Online Retreats

The centre will not be hosting residential retreats until at least the end of August. However, many of the teachers who were scheduled to lead retreats this summer have generously offered to to support our community with online video conference teachings. Please register by completing the online course registration form. Participants will be emailed detailed course descriptions and Zoom meeting links closer to the date. Please note that registrations will be closed 24 hours in advance of course start times.

Fees:
All online retreats are $10 per day, with the exception of Darlene Tataryn's 6 day intensive "In search of the Ox" retreat, which is $100 in total. We realize that this is a very challenging time financially for many, and we are especially grateful for those who have waived refunds for cancelled residential retreats. Please email retreats@thehermitage.ca if you do require a refund or a discounted course fee.

Dana for teachers:
We request that donations be given by means of e-transfer to email addresses provided by the teachers.

 

May 1st, 3:00 pm to May 6th, 11:00 am

This gentle, easy-going, silent retreat explores applied mindfulness as an introduction to good meditation practice. You will find that this beautiful, spring retreat is a great way to get into meditation and further enhance your life through the whole year. Includes daily somatic yoga, with an emphasis on pliancy of the body for greater wellbeing. The focus of somatic yoga is to gently deprogram, reverse, restore, and relearn what we need to nourish brain-body connection, thus enhancing meditation and our general quality of life."

Beginner Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga Practices

May 1st, 3:00 pm to May 6th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on May 1st.

Welcome to the basics. learn to use Meditation and Mindfulness Practices as a strong foundation for greater joy and happiness in your life. Work with body posture for comfortable sitting, flexibility and mindful movement, countering the 'stiffness' of aging. Learn the art of proper breathing. This retreat is designed for individuals who are new to meditation practice and yoga as well as experienced practitioners wishing to delve deeper in their exploration of these techniques. 

The principles behind somatic yoga: This specific, slow, and informative approach to movement, breath, and mindfulness can be applied to our regular life. Our reflexive reactions to stress and trauma throughout life build unreleased tension over time, expressing as stiffness, limited range of motion, pain and, unbalanced posture, as well as habits of mind that contribute to unhappiness. When we are somatically embodied, meditation is so much easier.  Thus, in this retreat we explore combining somatic yoga (meditation in movement) with periods of sitting meditation (and/or walking meditation in nature for those who choose it) to deepen practice.

Fiona is a extraordinary teacher, intuitive and supportive. Discover the benefits of growing serenity, wellbeing and happiness through meditation and regain pliancy, flexibility through gentle yoga.

 

Silent retreat / Meditation teachings / Private Interviews with the Teacher / Daily Yoga (please bring a yoga mat) 

Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation only. It is hoped that people will give generously. Dana (generosity), an expression of your appreciation, is the only income that Buddhist Teachers receive for their guidance, teaching and counsel, and is far more important than what you pay for board and keep. Please give accordingly. It shows your respect for all that the Teacher gives you, in terms of concern, time and effort.

Food and Accomodations: 325$ to 475$ based on selection.

 

May 8th, 3:00 pm to May 13th, 11:00 am

Join us as we explore guided meditation utilizing the Tibetan practice of Vajrasattva. Tantra is a beautiful and complex form of meditation involving the body, speech, and mind that can produce powerful and rapid effects. We will explore creative processes – including sound meditation - to help with inner healing and purification. Begin to recognize and transform negative patterns, and uncover ever-present awake mind and a peaceful, loving heart.

Healing, Purification, and Letting Go

May 8th, 3:00 pm to May 13th, 11:00 am

Healing, Purification, and Letting Go–
Cultivate Wholesome States with Right Intention

The path of Dharma – the teaching of awakening – is, to a large degree, a journey rather than a destination. In this silent retreat, we will gather together to reflect on the motivations behind our behavior. How can we think, act, and speak from a place of compassion and wisdom, instead of selfishness, aversion, and bewilderment?

Sometimes life seems very difficult. And sometimes, despite our best intentions, we make mistakes. The practice of Self Compassion supports us to realize we too are human. In order to heal, we need to let go of past actions and focus our good intentions toward creating wholesome internal states. For when our thoughts are based in generosity, loving kindness, and wisdom – the wholesome roots – our speech and actions will follow.

Join us as we explore guided meditation utilizing the Tibetan practice of Vajrasattva. Tantra is a beautiful and complex form of meditation involving the body, speech, and mind that can produce powerful and rapid effects. We will explore creative processes – including sound meditation - to help with inner healing and purification. Begin to recognize and transform negative patterns, and uncover ever-present awake mind and a peaceful, loving heart.

