A retreat, although often highly enjoyable, is also not the same as a holiday or workshop. A retreat situation is a place where the boundaries are defined specifically to create a real opportunity to step outside familiar patterns and explore different ways of being. Any retreat is a structure we give ourselves to for a set period of time. This can put us in touch with who we really are and can clarify what we truly value. The boundaries provide an essential structure for the retreat to support meditation, reflection, community living and other Buddhist practices, which makes the experience both challenging as well as hugely rewarding. We ask you to come being aware of this and willing to support the conditions of our retreats.
Therefore, please read the following before making your booking:
Experience - Do make sure that you have chosen a retreat appropriate to your level of experience: Introductory, Regulars or Order members.
Children – Unfortunately, for legal reasons, we are unable to accommodate anyone under the age of 18 years.
Health - It is essential that you inform us when you book if you have any physical, emotional or mental health issues which could affect your own or others’ participation in the retreat. Please also inform the retreat team when you arrive at Rivendell. Any information given will not be communicated to other retreatants and is treated in the strictest confidence.
Awareness - We ask you to refrain from alcohol, sexual activity and illicit drugs for the duration of your retreat. We also require you not to use mobile phones, laptops, iPhones and MP3 players, etc. in the retreat centre or grounds during the retreat.
Continuity - You will need to attend the whole retreat from start to finish. It is disruptive to the atmosphere of a retreat to arrive late, leave early or to take excursions. For the duration of your retreat, please come prepared not to use your car, if you bring one, and please stay within walking distance of the retreat centre.
Arrival - Please arrive between 5pm and 7pm on the first day of your retreat. Retreats start with a light supper at about 7pm.
Accommodation - Is upstairs in single-sex bedrooms shared with other retreatants, normally between 3–4 people per room. We only have one single room and this is allocated to those with a medical condition or disability that prevents room sharing. Please contact the office at the time of your booking to discuss your needs, if this is an issue for you. It is also possible to camp. Please let us know in advance if you intend to do so.
Sharing - To attend a retreat here you need to be prepared to share a room, unless you wish to camp. If you are coming with a friend and wish to be accommodated in the same shared bedroom as them, please inform us when you book.
Food - Is healthy, tasty and vegetarian and is prepared for you by our team of volunteer cooks.
Restricted diets - Can only be provided for genuine medical reasons and we will need to be informed when you first book. To help our volunteer cooks, please keep special food requests to absolutely essential requirements only.
Helping out - You will be asked to help with domestic tasks: washing up, etc. and a clear up at the end of the retreat.
Departure - Weekend and long-weekend retreats usually end between 3 and 4pm. Yoga long weekends usually end at around 2pm. All other retreats end between 11am and 12 noon on the last day.
Travel - Rivendell is easily accessible by car but parking is very limited. Trains run from London to Buxted or Uckfield, from where Rivendell is a short taxi ride away. There is also a bus service to Uckfield from Brighton and Tunbridge Wells. More detailed travel information will be sent with your booking confirmation and is available on the travel page of our website, as is our lift sharing scheme.