If one wanted to do a 3 day to a one week unguided retreat what would they need to know?

I am planning on doing this, with meals purchased and prepared by me in advance.

The plan was 6 - 8 hours of sleep, meditation on awakening, yoga and a light breakfast, meditation, study of texts, meditation, light lunch, meditation, basic upkeep of the area, meditation, light dinner, meditation and repeat.

Are there other aspects to the retreat that should be added?

1 Answer 1


Time table

Best is you have a time table. Wake at about 4 am and be seated by 4.30 am. Schedule breakfast at about 6.30 am and lunch at 11 am. Skip dinner but perhaps you can try to have a light tea at about 5 pm.

Schedule about 1 hour after breakfast and lunch for coires.

Get to bed at about 9.30 pm and meditate in while lying down until you fall asleep.


Have breakfast at dawn (~ 6.30 am) and lunch before the sun has turned (~ 12 noon). See Kīta,giri Sutta, Latukikopama Sutta for taking food at proper times.

Have a light and if possible vegetarian diet. Vegetarian is not necessary a must but helps keep a hold on restlessness or sleepiness due to food abay.


If you are doing this unguided you have to do the study before hand and outline the meditation you are going to pratice.

You can skip study as this can be a form of intellectual entertainment hence a distraction meditation even if it is the Dhamma.


Best is to be in total silence with no outside communications, e.g. visitors, TV, newspapers, phone, etc. When you talk this causes verbal fabrication which is something you might want to avoid.

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