Sunyata is now offering regular online retreats during the current pandemic. We want to offer this as a way for everyone to develop and maintain their Dhamma practice. As part of this we want to make the retreat experience as beneficial as possible. We are asking all participants on retreat to read and commit to the following guidelines:
Committing to Being on Retreat
Even though the retreat is online and we are all in our home space we are asking people to commit in a similar way that they would to a residential retreat. This is so everyone can get the most out of the retreat. It is necessary to commit for the whole retreat schedule and to attend every session..
Keeping the Precepts
An important part of coming on retreat at Sunyata is the precepts that we take during a retreat. We ask everyone to make a firm commitment to follow these for the duration of the online retreat
The Eight Precepts:
1. Harmlessness: Not harming any living creature or support any act of
harm through body, speech and mind.
2. Trustworthiness: Not taking anything that is not given. Practicing
generosity and respectfulness in thinking, speaking, and acting.
3. Celibacy: Refraining from any sexual activity. Learning appropriate
ways to take care of sexual energy. Cultivating loving kindness,
compassion, joy, and inclusiveness.
4. Right Speech: Avoiding false, unmindful or malicious speech.
Cultivating loving speech, deep listening and non-discrimination.
Retreatants are asked to maintain ‘noble silence’, that is not engaging
in any talk with each other, or anyone else, unless it is really
5. Sobriety: Not taking any intoxicating drinks or drugs.
6. Restraint: Not indulging in eating. Consuming in a way that preserves
mindfulness, joy, and well-being in body and mind. Retreatants are asked
to refrain from eating after main meal.
7. Modesty: Not indulging in the consumption of sense impressions, volition
and consciousness. Not to wear make-up, perfume or strongly-scented
deodorant, immodest clothing and jewellery. Cultivating a conducive environment for all by refraining from playing music,
radios or musical instruments, gambling, games. Not taking up books or
conversations out of distraction or to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering
8. Simplicity: Refraining from unnecessary luxuriousness and indulgence
in comfort, sleep. Cultivating gratitude and contentment with the
present moment and simple conditions.
We are asking participants to switch off all electronic devices that are not needed for the retreat itself. Immersing ourselves in the practice is an important aspect of deepening our meditation practice on retreat. The online retreat format is also an opportunity to practice using technology in a different way. To develop our sense of contemplation, peace and reflection.
That means leaving aside T.V, reading and internet browsing.
To get the most out of the retreat insofar as practically possible try to maintain noble silence throughout the retreat.
Please plan your meal times to coincide with the schedule of the online retreat