Welcome to Freely Given Retreats
Freely Given Retreats has been established to make Insight Meditation retreats available to everyone regardless of their financial situation. We feel inspired by the culture of generosity of South East Asia in which Buddhist monasteries and retreat centres are open to all without any charges or fees. We are passionate about our commitment to making similar opportunities to go on retreat available in our own society. Our retreats will promote a culture of generosity by encouraging people to donate in order to support the meditation practice of others.
Insight Meditation is the practice of developing mindful investigation into the nature of experience, leading to wisdom, compassion and the ending of suffering. It has its origins in various Buddhist traditions but our retreats are open to all regardless of religious affiliation. Our retreats are generally held in silence in order to develop calmness of mind as the basis for meditative insight.
Giving Life to Practice
All too often the inner transformation and freedom that occurs for many in a retreat environment is not successfully integrated into our busy and habitual lives. In an effort to help bridge this gap between ‘retreat life’ and ‘daily life’ the last day of a Freely Given Retreat includes time for group discussion, inquiry and structured interaction. This gradual shift from silence to engagement has many potential benefits; here are just a few:
- It is an opportunity to practice mindful presence in interaction with others.
- It is an opportunity to discuss teachings and practices that can help enrich and transform our daily lives.
- It is an opportunity to discuss the wider implications of practice and its potential impact on the world around us.
- It is an opportunity to make friends and learn from each others practice and insights.
Those who see worldly life as an obstacle to dharma see no dharma in everyday actions. They have not yet discovered that there are no everyday actions outside of dharma ~ Dogen Zenji