Silent Meditation Retreat

A Silent Meditation Retreat

A Silent Meditation Retreat is a reminder that
you´re a Human Being,
not a Human Doing…

Women practicing Walking Meditation during a Silent Retreat

A Silent Meditation Retreat

Being present, where Heaven and Earth meet,
… where life unfolds itself,
… where being is enough,
… being with all as it is,
… being moved by the flow of life,
… in resonance with the pulse of life.

The Sweet Sound of Silence

A Silent Meditation Retreat is a taking away.
Removing what is not needed.
Making space for what is already there,
but we usually are too busy to see it.

Being during a Silent Meditation Retreat
Women sitting near a mountain river during a Silent Retreat

It´s not easy to describe a Silent Retreat,
Poetry comes close,
Art gives a flavour,
Music touches,
only to leave one empty-handed.

Emptiness is what it is all about,
The lack of things,

It´s not about not talking during a Silent Retreat,
but rather about falling into a Space
where there no longer arises an urge to talk…

The Daily Programme

Breakfast (individually), in silence
09:30 – 10:30: Sitting/Walking Meditation
10:30 – 10:45: Break, in silence
10:45 – 12:30: Free time in the Center
12:30 – 13:00: Lunch, in silence
13:00 – 15:00: Free time in the Center
15:00 – 15:15: Break, in silence
15:15 – 15:45: Possibility for Sharing & Feedback
16:00 – 18:45: Afternoon session
19:00 – 20:00: Dinner, in silence

Each Silent Meditation Retreat includes

• Individual Guidance & Feedback
• Four short Silent Gatherings during the day
• Morning session with Sitting/Walking Meditation
• Afternoon session with either
– visits to Assisi´s Sacred Places
– “Camino-Walks” (90 minutes) near the Center
– free afternoons

Read more about
the cost for your Silent Meditation Retreat

FAQ about the Silent Meditation Retreat

The short answer is no, we don´t.
There are other Silent Retreat Centers that offer Zen (Mahayana Buddhism) or Vipassana (Theravada Buddhism) Meditation Retreats.
Also the Mindfulness teaching (MBSR) include Silent Retreats in their programme.
Some do include verbal teaching during their retreats.

For us Silence is Universal.
As you can read on all pages here on our website, we embrace The Simplicity of Being.

The day of your arrival we have our personal welcome meeting to make sure all practical matters are clear so you can relax during the retreat.
In that meeting we will also ask you how we best can support you in your process of falling into the Great Silence…

Every afternoon gives the possibility for Sharing. There questions about your process can be answered.

If it shows that more profound support is needed, a therapy session with Mayadevi can be booked.

Our meals and breaks happen in silence. After the meals we stay seated for a while which gives a certain quality to the sequence from “eating” into “sitting silently” and “rising up and going on” a smooth and natural form. All this to integrate the meditative space into daily life – and live daily life in an ongoing meditative space.

Ideally, from the moment you register for your Silent Meditation Retreat! Then you have started the proces of Enquiry: “What is the purpose of my communication with the world around me?”

Am I pleasing, avoiding, charming, dominating, honest, manipulating… and so on. Endlessly. Until we say Enough is Enough!

But to answer the question: The day of your arrival, after we picked you up from the station and leave Assisi behind by driving through the medieval city gate and enter another world:
The protected Parco Naturale del Monte Subasio.

Then your Silent Retreat starts:
take a deep breath,
you can relax now,
let go of all travel worries,
surrender to the nature all around,
be embraced by the vast space,
welcomed by the Silence…

By now we don´t have to explain that The Silent Retreat Center is a place of … silence, do we?
But we do communicate practical informations, so daily life can happen smoothly. However, we refrain from conversations and smalltalk. We listen instead. And as nobody talks, it´s silent…

Silence is not something we practice here, it falls upon us…

So silent: yes!
speaking when a situation requires action: yes!
conversations: no!
sign language or whispering: absolutely not! (makes more noise than natural talking!)

