Experience a selection of curated retreats and programmes between May to October at Vana. The programmes, for the most part, can be done alongside your usual wellness treatments except a few which will require prior sign up. These fixed date retreats will be based on wisdom, arts, music, cuisine, literature and learning. Most programmes will run for 5 days and will begin either in the afternoon or evening of day 1 and finish by lunch on the last day. These programmes are optional and you can still visit Vana for one of their standard retreat types of Vana Ashram, Wellness and Lifestyle during the May-October period.
Pre register to attend these curated retreats from May - October for 5 days
Date: Wednesday 1st May - Monday 6th May 2019
Ode to the Guru is a specially curated retreat, as a homage to the masters of wisdom, the people of charisma and weighty words. In India, across diverse geographies and ethnicities, the Guru is celebrated in literature and song. More than just a teacher, the Guru dispels the darkness and shows us the light. Through the program, we will explore the compassionate teachings of many masters, and explore their wisdom through songs, chants, film screenings and conversations to help deepen our knowledge and wellbeing.
The retreat will commence from the early evening of May 1st with some interactions and a formal musical invocation to 'Ode to the Guru'. Each day will be dedicated to a genre of traditional musical form, inspired by Guru-Shishya (Teacher-Disciple) tradition, including Sufism, Kabir Folk, Dhrupada, Gurbani, Tibetan Chants, Bhajans. The sessions will begin from the afternoon and include learning about music genre via discussions and facilitated conversations. Few videos and movies would also be screened to make learning more immersive. The evenings will pay homage to the tradition in the form of a devotional musical recital.
About the Artists
Our artist friends facilitating this retreat are amongst the keepers of a boundless oral knowledge embedded in the traditions of various religions or indigenous wisdom. These would include Dhruv Sangari, a Sufi practitioner and musician who will perform an ode to the Sufi saints, and share his wisdom about the origins of Qawwali, an indigenous musical art form of South Asia. We will also have in residence Anant Gundecha, a young keeper of the centuries-old temple music of North India, Dhrupada. He will begin with a lecture demonstration on the form and guide us through intimate musical sessions through the course of the retreat.
- The retreat will begin from the early evening of May 1st, so you must arrive by lunch
- To gain immersive benefit from this retreat, we suggest attending all the sessions
- You can be part of this retreat while being on any of our regular retreats of Vana Ashram, Vana Wellness or Vana Lifestyle
- This retreat will also be available for a few non-residents, including our friends and Vana Foundation Sangha members.
Wednesday 7th May - Monday 13th May 2019 | Wednesday 8th May - Monday 13th May 2019
Wednesday 7th Aug - Monday 12th Aug 2019 | Wednesday 4th Sep - Monday 9th Sep 2019
Each one will be led by different practitioners to give each a new and different flavour. The Silent Retreat in May will be facilitated by Jamyang Choden and Rinzin Wangmo, both of them are Buddhist practitioners and students of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. As Jetsunma Khandro Rinpoche recently said at a Talk in Vana, "It is silence and non-thought that will help us arrest the incessant movement of our mind, speech and actions."
What is a Silent Retreat
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche; "Ideally the ultimate retreat is to retreat from the past and the future, to always remain in the present." Adding the term as well as the action "silent" to the retreat, thereby "silent retreat" = Cutting through our habitual pattern of indulging in entertaining ourselves and applying antidote by trying to apply mindfulness to our thoughts and actions by speaking only when necessary, refraining from socialising or obvious entertainment. Or in other words, trying not to be distracted all the time.
Usually, our time is occupied with thoughts and plans, distracted all the time. It's like muddy water. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche: "It lets the muddy water settle down" and at the mundane level, "How we react to situations change. What was important to us is not important anymore. What wasn't important to us becomes important."
By seeing things from a different perspective, expectations are reduced therefore less selfishness, therefore less stress, therefore more clam, more understanding, more compassion, more generosity in every sense.
This immersive 5-night retreat will begin on Wednesday, 8th May with an evening session at 6:00 pm followed by dinner. Therefore, please arrive by the early afternoon of 8th for you to settle in before the first session. The next 4 full days will have an immersive schedule as below:
07:00 - 8:00 Sitting Meditation
08:00 - 9:00 Breakfast
09:00 - 12:00 Sitting and Walking Meditation
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
13:00 - 15:00 Rest
15:00 - 17:00 Sitting and Walking Meditation
17:00 - 19:00 Rest
19:00 - 20:00 Dinner
20:00 - 21:00 Video Screening
The retreat will conclude on Sunday 13th May with the same schedule as above till lunch.
Source of the retreat will be based on Buddhism and inspired by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche's teachings and books. The retreat will be practice-oriented, with some audio and video instructions on meditation. The sessions will include techniques like sitting meditation, with few minutes of absolutely no movement sitting to help us break through our habit of applying the antidote to our 'discomfort' or boredom. While the retreat will be primarily silent, the retreat leaders will be facilitating mindful interactions during the breaks.
- The Retreat must be attended in its entirety
- To respect the immersive nature of this retreat, you must book your retreat under Vana Ashram and not Vana Wellness and Vana Lifestyle, as the schedule allows time for one treatment a day