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Summer Sangha Retreat @home Helpful tips


Our Sangha Home Online Retreat aims to help recreate the conditions of calm and inspiration that we may experience at any retreat centre.

Here are some useful pointers to help you get the most out of this opportunity for practice, study and Sangha friendships.

A Preparing for the retreat

We recognise this can present difficulties if sharing a home with others but we recommend the following:

1. Create a dedicated space for yourself in advance, where you can be undisturbed, with your meditation cushion/chair, your device for zooming and writing materials.

2. In your dedicated space maybe create a shrine if you don’t already have one. This could be a simple candle and some flowers or picture to create a suitable change of atmosphere from the everyday.

3. Restrict, or preferably stop, other online activity, turn off telephones, TV, radio for the duration of the retreat.

4. Clear your diary and avoid social engagements outside of the retreat, try to maintain that peaceful, quiet space between zoom sessions.

5. Explain what you are doing to others, maybe ask someone else to walk the dog, prepare meals, etc. where possible.

6. Make sure you know how to access the Zoom meeting and have the relevant invitation or codes to hand. Trying one of the other Ipswich Budhhist Centre classes before may be a good idea.

7. If you are going on retreat for the first time and would like to discuss this beforehand please speak to the team.

B. Meditation

1. Knowledge of the Mindfulness of Breathing and the Metta Bhavana meditation practices are desirable but not essential.

2. If you have not come across these please attend either the special introductory session on the late afternoon/early evening of Friday 17th July and/or two of our regular introductory session (Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings).

3. We will offer support and guidance throughout the retreat, so please ask.

C. During the retreat

1. Be mindful that the Zoom experience is shared by others, so please take care to avoid sharing background noises. Use the mute feature when necessary.

2. Regular breaks are scheduled – See programme.

3. Saturday lunch: this can be a shared time, so bring your lunch to the group chat if you wish.

4. Change positions as necessary to avoid stiffness of sitting in one place for a prolonged period.

5. Please don’t forget to turn off your video while moving around or if you need to leave the meeting temporarily.

6. Saturday afternoon, maybe go for a walk or some exercise. Try to connect with nature if at all possible.

7. You can also make contact with your group leader, who will be an order member, if at any time you would like to talk to someone or have any queries. You can do this using the ‘chat’ facility in Zoom.

8. Aim to attend all the sessions. If you miss a session or two it will not be serious but if you decide to drop out please notify the organiser or your group leader.

9. If you suddenly go offline or have any other technical problems please phone the team and we’ll do our best to reconnect you