Samita ASBL

“The Four Noble Truths” retreat with Ajahn Brahmali

Online Meditation Retreat with inspiration from the Suttas

25th November – 4th December

The Four Noble Truths

This meditation and sutta-retreat is dedicated to the development of meditation and the study of aspects of the practice. Ajahn Brahmali will focus on the four Noble Truths.

The four noble truths encompass the entire Dhamma. As such they provide a bird’s eye view of what Buddhism is all about, as well as a complete map for anyone on the most profound of all spiritual journeys. The four noble truths are also a way of looking at the world and life. They consist of a thorough investigation of the right view that stands at the beginning of the path to liberation. Right view is what gives power to the path. Our values are intimately connected with how we look at the world and life. And our values in turn shape our priorities and where we apply our energy. The fast track to awakening is aligning our outlook with the insights of the Buddha.

In meditation retreats, you let go of the complex world outside in order to reach a powerful peace within. Meditation is the path to a pure and empowered mind, the experience of which, released from the world, can be incredibly blissful and spiritually rewarding. Depending on your level of practice, as well as your life conditions, there may be some hard work, especially in the beginning. You’ll learn that effort alone is not sufficient. Effort needs to be skillful. In particular, patience and kindness towards oneself is required, and this can only be achieved through regular practice over time.

This retreat is designed to develop additional practical techniques and uncover deeper insights, building on your existing practice. Experience is not necessary but prior practice is still highly recommended. You can expect a strong focus on sitting and walking meditation for many hours a day, over the entire retreat, only interrupted by 3-4 hours of daily teaching. The bulk of your retreat time will be spent in solitude and silence, focussing on your inner states. All participants are asked to keep the meditation conditions advised by the Buddha and outlined below as long as their circumstances allow. We understand that practicing at home will pose other challenges but please consider creating conditions that help your practice as well as possible.

The retreat will be primarily held in English, but translations of the guided meditations and Q&A in French will be available to clarify aspects of the teachings.

Ven. Poonsirivara

Ven. Vimala

Please click here for more information about Ajahn Brahmali.

Ajahn Brahmali will be assisted in this retreat by Ayya Poonsirivara from Thailand and Ven. Vimala from Tilorien Monastery in Belgium.

Ayya Poonsirivara ordained in Srilanka as Samaneri, 2004, and Bhikkhuni ,2007, at Golden temple in Dumbulla. She now lives in Thailand and is abbess of Suan Siritham.

 

Eight Precepts

This is an eight-precept retreat. All who attend are asked to undertake the following precepts for the duration of the retreat. Keeping the 6th precept might be especially challenging during a home retreat but try to the best of your abilities; it will help your practice.

1. To abstain from killing living beings
2. To abstain from taking what is not given
3. To abstain from all sexual activity
4. To abstain from dishonest speech
5. To abstain from intoxicants
6. To abstain from taking food after mid-day
7. To abstain from singing, dancing, listening to music and from bodily adornments
8. To abstain from sleeping on luxurious beds

Noble Silence

Practicing at home it will also be challenging to practice “Noble Silence”, especially if you live with other people. But you can try to keep interactions to a minimum and inform others around you of the benefits of staying silent while on retreat.

Noble Silence means no talking or non-verbal communication of any kind, except of course in emergencies or discussion times with the Teacher. Noble Silence applies not only to speech but also to any signals and written notes etc. as well as to external contact by telephone or internet.

The purpose of Noble Silence is to allow the mind to let go of outer distractions and to focus as much as possible on the inner world. In this regard it is also useful to minimize eye contact with other retreatants. Practicing restraint of the senses in this way provides an essential foundation for the powerful inner work which a meditation retreat facilitates.

This Noble Silence will give the participants the maximum benefit from the meditation they learn and if you practice with others in the same facility, it minimizes the disturbance to others. Therefore, please do not play musical instruments, radios, mp3 players, etc.

Program

All times are in CET (Central European Time: Brussels/Amsterdam). If you wish to know the times in your timezone, you can use the converter.

Wednesday 25th November
18:00 –  19:00 Welcome, Introduction into the retreat, taking precepts, guided meditation (Ven. Vimala)

26th November – 3rd December
6:00 – Morning meditation and Chanting (Ven. Vimala / Ayya Poonsirivara)
7:00 – Breakfast break
8:00 – Guided meditation (Ajahn Brahmali) (Ayya Poonsirivara on Saturday)
9:00 – Dhamma Talk & Questions and Anwers (Ajahn Brahmali) (Ayya Poonsirivara on Saturday)
10:00 – Personal practice and lunch break
15:00 – Guided meditation (Ven. Vimala /Ayya Poonsirivara)
16:00 – Personal meditation practise and tea break
18:00 – Chanting and silent meditation (Ven. Vimala)
19:00 – Q&A (Ven. Vimala)
20:00 – Personal meditation practice

Friday 4th December
6:00 – Morning meditation and Chanting (Ven. Vimala / Ayya Poonsirivara)
7:00 – Breakfast break
8:00 – Guided meditation (Ajahn Brahmali)
9:00 – Dhamma Talk & Questions and Anwers (Ajahn Brahmali)
10:00 – Finish

Part-time participation

If you only wish to view the Dhamma Talks, we ask you to please watch these on our YouTube channel and not register for the retreat because there are only limited places available.

Costs

This online retreat is organised on the basis of donation. All expenses are paid for you with the kind donations of previous participants and other donors, who wish to give others the opportunity to experience the Dhamma. All work is done on a voluntary basis only; nobody receives any remuneration and also Ajahn Brahmali, Ayya Poonsirivara and Ven. Vimala give their time freely. Every participant may contribute at his/her discretion and according to his/her means, so you can also contribute to spreading the Dhamma further.

If you already like to donate something before the retreat, you can do so via our bank account but please mention your name and “Brahmali Retreat” as a reference. You can also use the PayPal “donate” button:

danaAccount: Samita ASBL
Engreux 49G, 6663 Mabompré, Belgium
BIC: TRIOBEBB
IBAN: BE24 5230 8072 9438

Every donation helps us spread the Dhamma!

 

Registration

Part-time participation: If you only wish to view the Dhamma Talks for this retreat, we will be uploading them daily to our YouTube channel. As there are limited places available, we kindly ask that you don’t register for the retreat, but instead watch the talks via the retreat playlist on YouTube.

Click here to register for the retreat.