Good day, folks!
It is with great pleasure that I am writing today to announce our next in-person retreat and our first physical sangha gathering since the advent of the pandemic!!!!!
As you might imagine, I’m wonderfully excited. All the virtual stuff we’ve done this past year and more has been truly wonderful and I’ve received tremendously from it—as, I believe, have many of you—and yet there is nothing quite like practicing together on retreat in person. Yay!!!! We have a lovely retreat center lined up, the staff will be outstanding, and so we’re pretty much guaranteed to have a fabulous time.
I hope you will consider giving yourself the gift of this six-day retreat. It will be a time to unplug from the cares and responsibilities of your life and rest, re-create, and deepen your practice. Together we will enjoy periods of meditation, movement sessions, plenty of time to explore the property, and delicious vegetarian meals. It will be a time to connect with yourself, to step back and see where you are in your life and in your practice, and to remember what is most important to your heart. I hope you will join us there!
Here are the details:
Beginning in the afternoon on Monday, October 25 and ending around noon on Sunday, October 31.
At the Bend of Ivy Lodge, near Asheville. We held our first retreat at this facility before the pandemic hit, and we loved it. The retreat center is beautiful and quiet, and the facilities suit our needs very well. There are lovely spots all over the property to sit and just be, which include a sweet little fish pond, several gardens, and a gorgeous river (the Ivy) at the bottom of the property. Here’s a link to their website in case you want to check it out: https://bendofivylodge.com/.
About the Retreat:
I’m pleased to announce that Christa Rypins will be joining us once again for this retreat! Christa will lead movement and teach us ways to be comfortable and skillfully present in our bodies. Those of you who attended any of my previous retreats with Christa will know what a special opportunity this is. I’ve known and worked with Christa for over 25 years at this point, and she’s an absolute wizard. I know we’ll learn a ton from her, and in a way that will complement the spiritual and psychological work we’ll be doing throughout the retreat. (For more information about Christa and the work she does, visit her website: http://www.intelligentbody.net/meet_christa)
I am equally pleased to announce that Rich Ray (former monk, yogi extraordinaire, deeply wise being, and all around great guy) will be preparing our meals for us once again. Folks who have practiced with us on retreat before will no doubt remember Rich’s yummy food, which truly can’t be beat. I’m so glad Rich will be joining us once again—and so will you!!! For more on Rich go to: www.ashtangaportlandme.com
In terms of structure, we will follow a daily schedule together that will include:
- Three or four half-hour meditation periods a day
- Two group discussions per day. Typically I’ll facilitate a workshop in the morning on a particular topic, then we’ll have an open group in the evening.
- Movement with Christa
- One on one conversations with me for those who would enjoy that
- Three delicious vegetarian meals
- Time to walk, rest, and just be
The entire experience will be held in silence, as usual (apart from the workshop sessions and guidance). There will be small opportunities for working meditation as well. As always there will be plenty of yummy and nourishing food, and lots of space for reflection and being in nature.
You will need to be prepared to share a room with one or more other people. There are some private rooms available, but not many, and these will go to those who most need them. Camping is an option, however, so if you would prefer to have privacy and enjoy sleeping in a tent you could do that instead.
I offer everything I do on a donation basis. I know that some people have plenty of money and some do not, and I’ve found that if I allow people to give what they can instead of charging a specific fee then those who have little give little, while those with more give more, and everything works out in the end.
We will be covering the physical costs of the retreat (accommodations, meals, etc.) as a community. The cost per person will depend upon how many folks attend, but a rough estimate would be $850-$900. $850-$900 seems fairly reasonable to me for all that we will enjoy together over the six days, and yet I know that could be a lot of money for some folks, so I’m going to arrange for scholarships to be available to those who need them. If you want to attend but are concerned about the money, just let me know and we’ll work something out. If you would like to make a donation to support someone who would like to attend but cannot afford the cost, we would all be most grateful. In that case please add a note to your donation indicating that it’s for retreat scholarships.
In addition to the actual retreat costs, I will be asking for donations at the end of the retreat. These donations will go to Christa, Rich, and I, and will be used to support the three of us as we do the work that we are each called to offer to the world.
In order to register, please go to www.theoneopendoor.org, scroll to the bottom of the homepage, and use the donation button there to make a non-refundable donation of $250. This assumes that the path the virus takes will allow us to be together safely. Should we be forced to cancel the retreat for health reasons I will refund all the deposits. After you make your donation please send me an email to let me know that your are making the donation in order to reserve a spot in the retreat. When the time for the retreat approaches I will ask for an additional $600 to cover the remainder of the costs. This will complete your registration process. At the end of the retreat I will calculate to see how much the retreat actually cost and we’ll make adjustments.
If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your time and your attention to this. I hope once again you will consider this opportunity to deepen your practice and share your practice within community. I hope you also will forward this message to anyone you know who you think may be interested in attending. Thank you, my friends, for your ongoing support, for your willingness to do the work of ending suffering, and for being the beautiful people that you are!