Coming Back to the Here and the Now: Still Water Spring Practice Retreat
Fri, May 3 – Mon, May 6
Fri, May 3, 5:00 pm–Mon, May 6,
In No Death, No Fear Thich Nhat Hanh writes:
The practice of mindfulness is the practice of coming back to the here and the now to be in touch deeply with ourselves, with life. We have to train ourselves in order to do this. Even if we are very intelligent and we understand it right away, we still have to train ourselves to live this way. We have to train ourselves to recognize that the conditions for happiness are already here.
During our 2019 Spring Retreat we will practice embracing and looking deeply into what is present in each moment through mindful sitting, walking, eating, and living. Our guided meditations and Dharma talks will explore a short yet profound meditation poem often taught by Thich Nhat Hanh:
I have arrived, I am home
In the here, in the now
I am solid, I am free
In the ultimate I dwell
As a spiritual community practicing together we will assist one another in letting go of worries and preoccupations, holding our sorrows with tenderness, and opening to the understated joys of life. The nurturing environment includes the calming waters and natural wonders of Charter Hall Point, at the confluence of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.
We will gather on Friday evening for a silent pot-luck dinner, orientation, and a sitting.
Saturday morning, after breakfast, we will break the silence for introductions and a short talk on practices for developing our mindfulness, concentration, and insight.
The rest of Saturday, all day Sunday, and early Monday will be given to periods of guided and self-guided formal sitting meditation, group walking meditation, short Dharma talks and sharings, eating meditation, and personal time for mindful walks, naps, or exercise.
Late morning on Monday we will come out of our silence and share together our experiences, challenges, and insights. The retreat will end after lunch on Monday, about 1:15 p.m.
Location and Leadership
The retreat will be held at the Charter Hall Retreat Center near Perryville, Maryland (about 75 miles from downtown Silver Spring, one and a half to two hours from Washington). The retreat will be led by Mitchell Ratner, the Senior Teacher of the Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center, and by experienced members of the Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center.
The community will share responsibilities for the three meals on Saturday and Sunday and the two meals on Monday. Each participant will be assigned to a meal team which will purchase, silently prepare, and clean up after one or more meals. All participants will help wash dishes after each meal, as well as completing individually assigned community chores during the retreat. (All meals are vegetarian and we can usually accommodate special dietary needs if requested.)
The Still Water MPC has established a sliding scale for our retreats so that all may attend. Your payment consists of two parts:
An accommodation fee that covers the rental of the retreat center and other direct expenses associated with offering this retreat. For those staying in the lodge the accommodation fee is $200 per person. For those camping, the accommodation fee is $100 per person. (If paying the accommodation fee would be a hardship, please let us know. We will endeavor to make other arrangements with you.)
A tax-deductible donation to the Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center. With your contributions, the Still Water MPC is able to support its teachers, meet its financial obligations, develop new programs, create space for those with limited incomes, and offer no-cost community events.
You are welcome to make a tax-deductible donation of any amount in accord with the urgings of your heart and your means and circumstances. The suggested and benefactor donation amounts below are offered merely as guidelines.
The suggested donation for this retreat is $120 per person.
The benefactor donation is $240 per person.
If paying the accommodation fee would be a hardship, please let us know. We will endeavor to make other arrangements with you.
If the registrant cancels 8 days or more before an event, the entire amount will be refunded. If the registrant cancels 7 days or fewer before the event, 75% of the amount paid will be refunded.
Space in the lodge is limited, so please register early.
Please contact the Retreat Registrar, Gary Stone, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-509-0983.
Charter Hall Retreat Center
499 Charter hall Road
Perryville, MD 21903