We provide some answers to frequently asked questions. If still in doubt please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Type of retreat?
The retreat is suitable for adults. If young children or teenagers are coming please indicate during registration. Children below 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian to attend the retreat.
This is a stay-in retreat. The retreat follows the Plum Village tradition of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.
What is the retreat programme?
This is a sample retreat programme to give a general idea of the flow for each day: https://joyfulgarden.org/retreat2017/programme/.
Is this a silent retreat?
The retreat is not entirely silent. We observe noble silence before bed-time until after breakfast.
I am not Buddhist, can I sign up?
The Plum Village tradition is a Buddhist tradition, however, all persons regardless of religion and beliefs are welcome.
I have no experience in meditation or knowledge about mindfulness, can I sign up?
This retreat is open to all, regardless whether they are new or experienced practitioners.
How can I know more about the Plum Village tradition?
There are many books written by our teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, widely available in bookstores and as e-books. You can also read about Plum Village at their website: http://plumvillage.org/ or https://joyfulgarden.org/retreat2017/practice/
Who is organising this retreat?
The retreat is organised locally by Joyful Garden Community of Mindful Living (JGCML). JGCML is a registered society in Singapore (informally known as Joyful Garden Sangha). The monastics from Thai Plum Village International Practice Center will be coming here to lead and facilitate the retreat programme.
JGCML is a lay community of practice formed in 2008 by a group of friends who were inspired by the practice of mindfulness taught by our dear teacher, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. We are all volunteers contributing time and effort to regularly organise Days of Mindfulness so that we can sustain our own practice and at the same time introduce mindfulness so that more people can live with peace, joy, and solidity.
Where is the retreat held?
The retreat venue is City Beach Resort, located next to Labrador Park. The full address is:
8 Port Rd, Singapore 117540
Ample open air parking is available.
Who are the dharma teachers for the retreat?
There are many excellent senior dharma teachers at the various Plum Village monasteries. They bring with them many years of experience living and teaching on mindfulness in the region. The monastics will arrange for the appropriate teachers in terms of language ability and familiarity with Singapore’s living situation.
I am not fluent in English, can I attend?
The main language used is English. Unfortunately we are unable to provide translation services.
What are the transport arrangements?
Please arrange your own transport to the retreat venue.
What kind of accommodation is available?
Men and women will have separate lodging arrangements. In order to make this retreat affordable to more people, each room will have 3 persons sharing.
All rooms are air-conditioned and come with its own attached bathroom. There are no bunk/double-decked beds. The resort is double storied, with upper level rooms accessible via staircase only.
What do I need to prepare to register for the retreat?
Please get the following ready before registering:
- Personal particulars: name, year of birth, home address, NRIC/Passport no.
- Contact info: email, telephone
- Emergency contact info: name, telephone
Do note that the NRIC/Passport number and home address is required by the retreat venue as all guests have to be properly registered at the resort. The organizers will not be using personal data beyond the purpose of the retreat unless consent is given.
Registration is done online only and confirmation is only given when retreat contribution is received.
Please see https://joyfulgarden.org/retreat2017/fees
What if I wish to withdraw after registering?
Please notify us immediately so that we can free up the space for other applicants. The cut-off date is 15 Apr 2017. For cancellations after the cut-off date, we encourage you to find a person to replace your spot.
Can I walk-in and register/pay on the spot?
Confirmation to the retreat is only given on receipt of retreat contribution. Those who register and have yet to pay before the 15 Apr cut-off date will be replaced by others on the waiting list.
We are extending closing date for registration to 28 Apr as we have received interested applications.
We do not accept walk-in registrations for the retreat.
What to bring
- Comfortable and respectful clothing. Please wear pants/skirts to knee length or longer, and shirts that cover the shoulder, i.e., no tank tops, spaghetti straps, shorts, short skirts.
- Sufficient clothing for your entire stay in the retreat. Facilities for hand washing of laundry is limited.
- Something to keep warm if you get cold easily. The main hall and bed rooms are air-conditioned.
- A cushion or folded towel to sit on (limited chairs available). Bring an outdoor sitting mat/ground sheet as we may sit outdoors.
- A yoga mat or towel to lie down on for Total Relaxation.
- A portable water bottle or flask.
- An umbrella or poncho.
- Insect repellent, sunscreen.
- Personal toiletries, flashlight, and medication (bath towels provided by resort).
- Appropriate footwear. We recommend: comfortable shoes for short walks and casual shoes/slippers that are easy to slip-on and slip-off.
- IMPORTANT: To reduce our impact on the environment, we ask that you kindly bring your own reusable utensils such as food container (bowl or lunch box), fork and spoon, or chopsticks for having meals. We will practise mindful washing of utensils after each meal. Also there is no daily housekeeping to replenish bath towels. New towels are available on request.
What not to bring
- Do not bring any valuables.
- Vegan meals will be provided. Please do not bring any food which requires refrigeration as fridge is not available.
- Please do not bring pets.
- Please keep the retreat smoke free, alcohol free, and scent (i.e. perfumes/colognes) free.
- To fully enjoy the benefits of the retreat, we invite you to take a break from projects, smartphones and all other electronic gadgets (eg. game devices, MP3 players, tablets) during your time at the retreat. Please try to only use the phone when you really need to and place it in silent mode.
What if I have special dietary needs?
The food provided will be vegan. We are unable to cater to special dietary requirements.
I am not Singaporean, can I sign up?
This retreat is organised for anyone residing here regardless of nationality. If you live outside of Singapore you are welcome to register although priority will be given to residents.
When is the registration period?
Online registration was officially launched on 8 Feb 2017 and will remain open till 15 Apr 2017 or until full capacity is reached.
What happens after the retreat?
You are welcome to join our community for its regular Day of Mindfulness and other activities to sustain your practice. From experience we have observed that it is difficult to continue on the path of practice once we return to the busyness of work and family life.
What if I have other questions?
You may contact us at email email@example.com or phone (65) 8554-1532 (Ivan), (65) 9100-4093 (Huiyi). Alternatively, come meet with us at a Day of Mindfulness. Our activities are announced here: https://joyfulgarden.org/
The Day of Mindfulness is like a mini 1 day retreat, and there is a segment where you can pose questions to the community.