We are located in the beautiful Piney Woods of East Texas about an hour SW of Tyler, and about an hour and a half south of Dallas. See us on Google Maps here.
You might be surprised to find out that all the mental stimulation we entertain ourselves with, from phones to TV's to computers, even books and music, and gossip, is actually masking our own self-realization that we are the Source. In the beginning, we start to achieve silence of the mind or "Samadhi" with verbal silence, then we begin to achieve mental silence, and sometimes in the midst of the silence, we can have brief glimpses of self-realization in a Source Experience. Source Experiences are crucial to awakening into the enlightened mind, knowing the Oneness of everything, and living in sustainable bliss. At a Samadhi Silent Retreat, we expect to introduce you to real silence of the mind so you can begin living a life of unequivocal bliss, in Unity.
Not exactly! What we normally consider as silence is environmental, or a quiet external atmosphere. The whole purpose of the Samadhi Silent Retreat is to discover and develop "Silence of the Mind", which is an internal mental stillness, marked by the absence of thinking. You can achieve Samadhi or “Silence Of The Mind,” while chanting mantras as a group, which you will be doing every evening. You can be in a state of silence while you are listening to the yoga instructor lead you in asana practice. You can be in silence while you listen to the spiritual discourses led by David Browning, or while listening to guided meditations, or Tibetan bowl meditations. Silence of the Mind is a rare and beautiful beginning to a practice that leads ultimately to self-realization as the Source. See More On Silence >>
It would be a great idea to become familiar with the "Mystic 7" which are the 7 Source Experiences a person has while waking up into the enlightened mind, as well as the principles used for self-inquiry as you awaken. David will reference these Experiences/Principles frequently throughout the retreat. Also, see the Prerequisites for deeper clarification which will come in handy during the course of the weekend. And lastly, it may be a great preview to watch some of David's videos to become accustomed to his jovial style of enlightenment awareness, because, as he says... "Enlightenment Can Be A Blast"
Chances are, you will find something to disagree with. During the course of your retreat, you will be presented with an entirely new outlook on this world and your place in it. Some of your beliefs will be challenged. Some or all of your concepts will be demolished. This may cause discomfort, anger, defensiveness, and confusion. You will be stretched beyond your conditioning at a Samadhi Silent Retreat. "You are the Source, there is NO-ONE outside of you"; no one else but David is going to tell you that consistently despite your arguments to the contrary.
You will have an opportunity to write comments and questions asking for further clarification that will be responded to during the question & answer sessions. You cannot enter the door of enlightenment with any of your current concepts. Trust your own inner guidance and conduct your own self-inquiry.
We have had at least two participants who had previously gone to silent retreats with other organizations and this is what they have told us:
"The odds are stacked higher [at Samadhi Retreat] for having better and more profound experiences of deep meditation and Spiritual breakthroughs"
"Samadhi Retreat is a more pleasant experience, even in silence there is a fun atmosphere due to David's light-hearted personality, and lack of seriousness."
"At Samadhi there is "no purification through pain", you are encouraged to make yourself as comfortable as possible, even sitting in a chair, using bolsters, pillows, and blankets; lying down, drinking tea during discourses, comfort counts!!"
"Multiple breaks including a two-hour lunch and an hour and a half dinner break allow for unmonitored free time to dive deeper into the blossoming awarenesses."
"Diversity is rampant and the flow is great, the changing scenery from sunrise candlelight yoga to chanting, to breathing exercises, to guided meditations, to silent meditations, to discourses, to contemplation walks, to evening Bhajans and Satsang*, with snacks or meals every couple of hours keeps you interested, moving and engaged."
"The opportunity for transformation is present, palpable and enjoyable."
You may choose which events you feel inclined to join. We encourage you to follow your own guidance. Recently we had an attendee who was simply here for the "Silence of the Mind". She was encouraged to do whatever she felt compelled to do regarding group activities.... she did, in fact, participate in all activities, but it was entirely her option.
