Apr 18th, 3:00 pm to Apr 25th, 11:00 am

The Brahma Viharas, or four immeasurables, are known in English as lovingkindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. These practices of unselfish, boundless love open the heart and cultivate a stable, concentrated mind that is ripe for the teachings of liberation.

The Brahma Viharas

Apr 18th, 3:00 pm to Apr 25th, 11:00 am

Occupancy limited to ten individual’s max.

The Brahma Viharas, or four immeasurables, are known in English as lovingkindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. These practices of unselfish, boundless love open the heart and cultivate a stable, concentrated mind that is ripe for the teachings of liberation. Meditation on the Brahma Viharas has the potential to be transformative and lead to deeper, more meaningful relationships with the people in our lives. Formal heart practices are appropriate and essential to all levels of practitioners. With wisdom and compassion, Lama Shannon will share teachings on each of four Brahma Viharas in the beautiful natural setting of Denman Island Hermitage. Retreatants will have daily opportunity for one-on-one meditation interviews to explore individual practice questions.

Apr 27th, 3:00 pm to May 2nd, 11:00 am

This is a self-discovery retreat applying love and compassion as the focus for mindfulness and insight meditation, aimed at transcendence. Love is said to be the greatest force within the human personality for rapidly transforming ourselves and developing the best that is in us

Maitri-bhavana Meditation Retreat

Apr 27th, 3:00 pm to May 2nd, 11:00 am

A self-discovery retreat based on love and compassion.

This is a self-discovery retreat applying love and compassion as the focus for mindfulness and insight meditation, aimed at transcendence. Love is said to be the greatest force within the human personality for rapidly transforming ourselves and developing the best that is in us.Through this practice we can learn to love ourselves, love all beings, and even come through love to the transcendental. The Buddha introduced Maitri-bhavana ('Love meditation') as a special rapid path of Awakening. By integrating and balancing the head with the heart, Love meditation naturally leads to bliss, and bliss to the pure lasting peace of Nirvana. The format of the meditation can be applied by both beginners and longterm practitioners of meditation. Once someone learns this practice, they can apply it wherever they are, to transform their entire experience of life and the world around them.

Led by the founder of the Hermitage, Lama Rodney Devenish.

Occupancy limited to ten individual’s max.

May 4th, 3:00 pm to May 9th, 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, sunny May retreat is a great way to get into meditation and further enhance your life through the whole year. Includes daily yoga, with an emphasis on pliancy of the body for greater wellbeing.

Beginner Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga Practices

May 4th, 3:00 pm to May 9th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on May 4th

Welcome to the basics. Use Meditation and Mindfulness Practices to build 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 newcomers as well as existing practitioners wishing to reinforce and renew a healthy, well-adjusted approach to yoga and meditation.

Fiona is a extraordinary teacher who works well with individuals that are both new and old to Meditation practice and Yoga, and who wish to explore these techniques for the great benefits that can be had from them. Discover serenity, wellbeing and happiness through meditation and regain pliancy, flexibility through this easy yoga.

 

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

Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation. It is hoped that people will give generously.

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

May 11th, 3:00 pm to May 16th, 11:00 am

Deep within you shines the clear, calm, loving, luminous mind, obscured though it may be behind the veils of doubt and confusion. Realize that this beautiful clarity and peace abides within all beings and is available to you at all times through meditation; it is your own psyche, your own truth. This silent retreat will focus on love and meditation as a path to experiencing yourself directly.

The Heart of Buddhist Meditation

May 11th, 3:00 pm to May 16th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on May 11th

Deep within you shines the clear, calm, loving, luminous mind, obscured though it may be behind the veils of doubt and confusion. Realize that this beautiful clarity and peace abides within all beings and is available to you at all times through meditation; it is your own psyche, your own truth. This silent retreat will focus on love and meditation as a path to experiencing yourself directly.  

The beauty of spring awakening at the Hermitage, with its natural environment of field, forest and nearby ocean beaches is a backdrop for this silent practice retreat. Suitable for beginners as well as long-term practitioners, we will review the fundamentals of Calm-abiding (shamatha) and Intuitive Insight (vipasyana) meditation, as ways to engage in the Path of Awakening according to the Buddhist tradition. 

