The primary practice taught by Dharma Ocean is somatic meditation, and all participants are asked to meet the following criteria before committing to a residential retreat:
- Respect for the Container. The retreat container is an integral part of our practice, and we ask our participants to respect it, including following the schedule , attending all sessions, and participating in all aspects of the retreat.
- Sitting in stillness. Long periods of sitting on a meditation cushion or a chair may be required, both in guided meditations and in silence. We also practice walking meditation, normally every hour.
- Silence. Participants should be prepared to be in silence for extended periods of time, sometimes for many days.
- Personal wellness. While we make efforts to accommodate as many as possible, participants are expected to have a reasonable degree of emotional and physical well-being before attending a retreat. If you have experienced significant mental or physical trauma or illness, please carefully consider whether a somatic meditation retreat is suitable for you at this time.
- Simplicity. Retreats are intended to allow us to simplify our lives and come back to our basic nature, letting go of distracting activities and the usual conveniences of daily life. We ask that participants maintain the sanctity of the retreat space, including during breaks and evenings, to better contemplate and integrate the practices learned.
- Self-reliance. While we do our best to work with sensitivities to things such as incense, perfumes, temperature, and highly specific dietary requests, we are not always able to accommodate needs that can be challenging to meet in large groups.
- A willingness to be uncomfortable. Our programs are designed to help us grow beyond what seems comfortable, and so there may be guided meditations and other practices designed to bring us out of comfort zones, where we have an opportunity to learn something deeper about ourselves.
- Using proper channels. We have developed specific places for participants to bring concerns to our attention so the larger container of teaching, and the teacher, isn’t disrupted with individual needs. We will explain how to bring concerns to our attention at the beginning of your retreat.
For those who have experienced significant physical or emotional trauma or illness, it is strongly recommended you discuss your intention to attend a somatic residential retreat with your physician or mental health provider, before you commit to attending.
If you have concerns about meeting these criteria, please reach out to our staff at [email protected] to discuss your particular situation and to see if we are able to accommodate your specific needs.