We often are asked about “what is allowed” during the retreat, mostly on how to spend the scheduled “free time in the center”…
Whatever makes you happy, could be the answer. And as for smoking and coffee, those habits seem to have a firm grip on some of us. No need though to focus on them during a retreat. Fighting or avoiding them will make the need for them stronger. Let´s be kind and gentle towards them, in the same way as we embrace our thoughts during the morning meditation: Let them be there, we watch them, we let them go. New ones will arise, also those we let go…
Again, here it´s all about falling into the Meditative Space which we doubt strict discipline can lead us into…

We are not encouraging nor teaching a special way of meditating. You can use your own preferred techniques or just be.

So you can participate in the retreat without any prior experience. In case you´d need some guidance you can ask so during the afternoon Sharing session.

The whole purpose of a Silent Retreat is to stop, take a break, distance yourself from your thoughts, emotions and opinions, merge into life as it presents itself, be with what is.

Our effort here is to support the very simple and subtle shift from Doing to Being.

Doing always has a purpose
– Being needs no purpose…

We can´t really promise what the result of a Silent Retreat will be. We can describe its form and structure, we can explain the intention of letting go of personal preferences, we can guide you through the process – but at the end the outcome will be your individual experience.

Maybe the best way to describe the result of the Retreat is to quote the feedback of a retreat guest who had the wish to find an answer about her life/work situation (too much stress).
At the end of the stay she said “I have not yet found a solution for how to solve the situation, but I surely have found another platform from where to look at my life”.

So we hope we can support you on your journey…

Our Morning Silent Meditation

Buddha surrounded by Angels
Buddha surrounded by Angels

Silent Meditation leading us into The Meditative Space

The dynamics of our Silent Retreat can be compared with the ongoing movement of a pendulum: breathe in and breathe out, focus and let go, move and sit still…

Our daily programme follows the same pattern: time to be on your own, time to be together.

Also our Silent Meditation Session (from 09:30 to 10:30) is composed of short sequences:

  • 20 minutes Sitting Meditation in our meditation room inside the house,
  • 20 minutes Walking Meditation outside in the garden.

It does not crave much to sit still for 20 minutes – longer might be uncomfortable. It is also not too demanding to do the outside walking-meditation for 20 minutes. The idea is to have sequences which will provide a light sense of change, without having to strain yourself.

Sitting Meditation
We start the first 12½ minutes of the sitting-session with a piece of our own music “Glimpse of Eternity” which supports the process of falling into the Meditative Space.

It is our wish to create a situation where ”nothing has to be done” – which leads to ”sitting silently”. It is not the sitting silently in itself that is the goal. The purpose is falling into a state that makes you not to feel like moving.

We are not encouraging nor teaching a special way of meditating, of how to sit or how to focus – or unfocus – your thoughts or awareness. You can use your own preferred techniques or just be.
If needed we can give feedback or advise during the afternoon sharing session.

A women practicing Walking Meditation during a Silent Retreat

Walking Meditation
After 20 minutes the gentle sound of a meditation bell invites us to slowly stand up, leave the room and enter the garden.
Walking Meditation is a practice of buddhist monks. A path of approx. 10 m where you slowly walk back and forth. Experiencing every step intensely: the heal touching the ground, the sole of the foot being massaged by the surface, the toes pushing the foot backward… and then the next step, and the next, and the next.. with the ongoing focus on the breath.
It is recommended to keep the same path all through the retreat.

After 20 minutes of walking the gentle sound of a meditation bell invites us in the house again where we then finish the morning meditation with a second sitting session, this time without music.

Living Life from The Meditative Space
One could distinguish Meditation from The Meditative Space by defining Meditation as a programmed task:
We set up a form (Sitting/Walking), choose a starting & ending time and exclude all disturbances from the outside world. Such practice brings us to a still point in us.

Once the Meditation is over, we choose to live daily life from the Meditative Space:
We open up for the outside world, allow a multitude of impressions to have their play upon us and we respond spontaniously to them. Sometimes we can be carried away or overwhelmed but we know we always can reconnect to that still point in us.

So when our Morning Meditation Session ends at 10:30 we gather for our break, sit together for a while in silence and when the energy feels right, we get up and go each our own way.
Until we meet again for lunch and repeat the sequence from “movement to stillness to movement”… and so we continue the rest of the retreat.

View on Assisi´s Monte Subasio