We welcome you to this unique residential event where the Highest Tantra: Kashmiri Shaivism Workshop and Retreat are offered in one comfortable sequence presenting you with an opportunity to thoroughly study and practice these spiritual gems.
Completion of the Kashmiri Shaivism Workshop is a necessary prerequisite to join the Kashmiri Shaivism Retreat.
We pay tribute to Somananda’s guru Swami Vivekananda Saraswati who, through spiritual inspiration and blessing, has initiated Somananda into the profound teachings of Kashmiri Shaivism.
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Part 1: Kashmiri Shaivism workshop (17-22 May 2020)
Kashmiri Shaivism is considered the highest and most transcendent Yoga, wherein the first steps are already advanced. It represents the pinnacle of teachings and practice within Tantra, yet remains approachable for experienced practitioners and beginners on the path. Kashmiri Shaivism not only acts as a catalyst for deep transformation, but it also brings your current Yoga practice into a whole new dimension.
In this workshop Somananda provides extensive theoretical explanation and initiation in a rare and accessible presentation of Kashmiri Shaivism – core teachings which actually form the foundation of all the teachings in our school.
You will learn the following:
- Why Kashmiri Shaivism is so powerful
- The true origins of Tantra and the tantric schools of India and Kashmir
- The land of Kashmir and its masters of metaphysics
- Fundamental principles of higher Tantra and enlightenment
- Study and practice of the four paths of Kashmiri Shaivism – the upayas
- The effects of Kashmiri Shaivism on the mind and consciousness
- The legacy of Abhinavagupta, the greatest Kashmiri tantric of India
- Pratyabhijñā techniques of meditation and sudden self-realization
- Techniques for enlightenment from the Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra
- The nature of reality according to Kashmiri Shaivism – a practical approach
I feel blissfully saved from the mazes and confusion that clouded my vision of the Ultimate Reality. I feel blessed!
Somananda’s energy and incredible wisdom helped me to grasp these incredibly high teachings.
It was evident that Kashmiri Shaivism is a cherished love of Soma’s. He spoke with such conviction and passion. I was entranced and mesmerized.
This workshop has opened so many doors for me – spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I will never look at reality in the same way.
These teachings touched my soul and intellect on so many levels. They have renewed my aspiration for God, Yoga, and my spiritual path.
I was lost and now I am found. Nothing more to add.
Kashmiri Shaivism bridges the gap between monism, dualism, religion, reality, evolution, and so much more!
Spiritual attainment without suffering…. Before this workshop I would never have dreamed it possible.
Part 2: Kashmiri Shaivism retreat (23-29 May 2020)
The aim of the Kashmiri Shaivims Retreat – while rooted in sublime ancient tantric texts such as the Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra, Shiva Sutras, Tantraloka, Pratyabhijñā Śāstra, and others – is to bring the practitioner into the realm of spiritual realization and a special state of pratyabhijñā – recognition of the Supreme Self, the ultimate in spiritual aspirations.
This practice is derived from the most powerful of all metaphysical tantric teachings on the planet and provides a true guide for those who seek to climb the ladder of evolution from self-development to eventual spiritual success.
What you will gain from the retreat:
- Practical application of Kashmiri Shaivism as learned in the workshop
- Deepening of personal knowledge and experience of the four upayas – powerful methods of spiritual sadhana
- Insight into your state of awareness and spiritual potential
- Fully embarking on the tantric path of spiritual evolution
- Spiritual transmission and initiation from our advanced teachers Somananda or Dharmananda
Retreat with mauna
The retreat section of this event (23-29 May 2020) is held in manua – meaning it is conducted in complete silence (24 hours per day) for participants in order to facilitate a deeper level of self-inquiry and more profound mental effects.
This retreat has definitely been the most important effort towards my spiritual evolution that I have ever made.
Meditating like God – this was the incredible gift I received.
I lost all physical feelings and entered a state I had never been in before. It’s difficult to describe even now, hours later….
Kashmiri Shaivism is a gift to humanity and so is Somananda and his spiritual insight. Thank you so much!
Everything about this retreat was groundbreaking for me. I feel high from spirituality….
