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

The first retreat of the year will be a gentle silent retreat celebrating the arrival of Spring at the Hermitage. Under the direction of our founder, Lama Rodney Devenish, this retreat will outline a heart-based approach to meditation, in which regular practice leads one progressively toward inner peace, self-compassion, and love.

Meditation for a Better Life

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

Arrival after 3pm on May 1st

The first retreat of the year will be a gentle silent retreat celebrating the arrival of Spring at the Hermitage. Under the direction of our founder, Lama Rodney Devenish, this retreat will outline a heart-based approach to meditation, in which regular practice leads one progressively toward inner peace, self-compassion, and love. In addition Medical science today demonstrates that techniques focused on developing and sustaining positive emotions and mental attitudes amidst the often stressful conditions of normal life lay a foundation for greater physical as well as emotional well being.  This retreat is suitable for everyone and includes private time with Lama developing ones practice.

Improved life conditions, a clearer mind, greater overall happiness and improved physical well-being come from the development of a regular meditation practice that uses meditation as a means of cultivating positive emotions and peace. Lama Rodney explains that meditation need not be approached as a boring obligation, or a struggle.  Instead, he says, meditation can be simple, joyful, and be accessible anywhere as a part of life, bringing greater ease to body and soul.

 

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

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

May 7th, 3:00 pm to May 12th, 11:00 am

Join us as we explore guided meditation utilizing White Tara, and explore creative processes – including sound meditation - to help with inner healing. Begin to uncover the insights of an awake mind and a peaceful, loving heart.

This silent meditation retreat will also include periods of Shamatha (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.

Inner Peace, Happy Heart, Awake Mind

May 7th, 3:00 pm to May 12th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on May 7th

Whether your life is okay, in upheaval, and/or flourishing, achieving tranquility and the compassionate care to oneself that extends to all beings may feel difficult. We all want to be happy and kind. We just don’t necessarily know how. Or perhaps we know how, but don’t sustain this knowing or the practices that support our compassion, wisdom, and inner healing. By training our mind and opening the generous heart, we can wake up to the brilliance in each moment. Awakening the mind doesn’t happen all at once. Enlightenment isn’t a fixed state. It’s an awakening that expands, extends, and grows as we practice letting go and opening up with profound penetrative insight.

Join us as we explore guided meditation utilizing White Tara and explore creative processes – including sound meditation - to help with inner healing. Begin to uncover the insights of an awake mind and a peaceful, loving heart.

This silent meditation retreat will also include periods of Shamatha (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.

 

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 17th, 3:00 pm to May 22nd, 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 yoga, with an emphasis on pliancy of the body for greater wellbeing.

Beginner Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga Practices

May 17th, 3:00 pm to May 22nd, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on May 7th.

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. 

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) 

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 24th, 3:00 pm to May 29th, 11:00 am

This silent Zen retreat combines wisdom with practice methods that lead mind and body to deep calm, equanimity and meaningful insight. The ten stages of meditation that will be presented 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.

Zen Clarity

May 24th, 3:00 pm to May 29th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on May 24th

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 others. When we consciously cultivate an awakened ego function, one that is able to guide our thoughts, feelings, and emotions toward our deepest intention of actualizing our human potential, we move toward awakening into the clarity and compassion of the wisdom mind. By identifying our innate Pure Awareness and observing 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: 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 31st, 3:00 pm to Jun 5th, 11:00 am

Metta, known in English as lovingkindness, is the practice of unselfish, boundless love that opens the heart and cultivates a stable, concentrated mind that is ripe for the teachings of liberation. Meditation on Metta has the potential to be transformative and lead to deeper, more meaningful relationships with the people in our lives.

Opening the Heart Through Metta Practice

May 31st, 3:00 pm to Jun 5th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on May 7th

Taught by Lama Shannon Stein and Pierre Zakarauskas, Ph.D.

Metta, known in English as lovingkindness, is the practice of unselfish, boundless love that opens the heart and cultivates a stable, concentrated mind that is ripe for the teachings of liberation. Meditation on Metta has the potential to be transformative and lead to deeper, more meaningful relationships with the people in our lives. It can also be applied to oneself, leading to more self-acceptance. Finally it can be directed towards all sentient beings. Formal heart practices are appropriate and essential to all levels of practitioners. With wisdom and compassion, Pierre and Shannon will share teachings on Metta 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.

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.

Jun 7th, 3:00 pm to Jun 12th, 11:00 am

Love is said to be the greatest force within the human personality for rapid self-development and personal transformation. In this retreat we will apply the power of love to focus our practice of mindfulness and insight meditation. In this way we can learn to love ourselves, love each other and, through love, approach the transcendental.