Learn to concentrate, to still the mind, and to put the restless thinking processes to rest through the cultivation of lucid mindfulness, while at the same time gently awakening your innate personal insight, compassion, and wisdom through meditation practice. Gradually approach the deeper blissful Dhyana-states of meditation, that naturally give rise to centered consciousness, opening of the heart, and compassionate realization in reflexive self-awareness — a meditative experience of stillness, joy and bliss. 

The retreat will include both sitting and walking meditation, guided by Lama Rodney’s wise and gentle daily instruction and example. Personal interviews with Lama. 

Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation. Please give generously.

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

May 18th, 3:00 pm to May 23rd, 11:00 am

This retreat provides an in-depth exploration into multiple self-care practices for renewed vitality, mental clarity, emotional resilience, and spiritual awareness. Informed by both ancient Ayurvedic wisdom and modern Western scientific theory, these practices include specific Hatha yoga sequences, healing sounds therapies, breathing and visualization techniques, stress-release tools, and creative self-inquiry journaling exercises. An introduction to key physiological systems, including the digestive and central nervous systems, will provide a solid foundation on which to develop and nurture our self-awareness and compassion, with the intention of responsible self-care in order to better serve others.

Compassion Through Self-Care

May 18th, 3:00 pm to May 23rd, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on May 18th

This retreat, while informative and educational at its core, provides ample opportunity for deep personal reflection and meditation (both led and self-guided). All gentle yoga asanas will be taught with appropriate modifications, the morning session of gentle Hatha tying in to the specified morning lesson focus; the afternoon sessions allowing for restorative, nurturing sequences and periods of quiet meditation. Lise Duncan brings over twenty years of experience in diverse healing bodywork therapies, fitness training and lifestyle coaching, nutritional culinary guidance, and yoga instruction. She presents a balanced, accessible approach to developing a positive personal yoga and meditation practice for optimum health and wellness. 

Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation. Please give generously.

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

May 25th, 3:00 pm to May 30th, 11:00 am

This silent Zen retreat brings together two wisdom and practice methods to bring our mind and body to deep calm and equanimity and meaningful insight. Ten stages of meditation will be presented and are based on the work of spiritual teacher and neuroscientist Upasaka Culadasa/ Dr. John. Yates. Zen meditation is presented through the lens of Rinzai Zen Hollow Bones Mondo Zen Koan process; a meditation system of inquiry based on Japanese and Chinese Zen updated for this century and western culture by Jun Po Kelly Roshi. Dr. Darlene Tataryn brings a wealth of sound psychological understanding to her meditation retreats, along with considerable love, compassion and caring.

Zen Clarity

May 25th, 3:00 pm to May 30th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on May 25th

I have, over years, come to understand that living a conscious life is not an accidental process. It is a material and spiritual art form that requires a heart willing to open, embracing compassionate acceptance and action toward both self and other. We consciously cultivate an awakened ego function able to guide our thoughts, feelings, and emotions toward our deepest intention of actualizing our human potential toward awakening into the clarity and compassion of the wisdom mind.  By identifying our innate Pure Awareness and the objects that capture our attention, we learn to find freedom in a moment, more and more able to choose our responses to self and other that are conducive to well being personally and in relationship.

You will receive direct pointing out instructions for natural mind realization as well as clear and complete instruction on ten progressive stages of meditation; which injunctions when practiced lead to deep calm and life affirming insight. Gentle embodiment and metta practices are included in our daily program.   

As your Guide, I look forward to meeting you, sharing in Buddha Dharma, and offering personal interviews. Regardless of your prior experience, rest in beginners mind and a willingness to open into your deep caring and life concerns in the context of this beautiful rustic retreat setting.   
 
Teacher's Program Fee: This Dharma is offered freely.  Those who wish an orienting suggestion for Dana/ Generosity gifts, please contact Linda Whittle at the Hermitage.

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

Jun 1st, 3:00 pm to Jun 4th, 11:00 am

The restless and distracted nature of the human mind has, without proper training and practice, little to no opportunity to abide in a tranquil state, a prerequisite to developing liberating insight. Whit, a remarkable teacher particularly of the Burmese Mahasi Sayadaw tradition of meditation, will lead you in a light, clear, knowledgable manner, designed for Western practitioners of meditation. This retreat is suitable for both beginners and advanced practitioners.

