Camp was started as a place where people can do silent retreats. The silent retreat area is tucked away in one corner of Camp, where you are surrounded by the soothing sound of water and held in the beautiful container of the mountains. The atmosphere created here by all those who have been on retreat over the years makes this one of the most sacred spaces in the camp.
The energy of the silent retreat area is palpable: When you enter or approach it, you can feel the vibrancy created by the retreatants, both now and since the beginning of the camp, doing their spiritual work. That vitality feeds the atmosphere all throughout Camp.
Throughout the four-week programme, there are a number of ways that you can take part in this type of retreat.
We offer three forms of retreat:
When doing an individual retreat, your stay can be as short as a week or as long as four weeks. The retreat process is carefully structured and led by a qualified retreat guide that you choose. During the retreat, you will meet daily with your guide to receive practices to do during the day and have time to discuss questions that may arise during the retreat.
Our retreat guides have undergone extensive training in the retreat process of the Sufi tradition as taught by Pir Vilayat Khan. The guides are familiar with all aspects of the retreat: physical, psychological, and spiritual. In order to do an individual retreat, you must speak with a guide beforehand. We have a wonderful group of guides from around the world who come to Campra for the summer. They have done numerous retreats themselves, and offer others a sure hand during retreat.
You can book a retreat on arrival at the Information tent, where you will also find information on the guides that are available.
“Two persons may talk and discuss all their lives and yet never understand one another; and two others with still minds look at one another and in one moment a communication is established between them.”
Hazrat Inayat Khan
During the Group Retreat, participants walk together on the path of awareness, peace, and silence. Usually the mornings are spent meditating together, using breath, concentration, wazaif (mantras of the 99 holy attributes of God), and zhikr (practice of remembrance). During the afternoons there is time for individual practices, given by the guide leading the retreat. Evenings end with zhikr or other group spiritual practice.
A group can carry us far beyond the realisations we have had so far, and these awakenings are sometimes easier to achieve in a collective meditation, when the individual energies merge into one.
During the Community Retreat, the whole Camp comes together to be in collective silence, and our inner life takes preference over our outer interactions. We learn how community can be formed in the heart of silence.