To attend a retreat, do I have to be a Buddhist, or become a Buddhist?
"No" is the simple answer. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama often points out, the Buddhist teachings are offered with no notion of conversion or exclusivity, and to people of any faith, and those of none.
Do I have to have previous experience of meditation?
No, you do not need any previous experience of meditation. Unless otherwise stated, our retreats are open to and welcome beginners, and meditation instruction is given at the beginning of each retreat.
Will I have to sit in meditation for hours without moving?
During introductory retreats meditation is introduced gradually, starting with sitting for just a few minutes, and building up to sessions lasting about 10 minutes. There may be optional early morning or evening meditation sessions that last for 45 minutes and for beginners there is a short break every 10 minutes.
Will I have to sit cross-legged on the floor?
No, many people find it easier to sit on a chair, and chairs are provided on all courses and retreats.
What is a typical weekend schedule--will I have to get up at 4am?
On most events there is an optional meditation session from 7.30am to 8.30am. The main morning session starts at 9.30am and finishes at 1pm for lunch, with a mid-morning 30 minute tea-break. The afternoon session often starts with discussion groups between 3.30-4.30, and finishes at 6.30pm for supper. There is an evening session between 8-9pm.
Can I attend part of the retreat?
Generally it is better to attend the whole retreat, as each presentation builds upon the preceding one, and taken as a whole the retreat presents a complete and comprehensive series of teachings which it is important to receive fully. Also, it is harder to maintain the atmosphere of a retreat if people are arriving late or departing early. However, there maybe exceptions, and it you are genuinely only able to attend part of retreat it is always worth enquiring to see whether this might be possible.
It is essential to book in advance. Bookings must be received at least four days before a retreat, and places can only be confirmed on receipt of a completed booking form and full payment, or a deposit of 50% of the retreat fee.
Unless otherwise stated, weekend retreats include lunch and supper on Saturday and lunch on Sunday, and the cost is included in the retreat fee. Meals are vegetarian. Breakfast is self catering. We recommend that those staying on site bring breakfast supplies with them as the nearest shops are five miles away.
Unless otherwise stated, registration takes place an hour before the start of each event, and again at lunchtime on the first day.
We accept payment by cheques and bank drafts (drawn on Irish Banks only), postal orders, credit card, and bank transfers (from outside Ireland only):