Total Immersion - it's not about swimmingOn Wed, 24 August, 2016 - 08:21
Vajrapriya reports from this summer’s 28-day Buddhafield ‘Total Immersion’ retreat 2016 which took place in England in May and June, led by him and Kamalashila.
“’A world-class event!’ declared an Order member reporting out. Looking round the cluster of comrades gathered in the home-made dome, in a slightly boggy Devon field, it was easy to underestimate the extraordinariness of this event.
‘Total immersion’ doesn’t just refer to the intensity of meditation, but also to immersion in the elements. This is a camping retreat, set up from scratch in a beautiful field in Devon, bordered by a tinkling brook, and ringed with mature trees that create a naturally protected mandala for practice. Each year the Buddhafield team do an amazing job of providing the conditions for comfortable, simple living, with tasty organic food, hot tubs next to a dipping stream and campfire conviviality.
For Friends and Mitras, it may be the most intensive group meditation retreat Triratna offers; for Order Members too it’s an exceptional opportunity, maybe second only to their ordination retreat. Four weeks of silent practice (or a two-week option): meditation, mythic ritual, yoga and time to sit in the field and just be. It’s geared to experienced practitioners, with no-holds-barred teaching and regular meditation reviews.
Practising in nature, without the bounding quality of walls and roofs, encourages a sense of freedom and experimentation. The rituals evolved as organically as the shrines. Walking back after my post-puja hot tub in the settling dusk, I could see little clusters of nightlights peeping through the woods or reeds, or by the brook. I was moved by the otherworldly beauty and by people’s devotion.
Living outdoors, the idea of community and interdependence becomes a reality. Returning from my fourth Total Immersion, the second that I’ve co-led with Kamalashila, I’m left with gratitude, and awe at the magic. I’m slightly surprised that it’s not better known.
You could seriously consider it!”
Buddhafield’s next Total Immersion retreat is 6th May – 3rd June 2017, led by Vajradevi and Kamalashila.
It’s sure to be world-class!