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Winter Meditation Retreat with Dr. Kumar in Kerala
Saturday, December 28, 2019 @ 11:00 am - Sunday, January 12, 2020 @ 11:00 am
This years winter retreat will take place at Lords Resort, Trissur, Kerala, South India.
The course offers full-time guidance from Dr. Kumar who provides the transformative teachings of Yoga Darshana through guided meditation in ‘noble silence’.
Drawing on thousands of years of profound teaching, Dr. Kumar opens hearts and minds to experience peace, compassion and connectedness.
Whether you are new to meditation or an experienced practitioner, this course will take you through the advanced stages of practice as outlined by the sage Patanjali.
Patanjali, a great Yogi who lived in India around 100BC is the author of the Yoga Sutras that teach the path to unbind the mind from suffering. Patanjali teaches a systematic method to achieve this goal, identical in essence to the path taught by Buddha.
In the Yoga tradition, the absorption of pure knowledge from a teacher who embodies and lives the values of yoga, is vital for an aspirant’s development.
Dr. Kumar draws on his own vast experiential and theoretical knowledge of yoga to guide us through every step of the technique. The teaching is dynamic and responsive to the student group.
In Sanskrit, ‘Muni’ means a saint who has silenced the mind. Silence means an absence of vibration, amplitude, wavelength and frequency. This is the world of singularity, called in various spiritual traditions by names such as Para Brahma, Holy Spirit, Allah or Nibbana. In all the oldest spiritual traditions around the world, ancient lineages have preserved the most sacred teachings orally in the form of sound, chants and hymns. The enlightened saints who experienced ultimate silence gave the language of sound through which spiritual teachings have been preserved. The style of chanting used for meditation teaching is called Brahma Vidvara Raga, meaning the secret sound of silence. Patanjali says that in order to experience silence, one has to practice meditation with a teacher who has reached this silence. When the teacher chants the same sounds as his predecessors in the ancient traditions, the same effect is reproduced.
Dr Kumar has practiced for the last 45 years across 46 spiritual traditions, in the ancient lineages of Veda, Tantra, Hinduism and Buddhism, including Tibetan systems. The course is an opportunity to experience the depths of meditation, intricately guided by a fully enlightened teacher.
Traditional Code of Conduct
During the Meditation Retreat we go very deeply into the practice and follow the traditional code of conduct for serious meditation, as practiced by monks and nuns for centuries in India. The process is delicate and powerful and the retreat offers the rare opportunity to skillfully work with the mind at its subtlest level. So, for this process to be as smooth and fruitful as possible we need to carefully maintain the right conditions throughout the course. This is for the benefit of our own practice as well as to ensure that we do not disturb the progress of others. For this reason we respect a strict code of conduct that has been handed down in traditional systems for centuries. The more mindful we are of our behavior (by thought, speech and body) during the course, the more we will get out of the experience.
The first step of the great sage Patanjali’s Noble Eightfold Path is Yama and represents the resolution to give up any action that causes harm to others or ourselves by body, speech or mind. It is the foundation that enables progress in meditation. Buddha calls these principles ‘Sila’ and they are also the first principle of Buddhist Dhamma. The goal of Yoga and Dhamma is to remove the negative tendencies of the mind that cause unhappiness to self and others.
The Five Yama are observances outlined by Patanjali:
- Ahimsa – nonviolence, to remove anger or hatred from the mind
- Asteya – non stealing to remove greed from the mind
- Satya – truthfulness to remove fear from the mind
- Brahmacharya – non sexual misconduct to remove lust from the mind
- Apaarigraha – non addiction to prevent slavery of the mind
Noble Silence means silence of body, speech, and mind. We avoid any form of communication with fellow students, including family members and resort staff. It is fine to communicate with course volunteers.
Noble silence includes refraining from:
Sign language and gestures
Phone including text messages
Reading and writing
Radio, TV and music.
Accommodation & Travel
The course takes place at Lords Resort at Thrissur in Central Kerala.
IV/290, Painkulam, Cheruthuruthy P.O, Thrissur, Kerala 679531 India
Spread over 20 acres, it has been chosen as a conducive place for meditation.
Meals will be high quality vegetarian food. Vegan options will also be available.
Most of the airlines with hubs in the Middle East (e.g. Emirates, Gulf, Ethiad, etc.) have connecting flights from European airlines via their hub to Cochin (Kochi). Alternatively, there are internal flights from all the major Indian airports to Cochin and Combiatore. When you have booked your flights, please email us with the details.
Cochin (Kochi) in Kerala State or Coimbatore in Tamilnadu State
90 kms from Cochin, takes approximately 2 hours 30 minutes by car.
100 kms from Coimbatore, takes approximately 2 hours by car.
Please make sure you have a valid tourist visa for India. If you need further information, please let us know.
We will advise the cost of the transfer nearer the time but as a guide it was around £50 pp each way last year. You will need to have the amount available in Indian Rupees to pay.
Retreat Start and End Dates and Times
Students should arrive at the resort by 11am on 28th December 2019 at the latest. Lunch will be provided.
The retreat will end on 12th January 2020 at 11am after breakfast. Lunch will not be provided.
Please arrange your flights so that you leave plenty of time to arrive by the check-in time of 11.00 am on 28th December and so that you do not have to leave before 11.00 am on the 12th January. Late arrivals and early departures will not usually be permitted. If this is an issue please discuss with us before booking.
Extra Nights Booking and Payment
If you would like to book an extra night prior to the start of the retreat the cost is £65 per extra night.
Payment & Booking
We divide payments into an accommodation fee, and a donation that is calculated as a suggested minimum amount to give in gratitude for the teaching. This system is based on the yoga tradition. Please read more about dana and seva below.
- Course payment for single occupancy accommodation and including the suggested minimum donation of £500: £1400 total.
Please contact us for any further information regarding the course or to book. We are very happy to answer any questions that you may have. You are also welcome to speak directly to an experienced student of Dr Kumar about the retreat and the meditation practice.
Dana is the virtue of unconditional generosity and unattached giving through donation to a good cause. Dana is one of the ten ‘perfected virtues’ taught by Buddha. The act of giving a donation in gratitude for the teaching is an opportunity for participants in our courses to develop the quality of selfless generosity. Teaching is guided full-time by Dr Kumar for around 15 hours per day. Donations are used to sustain the charity, offer bursary places for students and support our projects in India and UK. For more information about the charity please click here.
Seva, translated as selfless service is an important principle in the yoga tradition. It is based on the value of working for others without expectation of personal reward. Karma yoga, which means the ‘path of action’, helps us to develop the qualities of acceptance, gratitude, helpfulness and generosity. Karma yoga is described in the Bhagvad Gita as “wisdom in work.” Dr Kumar, the team of teachers and charity administrators all work on a voluntary basis.