Fri 22 Dec - Mon 1 Jan
Winter Intensive Retreat
Through meditation, silence, reflection and ritual, we’ll be building a vibrant retreat community, deepening our practice and preparing for a New Year. This retreat is for those who are consistently deepening their Dharma practice with the LBC with at least six months of experience of regular meditation and prior retreat experience.
Who runs the retreats?
Our retreats are run by experienced teachers who set the programme and guide the retreat. They are supported by a team who look after the practical aspects of the retreat and the cooking. Everyone on the team, including the retreat leaders, is a volunteer, offering the retreat out of a desire to share the benefits of being on retreat with others. The team helps create a harmonious community atmosphere that others can join in with.
A Buddhist retreat is a chance to escape the noise and complexity of modern life and deepen your experience of yourself and of the world around you. It’s not a holiday or a spa, however most people come away refreshed and inspired.
Do I need to be a Buddhist?
You don’t need to be a Buddhist. On our introductory retreats neither do you need any previous experience of meditation – we will introduce two practices from scratch to those who are new to them. To attend intensive retreats we ask that you have been practising the Mindfulness of Breathing and Metta Bhavana regularly and in a Triratna context for at least six months.
What actually happens on a retreat?
Retreat life is simple, with a daily programme to follow. There will be periods of meditation, talks on aspects of Buddhism, as well as Buddhist rituals. As the retreat progresses there will be more meditation sessions and longer periods of silence to allow for reflection. On most retreats there will also be small groups led by a team member in which you can discuss your experience of the retreat. The team leading the retreat are volunteers who are on retreat themselves – in order to keep the retreat running smoothly, we ask everyone to help out with some simple chores.
Are retreats always suitable for everyone?
Not always. Bear in mind that all retreats can be challenging and most feature periods of silence. On retreat we experience ourselves more directly; feelings come alive, both welcome and unwelcome. Although it is a supportive environment, a retreat is not a substitute for therapeutic help. If you are experiencing grief or any other strong or upsetting states of mind please consider if this a retreat is right for you and whether there are other supports you need in your life. It’s also true that going on retreat at a time when we’re facing difficulties in life can be very fruitful.
Our retreats are known for being friendly, good natured and enjoyable. They also involve living communally, which is an important aspect of being on retreat. We ask retreatants to cooperate with one another – including in some simple chores that help keep the retreat running – and to refrain from harsh speech or anti-social behaviour. Simply turning up to events on time and engaging wholeheartedly with the practices has an inspiring and supportive effect on others.
Food & Accommodation
Our retreats cater for up to 60 people. Most accommodation is in shared single-sex rooms. We require couples to stay in separate rooms from one another. If you are part of a single sex couple and you are both on the retreat please let us know so we can allocate you to separate rooms. If you have a strong reason to ask for a single room, let us know early and we’ll do what we can – however please bear in mind that this is frequently not possible to arrange. There are three freshly prepared communal meals a day. All food is vegan. If you have dietary restrictions many of these can be accommodated if you let us know in advance. Drinks are available, self-service, at all times.
Book a place
If financial constraints prevent you from booking a retreat, please see our help to get on retreat page.
If there are no places left, click on the button below to express your interest
How to get there
BOOK RETURN COACH FROM LBC
We provide an optional return coach from the LBC to Vajrasana, which you can add for an extra £50 when you book.
Alternatively you can read about other ways to get to Vajrasana below.
Travel by Train
Regular trains run from London Liverpool Street to Stowmarket station. If you are travelling from outside of London, it may be more convenient to get a train into Thetford or Bury St Edmunds. You will then need to get a taxi from the station to Vajrasana. (Please note that although Elmswell is the nearest station, it has no bus link to Vajrasana and taxis will have to come from one of the bigger towns)
Please note that locals may know the site as ‘Potash Farm’, not ‘Vajrasana’. Please also help us keep good relationships with the cab companies by getting the taxi you booked rather than the first to come along!
There is Stowmarket Taxis, costing £20-25: 01449 677 777 (they have a taxi office at Stowmarket station.)
Or alternatively, Gold Star Taxis: 01449 676 767.
Elmswell is the nearest station, about 4.5 miles from Vajrasana, but it is not easy to get a taxi from here. Call one of the above Stowmarket companies well in advance and don’t get off the train here unless you have a taxi pre-booked.
Taxis from Thetford cost £15-20.
21st Century Taxi Co.: 01842 764 576
A2B Taxis: 01842 755 222
Bury St Edmunds
A1 Cars: 01284 766 777
You could get a National Express Coach from Victoria Coach Station or the coach stop in Stratford to Bury St Edmunds. From there you would need to get a taxi.
Have a question regarding the event?
Use the form below and we will respond to you as soon as possible. Alternatively contact 020 8981 1225