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The Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat is a unique immersion experience which focuses on accessing our real and essential nature, the supreme and divine Self, through an artful integration of meditation and yoga techniques. During the retreat, Hridaya Yoga addresses broad aspects of the Spiritual Heart from a variety of traditions. The atmosphere will be one of agape and strong spiritual support. The retreat was specifically created to guide people in coming to an intimate understanding of what Self-Enquiry meditation is in order to experience the inner transformation that it brings. The program aims to create an experience resembling a solitary retreat (as in a cave) in order to provide the opportunity to reach deep states of consciousness, kindle intense aspiration for the Divine, and arrive at the highly focused interiorization that enables the opening of the Heart. During the retreat, practitioners will be skillfully guided to a penetrating understanding in which the search for meaning ends in surrender to the domain of revelation. No previous meditation or yoga experience is necessary as this retreat is designed for beginners and advanced meditators alike.
Staying at Hridaya Yoga means you have easy access to everything the Center has to offer. The private rooms are spacious and feature eco-friendly composting toilets. The dormitories feature a unique design and excellent mattresses. The two camping areas offer fresh air and peaceful surroundings. Guests can enjoy clean drinking water and the use of a refrigerator. Wireless internet is available, but may not be used during the Silent Meditation Retreat.
Hridaya Yoga and Meditation Retreat
This retreat includes advice for guided meditation, lectures, and practical methods
Ramana Maharshi's method of introspection (Self-Enquiry, using the question "Who am I?")
Techniques for stilling the mind using breath awareness
The study of the symbolism of the Spiritual Heart
Methods for Self-centering in everyday life
Advice for maintaining the awareness of the Spiritual Heart, in the tradition of the Christian Desert Fathers
The Christian method of the Prayer of the Heart
A proper understanding of Advaita Vedanta's fundamental principles
Methods to pass from individual consciousness to cosmic consciousness
The four fundamental aspects of the ineffable process of revealing the Spiritual Heart
Daily special meditations on themes connected with Self-revelation
Yogic methods to approach the Spiritual Heart
Hatha Yoga sessions
What Are the Purposes of this Retreat?
During the retreat, our aim is to inform you of methods for meditation encompassing, but not limited to, the unity of consciousness and Advaita Vedanta (non-duality). This leads to the Self-discovery of the Spiritual Heart. The system of meditation will focus on the Self-Enquiry method developed by Ramana Maharshi, as well as other complementary meditations and prayers.
We aim to inform you about the practical and theoretical aspects of this methodology, allowing ample opportunities to directly put it into practice. In doing so, we hope that you will understand the underlying principles and value the purpose of meditation. Thus, reaping immediate benefits and coming to love meditation as an essential part of your life.
You will learn direct methods to pacify your mind and, even, to transcend it. When your mind is truly still and without thoughts and you transcend the ego, you arrive at a place where you have no name, no social status, no relationships, no past, no future, no country, no spiritual attainment, and no lack of spiritual attainment. It is simply a presence of being. If a movement or a thought appears in this stillness, it is enveloped by the stillness, thus becoming stillness itself. It is as if your life becomes full and saturated with peace and sacredness.
You will also learn a path which comprises a vision, a spiritual understanding, and a method of transforming yourself. We hope you will learn to love meditation as a means for discovering the Divine Reality (otherwise referred to as God), although these methods are beyond any specific ideas of religion or any theoretical concepts about God.
We hope you will have some peak experiences about the Supreme Reality, some special states of consciousness about cosmic love, eternity, or the unity of everything, which can be evoked afterwards in daily life. This will help you in your quest to understand the reason for your existence.
Our aim is for you to realize the importance of fully incorporating the Spiritual Heart in your life, beyond concepts, theory, and philosophy. The path to the Spiritual Heart journeys through your soul; therefore, an opening and intimacy of the soul will naturally occur from this. During this retreat, we will have the chance to venture deeper than the emotional, psychic level of the heart, into the Divine Reality which represents the most profound aspect of the Spiritual Heart. Ultimately, you will be compelled to love at a level which your ego usually prevents you from accessing through blockages such as attachments, ignorance, and other negative emotions, thoughts, and beliefs.
