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Spring Retreat Details and Registration

December 29, 2018


Hey, folks!


Best wishes to all of you on this blessed day.


I’m writing today in order to fill in some detail around the spring retreat I have planned near Harper’s Ferry, WV (I’ll paste the original announcement below in case you missed it), and to officially launch the registration process! I would dearly love to see you there if you can make it. Here’s the scoop:



Beginning Tuesday afternoon, April 9, ending around noon on Sunday, April 14



I’ve rented a large and beautiful airbnb about thirty minutes from Harper’s Ferry. Here’s a link to the place in case you want to check it out:




It’s in a gorgeous mountain area, with lots of opportunities for hiking and other daytime adventures. I chose this place because it will suit our needs very well, and also because it is accessible both from Pittsburgh (3 hours) and Raleigh (5 hours) without too much trouble. I’m told the drive from Raleigh is beautiful, and I would imagine the same could be said about the way from Pittsburgh.


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 the retreat last fall In North Carolina know what a special opportunity this is. I've known and worked with Christa for over 23 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 five days. (For more information about Christa and the work she does, visit her website: http://www.intelligentbody.net/meet_christa)


In terms of structure, things are still fluid at this point, but my thinking is that we’ll somewhat combine the traditionally formatted retreat that I conducted last fall with the adventure-based retreat I offered last spring in Arizona. In the morning we’ll have meditation, breakfast, a workshop session with me followed by movement with Christa. We’ll have lunch, followed by a generous break which folks may use if they like to head out for a few hours and enjoy the area. The Appalachian Trail is just a mile from the house we’ll be using, there’s a national park in Harper’s Ferry that boasts of excellent hiking, and there are other attractive destinations. Towards the end of the afternoon there will be another session with Christa, and second sit, followed by supper and group in the evening. Doesn’t that sound like fun?


I expect to do one-on-one guidance with folks during the outings and around the edges.


The entire experience will be held in silence (apart from the workshop sessions and guidance). Each meditation period will be thirty minutes long, and there will be two each day. There will be small opportunities for working meditation as well. As always there will be plenty of yummy and nourishing food (maybe Christa will make us some more treats!), and lots of space for reflection and just being with oneself in nature.


There will be no private rooms at this retreat, so you’ll need to be prepared to share a room with one or more other people. Camping is an option, however, so if you would prefer to have more privacy and enjoy sleeping in a tent you could do that instead.


One thing to consider for those of you who will need to choose between this retreat and the one I’m offering in North Carolina in the fall: this one will be less expensive. The North Carolina retreat will be held at a dedicated retreat center, which will be lovely and fun but will drive up the costs a bit.




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.


The cost of the retreat will depend upon how many folks attend, but a rough estimate would be around $500 per person. This includes accommodations, all the meals, and transportation for Christa and I. $500 seems perfectly reasonable to me for all that, 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. It's important to me that someone who wants to do the work and wants this experience to deepen their practice not be denied because of lack of funds. If you want to attend but are concerned about the money, just let me know and we'll work something out.


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 and I, and will be used to support the two of us as we do the work that we are each called to offer to the world.


To register, please make a non-refundable donation of $250 through my website (www.theoneopendoor.org). This will save you a place in the retreat. At the beginning of March I will ask for an additional $250 to cover the remainder of the costs. At the end of the retreat I will add up the actual costs and tell everyone what they were, so we can make small adjustments if needed. If you would like to donate to the scholarship fund just use one of the donation buttons on the website and send me an email so I know what the money is for.


I'm going to sign people up on a first-come, first-serve basis. I don't know if we'll end up with just a small group or if we'll fill the place, and either is fine by me, but I expect the latter. If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to email me at djmckay429@gmail.com.


Thank you for your time and your attention to this. I hope 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 person that you are.


In peace,



Here is the original retreat announcement:



A Spring Retreat near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia


I had a sweet, transformative time at the retreat that happened recently in the mountains of North Carolina. The venue was beautiful, the people who came were even more beautiful, and we had a profound time together during those five special days. During the experience it became clear to me once again that practicing in community is my favorite thing in the world. I left North Carolina with the determination to spend as much time as possible on retreat, and to create opportunities for others to share practice with me. From Western North Carolina I traveled to Pittsburgh, where I facilitated a series of events that next weekend, and where I again experienced the power of the spiritual technology I've been gifted, and the joy I feel in sharing it with people. While I was there it occurred to me that I might bring together the good folks I met in Pittsburgh with those who have been working with me in North Carolina for a retreat somewhere convenient next spring.


Once again the perfect venue has fallen into our laps. It's a huge airbnb near Harper's Ferry--three hours from Pittsburgh and five from Raleigh. I worked out some dates with the owner, and it's ours! The area has a reputation for remarkable beauty, and so I'm thinking we'll venture out during the day to enjoy it. In addition to meditation, group discussion, yoga, and good food, we'll spend a few hours in the afternoon exploring the natural beauty of the area. The Appalachian Trail is only a mile and a half from the venue, there is a National Park in Harper’s Ferry, and I hear of other alluring destinations as well. In other words, I'm thinking of combining the adventure-based experience I offered in Arizona last year with the traditional-style retreat we just had, so that we might enjoy the best of both.


The dates of the retreat will be April 9-14, Tuesday through Sunday.


I'll send along more specific information before long, as well as a procedure for registering. If you already know you'd like to attend go ahead and let me know--I'll put you on the list. If you know of others who might be interested but may not be on my mailing list, feel free to spread the word! I'd like to share the experience with as many people as possible.



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