Retreat Overview


>>  The Forgiveness Programme (6 x 90-minute sessions Online)
>>  Waking Up (1-day)
>>  Serenity and Insight (1-day)
>> Living from the Heart (3-day / weekend)
>>  Being Human (5/6-days)
>>  Everyday Nirvana (5-days)

Retreat Information

>>  Retreat Schedule
>>  Retreat Overview
>>  Retreat Commitment [Sajja]

General Retreat Overview:

Mindful recovery retreats are offered as an opportunity to experience a wholly Buddhist approach to life after addictions and compulsions.  Retreats are open to those new to recovery as a support to an ongoing abstinence, or abandonment of harmful behaviour. 

Those who have been in recovery for a longer time – perhaps 12-step, SMART or otherwise – are also very welcome to discover an alternative and complementary approach to recovery.

Hungry Ghost Mind States

The Six Realms (mind-states) of Being : Used with the kind permission of (c) Ralph Metzner from The Buddhist Six-worlds model of consciousness and reality. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 28, 155-166 (1996)

All retreats vary in their content and focus but they generally make use of a modern depiction of the Buddhist Six Realms [mind-states] of Existence as a model for addiction and recovery.  The ancient traditional principles and practices of of Sajja (seeing the truth of our addiction & our commitment to change) and Sila (the Buddha’s original harm reduction & relapse prevention programme) are presented and explored as foundations of a Buddhist approach to recovery.

Each retreat will normally include periods of sitting, standing, walking meditation and mindful Qi-gong.

Hungry Ghost Retreats : The Six Realms [mind-states] of Addiction and Mindful Recovery

The Six Realms [mind-states] of Addiction and Mindful Recovery

It is important to note that you do not have to be a Buddhist to practice Sajja, Sila, meditation or mindfulness.   Recovering people of all faiths and none are welcome on these retreats.The essential practises of
Loving-kindness and Forgivenessfor healing our hearts and minds in recovery – are central to recovery practice and are woven into our daily schedule.

For the period of all retreats, everyone is required to commit to the training guidelines of the Five Precepts – the ethical training suggestions that are focused on developing personal harmless conduct (Sīla).

  • To refrain from intentionally harming any living being including ourselves.
  • To refrain from stealing or taking what is not freely offered.
  • To refrain from sexual and sensual misconduct.
  • To refrain from false speech (also idle gossip, harsh and divisive speech).
  • To refrain from taking substances which disturb the balance of the mind (and may lead to transgression of any or all of the above guidelines).

For the ‘Everyday Nirvana‘ retreat at the Sunyata Buddhist Centre we will adopt the Eight Precept model of practice by adding three more training guidelines to the normal Five Precepts:

  • To refrain from wearing make-up, perfume or strongly-scented deodorant, jewellery or immodest clothing; not playing radios, music tapes or musical instruments.
  • To refrain from overindulgence in sleep.
  • To refrain from eating after our main meal at lunchtime.

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Dana : The retreat teachings are offered in accordance with the Buddhist tradition of Dana (the practice and virtue of generosity) where the retreatant is invited to contribute financially to the teachings and the mentoring based on their individual income and the value that they place on what has been offered. The livelihood of the teacher is – in part – dependent on the generosity of Dana. There will be more details of this on the retreat.

To ensure that any retreat is right for you, please read all the information provided carefully. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.