Meditation and Love

Jun 7th, 3:00 pm to Jun 12th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on June 7th

The Buddha introduced Maitri-bhavana ('Love meditation') as a rapid path to 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. This meditation can be practiced by both beginning and experienced meditators. Once someone learns this practice, they can apply it wherever they are, to transform their experience of life and the world around them.

Ths silent retreat is led by the founder of the Hermitage, Lama Rodney Devenish.

 

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.

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

This introduction to Dzogchen Meditation is taught by Geshe YongDong, a learned Lama from Amdo, Tibet. In the Bon tradition the focus of Dzogchen is on gaining direct, immediate insight into the nature of the mind. Dzogchen practice ultimately brings the meditator to self-realization. Many practices within the Dzogchen tradition involve breathing techniques and physical exercises leading to emotional relaxation and mental stability, increasing happiness, health and general well-being.

Introduction to Dzogchen Meditation

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

Arrival after 3pm on June 14th
Rinpoche began his training in practical meditation techniques within the Bön spiritual tradition at the age of 13 he first became a getsul-monk at Nangzhig Bönpo Monastery, the largest Bön Monastery in Tibet. Over the years, he advanced in his knowledge and understanding of all areas of Bon practice, including metaphysics, logic, sacred dance, music, poetry, etc., finally earning his full ‘Geshe’ (doctorate) degree in 1992.

In the spring of that year, Geshe YongDong escaped from occupied Tibet, walking for ten days over the rugged Himalayan Mountains to freedom in Kathmandu, Nepal. With the help of Nepalese and Indian guides he then travelled to Dharamsala, northern India, where he met with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Geshe YongDong Rinpoche has personally received many teachings, transmissions, and empowerments from the 14th Dalai Lama, including the Madhyamika teaching known as Gongpa Rabsal, and Lam Rim – outlining the path to enlightenment – as described by Tsongkhapa, the great 14th century Tibetan Buddhist spiritual reformer. He also received from the Dalai Lama particular practices for Yidam Jigshag, along with empowerment and tantric meditation on Kalacakra, the unending ‘Wheel of Time.’

He completed his higher Buddhist studies at Sera-mey, the largest Tibetan monastic university in India, and his Bon studies at the great Bönpo Menri Monastery (which is located in northern India), where he accomplished an in-depth understanding of both Sutra and Tantra including Dzogchen. He is a close disciple of His Holiness the Menri Trizin, head of the Bon tradition, and also of the great Ka’gyu master, Pönlop Trinley Nyima Rinpoche.

Holding a strong non-sectarian view, he is today extremely knowledgeable and has practical experience in the teachings, yoga and meditation practices of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism – Bon, Nyingma, Ka’gyu, Sakya and Gelugpa.
 
Geshe-la is charming and humble. Speaking excellent English, he demonstrates an unparalleled skill in guiding Western seekers!

 

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.

Jun 21st, 3:00 pm to Jun 26th, 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

Jun 21st, 3:00 pm to Jun 26th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on June 21th
 
The meditative path laid down by the Buddha over 2600 years ago is a contemplative journey into mind and body. Through direct experience practitioners cultivate insight into ultimate reality, giving rise to an awakened state of consciousness free from the fetters of 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, propelling 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.

Jun 28th, 3:00 pm to Jul 3rd, 11:00 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, a Master of Chöd.

Nying-tig Chod Retreat

Jun 28th, 3:00 pm to Jul 3rd, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on June 28th

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

The technique of c-meditation combine Buddhist meditation with ancient shamanic dance and drumming, so as to align oneself with the Universe as a whole, externally, and with one’s own process of Awakening internally, as an especially rapid means to attain personal spiritual insight and self-realization. Chöd-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 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 founded by and deeply relevant to women, Chod is today practiced equally by male and female practitioners throughout the East.  

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.

Chöd is 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 skill, gentleness, and kindness, using easy steps suitable 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: 325$ to 475$ based on selection.

Jul 5th, 3:00 pm to Jul 10th, 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 abide 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.

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The Heart of Buddhist Meditation

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

Arrival after 3pm on July 5th

The beauty of the Hermitage, with its natural environment of field, forest ,and nearby ocean beaches is a peaceful 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 calm the restless thinking processes hrough the cultivation of lucid mindfulness, while at the same time gently awakening your innate insight, compassion, and wisdom. Gradually approach the blissful deeper 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. 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.

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

Fluid Movement and Meditation is valuable medicine used to recognize, heal, and nurture our inner Being. Gentle practices of movement and presencing will reveal the tapestry of emotional experience, thought processes, physical holding patterns, action and reaction in a way that provides insight and healing release. Join Dr. Darlene Tataryn, Expressive Therapist and Zen Priest in exploring anxiety, distress, muscle tensions, thought processes and deconstruct them into the emotional and physical holding patterns of the body/mind, revealing the relationships between them. These explorations will be unfolded using Buddha Dharma, focusing on the Four Frames of Reference from the Satipatthana Sutra.

