mind and personality and this can be experienced directly through the practice of meditation.
Through consistent practice, (as well as other yogic practices), we can start to touch deeper and more subtle aspects of our being. Meditation is an experiential exploration of the fundamental questions of life – ‘Who am I?’, ‘What is this Existence?’.
These days dedicated to silence, are a profound journey of self reconnection.
Each retreat is fully guided by our teachers. We present the yogic philosophy underlying each meditation and offer Q&A (by way of written questions), so you can gain the best possible understanding.
We guide and supervise all meditation practices, creating safe and supportive conditions for you to go deeper into your practice.
Gentle hatha yoga sessions are provided each day to balance and invigorate the energies of the body.
Every aspect of our retreats are fully dedicated to creating the best conditions for the revelation of our true essence and the awakening of our hearts.
The four night retreat consists of three full days of silence and two shorter days (one to arrive and settle and one to integrate and depart). Whereas, the seven night retreat consists of six full days of silence.
This format of retreat provides a great introduction to the practice of meditation for beginners and can also serve to enrich and refresh the practice of experienced meditators.
We follow strict guidelines in order to create a silent, sacred container together, supporting each other throughout the retreat. Please review the guidelines below before registration.
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Mauna (Noble Silence)
The entire retreat, (including breaks and meals), will be conducted in silence, or ‘mauna’ as it is termed in Sanskrit.
Mauna means not only to refrain from speaking, but also from gesturing and any other kind of communication. (Urgent needs and pertinent questions can of course always be expressed in writing to the retreat leaders).
The observance of mauna is fundamental to creating the proper conditions to allow us to go deeper in our practice of meditation. Pausing social interaction allows the mental energies connected with communication to cease and be redirected to the practice of self exploration.
Training ourselves to not speak for a few days, (or even more), is a powerful way to purify the mind and develop a greater awareness of speech.
The term tapas originates from the Sanskrit root tap, which means ‘to give off heat’ and is often used to mean self-control or self-discipline.
Tapas is a yogic practice of making a commitment to perform a practice or observance for a specified amount of time. The commitment to keep silence is a very powerful form of tapas and can be deeply transformative.
It is important to mention how challenging a silent meditation retreat can be. You may face some discomfort, physically, energetically, emotionally or mentally.
Through the practice of self-discipline, an inner friction is created or resistance. Friction creates heat and heat creates an inner fire. It is this inner fire that purifies and transforms our body, speech and mind. This process can feel blissful but it can also feel uncomfortable.
‘If a man gives way to all his desires, or panders to them, there will be no inner struggle in him, no ‘friction,’ no fire. But if, for the sake of attaining a definite aim, he struggles with the desires that hinder him, he will then create a fire which will gradually transform his inner struggle into a single whole.’ ~ Ouspensky
When there is so much friction, so much heat, the conditions are ripe for surrender.
As we become more familiar with the art of letting go, through an act of surrender we are able to transcend the lower impulses of our being associated with separation from the whole and experience the peace of the Heart.
Throughout the retreat we will share sacred poetry and spiritual literature of saints, sages and mystics across the ages. We turn to these masters for the words that explore the greatest questions of this life and ignite the fires of our soul.
Well-being and Silent Retreats
Meditation retreats can be very nourishing; however, as they require sustained meditation practice, they also need some stability of psychological health. If you have recently (within the past year or so) experienced significant trauma or psychiatric illness, or if you are currently experiencing acute emotional distress such as serious depression or anxiety, it may not be the best time for you to participate in a retreat. The teachers might not be able to give you the kind of individual psychological care you need at this time. A setting with more opportunities for interpersonal engagement may be more appropriate.
- If you are currently under the care of a mental health professional, please discuss your attendance with them. You should be in a relatively stable period of mental well-being and have adequate psychological resilience.
- If you have any questions about this, please contact us.
The Retreat Includes
- Regular meditation sessions throughout the day beginning in shorter segments
- Hatha Yoga sessions
- Inspiring lectures on a variety of topics
- Introduction to meditation techniques
- Time for personal practice
- Q&A sessions (with written questions)
- Practical advice for going deeper in meditation
- Vegan meals prepared by The Wild Fig
- Use of hot tub on the last night
- Group sharing on the final evening
- Techniques for calming your mind, relaxing your body, and opening your heart
- Ramana Maharshi’s Self-Inquiry method (asking “Who am I?”)
- Practices for centering in the Spiritual Heart and ways to infuse your daily life with its wisdom
- The fundamental principles of non-duality (the teaching that everything is One)
- Traditional, contemplative Hatha Yoga
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Silent Meditation Retreat Guidelines
Even if you have previously attended a silent meditation retreat, please read these guidelines carefully.
In order to create the right conditions that facilitate our access to deep inner states, mental peace, and aspiration, it is necessary that certain rules be followed for the duration of the retreat. The retreat atmosphere has been evaluated carefully as to how it can best support the attendees’ spiritual efforts. The guidelines are part of this support.
We would like to emphasise that the retreat guidelines must be followed for the
benefit of all participants. Before joining the retreat, carefully consider whether you
truly accept the parameters of the retreat and its rules.
A meditation retreat is an extraordinary situation (although meditation is actually perfectly normal). A group of people must live together in very simple conditions, while relating to each other in a completely new way. Here, we relate through the common experience of meditation, with all its pains and joys, discoveries and frustrations. During the retreat our lifestyle is built around a common purpose rather than the more self-centred purposes promoted by the world today. To accomplish this in harmony, we must agree on certain conventions. The most important are mindful silence, giving way to others, sticking to the schedule, and following instructions.
