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Awakening Imagination - Residential

Tuesday, 13 July 2021 to Sunday, 18 July 2021

This page is for booking onto the residential aspect of the Awakening Imagination hybrid retreat.

“The imaginal faculty is, in reality, the man himself, because when one truly perceives an image one perceives it with the whole of oneself, or with one’s whole being. When one truly perceives an image, therefore, one is transported to the world to which that image belongs and becomes, if only for the time being, an inhabitant of that world. In other words, truly to perceive an image means to become an image, so that when one speaks of the imagination, or the imaginal faculty, what one is really speaking of is image perceiving image. That is to say, in perceiving an image what one really perceives is, in a sense, oneself.”

Sangharakshita, ‘The Journey to Il Convento’

Although Sangharakshita never gave a systematic teaching on the theme of the imagination (the theme does not lend itself to that kind of treatment!) he often evoked its vital importance and encouraged a thorough exploration of the world of images, myths and symbols, as an essential part of Dharma life, not least through the preparation for and taking up of a sadhana – the mantra recitation and visualisation of a particular Buddha or bodhisattva – at the time of ordination.
It is therefore extremely important that men wishing to join the Order appreciate Sangharakshita’s vision of what constitutes the ‘imaginal faculty’ and are able to navigate within the ‘world of images’ wherein one truly meets oneself.

On this retreat we will be studying two important lectures given by Sangharakshita during the ordination retreat at Il Convento in Tuscany in 1984 – ‘The Journey to Il Convento’ and ‘Saint Jerome Revisited’ – as well as the section ‘What is Myth?’ from The Essential Sangharakshita.

Health and Hygiene

It is vital that you don't come on retreat if you have any symptoms of Covid-19, including a cough, loss or change of smell or taste, a temperature, or any other cold or flu-like symptoms; or if you have been in contact with anyone who has within the past 14 days.

We ask that you take a Lateral Flow Test within 24 hours of the retreat starting, as well as taking one on arrival at Padmaloka.
You can order them free from the UK Government here: Lateral Flow Tests, or from most pharmacies.

We will be observing strict hygiene and social distancing protocols during the retreat, details of which you can find in our risk assessment here: Padmaloka Risk Assessment

In coming on retreat you also agree to observe measures laid out in our coming on retreat page here: Coming on Retreat
As well as contained within the 'Essential Guide to Being at Padmaloka during Covid', which can be found here: An Essential Guide

We will be taking every measure we can to prevent the spreading of Covid-19 during retreats, but despite this, there will still remain a risk to those who attend; please consider this when coming on retreat.

If you are unable to attend the retreat due to illness or local lockdown measures then your booking can be transferred to the online aspect of the retreat, or to a future retreat.

A Dana Retreat

After the deposit, these retreats will be run on a donation basis.

If you would like to donate a similar amount to the retreat rates used in the past on a 5 day retreat, then the amounts are as follows:
• Waged: £194
• Concession: £162
• Unwaged: £125

These retreats will have higher running costs than ordinary retreats due to the restricted number of attendees, as well as the extra hygiene precautions we are taking to ensure the safety of all those involved. Yet, we ask that you give what you can based upon your current financial circumstances.

There will be an opportunity to donate near the end of the retreat, or you can do so any time online, but please note that by law we are unable to refund donations once they have been given.

Due to limited spaces, please only book onto one residential retreat for each programme of four months, you can book on as many of the online retreats as you would like to.

Banner and thumbnail image: edited line drawing and 'Mythic Psychopomp' painting by Aloka ©

Led By: 
The Ordination Team
Retreat Open To: 
Men training for ordination and Dharmacharis in UK and Europe
Retreat Type: 
Going for Refuge Retreat
Booking Availability: 
Fully Reserved

This retreat is now fully booked