enlightenment intensives & silent retreats 

Being away from our daily lives and solely focused on our self-inquiry produces extraordinary opportunity for insights and growth.

Just imagine for a moment what it would be like to unplug from all your day-to-day demands.

No emails, no phone calls, no list of things to do, and on top of that someone is making you beautiful food. You are given the time and space where you are supported to simply Be.

We need this time so that we can embark on a deep journey of self-discovery. On retreat, we can use the structure and support to go deep even when the journey gets hard. The retreats offered by Essential Inquiry are specifically designed to facilitate the optimum conditions for you to have a breakthrough experience. We all know what we know and we all know what we think we do not know. However, there is large piece that we know nothing about. It is in this territory that we experience breakthroughs, and they are life-changing.

Essential Inquiry has been offering retreats such as enlightenment intensives and silent retreats for over 10 years. Being away from our daily lives and solely focused on our self-inquiry produces extraordinary opportunities for insights and growth.


Hawaii Enlightenment Intensive.

February 1st  to 11th February

Co-Mastered by Simon Thomson & Kira MacDuffee


  • Double Room $2,195.00 – monthly payment plan available

(rates include accommodation/food/retreat fee/taxes in USD)

The retreat will be held at Your Hawaiian Retreat, near Pahoa on the Big Island. This is no ordinary intensive, the powerful energy of the island and the surrounding nature at this beautiful centre make this a life-changing journey into profound awareness & healing.

To register for this retreat contact Simon Thomson via email – Click Here

Fall 3-Day Intensive, Victoria, BC, Canada

11th October (evening) 15th October (morning)

Co-Mastered by Simon Thomson & Kira MacDuffee


  • Double Room $815.00

(rates include accommodation/food/retreat fee/taxes in CDN)

The retreat will be held at Krishnamurti Education Centre of Canada, a beautifully secluded retreat centre only 30 mins from downtown Victoria, BC.

To register for this retreat contact Simon Thomson via email – Click Here

What you will get from an Enlightenment Intensive

Experience yourself in a way that you will be left with no doubt about who or what you are, beyond your beliefs and ideas. Knowing this is like getting the master key to understanding your true potential. You will discover:

  • More energy for life
  • Ability to be in deep contact with yourself and others
  • Ability to be with others in an open and receptive way
  • Ability to be with others and remained centred and present
  • Ability to listen and receive someone with out the filter of your mind
  • Deep understanding of your emotions, mind, and body
  • Freedom from your conditioned mind

The primary retreats offered are Enlightenment Intensives, which run for four or eight nights, and up to two weeks. An Enlightenment Intensive (EI) is a structured retreat designed to assist you in an accelerated process of self-discovery, with the aim of a breakthrough into non-dualistic consciousness, otherwise known as enlightenment. The intention of an EI is for you to have a direct experience of your object of inquiry.

An EI combines the contemplative practices of Rinzai Zen meditation, Ramana Maharshi’s teachings from the Vedanta tradition and the more recent Western element of the dyad form of communication. The originator of this process, Charles Berner, observed that combining these elements into a specific technique allowed individuals to achieve an enlightenment experience in a matter of days rather than months or years, as with other disciplines or practices.

EIs are not affiliated with any group or particular belief system. The concept and structure of an EI supports you, but leaves the work solely in your hands. At no time on an intensive are you ever told who you are, what to believe, or what your truth is. All are welcome, regardless of age, experience, and cultural, religious or spiritual background.