Mauna (Noble Silence)
Mauna is compulsory. The period of mauna will begin on Friday morning, with the consecration of the retreat, and will end after the last meditation on the last day of the retreat. Absolutely no talking by participants will be allowed.
Much energy and ego goes into our speech. This not only makes the world noisy, it makes our own mind noisy. If there is nobody to talk to we just chatter away to ourselves, in our own heads, without even realising. In meditation, this can be an annoying hindrance. So we keep silent by not speaking or passing notes to each other during the retreat, in order to quiet our mind and maintain a quiet, peaceful environment for everyone. This can be difficult at times, but most people find it a powerful and wonderful experience. Even training ourselves to walk, move, and do things quietly leads to a calm and graceful experience.
Retreat participants are asked not to use any electronic equipment including cameras, phones, kindles, mp3 players, laptops, etc. for the duration of the retreat. Thus, there is to be no listening to the news or music, checking email, watching movies, etc.
No use of mobile phones is allowed during the retreat. It is recommended they are turned off for the duration of the retreat. Participants should make a firm commitment not to use the phone for conversations, text messages, or surfing the internet for the duration of the retreat.
Reading and Writing
Reading is not allowed, not even of books of a spiritual nature. You will get plenty of information while you are in the retreat. We also request that you stop letter writing and creative writing, as this will take the mind away from our purpose here.
It is recommended that participants record their meditative and daily experiences in a notebook. A retreat journal can help you not only to push through any challenging moments, but can serve to inspire you and provide a point of reference for your growth during the retreat period. A meditation notebook helps us to objectify our experiences and what we understand during meditation. It can bring inspiration to us even after the retreat. Reading it after the retreat is over can be a powerful support in daily life.
Unless you are an experienced faster, in order to maintain a high level of vitality and energy for meditation fasting is not recommended for the entire duration of the retreat (although your own tapas of a weekly fasting day is okay).
An Attitude of Solitude
It is recommended that you aim to cultivate a state of experience resembling solitude by agreeing not to: look at others, touch, hug, kiss, say hello (even nonverbally), smile at each other, etc. At times, this can feel alienating and lonely for people who are very sociable and miss such simple human contact, but it will drastically help your experience of interiorisation. In addition, the opening of the soul will offer you the opportunity to communicate in a much subtler way, through the language of Love. Your friends will still love you at the end of the retreat, maybe even more…
No alcohol or smoking is allowed during this retreat. There is no coffee or caffeinated drinks served either. This is a period of complete detox, both for the body and mind.
Please agree to join all sessions and activities of the retreat .The schedule we follow is very moderate compared to some meditation retreats that start the day before dawn. It is important never to leave a meditation session other than for extreme circumstances.
Everyone must be on time for all sessions as lateness is very disruptive and latecomers will not be allowed to join until the next session. Please plan accordingly.
If you find yourself late for a meditation session, please be considerate and wait without any undue noise, meditating outside the hall during the session and entering only during the next break.
This retreat experience aims to create an atmosphere resembling solitude as much as possible thus no verbal communication is allowed at any times, including with the retreat staff.
However, you may ask questions related directly to the practice and your experiences at any time by sending written questions to the teacher. The answers will be given during the evening Q&A session – or in a note if personal.
If you happen to have any logistical or practical questions, you can address these to the teacher or coordinator. Even if they are regarding food, for the kitchen staff or another retreat participant, they should be first given to the retreat coordinator to distribute further.
Arrival Day – Please arrive between 4pm and 5pm on Day 1 of the retreat. There will be a welcome and orientation meeting starting at 5:15pm until dinner. After dinner the retreat begins and we enter into mauna, noble silence.
Day 2 onwards – We keep mauna, noble silence and follow the full retreat schedule outlined below.
Penultimate Day – We will follow the retreat schedule until dinner. After dinner there will be a short meditation and then we will conclude this period of silence. Participants will then be invited to share their retreat experience with the group.
Departure Day – On the final morning there will be meditation between 7am and 8am, an early breakfast after meditation and then we will aim for a 10am check out.
|7:00-8:00am||Meditation (beginning in shorter segments)|
|4:30-6:00pm||Meditation (beginning in shorter segments)|
|6:00-6:30pm||Time for personal practice|
|8:00-8:30pm||Daily themed spiritual discourse|
How to get there
Brimpts Farm lies literally at the heart of Dartmoor. It is surrounded by both farmland and wilderness…
From Exeter (40 minutes) take the A38 towards Plymouth: Take 2nd Ashburton turn off onto the B3357 to Two Bridges/ Princetown. Follow the road for 7 miles, past Dartmeet, up the hill, we are the 1st drive on the right.
From Plymouth (40 minutes) take the A386 towards Tavistock: Take B3212 at Yelverton to Two Bridges (via Princetown). At Two Bridges turn right onto the B3357 towards Dartmeet. Follow the road for 5 miles, turn left immediately after the Hexworthy turning.
What to bring
An open mind – as with most things, the more open you are the more you are likely to get from the retreat.
Meditation cushion, yoga mat, blanket and any props you might need for hatha yoga. We do have quite a few yoga mats and a handful of blankets so please let us know in advance if you need either.
Cosy layers (the body temperature can drop when seated for longer periods of time). Plus, it is super cosy to meditate wrapped up warm.
Modest and comfortable clothing, which will allow you to feel at home.
Bring a journal and pen.
Optional aids include ear plugs and eye mask.
Please do not wear makeup or perfume. A retreat atmosphere is one in which people are in close proximity for long periods. Some people have sensitivities to fragrances or find strong odors intolerable and very distracting.
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