Our disdain for organised religion sometimes keeps our inner spiritual being from awakening. We dislike the word “God” and keep away from the knowledge and learning of the “ultimate truth”. In this retreat we don’t condemn God or the great messengers of truth but encourages one to think independently.
Enlightenment can be attained without the help of religion or the concept of God.
All religions of the world offer temptation to their followers – visions of God, salvation. But to the sceptics none of that has been proven true.
The gap between the promises of sectarian religious practices and the actual proof is huge. And the more people invest themselves in the beliefs of the expectation from a God, the more they get frustrated with reality.
The reason is the exploitation of the term God. The religionists superimpose their own limited fantasies upon the truth and call it God. In addition, religious texts present images and description of God that are rejected by the rational mind and injurious to our own spiritual growth.
Blind belief in the existence of God, without understanding and realising the true meaning- blocks the door to true knowledge and learning – and closes the path to experience the inner dimensions of life.
Upanishads dissuade spiritual seekers from following into this trap, which warn “NetiNeti”, not this, not this.
There is a distinction from recognizing the “Ultimate Truth” as God and blind faith in the fantasies of God.
Ultimate truth is accessible to anybody and can be practiced with mind, action and speech. Once the truth is known with mind, action and speech– knowledge is complete. But, Blind faith creates limited boundaries for the human intellect.
The path of enlightenment – leads to Ultimate truth, by exercising control over the senses and mind, but one is not obligated to have belief in God to get there.
Hence it is not essential to have an orthodox belief in God but to intuitively follow the profound knowledge of the truth, which lies behind the concept of the word God.
The attempt here will be go beyond linguistics, terminology and blind faith to truly grasp the meaning of enlightenment – which is a state of freedom from all pains, miseries and the ignorance that cause suffering: And it is the ultimate truth-supreme, consciousness beyond all the state of human consciousness.
Here a peaceful mind, emotional maturity, tranquillity, equanimity are the main prerequisites and triumph over Faith in God and religious dogma.
This retreat “Enlightenment without God” is highly provocative and inspires one to start thinking beyond accustomed patterns. It compels you to re-evaluate your thinking process and the way you intellectualise the concept of God and Enlightenment.
It brings you close to the true meaning of Enlightenment and realise that one can attain enlightenment here and now.
This 5 day retreat begin at 1 pm on the day 1 and end at 2 pm on day 5. The days in between begin with a wake up bell at 5:30 am and the last session of the day ends around 9 pm. With teachings and meditation sessions throughout the day, there are breaks for 3 meals with Yogasana and Pranayama sessions and one hour discussion.
|DAY 1 – CHECK-IN|
|2:15 – 3:15pm||Welcome and Introduction Talk|
|3:30 – 4:30pm||Teaching Session 1|
|4:45 – 5:45pm||Teaching Session 2|
|6pm – 7:00pm||Teaching Session 3|
|7:00 – 8:00pm8:15 – 9:00pm||Dinner
|5:30am6:30 – 7:30 am||Wake upTeaching Session 1|
|8:30 – 9:30||Teaching Session 2|
|9:30 – 9:45am||Break|
|9:45 – 10:45am||Teaching Session 3|
|11:00- 12:00pm||Teaching Session 4|
|12 pm2:00 – 3:00pm||LunchTeaching Session 5|
|3:00 – 3:30pm||Tea Break|
|3:30 – 4:30pm||Teaching Session 6|
|4:45 – 5:15pm||Break|
|5:15 – 6:00pm||Guided Meditation|
|7:30 – 8:15pm||Guided Meditation|
|LAST DAY – CHECKOUT|
|6:45 – 7:30am||Guided Meditation|
|9:00 – 9:45am||What comes next? Talk|
|10:00 am||Advice for further study/practiceand Feedback session|
|12:00 – 1:00pm||Picnic Lunch|
|1:00 – 3:00pm||Check-out|
(Please note: all phenomena are impermanent – the exact schedule may vary slightly from course to course)
Preparing for the Retreat
In order to keep the atmosphere conducive to inner reflection and spiritual pursuit and to minimise distractions during the retreat, students on our residential retreats are asked to abide by our basic code of discipline listed below.
- Silence is kept throughout the retreat, however during teaching sessions questions are welcomed and there will be a one hour discussion group on most days.
- We may experience a lot of ups and downs during the retreat. Therefore, please be gentle in your behaviour and sensitive to fellow retreat participants and staff.
- We have to keep an open mind. Many of the ideas presented may be new and different from one’s own beliefs, and we should be prepared to analyse and contemplate not only the teachings, but also our own beliefs.
- We have to adjust to the schedule: all participants must attend all sessions of the retreat, come to sessions on time and not leave during the retreat.
Guidelines for Behaviour
- Do not point your feet towards the teachers, the altar or any holy object.
- Do not put prayer books, texts, or notebooks with on the floor, or sit or step over them.
- No idle chit-chat in the lecture hall.
- Respect all life: do not intentionally kill any living being, even small insects.
- Respect others’ property: do not steal or take anything not freely given.
- Be honest and straightforward: do not lie or intentionally deceive others. This is easy when observing silence!
- Be celibate: no sexual activity. This also includes no holding hands, hugging, massages and other physical displays of affection.
- Be alert and mindful: avoid intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes (we encourage you to stop smoking while here).
- Be considerate of others’ silence: keep silence in the appropriate areas and at all times during residential retreats, especially in the lecture hall and the residential complex. No singing or playing music and in general, maintain a quiet demeanor while on the property.
- Dress respectfully (please no shorts above the knee, tank-top shirts or tight and revealing clothing)
What to Bring:
- A photocopy of your passport and current Indian visa for check-in (non-Indian citizens only).
- Personal toiletries, towel, torch/flashlight, watch/clock (you cannot use your mobile phone for this, or as an alarm), refillable water bottle.
Certificate of participation will be given to each participant