This silent meditation retreat will also include periods of Samantha (calming concentration practice), and Mahamudra (Opening the Pristine Awareness of Mind’s Nature). Dharma talks and interviews with the teachers will be part of the experience. Suitable for both novice and experienced meditators.

 

Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation only. It is hoped that people will give generously. Dana (generosity), an expression of your appreciation, is the only income that Buddhist Teachers receive for their guidance, teaching and counsel, and is far more important than what you pay for board and keep. Please give accordingly. It shows your respect for all that the Teacher gives you, in terms of concern, time and effort.

Food and Accomodations: 325$ to 475$ based on selection.

 

May 15th, 3:00 pm to May 20th, 11:00 am

Suitable for beginners or advanced practitioners. First we will practice unifying the mind (samatha) around unconditional love (metta). Then we will start introducing clear seeing practices (vipassana) meant to foster the occurrence of insights into the illusory nature of a separate self.

Unifying the Mind Around Love, and Clear Seeing

May 15th, 3:00 pm to May 20th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on May 15th.

Suitable for beginners or advanced practitioners. Get introduced to the practice of samatha (developing stable attention, mindfulness, joy, tranquility, and equanimity) using unconditional love (metta) as an object. We will discuss obstacles to progress and how to overcome them. Midway through the retreat, we will start introducing clear seeing (vipassana) practices meant to foster the occurrence of insights into the illusory nature of a separate self.  The retreat entails both sitting and walking meditation. We will practice mostly in noble silence, meaning talking only when necessary, such as during group discussions, sangha time, and optional personal interviews with the teacher.

Pierre subscribes to a peer-to-peer mode of interactions. We sit in a circle to embody the egalitarian relationship, and everyone is invited to share their experience and wisdom whenever they feel comfortable doing so. In order to allow room for everyone to participate, the registration will be limited to twelve people.

 

Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation only. It is hoped that people will give generously. Dana (generosity), an expression of your appreciation, is the only income that Buddhist Teachers receive for their guidance, teaching and counsel, and is far more important than what you pay for board and keep. Please give accordingly. It shows your respect for all that the Teacher gives you, in terms of concern, time and effort.

Food and Accomodations: 325$ to 475$ based on selection.

 

May 22nd, 3:00 pm to May 28th, 11:00 pm

This 7-day retreat will begin with a focus on mindfulness and meditation practices, attitudes, and themes worked with in the MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) program. Much modern research about mindfulness and stress reduction and well-being, results from MBSR programs. Moving past the weekend, practice will be informed by other modern and traditional perspectives on meditation and expand to include what has been described as the - four natural states of being.

Mindfulness & Meditation Retreat

May 22nd, 3:00 pm to May 28th, 11:00 pm

Arrival after 3pm on May 22nd.

There is no mystery more profound than mindfulness/awareness.
This is the path of living dharma.
This is spirituality and practical living all rolled into one.
This is the source of joy and well-being,
the well-spring of health and happiness,
the treasure at the heart of everything and everyone.
There is no greater mystery.
Mindfulness
is the flower of healthy knowing in action.

~Tarchin Hearn,
written in gratitude for Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche

This 6-night and 7-day retreat will begin by focusing on mindfulness and meditation practices, attitudes, and themes worked with in the MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) program. Much of modern research that we see around mindfulness and stress reduction/well-being comes as a result of 8-week MBSR programs.

 Moving past the weekend, practice will be informed by other modern and traditional perspectives and expand to include what has been described as the - four natural states of being.

Loving-kindness, Compassion, Appreciative Joy and Equanimity, traditionally known as the Brahma Viharas, are now being incorporated into modern mindfulness instruction as research shows these qualities impact our well-being in ways not previously understood when Mindfulness programs began.

As an antidote to the busyness of our day to day lives and because our attention is being grabbed by constant stimulation and noise, the retreat will be silent expect during class time, where you are welcome to ask questions and instruction will be provided. This rural retreat on Denman Island will provide time for walks in nature and personal time between classes.

Past participants of Sharon Tashi's retreats have found them life enriching experiences, many returning again and again for a seasonal reboot. We sit together to learn, practice and open into our natural selves. Whether new to mindfulness and meditation, or looking to deepen a practice, we all can benefit from our own kind attention.

 

Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation only. It is hoped that people will give generously. Dana (generosity), an expression of your appreciation, is the only income that Buddhist Teachers receive for their guidance, teaching and counsel, and is far more important than what you pay for board and keep. Please give accordingly. It shows your respect for all that the Teacher gives you, in terms of concern, time and effort.