Our ultimate goal is for you to gain a profound understanding about the real nature of your existence and the nature of manifestation and of the universe. More specifically, you will eventually achieve a coherent vision of divine unity, which is the main transforming idea of Jnana Yoga, Advaita Vedanta, Taoism, Dzogchen, and Zen.
So, what expectations should we have of the retreat? None! Because of the ineffability of what we really are, of what Divine Reality is, this change is a natural progression that comes from stillness, surrender, and, ultimately, from within our true selves. The aim is to create the best conditions for the divine reality to be revealed in our heart.
Ultimately, the most important outcome of this retreat is for us to start becoming accustomed to centering in the Spiritual Heart. This means to get used to and be aware of that quiet, peaceful, infinite, and eternal foundation of our being which cannot be perceived by the rational mind, but is the source of all inspiration, love, beauty, and spiritual life. Many sages have said that the Spiritual Heart is our real home. So abandon yourselves, trust, and enjoy this centering. During this retreat, be at home, be present, and integrate this practice fully for an intimate and meaningful experience. The Spiritual Heart is the meeting place for those who wish to relate to life in a sacred manner.
An Orientation Session is held at 2:00 pm on the day prior to each retreat. During this session, the retreat rules and special guidelines will be explained and a forum will be provided for any questions. In addition to administrative details, the Orientation Session will feature a lecture that explores some of the definitions and esoteric aspects of the retreat methods and will end with a meditation. Attending the Orientation Session is mandatory for all participants. The meeting may last up to 3 hours, so please plan accordingly.
The retreat aims to support all participants in going deeper inside themselves. To achieve this inner-orientation, participants agree to follow the retreat guidelines. These include:
Noble silence (no speaking throughout the entire retreat)
No use of electronics, mobile phones, internet, etc.
No reading (except for the provided retreat booklet)
No smoking or use of drugs or alcohol
Attendance at all retreat sessions
All of Hridaya's courses are lead by teachers who have completed the intensive 500-hour Hridaya Teacher Training Course.
Hridaya Yoga is located in beautiful Mazunte, Mexico. Mazunte is a small, friendly village on the Oaxacan coast. The Hridaya Yoga Center sits atop an attractive hill with a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean. Their four yoga halls and sustainably-built accommodations offer an atmosphere of serenity and simple luxury.
Delicious vegan food is served with love in their spacious dining room. The food service supports the retreat experience, rest periods, and noble silence of participants. The meals are simple, without excessive spices (no onion or garlic is used) and without extensive condiments. The meal catering cannot accommodate food allergies and other special requests. Mealtimes are scheduled into the retreat and the food will be ready as soon as the retreat sessions end. Please carefully consider whether you are willing and able to eat simple vegan food for 10 days. If you generally are a very selective eater with many special preferences, you may prefer to make other arrangements. No meal refunds will be given once the retreat begins. Please do not bring food or breakable drinking vessels into the halls. Sealed receptacles for water, tea, etc. (thermoses, non-breakable bottles) are permitted.
- Arrival by airplane
You can choose to fly to the Puerto Escondido International Airport (PXM) or the Bahias de Huatulco International Airport (HUX)--both are about 1 hour away from the Hridaya Yoga Center
Taxis are available at both airports. For the cheapest price, walk from the airport terminal to the main road and catch a taxi from there (approximately $350-450 MXN).
- Arrival by bus
From Oaxaca City, take a bus to Pochutla. There are two options for this. Either take the first class tourist bus that takes a longer (eight to nine hours), but less windy route, or a regular minibus that is faster (six hours), but takes very curvy mountain roads (Dramamine recommended for those who suffer from motion sickness). To take the first class bus, go to the ADO station in Oaxaca to buy a ticket. There are several departures each day including one overnight bus. There are several mini-bus companies. They also have several departures per day. You can search for one online or ask someone at your guesthouse in Oaxaca for a recommendation. Their departure times will vary seasonally so call ahead and check the schedule.