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Most people are down-to-earth (Zen is the antithesis of hippy-dippy floatiness) – a mix of students, professionals, self-employed business people and the odd actor. Silence is maintained, other then when talking during Sanzen, and meals are also taken in silence. How was it for us:  This was like no retreat I’ve ever been on – and I’ve been on countless numbers over the last 25 years. I’ve done tons of ‘inner work’ and taken hordes of ‘self-help’ workshops but they all seem a bit wishy-washy in comparison. But even more bizarre was listening to other people – some kept it pretty vague, but others really delved into the darkest corners of their psyches and I found myself staring at them in wonder. I even grew to love my little ‘cell’ and, truly, the communal bath block was a breeze (I never even saw anyone there).
What we took home: Gradually I have found myself becoming much calmer, more centred, more serene. People watch: Daizan Skinner stepped off the corporate ladder about twenty years ago, giving up a promising career as a scientist.
You can make yourself hot drinks in one of two communal kitchens throughout the day, and there’s a tin of digestive biscuits to plunder.
However, food does vary enormously according to which retreat centre you go to (for instance, at Anam Cara in Scotland, all the food is vegetarian, often organic, and apparently very delicious).
What’s lowly: We tried to pretend that the school dinner meals at Mirfield were retro and fun, but it didn’t quite work. Insider tip: Pack toiletries (there’s only soap on offer) and we’d advise some lovely bath oils or bubbles – even Zen retreaters need a little bit of creature comfort.
Price going solo: The Intensive Zen retreats cost from ?141 for three nights’ accommodation, food and drinks.
Sister events and retreats: Zenways runs regular Zen yoga classes and meditation practice (in London and around the UK) and day and weekend retreats and teacher trainings at various venues in Yorkshire, Buckinghamshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Inverness and the Cambrian mountains in Wales). Queen of Retreats is the leading independent travel website that helps you sift through the healthy holiday hype, set up by Times journalist and retreat expert Caroline Sylger Jones. All the material you find on this site has been meticulously researched and written by a hand-picked team of professional journalists with a passion for retreating. Enjoy the treats and delights of vegan, whole food cooking and yoga on this 2 day weekend retreat.
Relax in the beautiful surrounds of Hepburn Retreat Centre, where resident chef, Alexis will help you to discover your inner chef, exploring an amazing range of exotic and every day ingredients, and food combining for flavour and nutritional value. Included in the retreat are hands-on vegan cooking classes, raw food preparation sessions, as well as a yoga classes each day. Discover the secrets of how to prepare Hepburn Retreat Centre’s famous vegan banquet, exploring the art of preparing and cooking grains, pulses and vegetables to create optimum nourishment, flavour and visual appeal.
Throughout the retreat, you will feasting on the delicious, healthy vegan meals that you cook, as well as enjoying a selection of raw food treats, smoothies, gluten free vegan cakes and biscuits. Workshops will include discussions on nutrition, ayurveda, food, veganism, vegetarianism and yoga. This weekend of vegan, whole foods cooking and food preparation workshops offers you the opportunity to develop your cooking skills in a weekend, with time out from your busy city schedule to relax and unwind. The Byron Bay retreat is a perfect opportunity to give back to yourself and recharge the batteries. The setting is not bad either, you’ll be staying in a beautiful modern homes right on Suffolk Park Beach which is one of the most sublime locations in Byron Bay.
For the unfamiliar ‘Rounding’ is an advanced system which combines a specific Yoga Asana sequence (physical postures), Pranayama (Yogic breathing technique) Meditation and Shavasana (resting technique) which serves to prepare the mind for the deepest possible dive in meditation.
Throughout the retreat we will explore deeply ‘the healing of consciousness’ and all the methods for becoming fully present in life.  You’ll come away refreshed mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, but more importantly have obtained practical tools that Gary has never taught before that will enable you to sustain this state in your daily life. The Benefits?: The whole program is so intelligently designed that it will dissolve years of stress and brings the equivalent benefit of 12 months daily meditation in only 7 days!!
Other special features of these retreats is the connections that develops amongst the group and how fun the whole journey is. Accommodation: ?For the duration of the retreat we will be staying in 3 magnificent beachfront properties in Belongil Beach. This book provides useful information for those who want to know how to prepare for long meditations at Acem retreats. The famous Dutch cartoonist Barbara Stok recently won the most prestigious cartoon prize in the Netherlands.