Food and Accomodations: 390$ to 570$ based on selection.

Course materials:   $40.00

 

Jun 5th, 3:00 pm to Jun 10th, 11:00 am

In the Bon tradition the focus of Dzogchen is on gaining direct, immediate insight into the illuminated nature of the mind. Dzogchen practice ultimately brings the meditator to self-realization. Many practices within the Dzogchen tradition involve breathing techniques, physical exercises and esoteric mantra, leading to emotional relaxation, mental stability and profound insight, while also increasing the practitioner's happiness, health and general well-being.

Summary of the Dzogchen View, Tibet’s Deep Wisdom from the instruction lineage of Lama Dawa Gyaltsen

Jun 5th, 3:00 pm to Jun 10th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on June 5th.

This retreat  based on the profound Fivefold Teaching of Dawa Gyaltsen, will summarize the whole of the Dzogchen View in its entirety.

In the Bon tradition the focus of Dzogchen is on gaining direct, immediate insight into the illuminated nature of the mind. Dzogchen practice ultimately brings the meditator to self-realization. Many practices within the Dzogchen tradition involve breathing techniques, physical exercises and esoteric mantra, leading to emotional relaxation, mental stability and profound insight, while also increasing the practitioner's happiness, health and general well-being.

Yong Dong Rinpoche, a learned Lama in the Bon tradition, is popular with his Western students for his very warm and approachable teaching style, his excellent command of English, and his strongly non-sectarian, compassion-based view. Students will have opportunities for questions and answers, discussion, and personal meetings with Rinpoche

June 5th - Friday arrival, an evening talk (introductory)
June 6th - Saturday, Vision is Mind
June 7th - Sunday, Mind is empty
June 8th - Monday, Emptiness is clear light
June 9th - Tuesday, Clear Light is union
June 10th - Wednesday morning, Union is great bliss

Teaching and counsel is given through the generosity of your Dana.
 
This will be a wonderful retreat.
 
 
 

Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation only. It is hoped that people will give generously. Dana (generosity), an expression of your appreciation, is the only income that Buddhist Teachers receive for their guidance, teaching and counsel, and is far more important than what you pay for board and keep. Please give accordingly. It shows your respect for all that the Teacher gives you, in terms of concern, time and effort.

Food and Accomodations: 325$ to 475$ based on selection.

 

Jun 12th, 3:00 pm to Jun 17th, 11:00 am

In search of the Ox: A Complete Outline and Training In The Stages And Practices Of Zen

What exactly are we doing when we sit in zazen? This retreat offers a complete guide to meditative practice; what to do and how to do it and the purpose for doing so. Exploring and following the path as outlined in the traditional Ten Ox Herding Pictures, this teaching will help orient a student, and point the way to Absolute and Positive Samadhi. Whatever level of experience in practice, willingness to participate fully is the only requirement!

In search of the Ox

Jun 12th, 3:00 pm to Jun 17th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on June 12th.

“The Ten Ox Herding Pictures” is a succinct and ancient teaching used in the Zen tradition which outlines the meditative path of a practitioner, as we follow the footprints of the Ox in search of our own true nature. This retreat offers instruction in the fundamentals of meditation with a focus on Zen training.  We are instructed how to sit and why we sit and walk, how to concentrate the mind through breathing, and how to work with attention and awareness.  Through an understanding of, and the use of both stillness and subtle body movement, we learn how to work with this amazing and precious mind and body.  

Woven throughout this experiential training, philosophical teaching will include working with questions such as; what is a koan and how does a koan work? What is Samadhi or Unreasonable Joy?  What is the value of a peak experience or Kensho, and the meaningful statement “ordinary life is the way”?  By endeavoring to undertake this enlightening task, one is able to meet the world with greater clarity of mind and openness of heart, as we make our way through this journey of our lifetime. 

In the Zen tradition a strong and fairly formal container is held, with structured timelines for meditation and kinhin or walking meditation, as well as morning and evening service.  Please note Silence is observed in this Zen retreat.  I look forward to sharing this orientation to the path of meditation and mind training with you.

 

Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation only. It is hoped that people will give generously. Dana (generosity), an expression of your appreciation, is the only income that Buddhist Teachers receive for their guidance, teaching and counsel, and is far more important than what you pay for board and keep. Please give accordingly. It shows your respect for all that the Teacher gives you, in terms of concern, time and effort.

