Getting ready for a Lifeflow retreat
Thankyou for booking into a Lifeflow retreat. To help make the most of your time at Tara Hills, please check through the following:
What to bring
- All rooms include linen (including pillow, sheets, quilt, blanket, face washer, hand towels etc), so you just need to bring toiletries.
- It’s best to wear loose comfortable clothing. Be prepared for a range of temperatures and weather conditions. It is normally a little cooler at Tara Hills than in the city.
- Bring appropriate footwear if you like walking or jogging – there are several good walks on the nearby country lanes. Remember also to bring a hat and sunscreen for walks during the warmer months.
- During the cooler months (and especially for the July 7-day retreat), we recommend that you bring a good raincoat and shoes for walking outside – it can get quite windy and it will be cooler than in the city. If your shoes have waterproofing then you can make more use of the some of the outdoor walks. Beanie, gloves and a scarf are also very useful in winter, particularly if you would like to enjoy some meals in the fresh air.
- We ask that you don’t use your outside shoes when you are inside our buildings, so please bring separate footwear for this purpose. Shoes that slip on and off easily make retreat life a lot easier.
- A watch or set your phone to flight mode (so that you can keep track of when sessions are on). No alarm clocks please.
- Please bring a notepad or journal and a pen.
What not to bring or use on retreat
To get the most out of your retreat, we suggest that you give yourself a ‘smart-phone-free’ weekend – either turning it off or putting it to flight mode for the duration of the retreat.
If you do have to be contactable, then please set your phone to ‘mute’ so that it doesn’t disturb other people on the retreat. Alternatively, you are welcome to give the Tara Hills mobile number (see your booking confirmation email for details) to a trusted contact. Our teachers constantly check for messages and we should be able to get a message to you within a couple of hours.
In addition, we have found it best, both for yourself and the comfort of your fellow retreatants, if you do not use radios, read books, newspapers, magazines or light incense and candles while on retreat. We have found that people can get much more out of their retreat time by leaving these things at home.
What happens in a typical day on a Lifeflow retreat?
Each day of the retreat provides a good balance between classes, time on your own, guided meditation sessions and plenty of time to enjoy the countryside.
A typical day begins with a guided meditation session in the hall (which you are free to attend or not as you feel). This is followed by breakfast and free time to go for a walk or just enjoy the beautiful natural landscape of Tara Hills and the surrounding countryside. Then there is a class where you can learn more about meditation and discuss your experience. After class there is morning tea, followed by a meditation session, a short break and then a gentle yoga session.
Lunch is followed by a deep relaxation session and time for an afternoon rest (or a longer walk if you prefer to be outside at this time). Afternoon tea is then available and this is followed by the second class for the day. After class you have time to go for an evening walk, followed by a guided meditation session and dinner.
Your day ends with an evening relaxation and meditation session.
Keeping talking to a minimum
To ensure you gain the maximum benefit from your retreat experience, we have found it best to keep conversation to a minimum once the retreat is well underway. This gives everyone space and time to explore their own retreat experience.
We allow plenty of time to settle in at the start of the retreat: the first dinner and breakfast allow an opportunity to chat with your fellow retreatants. After the first class on the second day, we ask everyone to keep to minimal talking until the last session of the retreat. The retreat concludes with a final lunch which provides the opportunity to socialise with your fellow retreatants.
There are plenty of opportunities to discuss any questions you may have in the classes, and of course you can also talk to any of the teachers during the retreat.
We ask too, for the comfort of all retreatants, that everyone maintain silence as much as possible in and around the accommodation buildings.