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28.10.2015
For years, travelers seeking serenity and spiritual renewal have made their way to India's ashrams and retreat centers to learn the wisdom of ancient practices like yoga, meditation and Ayurveda healing. From by-donation yoga programs at a southern India center to luxury wellness retreats at an upscale Himalayas destination spa, these 10 retreat centers accommodate every budget and level of interest, from the yoga-curious to experienced meditation practitioners. The Art of Living International Center, a 65-acre campus located on top of the Panchagiri Hills outside Bangalore, is a popular destination for peace-seekers from abroad heading to India for the ashram experience. Join Tricia Mary Lee and Maria Sangiorgi, Members of The Sacred Dance Guild, for a Dance Holiday in May.
This retreat offers an ideal opportunity for established meditators to deepen their practice. The meditation technique is taught strictly in accordance to the Buddhist Tipitaka (The Buddhist Canon).
By Land: You are suggested to stop in Amherst bus station if you arrive by bus from out of state or Canada. Maha GhosanandaSlideshows: Extraordinary Funeral and Memorial Services for His Holiness Samdech Dr. In 1992 I was committed to psychiatric hospitals, suffering from voices, fear, isolation, and visions that led to a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder schizophrenia. When I am flooded with terrifying images and voices, stillness and listening clear a pathway for choice and control. Meditation retreats are important to my practice, a place to reduce the clamor of daily life and increase the opportunity for discovery.
A friend called me recently from Northern California, in tears that his hospitalization as a teenager meant being banned from a retreat, when he knew that others, with far less experience and dedication in their practices, were welcomed.
I understand the need for meditation retreats, like any difficult program such as wilderness survival or sports training, to screen applicants.
Under the ADA, employers, businesses, schools, and other institutions are not allowed to ask about the specific disabilities of prospective participants, employees, or students. Meditation retreats usually fall under the ADA exemption allowed for religious organizations, even though they offer public services. Any meditation retreat that asks about the psychiatric histories of participants is therefore not technically in violation of the letter of the ADA, but it is certainly in violation of the spirit. Given that retreat centers do have a legitimate need to screen people for their ability to participate, the question becomes, Can retreats accomplish this and remain within the spirit of the ADA? Many people who have had harrowing experiences going off the deep end of madness, landing in psychiatric hospitals and labeled bipolar, schizophrenic, or borderline, have nonetheless gone on to become perfectly capable of completing rigorous meditation retreats. I know firsthand how important dharma practice is and the vital role that retreats and sanghas have played for my spirit and my health.
Whether you're looking for a disciplined daily meditation routine at a spiritual center or a luxury spa with a focus on wellness and healing, the country's many retreat centers all promise visitors stress reduction, self-discovery and an escape from a busy urban lifestyle. With mountainside trails, gardens, a lake and organic farms surrounding the facility, it's the perfect place to get some peace and quiet.


To retreat invites a safe inner space for contemplation, revelation, transformation and illumination. At Inner Harmony you can meet group of skilled instructor besides listening world reknown Saint Samdarshi Ji during his Satsang.
Since then, these same experiences guided me to the deeper questions of self and reality addressed by the dharma, and meditation practice has become an essential part of my life. I have spoken to many meditators with mental illness labels who share similar feelings from these policies: shame and violation. Retreats often involve great psychological and physical stress, and can stir up powerful emotions and experiences. This includes questions such as whether the person is deaf, in a chair, has been in a psychiatric hospital, or is on medication.
That is to say, religious organizations are free to deny deaf interpreters, have no wheelchair ramps, or ban service dogs without fear of civil liability and being sued. Can retreats screen applicants without being intrusive or relying on assumptions about what people with psychiatric diagnoses are capable of? There are many Buddhist retreat centers around the world, from all traditions and varieties, that are already doing this. And many people with no psychiatric history at all have found themselves unable to complete the same challenging retreats. The ADA and the disability rights movement are working to ensure that people who are different from the mainstream are not segregated and excluded based on assumptions, misunderstandings, and stereotypes. I am also diagnosed with schizophrenia, and I know how painful, shaming, and humiliating some retreat policies can be. In 2004 Will was the recipient of the Disability Rights Award from the area’s Center for Independent Living.
Guests (who come from all cultures and religious backgrounds) are invited to participate in voluntary service, helping with cooking, cleaning and general upkeep of the ashram. To be in Bali, is to enter a place of beauty which is honoured and Blessed in the Sacred traditions of that culture.
Dejapanno Phorn Pheap, are former Vipassana trainees of the late and renownedVipassana Buddhist Master, Ven. Overwhelming fears become more manageable with observation, and dreamlike coincidences, telepathy, and omens lose their dangerous and seductive fascination when understood as expressions of the timeless unity of mind. With the intention of protecting my own safety and the safety of their centers, retreats around the world regularly deny attendance to anyone labeled with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar, and ask detailed and intrusive questions about psychiatric history, diagnosis, medication, and current medical care. Sitting for hours, living in silence, and breaking familiar routines of food, sleep, and work can be overwhelming. Such questions invade privacy and are based on stereotypes about what people can and cannot do, stereotypes the disability rights movement is working to end. Passed in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act is a comprehensive civil rights measure that protects from discrimination people who are, have been, or are perceived to be disabled.


Asking whether they can complete a specific task is allowed, but asking for personal information about any disability itself is considered discriminatory.
They don’t ask intrusive questions or exclude people based on their diagnostic label or psychiatric histories.
We are not necessarily more fragile, vulnerable, or unstable than others just because of our mental health experiences. When I began to meditate regularly, my emotional wellbeing improved so much that dedication and insights came quickly.
If we are on the side of social justice and compassion in the world, we should be on the side of social justice and compassion in our own communities. In the face of admissions discrimination, I have, like many people who go to retreats, kept my psychiatric details hidden.
Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness. Most importantly of all, when I am visited by seemingly demonic forces, I greet them as an opportunity: an opportunity to look more deeply at the trauma inside myself. Without realizing what they are doing, these retreat centers are stigmatizing and discriminating.
From time to time a retreat participant will go into an emotional crisis or need additional attention and care, which is disruptive to other participants and can, on rare occasion, lead to hospitalization. The ADA is historic legislation that has spawned revisions of international law and is looked to worldwide as a guide to fair treatment of people with disabilities, including people labeled with mental illnesses. These retreats either describe the challenges of their programs and let participants decide for themselves, or they have found neutral, non-discriminatory questions to ask applicants, questions that, in compliance with the ADA, focus on what a person can do without making assumptions about who they are.
Given the growth of mental illness labeling thanks to pharmaceutical company marketing, and given the inaccuracy of psychiatry as a science in general, for many people a psychiatric label might mean nothing more than that one doctor decided to give one diagnosis or prescribe a particular drug where another might have disagreed.
If sitting for many days unravels familiar patterns of mind, and I start to encounter terrifying traumatic memories, distortions of time and space, voices, or psychic phenomena, I know how to deal with these states, because I have met them many times before outside of retreats. Western medicine labeled my experiences mental illness, but for me they are an invitation to a richer and more spiritual understanding of life. To believe people must be less capable just because of a disability, any disability, is to make assumptions that lead to discrimination.
Retreats therefore try to screen applicants for their suitability to the rigors of the retreat and their ability to complete the program successfully, hoping to prevent any problems. Do you think you will be unable to complete this retreat for any physical, emotional, or psychological reasons?



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