Food and Accomodations: 325$ to 475$ based on selection.

 

 

Jun 19th, 3:00 pm to Jun 24th, 11:00 am

Awareness through the magical dance of the elements with Terry Hagan and Mala Sikka ~ Resident Teachers of the Dharma Centre of Canada.

The retreat will be held in silence apart from daily classes which allow plenty of time for questions. We will include gentle body work and movement that will assist us to integrate this magic dance of the elements. Working indoors and outdoors, we will use the natural mind and the natural environment as our teachers.

A TASTE of FREEDOM

Jun 19th, 3:00 pm to Jun 24th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on June 19th

A TASTE of FREEDOM
Awareness through the magical dance of the elements
with Terry Hagan and Mala Sikka ~ Resident Teachers of the Dharma Centre of  Canada

“Elevate your experience and remain wide open like the sky.
 Expand your mindfulness and remain pervasive like the earth.
 Steady your attention and remain unshakable like a mountain.
 Brighten your awareness and remain shining like a flame…”

Dakpo Tashi Namgyal, 16th century

To be aware in every moment is one of the highest aspirations we humans can have. Being aware is a gift to ourselves and to those around us, but we can get distracted and find ourselves in unhelpful emotional reactions.

The natural elements of earth, water, fire, air and space, subtley support our awareness. By learning to recognise their qualities of stability, flow, warmth, vibration and space we create the skill and means to see the truth of each situation rather than be trapped by emotional patterns of action and reaction.

Daily meditations will include direct practice with the elements, combined with meditations  outdoors in the pristine nature at the Hermitage. Immersion in these five elements will support and feed our ongoing awareness. By directly experiencing these precious qualities, we can cultivate and extend our awareness into all our activities, freeing up energy, joy and compassion.   Learn how to make your practice a way of life, the natural luminous play of mind pervading beyond the negative and positive.

The retreat will be held in silence apart from daily classes which allow plenty of time for questions. We will include gentle body work and movement that will assist us to integrate this magic dance of the elements. Working indoors and outdoors, we will use the natural mind and the natural environment as our teachers.

"Mala and Terry were extremely generous with the time they spent with us.  They were patient, personable, approachable, and showed a genuine interest in the participants.  As a first time retreatant, I felt welcomed, supported, and at ease.  It is with a grateful heart that I thank you both for your offerings in this retreat.  I think of you daily from my cushion. The teachings, lessons, and guidance was exactly was I was hoping it would be, and then some.  I felt like a dry sponge tossed in the ocean - just wanting to soak everything in.  I thank you for devoting so much of your time to the group over the three days.  And, for allowing time for personal session, which was immense and touched me deeply.  I have truly taken to heart all of your suggestions and recommendations.  You have helped me regain clarity, direction, and confidence in my meditation practice.  The “fierce meditator” is at it daily."
Sue Bitonte-Yoga Instructor, Peterborough, Ontario
 
 
"The retreat gave me a glimpse that meditation could be so much more. I felt that it was the beginning of a much larger adventure, way bigger than what I thought it would be. Ever since I've come home, I meditate for longer periods of time. I am much more regular in my practice. For a long time, I've wanted to get rid of some habits such as looking at my phone every 10 minutes, wasting too much time on social media or looking at news feed. The retreat was a chance to get out of the turmoil of everyday life. It gave me perspective on my life and on myself. I was able to stop wasting too much of my time on Internet. I am very pleased about that. I'm trying to bring more mindfulness in my life.  Enjoying silence in the retreat showed me that all these habits were making me less present. 
I would really love to do a longer retreat at some point…I am truly grateful for this retreat.” 
Matthieu from Montréal

 

Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation only. It is hoped that people will give generously. Dana (generosity), an expression of your appreciation, is the only income that Buddhist Teachers receive for their guidance, teaching and counsel, and is far more important than what you pay for board and keep. Please give accordingly. It shows your respect for all that the Teacher gives you, in terms of concern, time and effort.

Food and Accomodations: 325$ to 475$ based on selection.

 

Jun 26th, 3:00 pm to Jul 1st, 11:00 pm

Explore non-duality within the non-religious context of Natural Mind Meditation and Natural Mind Yoga. Cut through the chatter of self and learn to live more fully in every moment through daily meditation and yoga instruction, one-on-one support and concentrated practice within this silent, technology-free retreat.

Think More Clearly. Feel More Deeply. Act More Effectively.