Cool Calmness • A Vipassanā Retreat

Jun 1st, 3:00 pm to Jun 4th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on June 1st
 
The restless and distracted nature of the human mind has, without proper training and practice, little to no opportunity to abide in a tranquil state, a prerequisite to developing liberating insight.
 
Along the Buddha’s path leading to the cessation of suffering one encounters various mental factors inherent within the mind, both wholesome and unwholesome. Under the rubric of the wholesome factors resides what is colloquially referred to as the seven factors of enlightenment, in Pāli, the bojjhangas. The seven factors of enlightenment are causative factors that support the awakening of the mind.
 
One of these seven factors is tranquility or passāddhi. The literal translation of passāddhi is cool calmness, a state of mind in which the heat of mental activity and agitation subsides in exchange for the cool, calm and reflective tendencies of consciousness necessary for the arising of knowledge. 
 
Over this retreat period we will apply the time tested vipassanā methodology of the revered Burmese master, Mahāsi Sayadaw. Through the application of mindfulness to all of our mental and physical activity practitioners will observe the seemingly incessant activity of mind followed by the gradual transition towards the state of passāddhi. From the spaciousness of the tranquil mind the meditator provides oneself the opportunity to see clearly the true nature of all psycho-physical phenomena.
 
Seeing into ultimate reality the meditator observes through direct-felt experience the impermanent (aniccā), unsatisfactory (dukkha) and ownerless nature (anattā) of all phenomena, the essence of vipassanā practice. It is from these insights that transformative wisdom is born, spurring the practitioner forward upon the path leading to the cessation of suffering. 
 
The great Burmese Master Mahasi Sayadaw's approach to meditation is very clear, very precise and ‘to the point,’ faithfully adhering to the method of the Buddha in his own successful search for Enlightenment. Whit Hornsberger's experiences of intensive monastic meditation in Burma, combined with his studies of Yoga and other forms of Eastern Spirituality, have given him a unique ability to communicate to Westerners a classical approach to meditation, one that is deeply rooted in the profound Burmese tradition.” - Lama Rodney Devenish.
 
This silent retreat will include sitting and walking meditation along with dhamma talks by the teacher.
 

Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation. Please give generously.

Food and Accomodations: 195$ to 285$ based on selection.

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

This retreat will give you the tools you need to develop an authentic meditation practice, and build a solid foundation for greater and greater self-discovery. Among the many secondary benefits are increased calm and stress-reduction, expanded mindfulness, and a more focused or steady approach to life. Lama Connie’s teaching style combines ancient Asian wisdom with modern understanding, and is accessible to Western students.

Shamatha and the Three Solitudes: Uncovering True Nature

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

Arrival after 3pm on June 8th

This retreat will provide clear and concise daily instruction in this foundational meditation practice and its nine stages of ever-deepening mental abiding. Exploration and observation of the “three solitudes” of body, speech, and mind will augment sustained independent practice. Students will learn how to meditate sitting, standing, walking, and lying down. Daily teachings will allow time for question and answer sessions and participants have the option of having brief, practice-oriented personal interviews with the teacher.

In order to maintain the integrity of the practice space, students must commit to participating fully throughout each day to the prescribed meditation practices, maintaining silence throughout, and abstaining from the use of phones, computers, tablets, music players, etc. for the duration of the retreat.

Lama Connie is Founder and Director of the School of Natural Mind Meditation. You can learn more about her here: http://www.naturalmindmeditation.com/connie-mitchell

 

Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation. Please give generously.

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

 

Jun 15th, 3:00 pm to Jun 21st, 12:00 am

An intimate and magical experience of shamanic Chöd practice, combining meditation and movement as a particularly rapid way to attain self-liberation and Awakening, taught at the Hermitage by the Tibetan Lama, Ngakpa Kalsang Dorje.

Nying-tig Chod Retreat

Jun 15th, 3:00 pm to Jun 21st, 12:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on June 15th

Chöd is a truly profound wisdom-practice developed largely by enlightened women mystics, although also practiced by men, and transmitted from early times in the sacred high land of Tibet. As a special type of meditation combining both sitting and movement, stillness and activity, this unique style of meditation leads us into a beautiful form of embodied spirituality, focused in part on overcoming life’s hindrances and obstacles, and on attaining the “Cutting Off of the Ego” (the word "Chod" means "Cut-through") as a process to achieve Higher Consciousness. 

