Retreathouse Grüner Baum
Nice experiences are not the goal of practice --- they vanish quickly.
The only thing that truly helps is natural awareness.
To enjoy a time out --- without responsibilities, offline, telephone switched off --- is among the most precious gifts to receive. Just imagine: week after week out of the usual business, basically doing nothing, just being aware of how it is to be --- now, always now.
In retreat I discover myself without the usual roles and obligations. It is a completely free time. Body and mind can relax, the heart opens. I become more sensitive, the control patterns begin to relax, and I experience how is it to just be. Simple, open, normal --- and interconnected.
With time, mind becomes clear, and I begin to see my hang-ups as well as my basic, relaxed nature. I see where I have a choice: to hold on to my old patterns or to enter spontaneous presence. I start to practice the path of loving, panoramic awareness.
Retreat --- free from most worldly concerns --- is the ideal setting to develop a deeper connection with ourselves, others, the body, and nature. Deeper awareness leads to liberating insights, stimulated by the nectar of precious teachings and guidance.
Ekayana offers guided retreats in the house called "Grüner Baum" (Green Tree) with 28 rooms for individual retreat. Basically everyone with a regular daily meditation practice of 2 hours, some experience in shorter retreats, and enough emotional stability is welcome.
- At present, the minimum length of a retreat inside the house is 2 weeks. Outside the house also shorter guided retreats are possible.
- Every 3 months, there is a 1 month break to see one’s family and friends and to receive further teachings.
- Before applying, it is necessary to have a recommendation from Lama Lhündrup Tilmann or Lama Johann whom you can meet during the public courses. They clarify whether one is ready for retreat and how long it may be.
- Based on their recommendation contact firstname.lastname@example.org to see if there is still a room available.
- Then please apply via retreat registration on our homepage.
A retreat is about deepening one’s own practice; not about living together with the teachers (smile). Retreatants have to be able to bridge over difficult days by themselves. The teachers are present, but not continuously available.
- We practice according to the instructions received from our teachers.
- We follow our own bio-rhythm, not disturbing others, and in accordance with the common daily schedule.
- The goal is to develop continuous awareness around the clock.
- We practice in self-responsibility, without fences and with very few rules.
- Men and women live in the same house. Couple retreats are possible.
- Everyone practices together once a day from 5 to 6 p.m..
- We eat lunch together; this is our community sharing time.
- Conversations are essentially about one’s own experience. If possible, we do not engage in discussing philosophy, politics or other people.
- Outside contact is reduced to a minimum during each 3 month period.
- A retreat can be interrupted in consultation with the teacher in charge, if family or practitioners need it.
- Daily physical practice (walks in nature, yoga etc.) is encouraged.
- Alltasks in the house are distributed among the practitioners, daily about 1-3 hours. This includes cooking, cleaning, maintenance, lawn mowing, snow removal, office work and the like.
- The longer one stays, the more the aspect of serving others in the house becomes important in one’s practice.
- Distractions are to be avoided during retreat; in particular no TV, no internet, not going out for coffee, and no personal mobile phones.
Regarding the catering, we would like to inform you that we are in the fortunate position to purchase very high quality organic food through a regional wholesaler. Our food is almost all of organic standard, often even Bioland or Demeter quality. We see responsible purchasing as an important expression of the spirit of bodhicitta and wish to contribute to responsible and ethically acceptable food production. Accordingly, please treat the food with care.
We offer 3 meals per day, cooked by the retreatants themselves. Meals are vegetarian/vegan and gluten free is available if needed. Fruit is always available in sufficient quantities according to the season. Soy milk, oat milk and good margarine are in the house, all other dietary necessary food we ask you to bring yourself.
The daily schedule during a retreat:
05:00 – 08:00 individual practice
09:00 – 12:00 individual practice
14:00 – 17:00 individual practice
17:00 – 18:00 joint practice
19:00 – 22:00 individual practice
Teachings usually take place in the afternoon, they are scheduled at short notice by the teachers and announced on the whiteboard in the dining room.
During the retreat times there is no personal shopping and no shopping via internet. Therefore, it is important to bring everything that is needed from you during the time of the retreat.
If you have food intolerances, please refer to the food information and bring any additional food you may need.
Chips and chocolate if needed
Sufficient toothpaste, dental floss, shower gel, shampoos, etc.
A small emergency first aid kit is in the house.
Please bring any medications that you personally need.
Please also remember to bring
Bedding / Towels:
Can be provided by the Green Tree, but it is encouraged to bring your personal belongings if possible
Mainly comfortable clothing
Outdoor clothing such as rain jacket, sturdy shoes
Warm clothes are also good in summer
Winter-proof clothing, warm sweaters, socks, winter jacket in the cold season
Winter boots in the snowy season
Swimwear in the summer (swimming lake is within walking distance)
Washing machine can be used
Seat cushion / seat mat:
Can be provided by the Green Tree, but it is desired to bring the personal cushions if possible.
Please bring everything you need for your practice.
Everything for your altar such as offering bowls, statues, ….
In case of mandala offering practice, the mandala discs and everything else. Please ask in advance what you need for this.
Everything for Tsok , if you are doing a Tsok practice.
If a new practice is started unplanned during the retreat, it is possible to buy everything needed.
Short term retreat: up to 6 months
You are welcome to bring beautiful cloths to decorate your room. Simple room furnishings are available. No candles, incense sticks or other burning utensils or hair dryers may be used in the room, see also under miscellaneous.
Long term retreat:
You can design your own room and bring your own furniture for it. Beyond that, there is no storage space for additional furniture, etc.
Please check in advance how big your room will be.
You are also welcome to bring your bike.
Kettles are available in the kitchen. You are not allowed to use your own kettle in your room. It is recommended to bring your own thermos (also available in the house). A hot water bottle often makes relaxing easier
As a Dana project, the Green Tree Retreat House is an enterprise founded through and through in generosity (Sanskrit/ Pali: Dana). Our wish is to keep the prices as low as possible, so that all interested people can have access to the Dharma, regardless of their financial situation.
For the stay we give our cost price as a guideline. These guide prices include overnight stay (plus €1,70 visitor’s tax) with three meals from mainly organic produce. Arrival and departure count together as one day.
Retreat fee: Participation in the retreat is free of charge. We welcome voluntary donations.
Dharma teacher: Retreat supervision is free of charge. Voluntary donations are appreciated.
Everyone who eats meals at the Green Tree is asked for about 1-3 hours of daily housekeeping assistance. This is the only way we can keep the prices so low.
Retreats up to 6 months (as of 1.1.2023), daily rates:
Accommodation in house €15,-
Accommodation in a caravan €9,-.
Meals €11,-; also for practitioners accommodated outside
visitor’s tax €1,70
Long-term retreats longer than 6 months (as of 1.1.2023), monthly rate:
Accommodation in the house €350,-
In addition, for long-term retreats there is €6.25 visitor’s tax per quarter and the second home tax €63 per quarter. The possibility for a long-term retreat is usually discussed after the experience of a three-month retreat.
Please note that all retreats must be discussed in advance with Lama Tilmann.
Please print out the house rules and read them carefully. The house rules are part of the accommodation contract.