In a recent large-scale American review of meditation research, Acem Meditation is referred to 31 times, and seven studies on Acem Meditation are evaluated.


The 500-page evidence-based review, Meditation Practices for Health: State of the Research by Ospina et al. Dr Solberg summarises his thesis in the recent Acem book Fighting Stress: Reviews of Meditation Research.
One grey morning in April 2001, a Norwegian who had taken some days off from work was observed in the grounds of Hamburg University distributing leaflets announcing a course in Acem Meditation.
Since Acem was founded in 1966, the organisation has taught meditation in a number of languages, including Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese. Many of the participants had learnt other forms of meditation before, but wanted to switch to Acem Meditation, which they felt had more to offer. The President of Acem Taiwan is a renowned authority on sports psychology and a well-known personality among the island’s sports enthusiasts. As a highly successful photographer, Caroline von Tuempling is not easy to reach on her home phone in Sussex. The organisation, set up by Daizan Skinner, a scientist turned Zen master, runs a series of events in London and around the UK, and its ‘signature’ retreat is a three night intensive Zen weekend retreat which offers the chance for anyone (regardless of whether you have ever meditated before) to achieve ‘satori’ or ‘enlightenment’ – yes, in one weekend!
You get up at 6am and throughout the day there are 13 sessions of Group Sanzen, during which you sit in lines, opposite a partner, and explore the question, ‘Who am I?’ One person asks the question, ‘Tell me who you are?’ and then sits, in silence, observing without judgement, as the other person looks within and expresses whatever comes up. It can be confrontational and it can be very intense but Daizan is always available for guidance. There is a little free time – but not much – and you’re expected to continue the work (that wretched question, ‘Who am I?’) throughout.
The Scottish retreats are held in Anam Cara, a beautiful retreat centre outside Inverness, in the Highlands, where accommodation comprises modified caravans set in the earth.
Sitting opposite someone as they look gently at you, in silence, while you fumble to catch your thoughts, is tough, really tough.
Each and every face came into sharp focus and, bear with me (this really does sound very hippy-dippy) they were all so beautiful. I am keeping up my questioning, and ask myself, ‘Who am I?’ frequently throughout the day: I don’t know why but it’s making a huge difference. Now I know what to expect (and that there are no expectations) I’d love to try again – and hopefully, next time, get the ‘awakening’ experience.
He gave all his money away and entered a Zen monastery in Japan, eventually becoming a Roshi, or Zen Master. If you’re looking for something way deeper than the usual retreat experience, something more akin to the original idea of retreating, you will love this.
Zenways purposefully keep their prices at rock bottom to make this as accessible as possible, and we really applaud them for it. The vegan recipes will use use local, seasonal, and organic produce, to cook delicious vegan meals and prepare raw food meals and treats that promote health & vitality on this 2 day vegan cooking course with Alexis and Ostii.
Our website is still under construction and testing, so may appear a little messy and incomplete. Gary’s retreats have become legendary over the years and this particular retreat is unlike any he has offered before. Numbers are strictly limited so if you’d like to take part then register your interest now. Each house has a pool and all participants will have their own generous sized private rooms (unless you’re sharing). The only prerequisite for this retreat is that you have learned the Vedic Meditation Technique. Long meditations contribute to increased insight into one’s meditation process, as well as refined meditation practice in one’s daily life. Solberg, a specialist in internal medicine, cardiology and sports medicine, has eight publications in the reference list. This book also includes reviews of other meditation research in a format which is accessible to the general reader. Although Mr Jayaraj lives in New Delhi, more than 2000 kilometres away, he will return to Trichy and give new Acem courses in Tamil later this year.
Some are beginners, while others have been meditating for many years through different stages of life.
When we solve a meditation dilemma, we expand our psychological freedom in everyday life,” says Dr. Even at the time when he was learning Acem Meditation in Taipei 16 years ago, he was a soft-spoken man who asked simple questions. By Carmen Ornelas.Silence - Learn the Power of Silence within the Yossum Concept of Yoga, Silence and Meditation with Self-Understanding and Spiritual Growth. Retreats in Italy, Holland, Spain, India.Yoga - Learn the Power of Yoga in the Yossum Concept.