Jun 26th, 3:00 pm to Jul 1st, 11:00 pm

Arrival after 3pm on June 26th

This retreat introduces meditation along the path of Natural Mind Meditation, a nondogmatic, nonreligious step-by-step, approach to meditation that is non-religious and widely recognized as the pinnacle of meditative practice because of how it points directly to the Source.

Natural Mind Yoga (Tib: Trulkhor Nyi-da Kha-jor) is a consciousness-evolving yoga method that immeasurably supports Natural Mind Meditation. It is an accessible 12-posture method that has been quietly practiced in Tibet for over 1200-years. Natural Mind Yoga classes will be offered morning and evening by Yuel Yawney, a Yoga Alliance certified Senior Natural Mind Yoga Instructor and Facilitator in Training at the School of Natural Mind Meditation.

All are welcome in this retreat, but no late arrivals or early departures please!

 

Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation only. It is hoped that people will give generously. Dana (generosity), an expression of your appreciation, is the only income that Buddhist Teachers receive for their guidance, teaching and counsel, and is far more important than what you pay for board and keep. Please give accordingly. It shows your respect for all that the Teacher gives you, in terms of concern, time and effort.

Food and Accomodations: 325$ to 475$ based on selection.

 

Jul 3rd, 3:00 pm to Jul 8th, 11:00 am

According to Tibetan Buddhist tradtition, Dzogchen, or Ati Yoga, is the culmination of the path and the instructions point to the primordial, open, and natural state of the mind. Dzogchen, the Great Perfection, the Great Freedom, are extraordinary teachings, pointing out instructions, and meditation practices, which facilitate the realization of our innate luminous awareness.

To work with this teaching one first needs transmission from a realized master in the form of an introduction and pointing to the state of presence and awareness (rigpa), which is the capacity of the nature of mind.

This introduction is offered in retreat with Lama Lena and is a rare opportunity to receive instruction with time for personal practice and to ask questions.

Essence of Dzogchen Meditation Retreat: The Three Words of Garab Dorje

Jul 3rd, 3:00 pm to Jul 8th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on July 3rd.

According to Tibetan Buddhist tradtition, Dzogchen, or Ati Yoga, is the culmination of the path and the instructions point to the primordial, open, and natural state of the mind. Dzogchen, the Great Perfection, the Great Freedom, are extraordinary teachings, pointing out instructions, and meditation practices, which facilitate the realization of our innate luminous awareness.

Three Words of Garab Dorje:

Garab Dorjes is the first master of the Dzogchen/Great Perfection lineage. His final teachings, Three Words that Strike the Vital Point, consist of pith instructions that offer clear guidance on recognizing the minds innate purity and making this recognition a living experience.

This introduction is offered in retreat with Lama Lena and is a rare opportunity to receive instruction with time for personal practice and to ask questions. Additional texts or topics may be included in the teachings as Lama Lena offers teachings in practice retreats by attention to those who attend. Interview time will be available.
 

Please note at the end of the retreat there will be an opportunitut to give dana offering directly to the Lama while offering a white scarf and receiving blessings. By tradtition a dana bowl is put out to support travel expenses as Lama Lena travels the world by invitation and some centres have less capacity than others. As well a dana bowl is encouraged to support the activity of the centre itself who hosts her.

All are welcome who aspire to freedom and have a genuine wish to allievate the suffering of beings.

 

Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation only. It is hoped that people will give generously. Dana (generosity), an expression of your appreciation, is the only income that Buddhist Teachers receive for their guidance, teaching and counsel, and is far more important than what you pay for board and keep. Please give accordingly. It shows your respect for all that the Teacher gives you, in terms of concern, time and effort.

Food and Accomodations: 325$ to 475$ based on selection.

 

Jul 10th, 3:00 pm to Jul 15th, 11:00 am

This wonderful retreat, in the sublime Sikh Yoga Tradition, will explore self-healing yogic techniques and meditation practices that awaken the consciousness and the rejuvenating potential of the individual. With daily practice of powerful Kundalini Yoga Kriyas, Meditations, Mantras, and Pranayama (breathwork) as taught by Yogi Bhajan, the emphasis is on opening the heart and awakening the consciousness within.

Kundalini Yoga and Meditation to Awaken the Heart

Jul 10th, 3:00 pm to Jul 15th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on July 10th

With daily practice of powerful Kundalini Yoga Kriyas, Meditations, Mantras, and Pranayama (breathwork) as taught by Yogi Bhajan, the emphasis is on opening the heart and awakening the consciousness within. Including many practical teachings and tips for living a wholesome, healthy, and happy lifestyle in this new Age of Aquarius, this retreat is beneficial for both beginners and advanced students of meditation and yoga. Optional early-morning Sadhana practice will also be offered. 

