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Enlightenment Intensives
self enquiry retreat in nature


     1st - 6th August,     10th - 15th October 2024

Price: £500          Community Contributors: £300          Concession: £400

Prices include all meals and accommodation.

If you are a community contributor and would like/need a reduction, contact Shivam directly at

It is truth that sets you free, not your effort to be free...


3 Day Enlightenment Intensives

3 days of intensive self enquiry based squarely on Charles Berner's technique and set in wild nature. 

Followed by one and a half days integration / disintegration.

Mastered by Shivam. Supported by Claire Heron.

These Enlightenment Intensives are aimed at breaking through to a profound state of awareness often called "enlightenment." There are many more correct, traditional and poetic ways of referring to this most precious and essential understanding. This naturally occurring state is read and talked about, usually, as if it lives at the end of a mystical rainbow and will never happen. That is a shame - it is the key to life and happiness and can be experienced by anyone who takes two to three days to look deeply within, earnestly and honestly, with complete attention. You need skilful support to do this. Going it alone is life wastingly slow.

On Enlightenment Intensives "ordinary" people achieve the most profound states of consciousness. These states are not the property of monks or saints or robed lamas or holy men of the east or west. They are completely natural - but easily lost to view - unless you are deeply questioning, observing and open. You will be carefully guided in a simple technique of enquiry that produces astonishing and deeply satisfying life changing results in days.

These ecstatic, primordial experiences go to the core of life's deepest issues. Authentic presence satisfies - totally - where nothing else does. These experiencs are life itself - without them there is always some sense of failure, no matter how much money, praise, fame or love you receive.

the self enquiry process:

Shivam O'Brien follows the same techniques and format which were developed by Charles Berner in the 1960s. The Enlightenment Intensive provides a supportive framework within which participants are able to put all other concerns aside and focus deeply on their contemplation. The days start early and end late. The majority of the day is taken up with dyad exercises and interspersed with silent walks, lectures, rest, work and exercise periods. The participants are expected to contemplate through all the activities to aid in the process. 

The Enlightenment Intensive requires participants to work on one specific question throughout the retreat. Those who are taking an Enlightenment Intensive for the first time work on "Who am I?" More experienced participants can choose from "Who am I?", "What am I?", "What is Life?" or "What is Another?" Using one of these questions as a focus for the whole three days, participants are taught a simple yet powerful contemplation technique designed to increase their chances of having a breakthrough shift of consciousness. 

This self enquiry retreat makes use of partnered communication exercises called "dyads". Dyads introduce open communication and contact with others into the traditionally silent process of deep inner contemplation. Dyads are 40 minute structured exercises between participants working in pairs. During a dyad exercise, one person contemplates their question and then communicates to their partner what has arisen for them whilst the other person silently listens. The roles swap round every five minutes until the exercise ends, giving each person equal time in the two roles. Dyad communication exercises are seen to have speeded up the contemplation process and contributed to people having enlightenment experiences on Intensives. 

There are also basic ground rules, which are designed to minimise any distractions from contemplating. The rules include no smoking, alcohol, caffeine or any other drugs, no sex and no gossiping. Food on the intensives is simple and vegetarian. ​

Workshop Leaders

Mastered by Shivam O'Brien and supported by Claire Heron.

Shivam O'Brien has over 30 years experience in leading Enlightenment Intensives and has helped hundreds of people to discover themselves and embrace life with their own unique energy and style. Shivam is one of the most experienced masters of this format, and trained with Jake Chapman in 1988 after completing many long intensives.


Arrival Time: 3 pm - 5 pm. There is a welcoming meal and tea at 7:30 pm, the Intensive will formally begin at 9.30 pm.

Intensives finish at 10:30 pm on Sunday. From Monday the integration period will begin. From this point, you are welcome to stay in your own tent, if you have one. The complete package of Enlightenment Intensive and integration will finish at 2pm on Tuesday/Wednesday. This integration will run for one to two and half days. Integration periods for each EI vary.

Please make sure to arrive on site by 5pm. We will ferry you and all your gear in our four wheel drive vehicles down the steep mountain road to the village (if you don't fancy the spectacular mountain footpath). This takes only a few minutes to drive but you will have to load everything into our vehicles with our help. Welcome to the Bhutan of Wales. You can have the full Himalayan adventure without ever leaving Britain.

Please bring all your necessary bedding for you to be warm and comfortable. It can get very cold here at night, even in the summer. Alternatively, we do now offer and optional extra when booking your ticket. For an additional £45, we will provide a duvet, sheets and pillows for your stay.


Spirit Horse Mountain Retreat is set amidst 200 acres of wildest Wales, allowed to return to its natural original face.

spirit horse radio

Listen in on a three part Enlightenment Intensive deep dive with Shivam and crew members James and Eliot. They discuss the origins of EI, their personal experiences, the technique and retreat format, and its similarities to other practices.

Click here to go to Spirit Horse Radio, for full episodes and other available platforms.

Participants' Quotes

Sceptical of the proclaimed results, I packed my bags with an open mind heading for the country manor in deepest Wales. What followed a thoroughly warm reception was 3 days of the most advanced personal development I have EVER attended. Having been involved with the enlightenment path and personal development for over 20 years, the 3 day claim seemed beyond belief. Well let me tell you, this course delivers.

NICK LEWIS, NLP trainer provider

Choose your Intensive 

Bookings and Cancellations Policy


It is really helpful for us when running courses and events if you book in advance.

If we have to cancel an event, we will provide you a full refund without question.
If you need to cancel your booking, you can carry the value of your booking over to another event (subject to availability) or pay £100 admin fee, unless exceptional circumstances.

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