Adyashanti at Asilomar retreat Center

Adyashanti at Asilomar Retreat Center#

  • Name of Center: Adyashanti at Asilomar Retreat Center
  • Address: Asilomar is in Pacific Grove, CA--need to contact per below, not Asilomar
  • Phone Number: 408-299-0201
  • Website: www.adyashanti.org
  • Contact Email: go to http://www.adyashanti.org/
  • Tradition(s): Combination of American Zen, Neo-Advaita, and other things.
  • Technique(s): Adyashanti has a handout called True Meditation.
  • Teacher(s): Adyashanti
  • Cost: $325.00 for 5 day retreat not including lodging
  • Accommodations: You must pay for your lodging with Asilomar 60 days prior to the retreat. They have shared rooms--very comfortable and nice rooms. The cost for lodging is $465 for a shared room, up to $970 for a single room. There is very limited availability for a single room.
  • Facilities: The meditation hall, the dining hall and sleeping quarters are all in separate buildings. There is handicapped accessibility, and assistance. Asilomar is located on 107 acres of State Park land, very spacious, excellent walking paths, an outdoor pool, large dining halls, and separate buildings for lodging.
  • Physical Setting: The meeting hall has chairs for sitting, although they are nicely spaced from each other. If you want to meditate on the floor you need to sit in a chair on the outside aisle, and put your zafu under the chair when you leave. Some folks set up their zabutons and zafus in the back, but then you would not be able to see Adyashanti very well during satsang.
  • Food (Vegetarian/Vegan/etc.): If you have food allergies, when you arrive, you are to visit the Head Chef. He has you fill out a form with your preferences. They put a little dot on your necklace card which indicates your need for special request. The chef and the entire kitchen staff went to incredible lengths for folks to accommodate a huge variety of needs. The staff was consistently sincere and did an excellent job in my opinion.
  • Typical Schedule: Retreat Length(s): 5 and a half days
    • 7:30 Silent Sitting (The meditation hall opens at 6:30, so you can arrive early; open all day.)
    • 8:10 Breakfast Break
    • 10:00 Satsang
    • 12:00 Lunch/Break
    • 2:00 Silent Sitting
    • 2:40 30 Minute Break
    • 3:10 Silent Sitting
    • 3:50 30 Minute Break
    • 4:20 Silent Sitting
    • 5:00 Break
    • 6:00 Dinner
    • 7:00 Satsang
    • 8:45 15 Minute Break
    • 9:00 Silent Sitting
    • 9:30 Break
    • 10:00 Lights Out (Meditation hall closes.)
  • Issues of Taboos around attainment, real practice, disclosing insights, etc.: This is in silence (no gesturing or notes either) so there is no disclosing anything unless you are having a very hard time and need to see the retreat leader, or you get a chance to talk with Adyashanti. He seemed very open to different practices, and he stayed with each person until they felt they had what they needed. It was noted by Adya that about 50% of the folks at the retreat in 4/08 were having a first time experience on retreat and with Adyashanti, so there was a real openness, an innocence and interest among the group.
  • Issues of Rites/Rituals: It is asked that you bow to your chair/cushion before you sit , and that you stand and bow together at the end of the meditation session, but it is also clear that you do not have to do so. It is asked that you stand and wait for Adyashanti to leave the meditation hall after satsang.
  • Issues of Proper Dress: They prefer non-distracting clothing, must wear pants, no shorts allowed in the hall.
  • Issues of Etiquette: Bowing is invited and not required, Adya was open to people doing what they wished. Also, if you are late for the start of a meditation session or satsang, you are not allowed into the hall until the next scheduled event. Also, if you leave to go to the bathroom, you may not be allowed back in until it is over.
  • Issues of Language: All in English. There were several large speakers, so everyone could hear well.
  • Health Issues: None.
  • Logistical Issues: There are car pools from Adya's web site to help with getting a ride there from the airport. There is excellent carpooling facilitation at the end of the retreat. There is shuttle service from San Jose airport for about $100.00 round trip.
  • Strengths: The area is beautiful, the food was excellent. Walks along the ocean beach are refreshing. The questions during satsang were helpful to see how others are having similar experiences, very affirming that way for a first retreat. Adyashanti was very clear and helpful to folks. If you want to stay seated and continue to meditate during breaks, there is no problem with this. The container was kept very well and supported by all the staff for silence. The guided meditation sessions in the middle of the afternoon were helpful.
  • Weaknesses: There is a lottery to get into these retreats, you must sign up about 8 months in advance. You are notified fairly quickly, about a week to two weeks later as to whether or not you got in, but it isn't a sure thing. Also, whether or not you get a chance to ask a question to Adya is also like a lottery since there are over 300 people there at Asilomar. (At Mount Madonna, and some other sites, I've heard there are fewer folks.) There is really no one to check in with during the week, be prepared for that.

At Asilomar, there are other retreats (as in my case a meeting of the state patrol) going on at the same time, so you may run into folks who didn't see your necklace or understand what a silent retreat is like. It's a more open environment, not like a monastic setting. Also, remember it is only a short retreat so just as --in my case--you experience deep insight you might feel concerned about getting right back into your regular schedule.

  • Other Comments: I'm glad I went a day early to get settled, because they can book over 300 people for this retreat, along with some staff. So, there are long check-in lines on the first day which I totally alleviated. On the check-in day, I checked in with the staff at the end of the check-in time, and went straight to the front of the line.

I felt safe and happy to be there even though I went through a lot. I made a good deal of progress there by following instructions, (particularly the Noting Practice Instructions from Daniel Ingram's web site), being open and remembering what I had gone there for.

  • Overall Impression: A good first one week retreat experience, a good one for beginners; and if you like Adyashanti and enjoy him; and for those who have been on many retreats--you can certainly tailor the experience to meet you needs, it is flexible enough for that too.
  • Worthy of recommendation on the Dharma Overground? Yes.
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