Information before the course
To start your meditation retreat, all you need is comfortable light-coloured clothes and come to Javorie. However, if you would like to be more prepared read the helpful info.
Will be useful
- Comfortable, simple clothes. Warm clothes even in summer.
- Waterproof clothes, possibly an umbrella.
- Quiet slippers for the main building.
- A watch with an alarm clock, as you shouldn’t use your phone (we’ll be happy to put it in the safe).
- A torch in case you are staying in the lower cabins (or even if you are not).
- Bed linen
- Meditation pillows
Don’t carry with you
- Jewellery and ornaments
- Expensive things (gold, lots of money, computer).
Approximately one week before the course, we also send a detailed informative email to everyone enrolled.
Practical information on courses for those who want to be well informed before starting their stay.
”"You should meditate for twenty minutes a day - unless you're too busy. Then you should meditate for an hour."Zen proverb
How does a meditation retreat work?
There is no need to have previous experience of meditation. A sincere effort to surrender to the guidance of an experienced teacher is enough. It is true that some courses may be open only to more experienced meditators (so-called old students), such a course will always be visibly marked. Likewise, in the case of individual meditation (self-retreat), this is recommended only for more experienced meditators.
The meditation classes follow the program that the teacher pins on the bulletin board on the day of arrival. The custom is to alternate sitting meditation with walking meditation. The program can be strongly structured or looser depending on the teacher’s approach. Meditation takes place primarily in the meditation hall, with the option to practice in the rooms or outdoors (depending on the weather and the needs of the meditators). Walking meditation (chankamana) can be done outdoors – in front of the building, on the grass, on the sand under a shelter (in the summer months), in the adjacent meditation room in case of rain, or in the corridors of the main building. Once a day (usually in the evening) there is a teacher’s talk (dhammatalk) and loving-kindness meditation (metta).
If for health reasons you cannot sit on a cushion, we have chairs available which you can place ideally against the wall in the meditation hall and meditate sitting down.
Some teachers also add yoga or qi-gong exercises in the morning before breakfast. In case the exercises are not included, you will have space to practice your own routine before breakfast in the meditation hall next door (you need to respect this designated time, as other participants may meditate there later – so make sure to wear appropriate clothing and keep a respectful silence during the exercises).
Karma yoga – the so-called yoga of action – is also a daily part of the meditation course – voluntary help to the centre. This is meditation in motion, in an activity in which you practice transferring the meditative state into everyday activities (helping in the kitchen by chopping vegetables, cleaning the common areas, outdoor chores: raking hay, watering flowers). Even during karma yoga, noble silence is observed.
Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing, ideally in light tones (without large signs or pictures that might be distracting to others), that covers most of the body. Warm clothing even in summer. Waterproof clothing for the rain. A torch. A silent watch (as it is not recommended to use a mobile phone). Alarm clock, slippers for the main building.
No need to take jewellery, jingling ornaments that might disturb other meditators.
We accommodate 2 to 3 people in rooms, depending on the availability of the course. If capacity permits, there is the possibility of a separate room for an additional fee. We can usually only provide information about solo accommodation a few days before the course, when we send instructions for the course by email.
We accommodate men and women separately, requests for shared accommodation for friends of the same sex are accommodated, this request should be put in a note on the application form.
No need to carry a meditation cushion – we have meditation pads, cushions, wedges, knee pads, blankets
If you practice yoga, bring your own yoga mat.
If you feel that it is too much for you, you can leave the course early with the agreement of the teacher.
It is not recommended to use a mobile phone during the meditation sessions – it is recommended to keep it switched off or put it in the organisers’ safe for the duration of the session. In case you need to contact the organizer, give your loved ones the organizer’s phone contact (which will come in the course information by mail). We will pass on the message to whoever called you and make the phone available.
You may have your phone with you by appointment with the teacher (in a mode so as not to disturb other meditators).
We cook vegetarian food, in case of intolerances we also prepare gluten-free and lactose-free version.
Intolerances to certain ingredients must be informed to us in advance – in the course application form.
If you need to bring some smaller amounts of food that need to be kept cold, we have a fridge available (keep in mind that there is one fridge and there can be 30 participants).
We do not recommend taking dogs or other pets with you on the tour. Remember that you are going to enjoy yourself and should therefore be as little disturbed as possible by your surroundings (as well as your fellow participants). At the same time, you’ll be spending a large part of the day meditating, so your pet would be alone for most of the day (and would probably show it, which could disturb other meditators and ultimately you). Dogs are not allowed loose around the grounds (due to consideration for other meditators practice).
Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing, ideally in light tones (without large signs or pictures that might be distracting to others), that covers most of the body. Warm clothing even in summer. Waterproof clothing for the rain. Quiet slippers for the main building. No need to take jewelry, jingling ornaments that could disturb other meditators.
Some courses are taught in Slovak or Czech, others in English. If necessary, we interpret English into Slovak or vice versa.
Information about transport
Rules of the Centre
- Follow the 5 ethical resolutions (mainly no alcohol and smoking only outside the premises).
- We have what we call three levels of silence. On the top floor observe noble silence, on the middle floor speak only if necessary, on the bottom floor speak as long as it makes sense.
- In the rooms, consume only water. Please consume coffee, tea, biscuits, etc. in the dining room.
- Inside the main building, please wear a change of clothes. If you walk outside barefoot, please wash your feet before entering.
- Once the course has started, please use the cloakroom only to enter the building.
- At the end of the day, close all windows, extinguish candles, and turn off lights. Close the skylights (bathrooms, hallway, library, and meditation room) at night or in case of inclement weather during the day.
- Throw only toilet paper in the toilet, as we have a biological wastewater treatment plant. Do not throw in dental floss, sanitary napkins, etc.
- Regulate the temperature in your rooms as needed on the radiators. Even in summer, excess heat from solar panels is released into the radiators. In winter, ventilate sensibly.
- Karma Yoga. (Helping the centre). On these courses it is voluntary and by agreement with the organizer. However if you feel like it you can help us with various chores. Information will be given to you on arrival.
- On departure, take off the sheets.
- Follow the instructions of the teacher and staff.
- We recommend understated clothes in light tones, comfortable, not too challenging or extravagant. Such that it covers most of your body.
- Vegetarian food is served at the stay. If you are allergic to a certain food ingredient and have not indicated this on your application form, please let us know as soon as possible. For meditators with dietary restrictions, a uniform gluten-free and lactose-free diet will be served, as it is not in our power to accommodate different requests individually.
- The Buddha’s teachings are given exclusively for free. For accommodation and food we have so-called recommended prices in our centre, whereby a minimum, optimal and donor price is set for the course. Based on the minimum price, a deposit is calculated, which you pay when you book the course. You can pay the balance on the spot in the form of a donation. You can read more about the prices here.
Upcoming courses with a teacher
Courses with experienced teachers provide indispensable guidance that is essential for a proper meditation practice. With years of experience, a good teacher can help you overcome obstacles to meditation and support your efforts.
”Staying at Javorie helped me to experience inner peace. I am very grateful to the good and wise teacher and the quiet environment, which allowed me to loosen up and immerse myself in the meditation practice.PeterSlovakia