This is a rare opportunity to immerse yourself into the transformative lifestyle of Kundalini Yoga. These retreats have indeed become life-changing events for many participants. Please consider taking the time this summer to renew your spirit, rejuvenate your mind and body, and create a sacred group consciousness with like-minded yogis in the peaceful and natural setting of the Hermitage forest. Led by Devmurti and Hari Amrit Khalsa, KRI-certified Kundalini Yoga Instructors, who have taught for over 30 years. They have had the good fortune to live with and study directly with the great Yoga master, Yogi Bhajan, for over 25 years.

This is not a silent retreat * Teachings / Yoga / Breath-work/Meditation * It is suggested you bring yoga mats * Therapeutic massage available by appointment

 

Teacher's Program Fee: 300$
Food and Accomodations: 325$ to 475$ based on selection.

 

Jul 17th, 3:00 pm to Jul 29th, 11:00 pm

Our twelve day retreat will combine meditation, imagination and nature study.

Our formal meditation practice will be anapanasati, or meditation on the energies of breathing in and out. Through the twelve day course of the retreat the focus of this practice will gradually move more and more to insight practice. To feed meditation and nature study we will be working with the exercises in Namgyal Rinpoche’s book A Body of Truth, which are based on a Western Mysteries approach to a study of the elements.

And as we did in last year’s retreat, we will also have a different topic of study in the natural world each day, which may take from one to three hours depending on each participant’s inclinations.

The Body of Nature

Jul 17th, 3:00 pm to Jul 29th, 11:00 pm

Arrival after 3pm on July 17th.

Some meditation traditions say there is a primordial state of being – variously called called the natural mind, the original mind, or the natural state - that becomes more evident with intensive observation. The core instruction of one stream of Dzogchen is “relax the mind and experience the natural state”.

As it turns out, with the busy to and fro of day to day life, this is ordinarily easier said than done. But the property of the Hermitage offers meditators a rare opportunity explore this possibility. At the Hermitage you find a striking range of different ecosystems a short walk from your cabin. This rich natural abundance is a deep and spontaneous source of inspiration to deepen meditation practice and enhance insight.

Our twelve day retreat will combine meditation, imagination and nature study.

Our formal meditation practice will be anapanasati, or meditation on the energies of breathing in and out.  Through the twelve day course of the retreat the focus of this practice will gradually move more and more to insight practice. To support the work we will have four group sits per day, as well as one afternoon class that digs into the technical aspects of meditation.

To feed meditation practice we will be working with the exercises in Namgyal Rinpoche’s book A Body of Truth, which are based on a Western Mysteries approach to a study of the elements.

And as we did in last year’s retreat, we will also have a different topic of study in the natural world each day, which may take from one to three hours depending on each participant’s inclinations. Topics may include direct explorations of soils, geology, water flow, plants, wildlife and local forest ecosystems.

We will be spending a lot of time outside regardless of the weather, so participants are encouraged to bring decent rain gear, sunscreen, bug repellent and so on. You are also encouraged to bring magnifying glasses, binoculars, drawing materials, and any other supplies you think will help extend your sensing in nature.

Meditators who are only able to attend one week of the retreat will be able to come for the first week, but we will not accept new meditators in the second week.

Lama Brian McLeod was accepted as a student of the Venerable Namgyal Rinpoche in 1978. Following a five-year period of study and work at the Dharma Centre of Canada from 1984 to 1989 was instructed by Rinpoche to start teaching. He has been leading retreats in Canada and Germany for the past twenty years, and has been the lead teacher of the River and Bridge Dharma Group in Winnipeg since 2007. In addition to dharma teaching, he volunteers in palliative care and is also a Past Master of Empire Masonic Lodge in Winnipeg.

Lama Brian’s teaching is simple, respectful and clear, informed by his work and family life experience. Following his time at the Dharma Centre he lived in the eastern Arctic for seventeen years, working in business and as a senior manager for Inuit political and business organizations. He now lives in Winnipeg, working in mediation (one ‘t’) and organizational development in partnership with his wife Lorraine Thomas. They have two teenage sons. Brian has a degree in Forestry from UBC (forest soils and ecology) and a Master’s degree in dispute resolution from Osgoode Hall Law School.

