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 Inaugural AYP Online Group Retreat (September 2-4)
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Posted - Aug 12 2006 :  5:11:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit trip1's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hello Everyone,

The inaugural AYP Online Group Retreat has been scheduled for Labor Day Weekend, September 2-4, 2006. Of course, Labor Day is only observed in the USA on this date, and those in other countries are welcome to join for the weekend (September 2-3) if Monday is not possible.

The following two messages in this thread contain documents which offer an overview of the retreat experience. The first document is an outline of the daily schedule that will be utilized throughout the course of the retreat. Those participating in the group retreat will receive a tailor-made schedule (in accordance with the length of personal practices) which will have the start times of each activity filled in. This personalized schedule will also include times for group meditations.

The second document is an overview of AYP Group Retreats in general, as well as the different activities contained within the schedule. (Please note that these documents are slightly different than the ones found in the "Solo Retreats" thread)

These documents are also available for download using the following links:
Schedule - http://www.aypsite.org/AYPretreatSCHEDULE.doc
Info & Tips - http://www.aypsite.org/AYPretreatINFO.doc

If you think you may interested in participating or have any questions regarding AYP Retreats, please let me know by posting in this thread or contacting me privately using the email button at the top of this message. Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.


Edited by - trip1 on Aug 13 2006 12:05:05 PM


739 Posts

Posted - Aug 12 2006 :  5:38:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit trip1's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
AYP Inaugural Group Retreat
September 2-4, 2006
Daily Schedule

Morning Practices
(Two of your regular sessions Back-to-Back)

Session One
25 Minutes Rest (Lying Down)
Session Two
25 Minutes Rest (Lying Down)

Breakfast / Snack
(30 Minutes)

Physical Activity
(15-20 Minutes)

(Two Hours)

Retreat Journal Entry / Lunch
(One Hour)

(Two Hours)

Rest / Silent Observing
(One Hour)

Evening Practices
(One of your regular sessions)

Practice Session
25 Minutes Rest (Lying Down)

(1/2 Hour)

Physical Activity
(15-20 Minutes)

(Two Hours)

Retreat Journal Daily Recap
(30 Minutes to an Hour)

Rest / Silent Observing
(One Hour)

This schedule design is the result of many years of retreat experience and should not be wandered from or changed whatsoever. Sticking to the schedule is the most important “rule” of a retreat, and should be adhered to as closely as possible.

It is recommended that you do not add any new practices or extend the time of your current practices while on retreat. For those already partaking in samyama, there can be a doubling of sutra reps and time. This is the only exception.

For those on retreat physically together, the schedule should be synchronized, with sitting practices together in the same room being optional. If that is too distracting for some, it is not required, but meditation start times should be in sync if possible. That goes for everyone in the same time zone. There is great power in group practice, and the schedule will be fitted with meditation start times in order to achieve this.
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739 Posts

Posted - Aug 12 2006 :  5:41:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit trip1's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
AYP Inaugural Online Group Retreat
September 2-4, 2006
Retreat Information and Tips

Thank you for your interest in AYP Online Group Retreats. This retreat has been designed with the serious spiritual practitioner in mind who is looking to take the next step along the spiritual path. By removing himself (or herself) from society and without distraction for a number of days or weeks, the practitioner is able to move further and further inward, leading to deepened senses of awareness, stillness of mind, and other exalted states of being. The major benefits however can be found following the retreat, as an added dimension of growth is established which, over the long term, will make a significant difference in overall progress and daily life.

The retreat will be led by a Retreat Coordinator, who will be monitoring the day to day activities, while making sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Retreat Coordinator who will get back to you as quickly as possible.

A private forum has been set up within the AYP forums which you will be given access to prior to the start of the retreat. Only participants in the retreat and Retreat Coordinators will have access to this forum. This is the place where you can get together with your fellow retreaters in satsang and discuss experiences, ask questions, or just have a bit of fun in between study sessions. It is also through the forum that you can greatly help out in the development of AYP Retreats. Online retreats are a completely new undertaking, and through your documented experiences and suggestions, we will be able to fine tune this developing idea into a well-oiled machine.

Throughout the rest of this document, you will find information dealing with different aspects of the retreat experience. It is recommended that you look over this information prior to the start of the retreat, and print it out for use during the retreat as well. If there are any questions that you have regarding the information, or something you feel has been omitted, please feel free to take it up in the private forum or with the Retreat Coordinator.