Techniques taught and practiced:
- Study and practice of various techniques from the Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra– the tantric manual for enlightenment
- Meditation techniques and Yoga practice with the upayas
- The use of mentalization and emotions for spiritual results (bhavana)
- The fundamental monistic meditation (“I am”)
- Periods of deep guided meditative states
Workshop and retreat schedule
Day 1 (17 May 2020) – Welcome to Levinthos Retreat Center
At 16:00 the group transport bus departs from Heraklion. The exact departure location will be communicated to all participants. We recommend that you arrive to Crete at least a couple of hours before this departure time (or why not a day before!).
At 19:00 welcome dinner begins at the venue followed by the retreat introduction at 20:00.
Days 2-6 (18-22 May 2020) – The workshop period
08:00 Meditation and Yoga
10:00 Teaching session 1
14:00 Lunch and rest
16:30 Teaching session 2
20:00 Dinner and rest
Days 7-10 (23-28 May 2020) – The retreat period in mauna
06:30 Wake up gong
07:00 Meditation and Yoga
10:00 Meditation and practice session 1
14:00 Lunch and rest
16:30 Meditation and practice session 2
19:00 Q&A (the questions shall be submitted in writing in order to preserve sacred silence)
20:00 Dinner and rest
22:00 Light out and night gong
Day 11 (29 May 2020) – Conclusion and departure
Conclusion of our Kashmiri Shaivism Workshop and Retreat and departure after lunch. Group bus transport back to Heraklion will depart latest 15:00. Do not plan your flight out of Heraklion earlier than 19:00 of the same day.
How to measure success in meditation?
As defined in Yoga, meditation is the “controlled expansion of the mind”. This seemingly remote idea is actually a skill that not only anyone can acquire, but also one which is improved and perfected with practice.
In fact, while surprising to some, individual proficiency and development in meditation is tangible and can be measured clearly. Some of the preliminary indicators to look for are the following:
- Emotional disturbances or imbalances are reduced or completely cease to exist
- The mind becomes silent and peaceful at will
- The mind expands outside of one’s physical body
- Faith and a sense of inner happiness grow rapidly
- The mind becomes aware of higher levels of consciousness
- An ability to perceive the activation of the higher chakras emerges
Attaining the above mentioned effects usually requires participating in meditation retreats and having an ongoing personal practice. The time required for personal progress is very individual and depends on your effort and diligence, as well as a measure of grace. It is possible for a participant to already reach high levels during his or her very first retreat. However, the development is usually more gradual.
Joining meditation retreats repeatedly
Kashmiri Shaivism or other meditation retreats offered by Somananda Tantra School are personal experiences. Every retreat will take you deeper into your Self and into the hidden potentials of your mind.
Proficiency and skill in meditation are built up by participating in retreats regularly; we recommend participating at least three or four times a year. Steady personal practice outside of the retreat period is equally important. Each retreat provides extra support and additional guidance from our teachers, which propel you further up the ladder of your spiritual development.
Yes. You can join our Highest Tantra: Kashmiri Shaivism Retreat only if you have previously completed The Highest Tantra: Kashmiri Shaivism Workshop with us or with Agama Yoga school. There are no exceptions to this rule. The workshop and retreat are often offered consecutively to each other. Take a look at our upcoming courses for details.
You can join this retreat if you have previously completed The Highest Tantra: Kashmiri Shaivism Workshop. Meditation retreats are primarily internal, experiential events and you will gain knowledge in potent meditation techniques. However, the emphasis of the retreat is foremost on your personal practice and inner experience, which applies to any level of proficiency. Beginners and more advanced meditators will therefore easily practice together during the same retreat.
In Yoga and Tantra, meditation is a lifelong practice; it is a way of being. You definitely have something to gain if you have not yet reached the highest spiritual goals of a human being.
Control of the mind and becoming a good meditator take practice, time, and commitment. Until you have reached the highest spiritual goals, joining any retreat for a second or third time will provide a focused and supported environment for meditation and the continuation of your development. Students usually join several retreats per year as each retreat will provide a different valuable experience.