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Fluid Movement and Meditation

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

Arrival after 3pm on July 12th

In this silent retreat our work with movement and micro movement will help release physical and energetic congestions and ease us into deeper and deeper states of meditation.   These explorations will be offered as guided meditations, movement sessions, Dharma Talks and group discussions.  In the Zen tradition a strong and fairly formal container is held, with structured timelines for meditation and kinhin (walking meditation) as well as Morning and Evening Service.  Please bring a yoga mat.

In these practices we will have the opportunity to bring our awareness and attention to the tissues of our body, and through recognizing sensation we identify feeling states of pleasure or not so pleasurable or neither.  These feeling states will stimulate a series of mental and emotional processes, often revealing themes that we can identify and understand more fully as they unfold.

These inter-related phenomena can be seen functioning as a totality, awakening us to the construction of our actions and reactions, providing an opportunity to shift our karmic patterns through knowing what we choose and what we do not choose.  You will take with you a stronger practice rooted in embodiment and understanding of your own Body, Speech, and Mind.

 

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.

Jul 19th, 3:00 pm to Jul 25th, 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 19th, 3:00 pm to Jul 25th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on July 19th

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 26th, 3:00 pm to Jul 31st, 11:00 am

The restless and distracted human mind, without proper training and practice, cannot abide in a tranquil state, which is a prerequisite to developing liberating insight. Whit, a remarkable teacher of the Burmese Mahasi Sayadaw tradition of meditation, is exceptionally skilled in passing the ancient mediation practice of Vipassanā to Western practitioners. This retreat is suitable for both beginners and advanced practitioners.

Cool Calmness • A Vipassanā Retreat

Jul 26th, 3:00 pm to Jul 31st, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on July 26th
 
According to the Buddha, one encounters various mental factors inherent within the mind, both wholesome and unwholesome, on the path leading to the cessation of suffering.  The wholesome factors include what is colloquially referred to as the seven factors of enlightenment, in Pāli, the bojjhangas. These 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: 325$ to 475$ based on selection.

Aug 2nd, 3:00 pm to Aug 7th, 11:00 am

Our six day retreat will combine meditation with intensive nature study to help participants build a deeper intuitive sense of what Thich Nhat Hanh calls interbeing. The primary meditative theme of the week will be active caring or compassion, starting the first day with a Chenrezi empowerment with the retreat Teacher, Brian McLeod. Each day of the retreat will include at least four hours of group meditation and additional time for personal meditation practice.

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Compassion and the Natural World

Aug 2nd, 3:00 pm to Aug 7th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on Aug 2nd

It would be a stretch to describe our current era as a time of affectionate curiosity, kindness, compassion and equilibrium. Yet these qualities are essential to understanding our deep connection to each other and to nature.

Our six day retreat will combine meditation with intensive nature study to help participants build a deeper intuitive sense of what Thich Nhat Hanh calls interbeing.

The primary meditative theme of the week will be active caring or compassion, starting the first day with a Chenrezi empowerment with the retreat Teacher, Brian McLeod. Each day of the retreat will include at least four hours of group meditation and additional time for personal meditation practice.

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, water flow, plants, wildlife and local forest ecosystems. We will be measuring spiritual progress by how dirty each retreatant’s fingernails are at the end of the day.

The interplay of formal meditation practice and deep observation of natural systems is intended to deepen both practice and insight.

Participants are encouraged to bring decent rain gear, because we will be outside regardless of the weather. You are also encouraged to bring magnifying glasses, binoculars, drawing materials, and any other supplies you think will help extend your sensing in nature.

Brian McLeod  was accepted as a student of the Venerable Namgyal Rinpoche in 1978 and 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.

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.

 

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.

Aug 9th, 3:00 pm to Aug 18th, 11:00 am

This 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 of the Wisdom Mind

Aug 9th, 3:00 pm to Aug 18th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on May 7th

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?

Yes you can. But it takes some practice. So together, we will practice focusing our attention and liberating the awareness that is always present.

This 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. 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. It is hoped that people will give generously.

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

Aug 19th, 3:00 pm to Aug 28th, 11:00 am

Intense, relentless concern with the Eight Worldly Dharmas - loss and gain, praise and blame, fame and shame, pleasure and pain – is a major obstacle to progress along the path to freedom gifted to us by the Buddha. A practical investigation of the Brahma Viharas (a.k.a - The Sublime States / The Transcendental Virtues / The Four Faces of Love ) provide accessible, testable remedies to these paralytic, intensly self-centred anxieties.

Effective Engagement With The Eight Worldly Dharmas

Aug 19th, 3:00 pm to Aug 28th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on Aug 19th

Details of retreat to come..