 

Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation only. It is hoped that people will give generously. Dana (generosity), an expression of your appreciation, is the only income that Buddhist Teachers receive for their guidance, teaching and counsel, and is far more important than what you pay for board and keep. Please give accordingly. It shows your respect for all that the Teacher gives you, in terms of concern, time and effort.

Food and Accomodations: 780$ to 1140$ based on selection.

 

Jul 31st, 3:00 pm to Aug 9th, 11:00 am

A retreat for Advanced Students (and some dedicated beginners!)

This silent meditation retreat will focus on practices that help liberate the peace, joy and kindness of the Awake mind. We will explore the nature of emptiness, or sunyata, which underlies our realization of compassion and wisdom. This retreat will also focus on assisting students to build strength, or merit, through the exploration of the seven factors of mind that help us to create happiness and peace from the inside out. These factors are Mindfulness, Curiosity, Energy, Rapture, Tranquility, Concentration and Equanimity.

Awareness and Bodhicitta - Awakening the Mind of Compassion and Wisdom

Jul 31st, 3:00 pm to Aug 9th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on July 31st.

 

As so many appreciative students know from direct experience, Dr. Cheryl is a highly regarded Dharma teacher who has been teaching at the Hermitage for many years now. In this retreat Cheryl will teach on the topic of Awareness. Often we seek a clear mind by practicing intensive meditation. We seek as though that clear mind is outside of our regular experience, as though we somehow need to “get it” from somewhere. But instead of seeking elsewhere, we simply need to uncover the clear, calm, awake mind that is already present. Can you relax and let your attention settle so that the luminous awareness under the busy mind can be contacted? The Awake, Compassionate mind is available at all times.

What’s more, while a desire to reduce our own suffering brings us to the path of Dharma, Bodhicitta is what will escort us along the path. Bodhicitta is the desire to help liberate all beings from suffering. In this retreat, you will begin to experience the shifts in mind and the confidence in awakening that occur when we are driven by Right View and Right Intention.

This silent meditation retreat will focus on practices that help liberate the peace, joy and kindness of the Awake mind. We will explore the nature of emptiness, or sunyata, which underlies our realization of compassion and wisdom. This retreat will also focus on assisting students to build strength, or merit, through the exploration of the seven factors of mind that help us to create happiness and peace from the inside out. These factors are Mindfulness, Curiosity, Energy, Rapture, Tranquility, Concentration and Equanimity.

This silent retreat will include sitting and walking meditation. We will focus on the practice of Mahamudra, or Open Awareness meditation. There will also be periods of Concentration practice, using breath as an object. Some practices will utilize guided visualization. There will be yoga classes offered (moving meditation in the form of yoga is an excellent support for the sitting meditation practice). There will be Daily Dharma talks and interviews with the teacher. This ten-day retreat is most suitable for experienced students who have a daily meditation practice and/or have attended at least one silent retreat. However, interested novices are welcome providing you are willing to jump in and participate fully in the retreat.

 

Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation only. It is hoped that people will give generously. Dana (generosity), an expression of your appreciation, is the only income that Buddhist Teachers receive for their guidance, teaching and counsel, and is far more important than what you pay for board and keep. Please give accordingly. It shows your respect for all that the Teacher gives you, in terms of concern, time and effort.

Food and Accomodations: 585$ to 855$ based on selection.

 

Aug 14th, 3:00 pm to Aug 19th, 11:00 am

The ego is a construction which is impermanent and empty—an insight which is the essence of liberation. Explore the wisdom of this truth as Michael W. Taft leads a silent retreat intended to allow practitioners to experience what Michael calls “deconstructing yourself.”

Deconstructing Yourself Silent Meditation Retreat

Aug 14th, 3:00 pm to Aug 19th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on Aug 14th.

The Deconstructing Yourself Silent Meditation Retreat is a unique opportunity to dive deeply into your meditation practice. You will receive a lot of personal, individual attention about the details of your own practice from the instructor. Based on the teachings and one-on-ones, you will begin to develop a real sense of what you’re doing, how to do it more effectively, and what may be coming next.

The retreat follows these guidelines:

- Retreat is done in total silence, except for personal Q&As with Michael.
- Michael will be teaching the group each evening from his “Model of Deconstructing Sensory Experience.”
- Each retreatant will work on their own practice, guided by one-on-one meetings with Michael.
- Previous meditation experience required.
- Ability to sit still for 55 minute sits is expected.
- No meditation session is required. You can go for walks or rest as you like.