The technique of Chod-meditation combines Buddhist meditation with ancient shamanic dance and drumming, so as to place oneself en rapport with the Universe as a whole, externally, and with one’s own inner process of Awakening internally, as an especially rapid means to attain personal spiritual insight and self-realization. An aspect of Chod-meditation deals directly with our innate fear of loss and death, and for that reason touches on the very core of life's experience. This ancient method was apparently first developed by the amazing Tibetan princess Yeshe Tsogyal in the 9th century, and then again further elaborated on by Machig Labdron, yet another exceptional Tibetan woman mystic living in the 11th century. Although a spiritual practice seemingly founded by and deeply relevant to women, Chod is today practiced equally by male yogis and female yoginis throughout the East – thus this practice is applicable to both sexes and all types of spiritual seekers, as a unique way of transcendence.

Chöd has mostly been communicated outside the Tibetan monastic establishment. The tradition has been practiced and handed on by individual Ngakpas (non-celibate yogis and yoginis) in Tibet and Mongolia over the centuries. Because of this, knowledge of Chöd and a chance to actually learn the practice from a qualified Tibetan teacher, has always been much less available to Western seekers than other forms of meditation. It is, however, considered a major meditation practice in both the Ka’gyu and Nyingma schools of Tibetan Buddhism, and is treated with great respect, and even with a degree of awe, by all Tibetan spiritual leaders, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Gyalwang Karmapa. The "Distant Laughter of the Goddess," the particular method of Chod-meditation transmitted from the Heart-Point of the Great Expanse by the Tibetan master-yogi Jigme Lingpa (1730-1798), is considered a direct path to Enlightenment. Ngakpa Kalsang Dorje, an experienced practitioner of the lineage, teaches the practice with considerable skill, gentleness and kindness, in easy steps suited for Western seekers who have no prior knowledge of Tibetan tradition.

 

Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation. It is hoped that people will give generously.

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

Jun 22nd, 3:00 pm to Jun 27th, 11:00 am

In this retreat, Dr. Cheryl and Shelane will utilize meditation, Dharma teaching, and expressive arts to help students recognize and transform their negative patterns. This silent meditation retreat will include periods of Shamatha (calming concentration practice), Metta (Loving Kindness meditation) and Mahamudra (open awareness of mind).

Meditation, Buddhism, and Expressive Arts – Befriending and Transforming the Mind Demons

Jun 22nd, 3:00 pm to Jun 27th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on June 22th

We all want to be happy. We just don’t necessarily know how. The Buddha was clear in his teachings – happiness resides within us. Our innate nature is peaceful, radiant, loving and wise. So what gets in the way? Difficult mind states have root causes. The three roots poisons – greed, aversion, and delusion – create the mind demons of selfishness, anger, and control. Unrecognized, these unwise states motivate our actions and cause us to seek happiness in ways that are fruitless and potentially harmful to self and other. So what can we do instead? By training our mind and heart to be calm and clear, we can transform selfishness to generosity, anger to kindness, and control to compassion. Is this easy to do? No. But with practice, we can uncover the positive mental states that are shining like the sun under the clouds of mind demons.

In this retreat, Cheryl and Shelane will utilize meditation, Dharma teaching, and expressive arts to help students recognize and transform their negative patterns. This silent meditation retreat will include periods of Shamatha (calming concentration practice), Metta (Loving Kindness meditation) and Mahamudra (open awareness of mind). There will be some guided visualization practice. Daily Dharma talks and group interviews with the teacher will be part of the experience. Suitable for both novice and experienced meditators.  No previous experience with the arts is needed.

Note - There will be expressive arts processes in this retreat, some of which may not be conducted in silence. Expressive Arts Psychotherapy uses diverse art modalities, including visual arts (e.g. painting, drawing, sculpture), music, and movement, to promote exploration and transformation. By being creative and spontaneous, each person finds a way to give expression to their personal story and to uncover obstacles to awakening.  In so doing, we gain greater insights, release emotions, and explore our relationship with self and others.  By examining the illusions of self, and getting to know our mind demons, we are empowered to engage with our stories and emotions in new ways and transform them.