Yes, we've made a list of things that would be great to bring with you, as well as a driving map, phone numbers, and other things that you may want to bring with you. Please see the Pre-Arrival Packet for all the information you may need to prepare for your 3-Day Silent Retreat.
No, you do not have to participate in the yoga sessions. However, we would like to suggest that you try a modified version of the yoga postures from a seated position just to receive some benefit from this relaxing practice that helps to settle the mind and make it ready for the deep states of meditation you can expect during the retreat. We do very gentle beginners level yoga during the retreats.
All organized activities are indoors. Unlike other Silent Retreats, you will have ample free time each day for walks in the woods or sitting on the dock or relaxing on the covered patio..... but you can feel free to rest inside in the climate-controlled spaces during that time. There is a two-hour lunch break and an hour and a half dinner break in which you will have personal time all to yourself as the Source.
We totally understand your concern!!!
Of course, you may bring your own snacks, but you will not have an opportunity to cook or prepare meals. One of the benefits of the Samadhi Silent Retreat is that you will have no responsibilities, any added thing that you do beyond the scheduled curriculum will take away from your experience.
One of the reasons we eat a vegetarian diet during silent retreats is that your digestive system does not have to work so hard to break down vegetables as compared with meats, which makes it easier to enter into deeper states of meditation.
Most of the guests at our retreats have not been vegetarians either..... we're in Texas for heaven's sake!!!!
That being said, we have the most wonderful menu. There are a variety of soups, breakfast tacos, grilled quesadillas, flat-bread pizzas, quinoa Chili, sandwiches, a variety of hummus and salads. Platters of tasty fruits and snacks are always available on breaks. The meals provided during this retreat have been duplicated from a proven formula and ratio in regard to what the body needs during this deep meditation process. This formula has been used by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Maharishi Maheshyogi, Deepak Chopra and others. We know you'll be pleasantly surprised. One of the most common comments after the retreats is how wonderful the vegetarian menu was.
We play lots of chanting by different groups, but the largest selection of chanting music is from our favorite Texas group, The Bhakti House Band. Please support their music and if you get up to Fort Worth, they throw an awesome house party, Bhakti Bash.
There are 3 private rooms and they all lock from the inside, they are standard bedroom doors and not key entry.
3 Private Rooms (#1)*Lalla's Room and (#2)Meditation Room; and (#3)Green Tara Room
Co-Registrants: To get the most out of your Silent Retreat, you will want an opportunity to allow the mind to settle completely including no talking, gesturing, or physical contact with friends or significant others. If your co-registrant is your significant other or a close friend, we recommend that you do not share a private room because it will be very tempting to communicate with each other both verbally and non-verbally. However, you are free to room together if that is your wish.
There are two bathrooms that are shared among all retreat participants. Participants elect to take morning, noon, or evening showers, so the restrooms are lightly used and there is rarely a waiting line.
David embraces all religious traditions and may quote from some you are familiar with and some you are not familiar with. The principles of the Mystic 7 often sound like the mystic teachings of Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism, and even mystic Christianity. It is not our goal to teach but to provide a space where you can have the direct personal EXPERIENCE AS SOURCE. We will provide some guidance, and then you will have your own revelations. These retreats give you the opportunity to (1) silence the body, so you can (2) silence the mind, so you can (3) experience yourself as Source. It will be helpful if you come with an open mind willing to let go of old paradigms and be open to new awareness.
Yes, you can arrive early! Just let us know in advance so we can have things prepared for your early arrival. We especially encourage arriving early during the winter months when it gets dark early. The Samadhi Retreat is not easy to find at night for the first time.
Please feel free to arrive anytime after 4:00 on Friday to take a walk in the woods and take all the pictures you like. Once the retreat begins, all communication stops and we encourage the mind to stop its usual processing. This would include even the right brain creative tasks and the composition and mental processing associated with your art form. We want you to have the best of all worlds, so please plan to come early and satisfy your love of nature and photography!!
Real Truth waits quietly inside to be heard when we are ready.