What is retreat?  In our busy modern life we lack the calm and stillness conducive to developing and maintaining a happy and peaceful state of mind.  To regain balance people are drawn to peaceful and quiet places where they can withdraw for a short time and renew their energy – in short, they go on retreat. Here we dedicate our time to meditation and contemplation – it is a time to familiarize our minds with positive and meaningful thoughts and the deep happiness that comes from this.

As we focus on our spiritual practice in this way we begin to discover the natural clarity and spaciousness of our mind and are able to deepen our practice of meditation easily. Training in the systematic meditation practices found within Buddhism we develop inner wisdom, a warm and loving mind, and the happiness of inner peace. Through these methods we will eventually attain enlightenment.

In short, retreat allows you the time and space to direct your mind towards the happy and joyful states we all long and to see for yourself the immense benefits that are to be gained from meditation practices. Through working on your mind in such perfect conditions retreat is an ideal way to lift your spiritual practice and daily life to another level.

The Benefits of retreat The benefits of retreat are boundless and can hardly be expressed in words. Through training in concentration our body and mind will become exceedingly supple and flexible, and we will experience a deep inner peace.  Since every retreat is motivated by the wish to be of benefit to others, our affection grows and we develop loving thoughts towards others. During retreat we learn to understand our own mind and recognize which states of mind lead to happiness and which lead to suffering.  Here we find the strength to overcome negative states of mind and to promote virtuous states of mind. A retreat is an especially conducive time to receive the profound blessings of Enlightened beings.

During retreat, if we patiently train in meditation, our mind will gradually become more peaceful and we will experience a feeling of inner peace and contentment.Our mind will feel lucid and spacious and we shall feel refreshed. 
When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arises from within.
“Fortunate ones stroll in quiet and peaceful places, far away from all conflicts and objects of delusion.” – Shantideva

About the retreat center Gullnäsgården is a study center that is very scenic location by the sea and lush greenery on the island Tjärnö, about 10km southwest of Stromstad, Sweden in the beautiful Bohuslän archipelago.  The island is connected with road bridges to the mainland.  It is 1.5 hours by car from Oslo.

It offers simple comfortable accommodation in the main house and a series of charming small cottages & converted barns.  Set near the sea it is possible to borrow a bike, a canoe or a kayak.  To enjoy the sauna or a swim in the sea.  Or simply to sit on one of the many benches and watch the still water or the sun set.

Accommodation
We have different types of accommodation. Single rooms with shared facilities, shared rooms, dormitory and camping in summer. The accommodation is in simple but comfortable rooms in small huts and houses. It is also possible to sleep in a tent or camping van if you prefer, but please be aware it may be cold. (We are very sorry but we are unable to provide disabled facilities at the moment).
Facilities
Retreaters have access to shower facilities, a washing machine, a small library of Dharma books which you can borrow during your retreat, a small Dharma bookshop and a small snack shop.
Delicious vegetarian meals All meals and drinks are included. Breakfast and 2 healthy and nutritious meals will be served each day. All meals are either vegetarian or vegan. There is also a wheat & milk free option for those with allergies. Please indicate in advance if you require a vegan or wheat free diet (We are sorry but we are unable to provide any other more specialised diets at the moment). Please tell us if you have some serious allergies. We also have a small snack shop.
In the meditation session breaks
Throughout the retreat there is time everyday, to relax and walk, cycle, or canoe in the beautiful surrounding forest.  There is a library of books you can borrow to read as well as a bookshop.  In addition each person on a group retreat has a daily job to ensure the retreat runs smoothly.

Swimming & excursions It is a 5 minute walk to the nearest swimming opportunity at the boathouses where you can swim or see the wonderful sunsets. It is a short bike ride to really sandy beaches and forests walks such as Tjärnö church (2 km) to and Salto nature reserve(5km)overlooking the Koster islands with sunsets in the sea right inKoster Marine National Park.

Meditation Retreaters can meditate using a cushion on the floor or sitting in a chair, whatever is most comfortable.
What will you need to bring?
Important!!!!  You will need to hand in your mobile phone for the duration of the retreat.  You can give the Buddhist Centre tel no (+47 4505 1928) to family and friends who may need to contact you.  For this reason you will need to bring a watch and an alarm clock.
Please bring a sheet, pillow case, duvet cover, and a towel (you can also rent these for 70SEK). Pillow and duvets are provided for all rooms.
 
Please bring a flash light, warm clothing for the winter including boots, gloves, hat, woollen socks and lighter clothing for the summer as well as toiletries. There is a sauna, please bring a swimsuit if you wish to use it.  You may also wish to bring slippers to wear inside.
You may wish to brings some cash to buy snacks, items from the shop, or to pay for pick up or drop off to the bus.
We provide meditation cushions and stools to borrow but you can also bring your own.
There is a library of Buddhist books to borrow.  You are encouraged not to read unrelated books, novels or magazines during the retreat.

Open to everyone Our retreats are suitable for all levels of experience, including complete beginners and you do not need to be a Buddhist to attend or benefit.

Guided retreat by Gen Kelsang Tubchen, a modern Buddhist nun with over 15 years of experience of engaging in and guiding retreats, including over a year of silent retreat.  Prior to coming to Norway she lived for many years at Tharpaland International Retreat Centre in Scotland where she helped facilitate and guide retreats.

She is the principal teacher at Nordisk Kadampa Meditasjonssenter i Norge and the National Spiritual Director of our tradition in the Nordic Region.  She is a gifted and inspiring teacher with a strong wish to share the benefits of meditation and retreat with others.

During our retreats we have some periods of silence. It is very important that mobile phones are kept turned off while the retreat lasts. This is to create a mental landscape free of distractions.  Usually the morning until lunch is silent with time for discussion and interaction in the afternoons and evenings. In some retreats we observe silence for a whole day or for most the entire retreat. See the individual retreats for more info.

Although the retreats are silent it is always possible to meet and talk to the teacher or assistants during the retreat and to write questions which are answered in the teachings.  There will be some teaching at the start of meditation sessions, but the main emphasis will be on meditation. The meditations are guided and gradually become longer and deeper as the retreat progresses.

Enjoy the silence The silence gives us space to train in meditation and to deepen our inner peace as our distractions disappear.

The retreat is not far away The retreat takes place at  Gullnäsgården which is a very beautiful and qualified place to do retreat.  It is located on the peaceful island Tjärnö connected by a bridge, near Strømstad in Sweden.  It takes 1.5 hours to drive from Oslo by car. Stiftelsen Gullnäsgården, Tjärnö, 45296 Strömstad, Web site: www.gullnas.se

Gullnäsgården is located in North Bohuslän, on an island called Tjärnö, 10 km southwest of Strömstad, approx 187 km north of Göteborg, 99 km north of Uddevalla and 132 km south of Oslo. Follow thesignposts for Tjärnö, Saltö from the E6.

Car directions to the retreat centre with bridge connections: 5 km south of Strömstad is a road sign-posted to Daftö, Öddö, Tjärnö och Saltö. Follow this road for 5 km. You pass over 2 big bridges and a small bridge.  After the second big bridge it is 1km further.  Straight after some small red boathouses, just around the corner on the left is a sign for Gullnäsgården and you turn left here. Follow the signs for Gullnäsgården and after about 100m you can park on the left and make your way to themain building to register.

GPS-koordinater: N 58°53.217’ E 11°1