Dates

3-day Intensives

🌟 Easter 2019 🌟

1-Week Intensive

🌟 Summer 2019 🌟

See DATES for details.

Comments

"I can safely say that it was one of the most extraordinary things I have ever experienced in my entire life."

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"Tremendously powerful, both in itself and in what it has set in motion in my life."

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"The Enlightenment Intensive is a real breakthrough in the growth of consciousness and compassion in the world."

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See Participants' Accounts for many more.






Enlightenment Intensives

If you have ever wanted to experience for yourself a moment of self-realization or awakening, or if you simply want to know who you truly are, then an Enlightenment Intensive may be for you.

Enlightenment Intensives are residential group retreats with a single aim: to help you find answers to life's great questions: "Who am I?" "What is life?"

Not just some 'answer' in the form of words or ideas, however. The aim is to realise the actual truth of who you are by directly experiencing your real self. Or, to know the actual truth of life is by directly experiencing life itself. In other words, the aim is to become conscious of the very essence of existence, what some call our true nature, or simply Truth.

In short, an experience of enlightenment.

What do we mean by "enlightenment"?

Looking for enlightenment on a short retreat may sound far-fetched. This is because the word itself - enlightenment - tends to conjure up images of extraordinary saints and famous gurus, apparently living in a state of non-stop bliss and god-like perfection.

Yet the pure and simple experience of "sudden enlightenment", although less well known, is very real and much more common. 

In Zen, this sudden awakening is known as or kensho or satori. It is described as a sudden direct insight into reality. Many ordinary people's accounts, both ancient and modern, describe just such an awakening.

"At Nanzenji there is a small hill. I used to walk near there, look at the hill, and often smile at the high school students who walked by there as well. One day, I looked at the hill and it was truly amazing. I was totally lost as if there was no 'me'. I stood gazing at the hill. Some students walked by and one of them said something like 'look at that crazy monk'. Finally I came out of it. Life was never the same for me. I was free." 

– Keido Fukushima [Wikipedia: Kenshō]

In the West, similar experiences have been referred to as self-realisation, truth-realisation, epiphany, gnosis, spiritual revelation and illumination.

All refer to a sudden realisation or knowing of that which is absolute Truth. This "sudden knowing" is not something arrved at through intelligence or logic, however, nor through emotion, intuition, or any other mental process. Rather, it arises spontaneously within the seeker's consciousness. 

Nor does one need any prior belief in religion or understanding of philosophy to grasp whatever is revealed. Enlightenment is simply a timeless moment in which you yourself suddenly, spontaneously, know the way things actually are.

There is a knowingness of ultimate and absolute truth, that which is so regardless of anyone's ideas or opinions, including your own.

Yet it is also a very personal inner discovery – you discover truth for yourself, within yourself.

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"It was life-changing. Gob-smacking. Confirming - in a way I never expected to happen - the existence of something divine and bigger than all of us, a force. I now know this to be true. And that the Absolute Truth is jaw-droopingly, eye-wideningly extraordinary, and will change everything about how I lead my life going forward. I wish such understanding of perfection, and of one's own value, to everyone.

- Emily

 

We often refer to this as a direct experience -- a state in which the truth-seeker and the truth are one and the same. The knower and the known are one. In fact, they are already were one and they always are one, but they were just not aware of it. Enlightenment is becoming aware of it.  

Why seek an enlightenment experience?

Enlightenment Intensves have enabled thousands of ordinary people around the world to discover who they really are - to experience a moment of self-realisation. What people discover in these moments of realisation is both universal and, paradoxically, unique to each person.

For many people, knowing who and what they are brings a deep sense of relief and peace. Other people are surprised at the obviousness of it all, or amazed, or laugh hysterically at the cosmic joke involved. Some experience feelings of bliss; some a release of joy and energy that had been held back for years. It is not uncommon for people to recognise that this is what they always wanted but did not realise until they experienced it. 

