You will be doing retreat in a group of a maximum of 10 women, probably made up of several nationalities. Teaching can be given in French, English and German as needed. Smaller tutor-groups based on language will allow free exchange between participants for discussion and question and answer sessions.
The whole three months of the retreat take place in conditions identical to the 3-Year retreat, allowing maximum concentration on practice and study, with no outside distractions. The retreat begins with a "door-closing" ceremony, after which no one may leave the retreat enclosure without the permission of the drupons. The retreat ends with a corresponding "door-opening" ceremony, after which people may leave.
The emphasis of the retreat is on individual practice, but the group experience is maintained through everyone meditating and studying in their own room at the same times, and sharing equally in everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, gardening. Teachings and group study often replace the afternoon sessions, and mealtimes, especially the midday break, give space for social interaction as well as private tasks such as writing letters. The end of the afternoon brings everyone together in a group session of the main retreat practice.
Here is the daily schedule for the main part of the retreat. This will be slightly modified during the initial week, to allow people to adapt to retreat life and give more time for the teachings and group practice necessary to bring people to the point where they can practise and study alone in their rooms.
|5:00 am||wake up gong|
|5:15 - 7:00||practice session|
|7:00 - 7:30||private study|
|7:30 - 8:30||breakfast|
|8:30 - 10:30||practice session|
|10:30 - 11:30||private study|
|11:30 - 2:00 pm||lunch and midday break|
|2:00 pm - 3:45||practice session|
|3:45 - 4:45||study|
|5:00 - 6:00||group practice|
|6:15 - 7:00||evening meal|
|7:00 - 8:45||practice session|
|8:45 - 9:15||"looking back over the day"|
|9:15 - 10:00||private study|