How does it work?
There is no charge for our retreats. They are run on the basis of ‘dana’, an economy rooted in generosity and giving. The tradition of dana in Buddhism is an acknowledgement of our interconnectedness and interdependence. This practice of generosity has sustained Dharma teachings for more than 2,500 years, since the time of the Buddha. It enables retreats to be provided and supports teachers to continue teaching.
We are fundraising to cover the costs of each retreat in advance. Retreats will then be offered freely due to the generosity of others. We ask that you send a £90 cheque when booking, simply as an indication of commitment to attend the retreat. This cheque will be handed back to you on arrival or sent back to you if cancelling 8 or more weeks in advance.
On the final day of each retreat, participants will be invited to make two separate donations. The first is to Freely Given Retreats and whatever is given will be for the benefit of others as it will be used to cover the costs of the next retreat. We ask you to take on some responsibility for the financial sustainability of Freely Given Retreats and give what your means will allow you.
If you are in reasonably paid employment, please give generously. This will help cover the costs of those wishing to attend who may not be able to offer very much.
The cost of a one-week retreat is approximately £150 per person. This is made up of £100 for venue hire, £30 for food and £20 for teacher travel costs and publicity. All the work of organising our retreats is carried out by volunteers and during the retreat there is an opportunity for retreatants to express their generosity by giving time to help with tasks such as breakfast preparation, washing up and bathroom cleaning.
The other donation we invite is for the teacher(s). Teachers do not receive a fee for leading retreats, whilst giving enormously of their time and energy. Dharma teachings are considered priceless and therefore teachers offer their understanding freely. The livelihood of most Insight Meditation teachers depends wholly, or to a large extent, on voluntary contributions from retreatants who value their guidance and wish to support the ongoing teachings of the Dharma. Your generosity to the teacher is greatly appreciated.