What to expect

The Art of Mindful Living

Coming to a Plum Village style retreat is an opportunity to enjoy simple and peaceful living, and to learn how to cultivate the energy of mindfulness, so we can have more freedom, peace and happiness in our daily life. It is also a chance to nurture our inner growth as we take time to look deeply in order to transform both our individual difficulties and the difficulties in our society.

On retreat we learn how to weave mindfulness into all our daily activities, and live each moment of life more deeply. We practice meditation throughout the day – while eating, walking, working mindfully, sitting, or simply enjoying a cup of tea together.

Community life

Everyone staying at Plum Village participates in community activities such walking and sitting meditation, meals together and dharma sharing circles. On many retreats there will be community work such as arranging the meditation halls, cleaning bathrooms, washing pots and other simple tasks as part of the daily practice of mindfulness.

We emphasize community practice so that we can support each other, benefit from our collective energy, and learn to live together in harmony.

Typical schedule

6am – Wake Up
6.30am -Sitting meditation
7.15am – Mindful movement
8.am – Breakfast
9.30am – Dharma Talk
11.30am – Walking Meditation
12.30pm – Lunch
2pm – Deep relaxation
3pm – Dharma Sharing
6pm – Dinner
8pm – Activity/Sitting meditation
9.30pm – Noble Silence until after breakfast next day


To help us with our mindfulness practice there will be periods of silence during a retreat. In particular after the last evening activity until after breakfast the next day ‘noble silence’ is usually observed to help us to bring out attention inwards.

If you have previously been on totally silent retreats you will find there is less silence on a Plum Village style retreat which allows us to practice bringing mindfulness to speaking and listening.