 

Shelane Donoghue M.A., R.P. is a Registered Psychotherapist using Expressive Arts Therapy in private practice in Toronto and with First Nations children, youth, families and communities in Northern Ontario.

She has been exploring Dharma for over 20 years, and is a devoted student of the late Namgyal Rinpoche, Lama Mark Webber, Lho Ontul Rinpoche, Lho Ratna Rinpoche and Sayadow U Thila Wunta. She has also studied with his Holiness the Dalai Lama, the 17th Karmapa, Lama Sonam Gyatso and Karma Chime Wongmo.

Shelane’s personal background is multi-racial with indigenous roots. She knows first-hand the importance of using creativity and meditation to grow, change and heal from life’s challenges. All of us need a sacred place of refuge to continue to awaken to greater freedom, compassion and wisdom.  With joy, she wishes to serve this aspiration by awakening and cultivating the wisdom mind in all.

 

 

Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation. It is hoped that people will give generously.

Food and Accomodations325$ to 475$ based on selection.

 

Shelane Donoghue M.A., R.P. is a Registered Psychotherapist using Expressive Arts Therapy in private practice in Toronto and with First Nations children, youth, families and communities in Northern Ontario.
She has been exploring Dharma for over 20 years, and is a devoted student of the late Namgyal Rinpoche, Lama Mark Webber, Lho Ontul Rinpoche, Lho Ratna Rinpoche and Sayadow U Thila Wunta. She has also studied with his Holiness the Dalai Lama, the 17th Karmapa, Lama Sonam Gyatso and Karma Chime Wongmo.

Shelane’s personal background is multi-racial with indigenous roots. She knows first-hand the importance of using creativity and meditation to grow, change and heal from life’s challenges. All of us need a sacred place of refuge to continue to awaken to greater freedom, compassion and wisdom.  With joy, she wishes to serve this aspiration by awakening and cultivating the wisdom mind in all.

Jun 29th, 3:00 pm to Jul 5th, 11:00 am

Mind is the root of everything, the creator of happiness and the creator of misery; the creator of love and the creator of anger; the creator of peace and the creator of anxiety. Whether we are happy or sad, are in a state of love or depression, feel empty or enjoy life as it unfolds for us, it is entirely our own mind that determines the outcome. Training the mind through tranquillity and insight is therefore the single most important basis for a better life.

Self-Discovery Through Meditation

Jun 29th, 3:00 pm to Jul 5th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on June 29th

Mind is the root of everything, the creator of happiness and the creator of misery; the creator of love and the creator of anger; the creator of peace and the creator of anxiety. Mind is therefore called the foremost determining factor for forming the conditions and experience of what we call ‘samsara,' the cycle of birth and death, and likewise, the determining factor in attaining ‘nirvana,’ or ultimate bliss and peace. There is no greater source of happiness or improvement in life other than the mind itself.

The individual who trains in meditation, trains the mind. That person acquires mastery over the mind’s random fluctuations, and will, in consequence, undergo a positive transformation in his or her outlook, perceptions, and over-all mental attitude. Even difficult circumstances can appear quite differently. Through meditation we can acquire an altogether better understanding of precisely who we are, and what we truly want in our lives.

This silent retreat will include sitting and walking meditation along with private interviews by the teacher.
 

Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation alone. It is essential that you give generously and appreciatively.
Food and Accomodations: 455$ to 665$ based on selection.

Jul 6th, 3:00 pm to Jul 12th, 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.

Kundalini Yoga and Meditation to Awaken the Heart

Jul 6th, 3:00 pm to Jul 12th, 11:00 am

Kundalini

Arrival after 3pm on July 6th

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: 390$ to 570$ based on selection.

Jul 13th, 3:00 pm to Jul 18th, 11:00 am

In this six-day retreat held in noble silence practitioners will apply the ancient practice of vipassanā, awakening experientially to the true nature of the phenomena of mind and matter.

Whit, a remarkable teacher particularly of the Burmese Mahasi Sayadaw tradition of meditation, will lead you in a light, clear, knowledgable manner, designed for Western practitioners of meditation. This retreat is suitable for both beginners and advanced practitioners.