Common descriptions include:

  • Knowing what is ultimately true of oneself, or of life, or of others, with absolute certainty
  • Profound feelings of joy, peace, fulfilment, love, awe, reverence, and/or gratitude
  • Inspiring new insights into life and how to live it

 

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"Using the technique over and over through the weekend, I was able to cross through my self-dislike and self-admonishment, and brush up against utter beauty. The utter beauty of myself, just the way I am. And the utter beauty of the absolute truth and its transformative power. Those sound like grand words but the exquisite, extraordinary delight I felt at those moments will change my life."

— Emma

 

Exactly what is experienced and the effects it can have are unique to each person. For many people, simply knowing who and what they are brings a deep sense of relief and peace. Some people are surprised at the obviousness of it all, or amazed, or laugh hysterically at the cosmic joke involved. Some experience feelings of bliss; some undergo a release of joy and energy that had been held back for years. It is not uncommon for people to recognise that this is what they always wanted but did not realise until they experienced it. Often there is laughter and  tears.

But above all, enlightenment gives a direct experience of reality that is absolute ... and hard to do justice with mere words!

But all would say that no matter what it took to get there, it was worth it.

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"Not only did I fully understand that everything including ... myself was vibrating with Love, Energy, Light, call it what you will, but that everything I had ever read about a sense of Unity, in fine wise books, was true. But True in my heart, not just in my head. My heart had broken. It was like a giant peony rose exploding all its petals at once. Bursting for joy, not despair."

— Frances

The beauty of finding out for yourself

Enlightenment Intensives have enabled thousands of ordinary people around the world to discover for themselves who and what they really are, and what life really means. 

Finding truth for oneself is one of the hallmarks of Enlightenment Intensives - they are purely about self-discovery. You are not required or expected to buy into any belief system whatsoever. There are no teachings, no philosophy, no religion. There are no discussions about what the "answer" is or might be.

The only thing you are taught is a simple contemplation technique and nothing else. It is purely and simply about you finding out for yourself, through your own experience of being, here and now. 

The only prerequisites on your part are a sincere desire for self-knowledge, and an openness to the possibility that you can know the truth of yourself directly, beyond your normal thoughts and perceptions, at an absolute level.

What difference does it make in life?

When you find something out for yourself, you are much more able to make use of it in your life. Each person's journey is unique, however, so we cannot tell you exactly how a direct experience of Truth could affect your life. The difference it makes, ultimately, is entirely up to you.

Nevertheless, when people are asked to describe the differece it has made to them, there are some common themes:

  • greater self-acceptance
  • greater ease in being oneself
  • greater compassion for oneself and others
  • greater authenticity in relationships
  • greater trust in life
  • greater clarity about life's direction
  • an infusion of meaning in life
  • a sense of inner certainty which isn’t dependent on how you feel or what anyone else says
  • a deepening sense of spiritual connection

Note: A single enlightenment experience is not a magic bullet which will solve your outer life problems and ensure your happiness forever. What you discover already ‘is’; you just didn’t know it before. But the effects of this, described by many people, are greater insight into why things are as they are, the inspiration to make certain changes, and a renewed sense of both freedom and responsibility.

We hope to inspire you with the very real possibility of discovering what enlightenment could mean for you.

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"I cannot adequately express by written words alone the fullness and gratitude that fill me as I continue to know and integrate the Truth that has come to me through the vehicle of Enlightenment Intensives."

— Sarah

Is it right for me?

Taking an Enlightenment Intensive may be right for you if any of these ring true:

  • You want to discover the truth of who you really are.
  • You are drawn to seek greater depth, truth and meaning in life.
  • You would like to discover something within yourself that is real and absolute.
  • You prefer to find things out for yourself.
  • You have read other people's stories of spiritual awakening and would like to experience it for yourself.
  • You want to be more awake and more real.
  • You want to live with greater authenticity and relate to others with more reality.
  • You want to be more ‘yourself’ in life.

 

If so, then look next at our Further Information. It will tell you:

  • How an enlightenment experience is possible in three days.
  • What it's like to participate
  • Where you would be staying and what the venue is like

For our next Enlightenment Intensives here in Bath, see the Dates page.

If you would like to book a place straight away, please use our online Registration Form.

Alternatively, you may have questions or you may simply want to get a better sense of who we are. We are always happy to answer any queries and to talk to people considering participating on an Intensive. Feel free to get in touch with us by email.

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