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Winter Meditation Retreat in the Maldives with Dr Kumar
Wednesday, December 28, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - Thursday, January 12, 2017 @ 5:00 am
This year’s winter retreat takes place on the beautiful island of Rashdoo in the Maldives.
Maldives means Mala (Garland) of Dives (Angels) and the islands have a rich spiritual heritage.
Dr Kumar brings us the transformative teachings of Yoga Darshana through fifteen days of guided meditation in noble silence.
The course will be a personally transformative experience for those who
are interested in exploring the mind at its subtlest level.
Our retreats are attended by complete beginners and very experienced meditators.
All are welcome.
The course offers full-time guidance from Dr Kumar who teaches a clear, systematic method to explore the mind drawing on the teachings of Patanjali and Buddha and the Six Schools of Indian Philosophy.
The course structure is based on progressive practice that begins with focusing and balancing the mind, through the practice of calm concentration (Sankrit samadhi) and leads to the development of deep awareness, insight and wisdom (Sanskrit pragnya). The teaching is dynamic and responsive to the student group.
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 brings the transformative teachings of Yoga Darshana in their most undiluted form and direct from source.
The retreat takes place in the beautiful setting of the Island of Rashdoo in the Maldives at Banana Residence Resort.
When the Buddha gave the discourse Maha-Samya Sutta, it is said that all the angels and gods came to these islands to listen. Some of the Buddha’s relics are still found in the Maldivian islands.
International airlines fly to Male airport from where speed boat transfers will be available to the island. Please contact us if you would like more travel information about the transfer.
The meditation is practiced in a group and guided by Dr Kumar. Each meditation lasts around one hour and is followed by half an hour of relaxation and a herbal tea break before the next session begins. We begin early in the morning and practice our first meditation as the sun is rising. Chairs and meditation cushions are available.
After lunch there is a period for rest before the afternoon meditations begin. Before breakfast we have a gentle hatha yoga session to stretch and prepare the body for meditation. Before supper we have a guided relaxation session with controlled breathing practice (Sankrit kriya pranayama) and yogic rest (Sankrit yoga nidra). After the evening meal Dr Kumar gives a discourse clarifying the theory behind the meditation techniques, discussing the path and illustrating with stories, anecdotes and analogies, how we can apply these teachings to daily life.
Noble Silence & Yama
For the duration of the course all students maintain ‘noble silence’. The aim of this is to allow focus and awareness to stay within, rather than in the outside world. The silence allows us to sink into a deeply peaceful state of mind and most people find that being in silence comes vary naturally once the meditation begins. The process is delicate and powerful and the retreat offers the rare opportunity to skillfully work with the mind to bring about transformation. So, for this process to be as smooth and fruitful as possible we need to carefully maintain the right conditions throughout the course. For this reason we respect a strict code of conduct that has been handed down in traditional systems for centuries. During the retreat we live a monastic life and follow the guidelines that were given by Buddha and Patanjali to enable their students to draw the maximum benefit from the teaching.
The Five Yama
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 an eightfold path to achieve this goal, based closely on the noble eightfold path of Buddha, his predecessor by 300 years. During the course we practice all eight limbs of Patanjali’s Noble Eightfold Path as outlined in the Yoga Sutras. The first step is the Five Yama as outlined below.
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 intoxication/ addiction (to prevent slavery of the mind)
It is not necessary to apply for a visa before you travel to the Maldives. All tourists, of all
nationalities, can receive a 30 day visa free of charge on arrival in the Maldives. For more information please click here.
Twin Room: £650 per student
Single room option: £1,250
Includes three high-quality vegetarian meals per day, ayurvedic herbal tea and exclusive use of the resort.
Suggested Minimum Donation in Recognition of the Teaching: £650
The teaching is essentially priceless. The course is fully guided by Dr Kumar for up to 15 hours per day. However this is the minimum donation that we suggest you make in recognition of the teaching.
All Traditional Yoga courses are taught and run as an act of ‘seva‘, voluntary service and ‘dana‘, generosity. Your donation enables us to continue to run courses on this basis and to continue our charitable work in India.
Arrival and Departure Times
The course arrival day is Wednesday 28th December. Please arrive no later than 4pm. The course will begin at 6pm. The course ends at 5am on Thursday 12th January and this is also the departure day. If you would like to stay extra nights before or after the course, please contact us.
Please contact us for any further information regarding the course. 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 meditation practice.