Being Human : A Hungry Ghost Recovery Retreat

About us

‘Being Human’ is an encouragement to lift the veil and break the spell of universal cravings, aversions and confusions that so often manifest as addictions, compulsions; and harmful thinking and behaviours.

This is not a silent retreat but there will be periods of quietude including one complete day of silence.

Healing the Heart-Mind
This retreat includes a progressive investigation of self-views – through the traditional practices of Loving-kindness and Forgiveness – supporting the letting-go of hatred and ill-will for ourselves and for others.  We will learn to incline our minds towards kindness… there is no finer mindfulness!

It is important to note that you do not have to be ‘a Buddhist’ to practice any of the principles discussed, and meditation practices explored.

You should be kind to be a Buddhist;
but you do not have to be a Buddhist to be kind!

Each retreatant will be given a personal set of Tibetan Prayer Flags.  One side of each flag is decorated with wood block prints of auspicious mantras, syllables and prayers – the other side is blank.

Everyone gets a set of personal Prayer-flags

  1. Throughout the 5-days, as we progress through our retreat, we are invited to write the names – starting with our own name – of all the many people that we want to send the blessings of loving-kindness and compassion to on our personal prayer-flags.
  2. We may also write our own personal aspirations, prayers and wishes creatively using words or images or symbols.
  3. We may also write the names – starting with our own name – of the people from whom we might want to ask for forgiveness.

And lastly, we may write the names – starting with our own name – of all of the people that we may wish to forgive.

** For the ‘‘Being Human’‘ retreat at the Margaret Austin Center we will adopt the Eight Precept model of practice by adding three more training guidelines to the normal Five Precepts:

To refrain from wearing make-up, perfume or strongly-scented deodorant, jewellery or immodest clothing; not playing radios, music tapes or musical instruments.
To refrain from overindulgence in sleep.
To refrain from eating after our main meal at lunchtime.
Some potential learning outcomes of this retreat


Hungry Ghost Retreats, the retreat centres and the retreat teachers decline all liability for any damage occurring to a person or to possessions in connection with these retreats.

Meditation retreats held in silence or held in partial silence and with limited social exchange are often not suitable for people with a psychiatric history.

It is advisable to contact Hungry Ghost Retreats prior to registration.

PLEASE NOTE: Vince Cullen does not get paid to teach this retreat, therefore, you are invited and encouraged to bring along a donation (Dana) in recognition of the teaching.

Event Highlights

  • Learning to stay with the uncomfortable – Right Now It’s Like This !?
  • Develop an appreciation of the liberating distinction between ‘abstinence’ and ‘abandonment’.
  • An introduction to and/or deepening of one’s own mindfulness meditation practice as a basic attitude in everyday life.
  • A basic understanding of the Buddhist principles and practices of mindfulness-based harm reduction, relapse prevention and waking-up from ‘addictions’ and compulsions.
  • An understanding and appreciation of the difference between ‘abstinence’ and ‘abandonment’ of addictions, compulsions and harmful behaviour (i.e. the Training Precepts compared to the commitment of a Sajja [Vow]).
  • The opportunity to take part in and/or lead Buddhist-oriented ‘Sit-and-Share‘ peer-led support meetings.
  • The optional opportunity to make a Sajja [intention/aspiration/commitment/vow] as an outward manifestation of the heart’s desire to move away from suffering towards the end of suffering.


06:00 * Wake-up bell
06:30 * Qigong, Reading & Meditation
07:30 Breakfast (mindfully in silence)
08:30 * Teaching & Practice
12:30 Lunch
14:00 * Teaching & Practice
17:00 Hot Drink & Free time
19:00 * Sit-and-Share
21:00 Noble silence until 8:30am next day.

Tags: addiction forgiveness loving-kindness medtitation mindful-movement mindfulness recovery wellness

  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

Return to my event ×

Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

To drop deep into the practices and connect with my true nature... Alison

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

Don't have an account? Sign up.
Or connect with Facebook

Already have an account? Log in.
Or connect with Facebook