For a meditation retreat we recommend scheduling at least four sessions of meditation, at least 45 minutes in length. Some may want to do more intensive meditation alternating sitting with walking. Other activities that we find useful are physical exercise such as qi gong, yoga or walking; study and reflection; mindful work if volunteer work is available; and interviews or spiritual direction sessions if desired.
A schedule for self retreat might look something like this:
- 7:00 a.m. yoga, qi gong or walking
- 8:00 a.m. breakfast
- 9:30 a.m. sitting meditation
- 10:15 a.m. walking meditation
- 10:45 a.m. sitting meditation
- 12:00 lunch
- 1:00 rest, walk, or read dhamma materials
- 3:00 sitting meditation
- 3:45 walking meditation
- 4:15 sitting meditation
- 5:00 light evening meal
- 7:00 sitting meditation
This is just one suggested schedule. Self retreats may be more rigorous, or more relaxed, depending on the need. They may be more physically active, or more focused on sitting meditation. They may involve more study and reading or none at all. Discernment of what is most needed, and an attitude of gentle flexibility is encouraged.
We recognize some may be seeking other types of retreat, such as writing, discernment or yoga, and Kevala is happy to host you for those sorts of retreats as well.