This is generally not acceptable in our Kashmiri Shaivism Retreats. Personal exceptions by the retreat leader may be made only in cases of emergency. We will provide you with an emergency contact for your family or business associates which may be used in such cases, thereby allowing you to relax fully into the retreat experience knowing that retreat administration will alert you if necessary to any issue needing your urgent attention.
In order to ensure deeper and more profound meditation, a focus on the individual’s inner experience, and an enhanced ability to focus, couples are normally placed in separate rooms, women with women and men with men.
Absolutely – you are very welcome to join. Usually it is only during the first days that keeping mauna seems challenging. As the retreat progresses, silence becomes a natural part of it. We definitely recommend joining without fear – your experience will be very transformative.
The retreat staff will be on hand to support you if you feel you cannot resolve your inner tension. However, we would encourage you to challenge yourself to a new level of accomplishment. The temporary breaking of mauna is acceptable only in cases of emergency.
Retreat rules of conduct
Exceptions include, of course, the days of arrival and departure. Silence also here encompasses interpersonal communications such as gestures, silently mouthing words, writing notes, etc. Notes will be allowed only for daily Q&A and administrative emergencies. The retreat leader will announce the beginning and end of mauna.
Nonresidential retreats may not require full mauna. Please see the details for each particular retreat.
This includes tablets, phones, laptops, mp3 players, etc. Exceptions may be made upon personal request and such exceptions need to be requested personally from the retreat leader before the beginning of mauna.
Although there may be a temptation to keep your phone with you for emergencies, we will provide a contact number which may be called by your family or business associates in such cases, thereby allowing you to relax fully into the retreat experience knowing that retreat administration will alert you if necessary to any issue needing your urgent attention.
Couples joining a residential retreat together will be placed in separate rooms for a more internalized and deeper retreat experience. During nonresidential retreats, we ask you to not engage in any sexual activity during the retreat period.
In addition to the use of electronic devices, this includes books, magazines, and the like. To support your retreat experience, we will offer to collect any of these belongings and hold them in a bag for you during the retreat. However, it would be best to leave them at home if possible. Let this be an opportunity to completely unplug yourself and turn your focus inward.
In a residential retreat you will be awakened by a gong and every new session of the day will be signaled by the gong. The gong will be struck repeatedly to make sure everyone has heard it.
No smoking, consumption of alcohol, or use of recreational drugs is allowed during the retreat.
Workshop & Retreat
- Early-early-bird fee: €1860, this fee is available if full payment is made by 17 March 2020.
- Early-bird fee: €2060, this fee is available if full payment is made by 17 April 2020.
- Regular fee: €2280, this fee is starting from 18 April 2020.
NOTE: If you are a repeating student, please ask for a special repeater fee for the workshop.
Course fee includes:
- Accommodation in shared occupancy (2-3 people per room)
- Three delicious vegetarian meals during each day of the course,
- All workshop and retreat teachings and materials
- Group transport from Heraklion to the course venue and return (17 May to venue and 29 May back to Heraklion only)
Joining the retreat only
- Early-early-bird fee: €1210, this fee is available if full payment is made by 17 March 2020.
- Early-bird fee: €1380, this fee is available if full payment is made by 17 April 2020.
- Regular fee: €1550, this fee is starting from 18 April 2020.
NOTE: If you have already completed the Kashmiri Shaivism workshop at least once before, then you are eligible to join the retreat without repeating the workshop (although the latter is highly recommended; ask for special workshop repeater fee).
If you join the retreat only, then plan your arrival to the venue by 19:00 on 22 May 2020.
Please do not make any travel arrangements until you have received a group confirmation in an email from us! We take no responsibility for any expenses made for travel or accommodation costs.
This retreat takes place in Levinthos and Filoxenia retreat centres located close to Lentas coastal village on the south coast of Crete island, 75 km from Heraklion. This is a very picturesque spot with panoramic views of the Mediterranean sea and is perfect for our teachings and spiritual practices.
The two guesthouses feature a selection of rooms with stunning views from many. You will be placed in shared accommodation with two to four people per room. Each room has its own en suite bathroom. Accommodation will be allocated in the order of your sign-up date with higher quality rooms given to earlier registrants.
There is a beautiful private beach as part of the property and delicious Cretan vegetarian meals are served three times daily. A true paradise!