Awaken • A Vipassanā Retreat

Jul 13th, 3:00 pm to Jul 18th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on July 13th
 
The meditative path laid down by the Buddha over 2600 years ago is a contemplative journey into mind and body. Through direct-felt experience practitioners cultivate insight into ultimate reality, giving rise to an awakened state of consciousness free from the fetters of our past conditioning.  
 
The name Buddha itself comes from the Pāli word ‘bodhi’ and its root ‘budh’, meaning to awaken, become aware. 
 
In this six-day retreat held in noble silence practitioners will apply the ancient practice of vipassanā, awakening experientially to the true nature of the phenomena of mind and matter. Vipassanā or insight meditation means to see through or into the three marks of existence:
 
uncertain (aniccā); unsatisfactory (dukkha); unmanageable (anattā)
 
Through patient endurance the meditator begins to see for oneself the teaching of the three marks of existence inherent in all pyscho-physical phenomena. This insight and the concomitant arising of faith propels the practitioner forward upon the path and it is from this experiential knowledge that the mind awakens, catalyzing one forward towards the goal of the path, the cessation of suffering.
 
This retreat will adhere to the traditional and potent vipassanā methodology of the revered Burmese master Mahāsi Sayadaw, passed down to Whit over his many years of study and practice, including intensive monastic experience in Mahāsi Sayadaw’s monastery in Rangoon, Burma. 
 
The great Burmese Master Mahāsi Sayadaw's approach to meditation is very clear, very precise and ‘to the point,’ faithfully adhering to the method of the Buddha in his own successful search for Enlightenment. Whit Hornsberger's experiences of intensive monastic meditation in Burma, combined with his studies of Yoga and other forms of Eastern Spirituality, have given him a unique ability to communicate to Westerners a classical approach to meditation, one that is deeply rooted in the profound Burmese tradition.” - Lama Rodney Devenish
 
This silent retreat will include sitting and walking meditation, daily yoga and dhamma talks along with interviews with the teacher.
 

Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation. Please give generously.

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

Jul 21st, 3:00 pm to Jul 27th, 11:00 am

This special 5 day chamber music retreat with the Borealis String Quartet will include intensive daily coaching, masterclasses, and open rehearsals all set in a beautiful natural environment.

Chamber Music Retreat

Jul 21st, 3:00 pm to Jul 27th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on July 21th

This special 5 day chamber music retreat with the Borealis String Quartet will include intensive daily coaching, masterclasses, and open rehearsals all set in a beautiful natural environment. The daily schedule will include two intensive coaching sessions with individual members of the Borealis String Quartet, open masterclasses and individual rehearsal time for all chamber ensembles. 

Informal Q&A sessions on various topics such as rehearsal technique, music interpretation and communication skills will supplement the experience. 

Intended to provide a more in-depth and intensive chamber music setting, this retreat is limited to only four quartets and open to all string players: amateur, pre-professional and professional.

 

Aug 1st, 3:00 pm to Aug 9th, 11:00 am

Natural Mind is the already self-perfected state of our primordial nature. Natural mind has always been, and will always be, “perfect.” The only problem is that everyday consciousness is so clouded by emotions and thought that it isn’t typically recognized. In this advanced 7-day silent retreat we will systematically “deconstruct” consciousness through a series of prescribed ancient Tibetan meditation practices, with the goal of direct recognition of this unparalleled primordial state.

Natural Mind Meditation: Recognizing True Nature

Aug 1st, 3:00 pm to Aug 9th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on Aug 1st

Natural Mind is the already self-perfected state of our primordial nature. Natural mind has always been, and will always be, “perfect.” The only problem is that everyday consciousness is so clouded by emotions and thought that it isn’t typically recognized. In this advanced 7-day silent retreat we will systematically “deconstruct” consciousness through a series of prescribed ancient Tibetan meditation practices, with the goal of direct recognition of this unparalleled primordial state.

In maintaining integrity of the practice space one must be willing to lend themselves fully throughout each day to the prescribed meditation practices, while maintaining silence throughout, and abstaining from use of phones, computers, tablets, music players, etc. for the duration of the retreat.

Lama Connie is Founder and Director of the School of Natural Mind Meditation. You can learn more about her here: http://www.naturalmindmeditation.com/connie-mitchell

 

Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation. Please give generously.

Food and Accomodations: 520$ to 760$ based on selection.

