2020 Meditation & Yoga Retreat
Rescheduling for Oct/Nov 2020, TBA.
skill in means
Mettā & Samādhi: Immersion in love
In perhaps every religious and mystical tradition, meditating and gathering together in the wilderness was considered one of the most conducive situations for spiritual growth. Amid all the turbulence of our world, I’m delighted to once again gather an intimate group of dedicated seekers for a long weekend in the sublime tranquillity of the deep woods.
This 4-night silent meditation and Yoga retreat is for experienced practitioners of Yoga and meditation, meaning that students should be able to take themselves through simple practices of both meditation and postural Yoga without external guidance.
We will focus this year on the body of heart practices known as brahmavihāra, or Divine Abidings, using the ancient instructions given in the Pāli discourses rather than the better-known instructions from the later traditions. The form of this ancient practice is to “radiate” the quality of love methodically in each of the compass directions, filling the body, and all of space, with it. As a contrast to the method of repeating phrases, this is an internally silent practice, supporting the aspect of meditative stillness known as samatha, or tranquillity, an aspect of samādhi, states of luminous immersion and inner focus.
To support this approach to mettā practice, we will ground our practice in the method of mindfulness of breathing known as the full-body breath, and the Haṭha Yoga Sadhana movement practice, including gentle energy work with prānāyāma and bandha, and the Open Circle ritual from Authentic Movement.
These approaches weave into each other beautifully, joining together to unwind energy and breath through the body, and through the circle of benevolent community, making space for the heart full of love to radiate forth. Join us for immersion in this divine maṇḍala of practices!
For details on the retreat structure we’ll use, including how we work with silence, self-guided practice, chanting, and movement, read more here. And please reach out if you have questions about any aspect of the retreat or practice.
TBA, Oct-Nov weekend, 2020
Wednesday: Arrive between 3-5pm for check-in and orientation. Dinner is served at 5:30.
Sunday: Retreat ends after lunch. After cleaning and packing, participants are free to stay on the land till 5pm.
Double Bear Retreat Center
Boulder Creek, CA
directions to Double Bear
Accommodations are communal, with participants sharing two sleeping yurts. Participants can also bring personal tents for camping, at the same cost. One private cabin (a woodstove-heated yurt up the hill from the main spaces) is available for an extra cost. The walk up to the cabin is medium steep, but there is a fire road. If you are interested in the cabin, please contact us.
Accessibility: The camp is not wheelchair-accessible, and has some uneven terrain, hills, and stairs. If you would like to attend and have other accessibility questions, please contact us.
Registration & Cost
Sliding scale: $750 – $1,000, with scholarships available
The retreat is priced on a sliding scale based on self-assessment of your income and ability to offer your resources in a way that supports others with lesser resources to attend. Please offer the highest level you can on the sliding scale (or beyond it). The more funds we collect above the base price, the more scholarships we will be able to provide. Your sincerity and generosity in this process directly enable us to offer the teachings of the Buddha and these beautiful traditions to everyone who might benefit from them regardless of access to wealth. If you need a scholarship or payment plan, see below.
$750 (base price): this is our break even cost
$800-900: supports a scholarship
$900-1,000: supports more scholarships & future sustainability
We have pre-designed a 3 month payment plan option for you here. You will select an amount to be charged 3 times, once per month. If you would like to further customize your installments, please email us and we can arrange that for you.
Scholarships will be made available to the extent possible. We always attempt to not turn anyone away for lack of resources, both for this retreat and future retreats. Please complete the application below to request a scholarship.
Please give as much notice as possible if you need to cancel your reservation so that we can fill your space. Email us here.
*registration links will be activated as soon as dates are announced.
Testimonials from past retreats
Scholarship Support for the 2020 Retreats
We’re grateful to be able to offer our spring retreat in a full Gift Economy model, with scholarships available for all who need them. Any teaching events we produce ourselves are based on a Gift Economy structure, which you can read more about here, and depends completely on the generosity of the community to be sustainable. And when community comes together, it works! The system of giving called dāna has sustained the Buddhist monastic Saṅgha for millenia. We need your help to continue offering teachings in this radically open way, particularly to be able to offer scholarships for retreat practice. Click the link below (or here) to offer your support to students this month, and to build a base of support as we grow into a vibrant community of engaged practitioners.
Gifts from students and community members in 2019 made it possible for us to plan two retreats this year, and continue to build an online resource for dedicated students around the world. Practitioners on every continent except Antarctica (as far as I know) have joined our Tuesday night Satsang livestreams, listened to talks and meditations, and taken the History of Yoga course. It’s been such a pleasure to make connections with dedicated students in all these places, and discuss together the teachings of the Buddha around how to meet our communal moment with wisdom and grace.
Supporting students to attend retreat affordably can be deeply satisfying and an integral part of your own practice. As the Buddha said in the Dhammapada, “The gift of dhamma exceeds all other gifts.” (Dhp 354) Veḷukaṇṭakī knew this, and her joy in supporting the Saṅgha was fully interwoven with her own wisdom and profound attainment.
We’re now set up to accept both one-time and ongoing monthly gifts, which help tremendously in guaranteeing a base of support through the year. Thank you so much for your practice, and for your generosity that makes teaching in this way possible.