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Awareness in the everyday - working with what arises

5-night Residential Retreat

7:00pm Saturday 3rd September to
10:30am Thursday 8th September 2016

Leader: Hilary Richards

Venue: Maenllwyd, Wales

This workshop retreat will encourage everyday awareness as a fundamental Chan life practice. We will offer individual and group work to develop mindfulness allowing time for exploration and understanding of individual experience through the lens of meditation. Rising early each day, the retreat will also include teaching, silence, interviews and periods for exercise.

Open equally to beginners and established meditators.

email: secretary(at)westernchanfellowship.org

Leader: Hilary Richards

Hilary is a retired medical doctor, mother and grandmother. She is past Chair and a founder member of the Western Chan fellowship. Her teachers include Chan Master Sheng Yen, John Crook and Simon Child.

Maenllwyd, Wales

Maenllwyd is an old farm-building, several hundred years old in parts, in a remote valley in mid-Wales, UK. Modernisation extends to mains water only. There is no electricity, and no telephone, and no reception for mobile phones. Heat and light come from candles, gas and paraffin lamps, fires, and gas or paraffin stoves. No one passes by except occasional local sheep-farmers with their flocks. It provides an ideal environment for intensive meditation practice, which is the main emphasis of our retreats. The centre is not open to casual visitors, only for pre-booked residential retreats. We give full travel details on booking.

The meditation hall (Chan hall) is kept clean and dry and warm. It is a converted barn which enjoys the benefit of a modern wood-burning stove that both keeps the hall warm and fuels the hot showers. It also boasts modern, eco-friendly, composting toilets.

Sleeping accommodation is basic, the nearest equivalent being a sleeping barn as used by the YHA. Several people of the same sex sleep in close proximity, each with their own low bed and mattress. Typically this will be in the eaves of one of the main buildings with the roof beams visible above, and such areas can be draughty and dusty. Heating in these areas is minimal and this requires you to have adequate warm sleeping-bags and blankets along with warm night-clothing. Autumn, winter and spring can be surprisingly cold in these Welsh hills.

The yard is a traditional farmyard, and can be muddy in wet weather. Wellingtons or boots are advised for this area and for walks on the hillside.

Vegetarian food is cooked for us by an imaginative Zen cook, using fresh and largely organic supplies, and bread and cakes are made on the premises. Special diets can be catered for if the cook is advised in advance.

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