Aug 10th, 3:00 pm to Aug 19th, 11:00 am

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 6 Perfections (Parami)- Generosity, Integrity, Patience, Diligence, Concentration, and Insight.

Awakening the Mind of Compassion and Wisdom

Aug 10th, 3:00 pm to Aug 19th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on Aug 10th

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 she asks the question – “Why meditate?” Many beings come to the study of Dharma (teachings of Buddhist philosophy) and the practice of meditation to change something. Perhaps you are drawn to Buddhism because you want more calm, less distraction, more happiness, less pain and suffering. Yet according to the Buddha, we do not need to "get" anything. Rather, we simply need to uncover the clear, calm, loving, luminous mind that shines underneath the clouds of our confusion. The Awake, Compassionate mind is available at all times. 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 6 Perfections (Parami)- Generosity, Integrity, Patience, Diligence, Concentration, and Insight.

This silent retreat will include sitting and walking meditation, focusing on the practices of Samantha (calm abiding), Vipassana (insight), and Mahamudra (open awareness) meditation. 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.

 

Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation. Please give generously.

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

Aug 21st, 3:00 pm to Aug 31st, 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 31st, 11:00 am

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.

Teacher program fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation only. However it is expected of people that they will give generously.

Food & Accommodation:  650$ to 950$ based on selection.

Sep 1st, 3:00 pm to Sep 5th, 11:00 am

Find more comfort in your seated meditation practice by addressing and unlocking tension and awakening the physical body. Feel more balanced during moving meditation by learning to connect with the foundation of the feet and the strength of the core. This yoga meditation retreat will guide you deeper into your practice by introducing you to more ease and openness in the body, working with specialized movement sequences of subtle, gentle stretches and restorative postures.

Opening the Body For Stillness

Sep 1st, 3:00 pm to Sep 5th, 11:00 am

Find more comfort in your seated meditation practice by addressing and unlocking tension and awakening the physical body. Feel more balanced during moving meditation by learning to connect with the foundation of the feet and the strength of the core. This yoga meditation retreat will guide you deeper into your practice by introducing you to more ease and openness in the body, working with specialized movement sequences of subtle, gentle stretches and restorative postures.

Lise Duncan draws on her twenty years of experience as a therapeutic yoga and bodywork practitioner and health and wellness coach to create a safe and effective method of mindfully connecting with and experiencing the physical body. By learning to observe, explore, and release surface tensions, we can find more comfort in our seated meditation practices. Recruiting core muscles and awakening the energy of the spine improves our posture and stability for both sitting and moving. Daily lessons, including journaling and body-mapping exercises, focus on different areas of the body with gentle movement sequences, seated and walking meditation. This retreat is suitable for all bodies and is an excellent compliment to new and experienced meditation practices. 

Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation. Please give generously.

Food and Accomodations: 260$ to 380$ based on selection.

Sep 7th, 3:00 pm to Sep 9th, 11:00 am

Over the course of this three-day weekend retreat practitioners will receive instruction in the vipassanā methodology of revered Burmese meditation master, Mahāsi Sayadaw, and as passed down to Whit by various teachers in the Mahāsi lineage.

Thinking, Thinking • A Vipassanā Retreat

Sep 7th, 3:00 pm to Sep 9th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on Sept 7th
 
A commonly held misperception about meditation is that meditation is about stopping our thoughts. Not only is this an unrealistic endeavour but as any practitioner will attest, a futile one as well.  As Jack Kornfield (a teacher and former student under the tutelage of Mahāsi Sayadaw) taught Whit on retreat many years ago: 
 
Just as it is the nature of the salivary glads to secrete saliva, so too it is the nature of the mind to secrete thoughts.” 
 
Our practice thus becomes not about attempting to control and subdue the activity of mind but about cultivating the ability to observe the activity of mind without becoming immersed within it, without having to finish the story line. The result is the opportunity to see how pyscho-physical phenomena behave naturally when unadulterated by the mind. 
 
From the vantage point of the impartial observer, the meditator begins to gain insight into the ephemeral, unsatisfactory and the uncontrollable nature of phenomena, the essence of vipassanā meditation. These transformative insights support the practitioner to continue treading the path towards its goal, the cessation of suffering. 
 
