Urban Retreat 2023
Be on retreat in the midst of your life
Modern life seems to pull us in more and more directions, scattering our attention and sense of what matters. Where is meaning to be found? What does the world need now?
During the Urban Retreat, join in a week of activities that will help to create space and stillness to help you find out your own answers to these questions. Be ‘on retreat’ in the midst of your daily life.
The events are designed to fit around any schedule, and you can come to as much as you can. There will be three meditation sessions a day, a ‘total immersion’ day, and talks and rituals in the evenings. There are also ‘fringe’ events including yoga in the park, creative events, and mantra chanting. Some of the events are also online for anyone outside of London.
You can download the programme as a pdf
We’ll kick-start the retreat on Saturday 16th September at 2.30pm. The new Mandala Café -- just next door to the LBC -- will be opening its doors that day, so that throughout the Urban Retreat you can pop in there for a coffee, cake, or meal between the events.
All levels of experience are welcome and events are free, with donations welcome. Sign up below and we'll send you reminders nearer the time.
How it works:
The first step is simply to become aware of how we use technology. How much time are we spending on screens? What do we habitually go to for distraction? How does it actually feel? If we don’t like what we find, there’s no need to worry - it’s the first step towards a change.
To escape from confusion we need clarity. With teachings from the Buddhist tradition, insights into digital platforms and firsthand experience in meditation we come to understand how it is that our mind gets trapped in reactive cycles. We also learn what else is possible - a way to unlock a new, creative mode of mind.
For a three-week period we undergo an experiment together. We identify those platforms that are negatively affecting our lives and make a conscious decision to use them more intentionally, or not at all. With the support of effective strategies and digital tools we reclaim our time and attention to enjoy a simpler, richer way of living.
We now have the opportunity to rediscover the things that truly matter to us. With a clarified sense of purpose we can explore our interests, deepen our connections with others, and engage with the real world in a more meaningful way. By applying the Buddha’s teachings in this specific way, we may also discover something more profound - the limitless potential of human consciousness that he is pointing out to us.