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  • What is it like to be on retreat?
    When you arrive on retreat, you’ll immediately feel like you’ve entered a different world. It is a place where you can be fully present with yourself and others. We’ll ask you to switch off your mobile phones and electronic devices to help you relax and get your well-earned screen break. (Rivendell has an emergency phone number, so you won’t need to worry about missing anything important.) Every retreat operates on a simple schedule to allow you to fully relax and deepen your practice. Everything feels different on retreat - the colours become more vivid, the mind more flexible. We also experience everyday tasks differently - we share light domestic tasks on a daily basis, which create a context for mindfulness and deepening connections. We also have periods of friendly silence that allow us to turn inward and really be with our experience. You might discover how much energy you have when you don’t have to think about what to say next! That said, it’s important to note that a Buddhist retreat is not the same as a spa retreat or a holiday. We turn towards the mind, rather than away from it, which can be an initially challenging experience. This is why a team of teachers and experienced practitioners are present to assist you whenever you need it. A retreat is a well-supported and contained space, where you are never alone. However, we cannot offer any therapeutic help, so if you’re currently experiencing mental health difficulties, grief or any other strong or upsetting states of mind, please consider if a retreat is right for you at present and whether there are other supports you need in your life. If you’re unsure, please contact the retreat team or Rivendell before booking.
  • What is the accommodation like?
    Rivendell Buddhist Retreat Centre is situated on the edge of a small East Sussex village, in a former Victorian rectory. Surrounding the house is a lovely garden, beyond which lie fields and woodland. The shrine room is located in the garden, easily accessible from the main house. Rivendell provides simple yet comfortable communal accommodation. Shared single-sex accommodation is mostly in upstairs bedrooms, there is also a shepherd’s hut and a downstairs bedroom. One single bedroom is available for people with specific health concerns.
  • What is the food like?
    Delicious vegan food is prepared by volunteer cooks during the full length of the retreat. Retreatants have three shared meals a day together, at regular times: a filling breakfast, light lunch and hot dinner. Cooks do their best to cater to people with food allergies, so if you have dietary requirements that shouldn’t stop you from going on retreat.
  • What should I bring on retreat?
    You will likely find that you fewer things on retreat than in your everyday life, and we encourage you to only bring what is necessary for a simple life. Useful things to bring are: · Towel (essential) - we do have spares if you forget · Toiletries (essential) · A water bottle for use throughout the retreat (optional) · Warm clothes and hot waterbottle · Outside clothing (inc. waterproofs and boots/wellies) · Money for taxi (optional) · Torch(optional)
  • Is going on retreat for me?
    Have you had enough of the daily hamster-wheel and need a break? Do you feel like there’s more to life than going through the motions? Attending a retreat is a great opportunity to leave the distraction and chaos of the world behind and enter a space of peace and quiet. Retreats create conditions for your nervous system to rest and your mind to open up to new possibilities. If you’re curious about seeing the world in a different way and want to change your life for the better, going on retreat is for you!
  • Who runs the retreats?
    Each retreat is led by a team of experienced Buddhist practitioners. They include teachers of Buddhism and meditation from the Triratna Buddhist Order, along with volunteers who handle the retreat's practical details. Everyone on the team takes part in the retreat and gives their time freely to ensure the retreat is a peaceful and helpful experience. They are available throughout the retreat to answer your questions and provide support.
  • When do retreats start and end?
    Retreat generally start at 6pm on the first day, but retreatants are encouraged to arrive earlier to allow time and space to settle in - you are welcome to come from 5pm onwards. Once you have arrived we ask you to stay for the whole retreat and follow the retreat schedule. Weekend retreats end between 3pm and 4pm, while longer retreats end earlier on the last day.
  • How should I travel to and from the retreat?
    Most people choose to travel by car or train. Travel by car Rivendell is easily accessible by car but parking space is limited, so it's best not to arrive with large vehicles. For more information regarding how to get to Rivendell by car, see button below. Travel by train There is a direct hourly train service from London Bridge, linking East Croydon with Buxted and Uckfield (the nearest train stations to Rivendell). From these stations you can choose to travel by taxi, unless you wish to walk or cycle. Please note: Uckfield and Buxted stations do not have taxi ranks and the number of taxis available in the local area is limited. It is often impossible to get a taxi between 4pm-7pm without it having been booked the day before travelling. Return Journey Lifts to the nearest train stations are usually available at the end of each retreat. This is organised by the retreat team. The retreat centre’s address is: Rivendell Buddhist Retreat Centre Chillies Lane, High Hurstwood, East Sussex, TN22 4AB
  • What is the general retreat schedule?
    While every retreat is different, they largely follow the following schedule: Wake up bell at 6.30am, bedtime by 10pm. Communal breakfast, lunch and dinner at regular times. Formal activities include meditation sessions, talks and rituals led by Buddhism and meditation teachers. There are plenty of free time to rest, read, socialise with other retreatants and go on walks. You’ll be asked to participate in a short work period most days. There are periods of comfortable silence to deepen the retreat experience.
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