Born in the woods, enlightened in the woods,
In the woods he passed away.
The Buddha to his followers said,
“Be sure to practice in the forest wild.”
-- Vitaka Vinaya
Intimate GroupsSmall groups allow everyone to get to know each other, and for personal, deep teacher contact and Dharma guidance. Frequent meetings with teachers, time for Q&A, and living in close proximity all help create dynamic relationships between participants and teachers.
Deep SanghaEach person is an important part of supporting the function, comfort and safety of the Sangha. Daily jobs are an expression of love through work, everyone taking care of and being taken care of by everyone. This creates deep, safe connection and community.
Living and Practicing Outdoors Nature is an incredibly powerful support for deep practice. Meditating together at sunrise and sunset, hiking or paddling during the day, and dharma talks/discussions around the campfire at night, are all highlights of these retreats. Complete instructions and guidance are given on meditating in nature (sitting, walking, hiking, and paddling on the canoe retreat), and how to take it all in and merge into oneness.
Integrative Practice These retreats include regular formal practice, but there is also a strong emphasis on maintaining continuous mindfulness in each moment of activity, making them excellent vehicles for learning to be more mindful in daily life.
Meaningful ChallengeWhile nature can be sublime and beautiful, it can also become difficult. While the physical requirements of these retreats are fairly easy, we are inevitably exposed to a variety of conditions; weather, topography, the elements, physical needs, equipment, decisions, etc., that can be challenging. Working together with whatever comes up is great learning and practice, and also quite bonding.
EnjoymentThe more you enjoy practice the more of it you'll do. Camping outdoors in nature, in beautiful places, relaxed and open, silent and deep, with a close knit group, can be as good as it gets.
All Experience Levels Welcome While often participants have a great deal of meditation and/or camping experience, for some this may be their first retreat. Either way full support and instructions are given. For any specific requirements see individual retreat information.
Low Cost Most indoor meditation retreats cost $100 to $150 per day, plus teacher Dana. Camping is a lot less, and these retreats are very inexpensive. Our hope is that cost is not an impediment to practice, and some scholarships are available.