Over the course of this three-day weekend retreat practitioners will receive instruction in the vipassanā methodology of revered Burmese meditation master, Mahāsi Sayadaw, and as passed down to Whit by various teachers in the Mahāsi lineage. 
 
Although shorter in duration, this retreat is a wonderful and accessible opportunity for those new to silent practice as well as for those with experience, particularly in the Mahāsi method, to amplify their practice with a weekend intensive. 
 
The great Burmese Master Mahasi Sayadaw's approach to meditation is very clear, very precise and ‘to the point,’ faithfully adhering to the method of the Buddha in his own successful search for Enlightenment. Whit Hornsberger's experiences of intensive monastic meditation in Burma, combined with his studies of Yoga and other forms of Eastern Spirituality, have given him a unique ability to communicate to Westerners a classical approach to meditation, one that is deeply rooted in the profound Burmese tradition.” - Lama Rodney Devenish.
 
This silent retreat will include sitting and walking meditation along with dhamma talks by the teacher.
 

Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation. Please give generously.

Food and Accomodations: 130$ to 190$ based on selection.

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

This retreat welcomes fall with instruction in foundational meditation techniques, upon which a lifetime of practice can be built. Basic instruction will be augmented by theoretical exploration of consciousness within the context of what it is to be a fully integrated, fully “realized” human being; of what it is to be “enlightened.”

You're Not Who You "Think" You Are: Foundational Practice on the Path to Clarity

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

Arrival after 3pm on Sept 14th

Fall is the perfect time of year for initiating inward discovery. This retreat welcomes fall with instruction in foundational meditation techniques, upon which a lifetime of practice can be built. Basic instruction will be augmented by theoretical exploration of consciousness within the context of what it is to be a fully integrated, fully “realized” human being; of what it is to be “enlightened.”

Whether you are a newcomer to meditation or find yourself comfortably well established along the path, this silent retreat creates space for alignment and integration at whatever stage is appropriate for you. Daily talks will allow room for question and answer, with the option to have brief, practice-oriented personal interviews with the teacher.

In maintaining integrity of the practice space one must be willing to lend themselves fully throughout each day to the prescribed meditation practices, while maintaining silence throughout, and abstaining from use of phones, computers, tablets, music players, etc. for the duration of the retreat.
(History is proving this to make a world of difference in the depth of calm, clarity and inner peace that retreatants are able to attain.)

Lama Connie is Founder and Director of the School of Natural Mind Meditation. You can learn more about her here: http://www.naturalmindmeditation.com/connie-mitchell

 

Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation. Please give generously.

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

Sep 21st, 3:00 pm to Sep 25th, 11:00 am

Uncover the clear, calm, loving, luminous mind that shines in your depth, behind the obscuring veils of doubt and confusion. Realize that your own luminous mind within is available to you at all times; this is your own psyche within you, your own truth – the magical depth of your being.

Shamatha & Vipasthana

Sep 21st, 3:00 pm to Sep 25th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on Sept 21st

In the beautiful environment of the Hermitage on Denman Island, in the midst of Nature, practice the easy approach of Calm-abiding (shamatha) and Intuitive Insight (vipasyana) meditation, as a way to engage in the Path of Awakening according to age-old Buddhist tradition. Learn to concentrate, to still the mind, and to rest the thinking process, through lucid mindfulness and concentration, by training in stable attention, while at the same time gently awakening your personal insight, compassion and wisdom, in this very traditional and wholesome method of practice. 

Learn about and gradually approach the deeper blissful Dhyana-states of meditation, that naturally give rise to centered consciousness, opening of the heart, and compassionate realization in reflexive self-awareness, based on a the meditative experience of stillness, joy and bliss. Uncover the clear, calm, loving, luminous mind that shines in the depth, behind the obscuring veils of doubt and confusion. Realize that this luminous mind within all beings is available to you at all times; this is your own psyche within you, your own truth – the magical depth of your being. The retreat will especially focus on discovering this mind within, through disciplined but easy to follow meditation. 

The retreat will include both sitting and walking meditation, guided by daily instruction and example, and personal interviews with the teacher. This is a silent retreat, suitable for all, regardless whether complete beginners or long-term practitioners.

 

Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation. It is hoped that people will give generously.

Food and Accomodations: 260$ to 380$ based on selection.