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Aruna Giri invites you to experience calmness and peacefulness through a silent meditation and yoga retreat in India. The support and space of the retreat in a quiet and secluded country setting along with being in the presence of Arunachala will make this a precious opportunity to dive deep within. When you stop using thoughts to filter your experiences and just let it be, you can then release and heal old patterns from the past. You will then open up or drop into the revelation and realization of peace, stillness, and Anantha.
Sri Anantha Niketan Ashram is a very beautiful and peaceful retreat center which is owned and managed by Gopi and his wife Chitra. Anantha means "infinite, endless" while Niketan is "abode". This abode of the infinite is set on 4 acres and is the ideal location for a silent meditation retreat with close proximity to the deep and powerful spiritual splendor of Arunachala.
The accommodation is simple. There are several cottages / rooms with some baths attached and others with bathrooms nearby. During this retreat, the rooms will be shared. There will be no running hot water but the kitchen may be able to provide hot water on request.
As for room cleaning, Sri Anantha Niketan Ashram suggests that you keep your room clean during your stay. Additionally, if you have to use toilet paper, kindly collect it in the garbage bin provided in the toilets and periodically burn them at the specified place since the toilets get clogged if toilet paper is flushed.
This Aruna's retreat is suitable for both the beginner and the experienced. The retreat is mainly conducted in silence except for the evening talk and discussion, guided instructions, relevant questions, and the first and last meals of the retreat.
Instructions and guidance in different meditation techniques will be given. These will involve the breath, body sensations, self-enquiry, and walking meditation. Aruna will give some talks with discussion and question time. Private one on one interviews will also be offered to help clear any doubts that might arise from participants.
Doing a longer retreat with silence allows one to very deeply inquire within. Deep unconscious patterns of mental and emotional past can be met and dissolved with the light of awareness. There is enormous potential for inner transformation and healing, and a deep resting into the essence of life, an eternal peace of moment to moment being.
From 2001 to 2005, Aruna spent large amounts of time in India, Nepal, and Tibet where he had meetings with spiritual teachers and spent time meditating at various pilgrimage sites. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and son, and is now openly sharing his insights and knowledge.
This retreat will be held at Sri Anantha Niketan Ashram which is located 5 kilometers from the base of Arunachala. Arunachala, the Mountain of Light, has been revered since ancient times as Shiva or God himself in the form of a hill. The spiritual power of Arunachala has attracted saints, sages, and spiritual practitioners down through the ages.
This place is set in the country side on a 4-acre farm land in Periya Paliyapattu village. The town of Tiruvannamalai nestles at the foot of the mountain and is home to the large and ancient temple of Arunachaleshwarar.
Ten kilometer away from Tiruvannamalai town on Chengam Road, there is a junction called Thana Medu. You will find some shops, bus stand, and auto-rikshaw stand there. From that place, 800 meters to the right you will find the ashram. Their immediate neighbor is Singing Heart guest house. This road leads to the village and other guest houses like Tiru Farm, Greenland Ashram, etc.
You should book your flight to Chennai International Airport (MAA). The town of Tiruvannamalai is a 3 and half hour taxi ride (200 kilometers) from the airport. The cost of the taxi is approximately 3100 INR. You can also take the bus.
Flights to Chennai International Airport (MAA) from Australia generally go via Kuala Lumpur (KL) or Singapore. The flight time to Kuala Lumpur from Melbourne is a little under 8 hours. Kuala Lumpur to Chennai International Airport (MAA) is a little under 4 hours. The flight times are similar through Singapore.
"Aruna Giri's short retreats have become essential time-outs in my hectic life, helping me to regularly rejuvenate and find calmness in the middle of even stressful situations. Aruna's approach is refreshingly simple and focuses on the core of meditation - sitting quietly in beautiful surroundings."
Aruna Giri website, edited
"Thank you, Aruna, for your teaching and instruction this weekend. Your words and presence had brought a great deal of healing and nourishment to this soul. I feel so blessed to have experienced so much love, acceptance, and support by the group and by the Maitripa space and surroundings. I find myself deeply humbled by the poetic simplicity of how Stillness gives way to direct perception and the poignancy of how glimpses and insights come without the need for the minds analytical churning. As I observed the usual projections, I found they could not manifest to their full potential, rather than take pleasure from this relief, I love how this lends itself to a gentler and more compassionate way of seeing. Rob's words as we sat in the closing circle really resonated with me, that even if the outer self, what we show to the world crumbles, what lies beneath is never changing and constant. This really encapsulates the sense of being I got to connect with over the weekend. I feel tender as I open, yet I'm lighter."
Aruna Giri website, edited
"Thank you once again for the retreat, it was a very special weekend, beautiful connected healing space. I am really grateful for having had the experience of being surrounded by a warm accepting and open group of people. I really appreciated your calm easy presence as well as your relaxed and inclusive manner - your authenticity. It was lovely to meet you and spend time in the beautiful surroundings at the center.The fire was definitely ignited for me. It burnt but it was cleansing. I have gained key insights and healing. To my surprise, I have experienced a deeper sense of acceptance and contentment. So thank you."
Aruna Giri website, edited