About the Enlightenment Intensive Retreat
The primary intention of the retreat is for participants to have a “direct experience” of their true nature. Eckhart Tolle calls this an “Awakening”…an Enlightenment experience.
This 3½ day retreat was developed in 1968 by a man named Charles Berner who had explored many therapeutic modalities, studied the Rinzai Zen practice, and studied Yoga in India. Its structure resembles that of a Zen meditation retreat, and combines elements of Mindfulness, and the ancient practice of self inquiry advocated by Ramana Maharishi. It’s now offered in many locations around the world.
In the safe, supportive container of the retreat you simply devote yourself to contemplating the question “Who am I?” during all activities each day. There are several other questions some may want to contemplate such as “What am I?” or “What is Life?“
You’ll also be working in dyads (with other individual participants) at speciﬁc times during each day in a very powerful, structured process of focused contemplation, authentic communication and attentive listening. As you sit with a partner you express fully what is coming up for you in your contemplation, including a “direct experience” if it occurs. Your partner simply listens attentively, without comment or judgement and tries to understand you.
This simple yet profound practice allows you to peel away the many layers of limiting defences, barriers, and stories that hold you back. You are then more open to having a “direct experience” of Who you really are; not to talk or read about it, or even watch a video about it, which is all great, but to have a “direct experience” of it.
The structure and process of the retreat is designed to support and encourage you. The staff and I have all gone through the same process many times themselves, They are dedicated to providing the same support and encouragement, and to holding the space for you.
You don’t need any previous meditation experience. You simply need to participate and commit to the practice for the 3½ days.
The retreat is not associated with any organization or belief system. Nevertheless, it honours all spiritual and religious traditions. It offers an incredible inner journey of self awareness and spiritual awakening full of adventure, frustration, mystery, breakthroughs and self discovery.
You will also have time on the final day to reflect on what you have experienced and learned about yourself, and consider how to apply it to your daily life.
I will be available after the retreat to support your transition if you wish.
Participants find that benefits include:
• greater mental clarity, insight and self awareness.
• increased ability to face the stressful situations and challenges in all areas of life.
• more compassion for yourself and others.
• improved ability to communicate with others more freely, truthfully and comfortably.
• ability to live more mindfully in the present no matter how frustrating or painful.
• the joy of releasing limiting thoughts, beliefs and fears that the ego/mind has created, and hold you back from living more fully and authentically.
• the exhilaration of living from your Authentic Self, with more compassion and freedom, vitality and purpose
With a “direct experience” you connect with the Divine, with all that is, with Oneness. Its depth may not match that of the Buddha, but the experience itself is the same. Moreover, it is unique to you. It will remain with you and serve to support you in living more authentically from Who you really are.
All these benefits are open to you during the retreat, and will continue into your daily life with your continued commitment, dedication, and a supportive community.