7-Day-Silence-Retreats

What can I expect during the 7 days? How does the retreat work? What am I to expect? How is the program?

As indicated by the name “7 Day Silence Retreats” the seven days of the retreat are run in silence. The retreat aims at escaping the stress of daily life.

All the exercises and methods applied in the retreat house can only have a sound foundation if we feel committed to ethical conduct.


That’s why all participants follow the eight rules of virtue which have always been adhered to by noble people.

1. Abstaining from taking life

2. Abstaining from taking what is not given

3. Abstaining from sensual misconduct

4. Abstaining from false speech

5. Abstaining from liquors, wines and other intoxicants, which are the basis for heedlessness

6. Abstaining from food at improper times (only two meals)

7. Abstaining from digital devices, cosmetics, fragrances, beauty lotions, unsuitable clothing like shorts, low-cut blouses or coloured clothes.

8. Abstaining from luxury and comfort

The Program

The daily program*
FR

By 6 p.m. – arrival

 

From 4 p.m.
Settling into the rooms

Handing over of digital devices in the office

From 5 p.m.
Light dinner

7 p.m.
Introduction which is a prerequisite for participation in the program

Announcement of the rules for practice 
Beginning of silence and practice

9.30 p.m.
Metta-meditation in the room

10 p.m.
Night time peace

SA
SO
MO
DI
MI
DO
5 a.m.

Getting up

5:30 a.m.

Sitting and walking meditation

7:30 a.m.

Breakfast

8:30 a.m.

Meditative walking in the nature park Alternatively: sitting and walking meditation

11:30 a.m.

Lesson for the day in the room

12

Lunch

 

1 p.m.

Rest

 

2 p.m.

Sitting and walking meditation

4 p.m.

Mindfulness yoga

5 p.m.

Tea time / Individual time

6 p.m.

Lesson for the day (reflection) in the room

6.30 p.m.

Sitting and walking meditation

9.30 p.m.

Metta meditation in the room

10 p.m.

night-time peace

FR

10 a.m. Departure

 

5 a.m.
Getting up

 

5.30 a.m.
Sitting and walking meditation

7.30 a.m.
Breakfast

8.00 a.m.
End of silence – time for noble speech

10 a.m.
Departure

*Program valid for Hartmut vom Bovert’s retreats. With other instructors the program may vary.

Mindfulness Meditation

To a certain extent we all have the ability to be aware. But it takes practise to maintain constant awareness from moment to moment throughout the day. For this purpose you need further mental abilities like confidence, patience, willpower and a clear understanding of how to focus the mind.

In order to meet this aim we practise mindfulness meditation. The first step is to pay attention to every moment of our life and to take advantage of every situation to be vigilant.

Sitting and walking meditations alternate while the mind is always focussed on the present moment. In pursuing our daily activities we observe what actually happens in the present moment. Eating, drinking, getting dressed – everything is done slowly and mindfully. Rising thoughts, moods and feelings are also consciously registered.

Sensory Fasting
Moreover, we practise sensory fasting, i.e. reducing all sensory impressions. Therefore, we avoid using digital devices. We also avoid watching TV and do without reading and writing.

We practise noble silence and don’t engage in dialogue. We learn to move away from thinking constantly and from exhausting the mind by worrying, planning wishing and criticising. Instead, we listen to the inner silence of the mind which comes into being when we let go of thinking.

An old word of wisdom says: “The first step to healing is to still our thoughts.

Meditative Walking
In order to avoid any imbalance we go out into nature every morning. In meditative walking we establish a real relationship to our environment. Gazing into the distance, taking a deep breath, inhaling the crisp mountain air, abiding in silence and giving one’s undivided attention to the beauty of nature.

When did you last give your full attention to a bird, a tree or a mountain peak?

Hiking is the healthiest and most natural kind of movement. After sitting in the office or on the meditation cushion it’s an ideal compensation.

Individual Interview
In order to ask for advice or to exchange views.

The participant talks to the teacher about his/her observations during the sitting and walking meditation as well as during their daily activities.

The teacher gives advice on overcoming meditation obstacles.

The purpose of the interview is the fine-tuning of the participants’ meditation practice.