Osho Vipassana retreats combine traditional Vipassana meditation with Osho’s active meditations. These retreats are specifically designed for the modern man and woman, adapted to our hectic lifestyles where we are so often emotionally absent. Living in dreams for the future and regrets for the past, we completely forget the present moment.
To enter a retreat is to take a step towards yourself and have time to discover yourself without distraction. It is an opportunity to see what destabilises us, what moves us, where our thoughts lead. The structure of the retreat, the silence, the sitting and the active meditations, the food – everything will help us on this journey towards ourselves.
Structure of the Retreat
It is alternating sitting sessions with OSHO active meditations, with the gong indicating the end of our sitting sessions and Vipassana walking sessions. All in silence, without communication… The sound of Indian cymbals indicates that it is time to return to the meditation room after meals and breaks. It is important to be attentive to these calls that will regulate our days. Allow yourself the luxury of forgetting about mobile phones, internet and the watch for the duration of the retreat. This will help us to focus our attention on ourselves.
A period of conscious silence gives meaning and weight to our words, teaches us to listen better and facilitates our journey inwards. We are therefore in silence throughout the retreat. We also avoid eye contact with others, looking down at the ground about two metres in front of us. It is recommended that we do not read or write during the retreat; these are just another way to escape into our imagination. Let us stay in the present moment. Notice also how automatic our so-called politeness has become; the desire to greet, to thank, to apologise…
There will be time for practical matters and sharing.
Work as Meditation
Perhaps on one day of the retreat there will be a session of light physical work, such as weeding the garden, peeling and chopping vegetables for meals, cleaning the meditation room or restaurant, etc. Apart from the usefulness of participating in daily tasks there are several other benefits:
- moving our bodies and working muscles that may be sore after periods of sitting meditation
- practising mindfulness in different situations – the feeling of the knife/towel/brush in our hands, our movements
- understanding that meditation is not separate from our daily activities. Can we be mindful and attentive while working? It is one thing to be centred in a sitting meditation, but it is quite another to remain centred in the office or factory or in difficult situations. The retreat is a perfect learning experience for this, and if we can stay fully aware during simple activities, with a little practice we can do so in more complex situations.
The lighter the food, the deeper we can go in meditation. During the retreat, all food is as much as possible vegan. There are three meals a day and an afternoon tea break. People with special dietary requirements will be able to eat according to their needs. Please let us know when you book.
What to bring:
- comfortable clothingfor active meditations
- warm clothing for silent sittings – a shawl or a blanket
- inside shoes
- a meditation cushion or chair, if you have one
- a water bottle withyour name on it – you could fill it here
- a blindfold to keep your eyes closed during the active meditations
Osho explains about Vipassana:
“Let the spine be erect and the body be loose, hanging on the spine – not tense. The body should be loose, relaxed, the spine erect, so gravitation has the least pull on you.”
“Vipassana simply means witnessing. And that has been my whole life’s effort: to teach you awareness, witnessing, alertness, consciousness.”
“When I say watch, don’t try to watch; otherwise you will become tense again and you will start concentrating on the breath. Simply relax, remain relaxed, loose. And look – because what else can you do? You are there, nothing to be done, everything accepted, nothing to be denied, rejected, no struggle, no fight, no conflict, breathing going deep – what can you do? You simply watch. Remember, simply watch; don’t make an effort to watch.”
“Here, Vipassana is a juicy experience; it is not dry.
“I have a few criticisms against the Vipassana that is being practiced in Buddhist lands. They have all made it very dry, desert-like; nothing blossoms, no greenery; everything is simply businesslike. I want you to learn meditation as a play, as playfulness.
“Your silence should not be the silence of a graveyard, your silence should be the silence of a garden. Once in a while a bird starts singing, but it does not disturb the silence, it deepens it. Once in a while the breeze comes with its song, passes through the pine trees, but it does not disturb the silence, it deepens it.
“I want a meditation that can laugh, that can dance.”
“All meditations – hundreds of techniques – are available, but the essence of all those techniques is the same, just their forms differ. And the essence is contained in the meditation Vipassana.
“That is the meditation that has made more people in the world enlightened than any other, because it is the very essence. All other meditations have the same essence, but in different forms; something nonessential is also joined with them. But Vipassana is pure essence. You cannot drop anything out of it and you cannot add anything to improve it.
“Vipassana is such a simple thing that even a small child can do it.”