Prices are kept rock bottom, so don’t expect glamorous surroundings – some retreat centres are strictly no frills, bordering on the monastic.


Zenways attracts a broad mix of people – ages ranged from 20s – 80s on the retreat we experienced.
So if you’re the type who worries over the thread count of your sheets and is snobby about your brand of herbal teabags, turn politely away (although, on the other hand, it could be exactly what you need!).
Some rooms have ensuite bathrooms; others share toilet, shower and bathroom blocks (actually this is fine – there’s something more reassuringly impersonal about this set-up than sharing a bathroom with one or two other people). It’s far less Spartan and far more alternative-eco – but also a bit more snug (you share the caravans). That pesky question, ‘Who am I?’ annoyed the hell out of me and, if someone had said, ‘Okay, you can go and stack shelves in Tesco for the weekend instead,’ I would have licked their feet with gratitude. Not having to ‘do’ mindless chitchat is always a relief and, when, on the last morning, Daizan said we could talk, I actually felt wistful. His presence is calm, certain, clear – but he is also incredibly down-to-earth and kind, with a great sense of humour. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free choices are available (you need to book in advance) but these were reminiscent of 1970s vegetarian cooking (basically ratatouille served several ways). But don’t abuse their generosity – they are hoping to build their own centre and all donations go towards this. There will be a huge selection of books about nutrition, cooking, food preparation and more on hand to read in your spare time. For 7 days you’ll be immersed in a transformational program that brings together a full range of holistic modalities designed to rejuvenate the body, heal the mind and awaken your consciousness.
Every morning you’ll be greeted by the sunrise and have plenty of time to enjoy all flavors of nature in this exquisite region. If you have not yet learned VM you can organise to do a course with Gary prior to the Retreat.
The book is useful for those who want to participate in an Acem Meditation retreat, whether it is a weekend or a weeklong retreat.
Now, three years later, the same Norwegian is in charge of a vast array of Acem activities in Germany, with courses being held in about 20 German cities.
Irudayaraj Jayaraj, who is an assistant instructor in Acem Meditation, began to give courses in the city of Trichy in Tamil Nadu province in India in February. It was not immediately apparent to someone meeting him for the first time that he was Taiwan’s leading authority on sports psychology or that he was an accomplished professor who often appeared in the newspapers and on radio and television. This summer she visited Scandinavia, where she travelled with her choir and participated in a summer course in Acem Meditation. The Americans withdrew, and the communists entered Saigon, where Lorna lived with her husband and three sons.
Do expect hard work – retreats run from 6am – 11pm (with no chit-chat and not a whiff of a spa in sight). It’s not stylish or chic but it does the job and the rooms are pristinely clean and warm. The grounds are extensive and admirably suited for walking meditation, with a mix of wild areas, contemplation gardens and more formally set up gardens. In Wales, ‘home’ is a yoga centre, another eco-centre in the middle of the Cambrian mountains, with a variety of yurts, cottages and studios to stay in, while the Derbyshire and Dorset retreat homes are big old country houses.
This was the third Acem course to be held in the city, but the first one to be conducted in the Tamil language. Participants are brought up to date with the latest developments in the psychology of Acem Meditation.
Self-Understanding - Learn about the Power of Self-Understanding within the Yossum Concept. In addition, there’s Zazen (silent meditation) sessions, walking meditation (where you get to walk outside, still reflecting on your question), qigong sessions, breathing exercises and talks. And, get this, there’s even a ‘no sex’ rule – with your partner, anyone else or even flying solo.
The review concludes that meditation has a positive effect on high blood pressure and other problems. At one point she started to feel that her hectic life style was eating its way into her creativity. Unfortunately, her youngest son, only three months old, was not allowed to leave, and had to stay behind with his father.
In Hamburg, for example, groups of meditators meet regularly, and long meditations are arranged 4-5 times a year. Almost three years would pass before she saw them again, when her husband and youngest son also managed to flee to Taiwan.
Simple and practical: Yoga, Silence and Meditation with Self-Understanding and Spiritual Growth.



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