It was my first single retreat.
I felt perfectly prepared for it in the silent retreat, the week before my individual one: Through the security of the silent group with Pir Zia’s words, the sounds of nature and listening to my inner being.
In the individual retreat many things began to flow that I could not and cannot put into words. More and more frequently my restless mind gave pause for thought and I found this silence in my head very special and healing. Through the daily encounter with my guide and the common meals with the retreat participants in silence, I felt safe. Next year, I want to experience this extraordinary time again.
Being in Nature, in silence with myself – not speaking – strengthened my relation to God and helped me to reconnect with my soul. Working with a guide, made it safe and I felt the process of the retreat had an impersonal way of giving me insight and a new perspective to work with my life‘s challenges. The retreat lives on in me ever since I am back home.
It’s been a wonderful week for me. I plunged into a silence I had never experienced before. A silence that came from my heart and brought me peace. For many hours I sat in nature and at some point I had the feeling of being one with it. Gratitude also flooded me in those days, I realized how many people supported me so that I could do this retreat. I was grateful to my body for all the experiences I had here on earth. I was also grateful to Mother Earth that she is just ever there, for all beings 🙂
I am happy that my journey now continues in everyday life. Strengthened by the retreat and by the guidance of my teacher.
In the retreat process it is possible for the inner peace to slowly return. There is time for the inner life as it is, to discover my inner being, who I really am.
Old and repressed things can then come up and be released, which again gives way for the inner potential, that is still unused and wants to be discovered. While living in the tent, I experienced different places according to their atmosphere, and it was also possible to go up to the retreat area while living in the containers, with daily walks – especially recommended during the general week of silence.
My best experiences during my stays in nature: to feel the extreme bond to nature and to the qualities of the Wazaif.
To dive into the energy of this special place where many people have already lingered in silence before me, is something very special. It helps me to go deeper and deeper into myself, to get to know myself better and to connect with nature. It helps me to realize that we cannot live without nature and that, we ourselves, are a part of nature. The splashing of the brook leads me into silence. I love to sit at the brook…
On this path to myself I also enjoy the daily support of a loving guide.
I return to everyday life, powerful and clear. This experience accompanies me throughout the year and is renewed and deepened from year to year.
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.