Creative retreats are normally the last event of the year and are for adults only. It is a chance for adults to explore a set theme and to retreat in a more formal setting.
The theme for 2016 is 'Anicca Again – resisting, welcoming, being with and learning from change'
Most of us know about the Buddha’s teaching about anicca - impermanence. Still, we tend to cling to what appears to be stable, to what feels supportive of our sense of self, our sense of control and safety: the body, our opinions, the things we are used to, feel dependent on, are inseparable from ... And yet, deep down we know that there is nothing which is permanent and certain, nothing that will not change. To acknowledge this is like acknowledging death — ego-death. It is threatening to that part of ourselves which is conditioned to identify with form, with our familiar world and circumstances. The experience of this ego-death can be a truly liberating moment: a liberation from fear, pain and rigidity. So why do we still hold on to the illusion of self and control? And how could creativity be possible without change?
We will offer devotional pujas and ways of exploring and reflecting on the theme individually and in the group. This will include periods of guided and silent meditation to strengthen present moment awareness, moving, painting etc. and the contemplation of Buddhist teachings.
Full information about the retreat can be found here
The booking form for this retreat is here
The theme for 2014 was 'Hands and Feet'. Read the account of Creative Weekend written by Ajahn Chittapala here
"Sacred Space" Creative Weekend 2010 - What we did - by Ajahn Cittapala
On the first evening, we had a welcoming session for the 24 participants who were partly new comers and partly "family campers". We were introducing the theme "Sacred Space", then taking the Three Refuges and Five Precepts, with an introduction into Buddhism. We had some games to introduce ourselves to each other and break the ice (Self Praise and Blame Game) and finally were creating a shrine together with various offerings people had brought – which was very moving.
The next morning was centered around formal sitting and walking meditation in order to cultivate a good grounding in awareness (exploring the the inner sense of spaciousness in which body-sensations, breathing, feelings, inner voices ... can be perceived as objects of awareness). This helped to get a perspective on the ever changing creations of the mind and be less attached to them.
In the afternoon, this sense of being the centre of awareness was deepened and reflected in the "voices mobiles" we were making. They were fixed to the string which ran across the shrine room, so that we could get a graphic understanding of the critical voices which tend to swirl around our heads and annoy ourselves if we we grasp and "become" them.
Saturday evening session started with a guided meditation which was suggesting to observe the constant creative flow of the mind from the "still centre" – the absolute "sacred space", embracing everything without becoming it. From there, we started an open process of finding sacred space four ourselves, from where we could be observant or creative and playful and forget about time and purpose. On one side, that was a very individual process where some people seemed to be in their own sacred bubble and parents were becoming like children; and on the other side, there was a movement of visiting the sacred spaces of others and sharing their visions.