Intense, relentless concern with the Eight Worldly Dharmas - loss and gain, praise and blame, fame and shame, pleasure and pain – is a major obstacle to progress along the path to freedom gifted to us by the Buddha. A practical investigation of the Brahma Viharas (a.k.a - The Sublime States / The Transcendental Virtues / The Four Faces of Love ) provide accessible, testable remedies to these paralytic, intensly self-centred anxieties.
 
The Brahma Viharas (literally, the Divine Abidings) are Metta; loving-kindness/benevolence, Karuna; compassion, Mudita; empathetic/sympathetic joy, and Upekka; equanimity. During this eight-day retreat, participants will learn how to find and activate the reliable, curative energies associated with these wholesome states. Four modes of training will be offered. Participants will learn how to mobilize and energize the body through certain Hatha Yoga postures and Pranayama (Yogic breathings.) Time each day will be devoted to attending to music that has been specially selected to evoke inspiring and supportive emotional states. Critical thinking and intellectual engagement will be encouraged by daily Dharma talks, group discussions and debate, as well as interviews with the teacher. And of course, a handful of time-tested meditation techniques will be given out so that practitioners may increasingly experience, contemplate, and integrate the peace that the Buddha skillfully pointed to, so long ago.

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

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

Aug 30th, 3:00 pm to Sep 4th, 11:00 am

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

Deconstructing Yourself Silent Retreat

Aug 30th, 3:00 pm to Sep 4th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on Aug 30th

Michael W. Taft is a maverick meditation teacher, bestselling author, podcaster, and neuroscience junkie. As a mindfulness coach, he specializes in secular, science-based mindfulness training in retreats, groups, corporate settings, and one-on-one sessions. Michael is the author of several books, including the bestselling The Mindful Geek, Nondualism: A Brief History of a Timeless Concept, and Ego (which he co-authored), as well as the editor of such books as Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson and The Science of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young.

 

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.

Sep 6th, 3:00 pm to Sep 8th, 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 6th, 3:00 pm to Sep 8th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on Sept 6th
 
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 13th, 3:00 pm to Sep 18th, 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 13th, 3:00 pm to Sep 18th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on Sept 13th
 

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: 325$ to 475$ based on selection.

 

 

Sep 20th, 3:00 pm to Sep 29th, 11:00 pm

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 20th, 3:00 pm to Sep 29th, 11:00 pm

Arrival after 3pm on Sept 20th

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.

 

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

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

Oct 1st, 3:00 pm to Oct 8th, 11:00 am

Suitable for beginners or advanced practitioners. Get introduced to the practice of samatha (developing stable attention, mindfulness, joy, tranquility, and equanimity) according to the structured, progressive method described in the book “The Mind Illuminated” by Culadassa, a complimentary copy of which you will receive at the beginning of the retreat.

Samatha and Vipassanā

Oct 1st, 3:00 pm to Oct 8th, 11:00 am

Arrival after 3pm on Sept 29th

Suitable for beginners or advanced practitioners. Get introduced to the practice of samatha (developing stable attention, mindfulness, joy, tranquility, and equanimity) according to the structured, progressive method described in the book “The Mind Illuminated” by Culadassa, a complimentary copy of which you will receive at the beginning of the retreat. We will begin with an overview of the stages of samatha and how to determine where you are along the path. You will be exposed to a range of possible objects to focus upon, as different objects are more conductive to different people at different times. We will discuss obstacles to progress and how to overcome them.

Midway through the retreat, we will start introducing vipassana practices meant to foster the occurrence of insights into the characteristics of impermanence and not-self.  The retreat entails both sitting and walking meditation.

We will practice in noble silence, meaning talking only when necessary, such as during group discussions or personal interviews with the teacher. Noble silence also includes refraining from the use of cell phones, tablets, computers, etc. This greatly helps establish the conditions for the mind to settle into a state of concentration.

 

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

Food and Accomodations: 455$ to 665$ based on selection.

Oct 10th, 3:00 pm to Nov 9th, 11:00 am

This month long silent meditation retreat offers an opportunity for practitioners to go deeper with a practice of their choice in the quiet of the rain forest. Throughout the month, there will be Dharma teachings and private interviews offered by Lama Shannon as well as four other teachers from across North America who will be onsite with her for one week at a time throughout the month. More details to follow soon. There will be a maximum of ten participants. Please contact Lama Shannon directly if interested.

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Intensive Practice

Oct 10th, 3:00 pm to Nov 9th, 11:00 am

This month long silent meditation retreat offers an opportunity for practitioners to go deeper with a practice of their choice in the quiet of the rain forest. Throughout the month, there will be Dharma teachings and private interviews offered by Lama Shannon as well as four other teachers from across North America who will be onsite with her for one week at a time throughout the month. More details to follow soon. There will be a maximum of ten participants. Please contact Lama Shannon directly if interested at lamashannon@thehermitage.ca