Finally, at the end of this document is a list compiled of helpful tips suggested by past retreaters. This list grows following each retreat, and we look forward to adding your tips once you have completed your journey.

Have an evolutionary time, and as Yogani would say,

The guru is in you.

* * *

The schedule which you will receive has been tailor made to your own specifications, and should be maintained throughout the course of the retreat. Adding extra sessions of practices into our daily sadhana will also bring with it extra purification, and the schedule has been designed with this in mind. If there is one major “rule” when undertaking a retreat, it is to stick to the schedule. As in daily life, the activities on a retreat are as important as the practice routines in order to integrate purification that is occurring, and even more so while going deeper and deeper into retreat mode.

Study Time
You may have noticed quite a bit of study time allotted for in the schedule. Don’t worry, we won’t be sending your high school algebra teacher over to tutor you on your equations. ;) This time can be used for a variety of activities relating to spiritual practice, which will aid in keeping you on an inward path as smoothly as possible during the course of the retreat. Recommended activities are listed below and can be mixed and matched to your liking during study time. It is not recommended that you stray from this list without first discussing it in the forums or with the Retreat Coordinator.

Reading spiritual books
Listening to recorded spiritual lectures
Reading and/or posting in the private forum

Activities followed by an asterisk (*) should only be used by those who are currently engaging in them on a routinely basis. As an example, an asanas routine should only be undertaken by one who normally practices asanas, and only their normal routine should be utilized. Adding any new practices during the course of the retreat is not recommended, and may quickly lead to over purification.


It is recommended that you keep a retreat journal in order to document your thoughts and experiences, as well as a daily recap at the end of each day. You may be surprised by the wonderful ideas and realizations which often arise while experiencing higher states of consciousness during a retreat, and documenting these experiences allows the practitioner to revisit these moments at a later time. Many of history’s greatest ideas arose during these moments of expanded awareness, and many more were forgotten soon after.

Of course, keeping a retreat journal is not mandatory, and if you decide against it, simply fill in the allotted time with an activity listed under the “Study” section of this document.

For those interested in reading a retreat journal kept by an AYP practitioner over the course of a nine day retreat, please visit the following link: http://retreatjournal.blogspot.com/

Physical Activity
Following “sticking to the schedule”, physical activity is one the most important aspects of any retreat. Through the addition of extra practice sessions, we will be purifying much more than we are used to, and physical activity becomes a catalyst in expelling the extra energy that we may find ourselves dealing with. As with meditation, a little goes a long way, and a twenty minute walk twice a day can easily be the difference between a blissful retreat and a miserable one. It is important that the extra purification is tended to in a proper manner, and for this, a bit of physical activity is just what the doctor ordered.

Throughout a retreat, self-pacing can be used in the same way that it is integrated with our normal daily practices. Experiencing some extra energy or angst on the retreat with all the purification going on can be normal, so we needn’t self-pace at the first sign of some weird feelings. But if things seem to be getting out of hand, scale back and add a bit more physical activity. Everybody will react a bit differently to the extra practice sessions, so it is in your hands to decide your own limits and self-pace accordingly.

In order to maintain the daily schedule with as little distraction as possible, it is recommended that all meals are either prepared beforehand or are quick and easy to prepare. Below you will find a list of suggestions for quick and easy meals.

Fresh or Dried Fruit and Nuts
Cereal or Oatmeal
PB&J (or any other type of sandwich)
Fruit or Vegetable Juices

Trail Mix
Fresh Fruit
½ Sandwich
Fruit or Vegetable Juices
Organic Chips

As a suggestion for dinners, “Amy’s Kitchen” is a company which produces full vegetarian meals (made with natural and organic ingredients), which are healthy and prepared in about five minutes in the microwave. Amy’s meals can be found at your local grocer (in the freezer section), or visit http://www.amys.com for more information.

If you choose, remaining silent throughout this time can be a great addition to your retreat arsenal. The difference is noticeable almost immediately, as the practitioner is faced with constant inward observance of thought and emotion, as opposed to the outward talking and listening which we have all become accustomed to in our daily lives. Heck, you may even learn to appreciate it a bit. ;)

- Unplug or turn off all phones in the house
- Remain in solitude as much as possible
- Have plenty of books to choose from
- Avoid any distracting noise (TV, phone, radio, etc)
- Sexual moderation to the degree comfortable for the week leading up to (and during) the retreat can greatly enhance the overall effect
- Don’t make any important decisions during this time
- Enjoy this time alone with yourself

Edited by - trip1 on Aug 12 2006 7:16:21 PM
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