Date: 8th – 11th March 2019 

Retreat Leader: Andy Wistreich & Shan Tate

Requirements: None

Cost: Generosity Model – Donation only (no suggested amount). 

Start and Finish times: 7pm on the 8th to 2pm on the 11th. People are welcome to arrive the day before and leave the day after is travelling long distances.

Accommodation: Dormitory beds, double and single rooms will be available at Land of Joy. Camping can be an option at certain times of year if you have your own tent but space is very limited. Beds are allocated based on individual or logistical needs.

About the Retreat

We can develop an interest in the path without a teacher, using books and our intelligence, but at a certain point we need guidance and support from someone more knowledgeable than us. Otherwise our path will be limited. So, in the buddhist tradition the spiritual teacher is considered pivotal.

However, when are we ready to engage with a teacher? How should we choose one? Once we embark, how can we benefit from the relationship, and what pitfalls should we avoid? What levels of engagement with a teacher are there? Is every teacher our guru? What does it mean to take a guru?

These are some of the questions we shall explore in this short retreat, which covers the fourth module of the FPMT Discovering Buddhism programme (assessment will be available for those who seek a certificate). 

The retreat includes talks, discussions and meditations. The course will be based in a non-dogmatic way on the FPMT tradition. All questions and issues will be considered in an open and balanced way.

Recommended (not required) prior reading: The Heart of the Path by Lama Zopa Rinpoche; The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment by Lama Tsong Khapa Volume 1, Chapter 4 – Relying on the Teacher.

About the Teachers

Andy Wistreich and Shan Tate have studied and practised buddhism together in FPMT since 1980 and have taught this course several times in recent years. They have their own rich experience of relating with spiritual teachers, and of supporting others through the process. They know how positive the relationship can be, but also how it can go wrong if mishandled. Andy and Shan have been teaching and leading meditations together at Saraswati study group in Somerset since 1992.