Silent retreat at 50 Gloucester Place for Centre members
Sunday 2nd September 2018
These retreats are wonderful opportunities for prolonged periods of silent meditation, perhaps alternating with spiritual reading (which is how many people choose to spend their day). You can stay for as much or as little of the day as you choose. The session follows the traditional DC routine of unformatted silence for meditation and silent devotion, with a candle-lit room for meditation and a separate area for rest, reading and refreshments.
Details as follows:
Timings: 12 noon – 6pm or part thereof. The front door will be open from 11.30am – 12 noon and again from 2.45pm – 3.15pm but it will not be staffed outside those times. Participants must therefore choose whether to arrive at the start or the half-way point; there will be no ability just to drop-in at whim but you will be able to leave whenever you wish (being careful not to let strangers in as you exit).
Access control: these retreats are open to DC members, associates and current students/attendees only. Members of the public are not permitted to attend. There is no need for DC regulars to book places but those who have not previously been to one of these retreats should let me know in advance that they wish to come so that I can ensure they are properly briefed. Participants must sign in and out at Reception on the day.
Meditation: will take place in the Memorial Library on the first floor, which will be empty except for some chairs, and this will be the focal point of the retreat. Please bring your own cushions/shawls or you may use the DC’s own cushions from the downstairs cupboard. Similarly, if you prefer to use the red-cushioned chairs from the TS ground floor instead of the blue chairs normally in the Library, you are welcome to bring one upstairs for your use.
Relaxation: will take place on the ground floor in the Lecture Room and the adjoining Members Room and kitchenette at the back. Food (no meat, fish or alcohol) may be consumed in either room; please bring your own but there are usually some communal offerings. The DC will provide a kettle and tea/coffee makings + milk, but please remember that only water is allowed in the Lecture Room because of the danger of spillage. Please do not take food or drink (including water) up to the first floor.
Silence: the Memorial Library, and the first floor as a whole, will be totally silent throughout. In the downstairs area, talk will be discouraged but it is recognised there may be some minor noise in the Members Room. However, I ask all those attending to co-operate in keeping the whole building as quiet as possible, especially around the first floor.
Security: we will be responsible for the security of the building and need to take this seriously (one of the drawbacks of being in central London); any issues arising during the day should be brought to my attention at the time.
Shoes: to reduce noise on the wooden floor of the Members Room, all attendees are requested to remove their shoes and leave them downstairs.
Toilets: please use only the ground floor facilities, not those on the first floor. This is to minimise noise on the first floor as the door to the Library will be kept ajar to reduce the disturbance caused by people continually entering and leaving the room.
Cost: admission free, donations welcome.
Alan Perry (Centre Director)