Yoga and Vedanta Retreat 25th March – March 31st - 2011 Full week : £510 / Weekend: £170 Teaching: Yoga included, Vedanta by Donation Set on eighteen beautiful acres, Park Place is a fine old Georgian house close to the Hampshire village of Wickham. This idyllic rural setting is home to a small community of Indian Roman Catholic nuns who run a thriving pastoral centre for people of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs who are interested in spiritual matters. It is a beautiful and peaceful place, ideal for this seminar. All rooms are single and en-suite (unless you prefer to share). Vedanta or jnana yoga, is often described as revealed knowledge, or the search for truth and is the foundation for spiritual inquiry. If you are interested in taking your existential questions further and are curious to know why are we really here, who we are and what truly makes us happy (and the ultimate question…what is reality?) this retreat will be of great interest to you. It tailored for both those who are unfamiliar with Vedanta and those who have already been exposed to the teachings. The retreat will include the study of a source text and is suitable for those who have studied with James Swartz before. Vedanta, also known as Self Inquiry, is a dynamic traditional teaching that engages the participants in such a way that it produces insight into the nature of reality and self-realization. In addition to the talks and satsangs with James Swartz, Fiona Agombar, teaching in the style and practice developed by Krishnamacharya and Desikachar, will offer a morning yoga class. Fiona is the author of “Beat Fatigue with Yoga.” The ancient spiritual teachings of Self-Inquiry show us how to remove suffering caused by misunderstanding our true nature. Self-Inquiry is the royal road to happiness and inner peace. It equates happiness with freedom from dependence on anything other than one’s own self. During the retreat James Swartz, a disciple of Swami Chinmayananda, and a renowned Vedanta teacher, shows how to be attain peace and happiness through Action Yoga, Love Yoga, the Yoga of the Three Energies and Meditation. As these yogas are revealed, the obstacles standing in the way of self realization…insecurity, fear, desire, inadequacy, isolation, and attachment…dissolve. Each session begins with a guided meditation, is followed by a thorough teaching on a particular topic and concludes with a question and answer session that handles specific questions raised by the teachings. Since the topic is one’s self and the self is the source of great love, this is a thoroughly enjoyable retreat that participants will find life-changing in a positive way. Program: A morning yoga session is followed by mid-morning talk and a discussion designed to address questions raised by the talk. We will then have lunch and free time. After dinner there will be a second talk and an informal satsang with James. He will also be available for private consultations. Because Vedanta is an interactive communication between the teacher and the students, the structure of the course is flexible. The following topics will be unfolded patiently according to the dynamics of the group using verses from Vedanta’s source texts including the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads and works by Shankarcharaya. Motivations. Why do I seek? The limitations of worldly pursuits and the basic desire for inner freedom or enlightenment. The Means of Self Knowledge. The limitations of perception in the quest for self- realization. This talk explains how spiritual knowledge works and how Vedanta evolved to fill the gap between how we perceive the world and true happiness, or self -realization. Who am I? The nature of the true self and the nature of the small self or ego. Knowledge and Experience. Explains the two basic theories of enlightenment and debunks enlightenment myths. Qualifications. How Vedanta works to bring about self-realization. Discusses the qualifications of the seeker, the qualifications of the teacher and Grace. Obstructions. How experience produces tendencies contrary to self-realization. Karma Yoga. This powerful teaching unfolds the most important spiritual practice. It reveals how to approach daily life in such a way that negative conditioning is neutralized and the mind is prepared for Self Inquiry. Knowledge Yoga/Self Inquiry. The techniques necessary to develop the discrimination that culminates in enlightenment, the realization of the true nature of freedom and happiness. The discrimination between one’s self and the world, the analysis of the waking, dream and sleep states of consciousness, the location of objects and other sophisticated tools for self-realization. Meditation. An excellent, effective, ancient yogic meditation practice. The Yoga of the Three Gunas. This talk explains the science of energy work, how to shape the quality and texture of the mind to achieve a perfect vehicle for self inquiry. This talk teaches the importance of a pure mind for the assimilation of experience and addresses lifestyle issues: food, money, associations, and sex. Love. The importance of devotion in the quest for freedom. Passionate love, spiritual relationships, marriage and devotional yoga. James Swartz: There are not many true Vedanta teachers in the world today and James is exceptional, so this is a great opportunity to study with him in a beautiful location and enjoy gentle yoga with Fiona Agombar. James is the author of “How to Attain Enlightenment” which is available on Amazon.co.uk. You can see information about James on www.shiningworld.com or you may watch an interview with him on www.conscious.tv (click under programme directory then Traditions/Advaita.) As a traditional Vedanta teacher, James does not charge for teaching but subsists on donations. Fiona Agombar is an experienced yoga teacher who had chronic fatigue for 15 years but made a full recovery thanks to following a yoga lifestyle. In 1997 Fiona wrote the definitive book on yoga, fatigue and M.E: “Beat Fatigue with Yoga” (Cherry Red Books). Fiona originally studied with the Yoga for Health Foundation from 1993 and she now spends much time in India studying yoga in depth. She is a regular contributor to Yoga and Health magazine. She is currently studying yoga in the Krishnamacharya tradition (Khyf) under Sarah Ryan and Liz Mutha. Her mentor is Gill Lloyd, a student of Desikachar. She also studies Vedanta with James. More on Fiona can be found on www.fionaagombar.co.uk Booking: Through Free Spirit: Telephone 01273 564230 email@example.com www.freespirituk.com More Information on Park Place All cooking is home-made on site by Sister Judith, an accomplished cook in western and Indian styles of menu. We can provide vegetarian or non-vegetarian menus on request. How To Get There The entrance to Park Place may be found ¼ mile north of Wickham village on the A334 Wickham to Botley Road. By air: Southampton Airport is 10 miles away (15 minutes by car.) A direct National Express Coach service runs between Heathrow Airport (all terminals) and Fareham. There is a direct train service between Gatwick Airport and Fareham. By ferry: Portsmouth ferry port is 10 miles away (15 minutes by car). By rail: Southampton Airport Parkway is the nearest mainline station. Fareham and Botley are the nearest local stations (change at Eastleigh). By bus: Coaches leave London Victoria for Fareham every two hours. The No 69 Winchester- Fareham-Winchester bus stops outside the gate of Park Place. By car: (note: parking space is available free on site) From London. Take the M3. Leave at junction 11 and take the B3335, then the B2177 to Bishops Waltham. Wickham is signposted from here. OR Take the A3 to Portsmouth, then M27. Leave at junction 11 and follow the signs to Wickham. Park Place is on the right 1/4 mile before Wickham From the West: Take the M27 in the direction of Portsmouth. Leave at Exit 7. Take the B3035 to Botley and then the A334 which goes direct to Wickham. From the East: Take the M27. Leave at junction 10 and take the A32 in the direction of Alton. Wickham is on the A32.