|Date||5–20 November 2022|
|Venue||Biela Skala (Častá, near Pezinok)|
(sponsored price available)
This course will be taught jointly by Katarína Bírešová & Václav Šmilauer − see about us.
On this retreat of the Vipassana meditation, we welcome both beginners and those with prior meditation experience, irrespective of religion, gender or age (16+). Vipassana is a Buddhist contemplation method; however, one does not need to be Buddhist (or have knowledge of Buddhism) to fully benefit from the meditation; in fact most course participants are not.
We recommend to go through the whole course to gain the full benefit. It is nevertheless possible to come for a shorter time (at least 4 nights) as the course proceeds on individual basis.
The number of participants is limited to 15, due to the individual approach of the course and capacity of the facilities.
All participants are given detailed introduction into meditation at the beginning of the course.
The course is organized around directing attention inwards as much as possible. Participants sleep 6 hours a day, breakfast is served usually 6:30, lunch at 11:30. The rest of the time is dedicated to the practice with short breaks between “rounds” (walking+sitting meditation). The course is conducted in silence (and off-line). Whatever happens during the day can be discussed with the teacher at daily individual meetings; however, teachers are available 24/7 if needed. The teachers might adjust the regime individually if necessary (e.g.due to medical conditions).
Participants follow traditional 8 precepts which support meditation by eliminating distractions and make it easier to share space with others: no killing, stealing, sexual activities, lying, intoxicants, eating after lunch, entertainment (reading, writing, singing, music, yoga, phone, internet, …) & cosmetics, luxury.
Food is vegetarian; snacks are served in the evening (youghurt, fruit juice, piece of cheese). Water, teas and coffee is available all day round.
The accommodation is individual by default. In the (rather infrequent) case of capacity exhaustion, we will try to find solution which works for everyone.
Participants can be contacted by their families in case of emergency through organizers.
The whole course officially starts the first day at 4 p.m. and finishes the last day after breakfast.
Biela Skala (White Rock) is an oasis in the Little Carpathians, surrounded by forest, 35 km from Bratislava.
The closest (3km on the road) bus stops are Píla,,Stará Škola (Pezinok district; direct connection from Bratislava). We will pick you up at these stops as needed, just let us know in advance.
If you travel by car, look for Kaplnka Matky Dobrej Rady, Píla (the last bit of the road is bicycle-only in the maps and navigation will not send you correctly), where you turn uphill; there is a sign saying Liečebňa Biela Skala, it is about 3km from the site. If the entrance gate is closed, ring the bell there.
Accommodation costs 36€/night, food will be paid from donations. A deposit of 120€ (less if you come for a shorter time) is payable in advance by bank transfer, the rest at the start of the course (transfer/cash).
If the accommodation price is prohibitive for you, you are welcome to contact us and we will try to offer you something you can afford, and have the rest paid by sponsors. If you can pay more, thus becoming sponsor of others, you are the most welcome to do so.
Teaching itself is on a donation basis (dāna), following the tradition that meditation should be accessible to anyone. Donations can be given in cash at the place, or by transfer.
- loose comfortable white/light clothes (by tradition) or neutral colors, covering shoulders and knees;
- warm socks for inside; also take warm clothes (like jumpers, long sleeve shirts, …);
- toiletries (toothpaste, shower gel);
alarm clock/timerwe will have enough to borrow; note that using phones is not possible);
- optionally your favourite tea/coffee, cushion, blanket;
- flask (thermos) for hot water (for colder weather);
- course fee (minus deposit) in cash, or send it in advance by bank transfer;
- cash for donation for teachers after the course; bank transfer will be also possible;
- any medication you take or might need.
- if you have enough capacity (traveling by car), please take your own yoga-mat — it can be used for walking meditation on the floor (there are carpets in the rooms but not in the meditation hall).
Keep in mind that the body might be cold in meditation. Even though there are blankets at our disposal to cover the shoulders during sitting, you will definitely make good use of warm clothes you bring.