Daily Schedule (for full days):
5:00 - 7:30     Meditation
7:30 - 8:30     Breakfast
9:00 - 12:00    Meditation
12:00 - 1:00    Lunch
1:00 - 2:00     Break / optional meditation
2:00 - 6:00     Meditation
6:00 - 7:00     Soup
7:00 - 8:30     Dharma Talk / Q&A
8:30 - 10:00     Meditation

Note: Michael will be meeting with students individually during the day for one-on-one practice discussion.

 

Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation only. It is hoped that people will give generously. Dana (generosity), an expression of your appreciation, is the only income that Buddhist Teachers receive for their guidance, teaching and counsel, and is far more important than what you pay for board and keep. Please give accordingly. It shows your respect for all that the Teacher gives you, in terms of concern, time and effort.

Food and Accomodations: 325$ to 475$ based on selection.

 

Aug 21st, 3:00 pm to Aug 30th, 11:00 am

The Hermitage Mahamudra Retreat – for serious seekers. Mahamudra Meditation is the path to Awakening that most focuses on realizing the true nature of Mind, by directly experiencing one’s own mind through meditation, clearly and simply.

Mahamudra

Aug 21st, 3:00 pm to Aug 30th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on Aug 21st.

Among all the systems of meditation in the world, Mahamudra is considered the foremost in teaching the very heart-essence of the Buddha’s teaching. Key points that you will learn during this retreat are what is the practice of the Yoga of One-pointedness; how personal insight and self-discovery is acquired through the Yoga of Non-proliferation; what is the extraordinary path of the Yoga of One-taste; and how one attained the Yoga of Non-meditation? These are the four distinct steps or programs of meditation that encapsulate the whole of the Mahamudra method. It is this unique path of concentration, thoughtfulness, compassionate conduct and self-reflection by which spiritually motivated Yogis and Yoginis in Asia  have over the centuries attained awakening on the path of enlightenment; a path, needless to say, that is quite suitable to all, particularly in the modern world, and which everyone is capable of practicing, without requiring particular religious beliefs or restrictions. 

The retreat is lead by Lama Rodney P. Devenish, a practitioner who studied the full scope of Mahamudra at the feet of several advanced Ka’gyu Lamas, including Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Kalu Rinpoche, and the fully realized master Kyabje Namgyal Rinpoche. Lama Rodney is capable of making this path easily understandable to you, in a very human and meaningful way.

Silent retreat / daily meditation teachings / practical meditation / private interview with the teacher.

Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation only. It is hoped that people will give generously. Dana (generosity), an expression of your appreciation, is the only income that Buddhist Teachers receive for their guidance, teaching and counsel, and is far more important than what you pay for board and keep. Please give accordingly. It shows your respect for all that the Teacher gives you, in terms of concern, time and effort.

Food and Accomodations: 585$ to 855$ based on selection.

 

Sep 4th, 3:00 pm to Sep 20th, 11:00 am

Dr Sean Pritchard, formerly the monk U Vansa, teaches in the Mahasi vipassana tradition. The practices taught at his retreat will provide a lifetime of tools and techniques to gain insight into the inner world and workings of the mind. Both beginners and seasoned meditators will benefit from the supportive and skillful guidance of this well-experienced teacher.

Mahasi-style Vipassanā Retreat

Sep 4th, 3:00 pm to Sep 20th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on Sept 4th

Dr. Sean Pritchard holds a PhD in clinical psychology and currently has a private counselling practice in Vancouver. He spent a number of years as an ordained Buddhist monk (U Vansarakkhita) in the Burmese Theravada tradition, studying with Sayadaw U Janakabhivamsa, one of the chief disciples of the great Mahasi Sayadaw. During this period he was placed in charge of Dhammodaya Meditation Center in Thailand and traveled worldwide teaching Mahasi-style vipassana (mindfulness) and metta (loving-kindness) meditation practices to many different cultures and nationalities. His experience and teaching has provided him with a unique perspective on the Asian and Western understanding of mental health.

This retreat will begin with 3 days of metta practice followed by intensive vipassana, which involves alternating one hour sitting with one hour walking. There will be a daily interview with the teacher and evening Dhamma talk.

 

Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation only. It is hoped that people will give generously. Dana (generosity), an expression of your appreciation, is the only income that Buddhist Teachers receive for their guidance, teaching and counsel, and is far more important than what you pay for board and keep. Please give accordingly. It shows your respect for all that the Teacher gives you, in terms of concern, time and effort.

Food and Accomodations: 1040$ to 1520$ based on selection.