Evening Practice at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension

Evening Practice at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension

Fri, October 5 Sun, October 7

Fri, October 5, 5:00 pm

Fri, October 5, 5:00 pm – Sun, October 7, 1:30 pm

*** As of 4 pm on September 20th the retreat is almost full. If you would like to stay in the lodge, please register for the event and we will you know whether we have a bed for you or whether we will have to put you on a waiting list. Spaces remain, however, if you would like to camp. ***

Thich Nhat Hanh writes in Teachings on Love:

The Four Immeasurable Minds are the four elements of true love: maitri — loving kindness (the desire to offer happiness); karuna —  compassion (the desire to remove suffering from the other person); mudita — joy (the desire to bring joy to people around you, and allowing their happiness to bring you joy); and upeksha — equanimity (the desire to accept everything and not to discriminate).

[They are] called the Four Immeasurable Minds, because if you practice them, they will grow in you every day until they embrace the whole world. You will become happier, and everyone around you will become happier, also.

During our Fall 2018 Practice Retreat we will explore together the Four Immeasurable Minds. Many of us are familiar with Metta or maitri meditation -- sending loving-kindness to ourselves, our loved ones, the people around us, and to people with whom we have difficulties. During our retreat, after establishing a calm and open presence, we will develop parallel practices for all of the Four Immeasurable Minds, sending maitri (loving-kindness), karuna (compassion), mudita (joy), and upeksha (equanimity) to ourselves and to others.

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 marvels of life around us. Through mindful sitting, walking, eating, and living, we learn to embrace and look deeply into what is present in each moment. The nurturing environment includes the soothing waters and natural wonders of Charter Hall Point, at the confluence of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.


Retreat Schedule

We will gather on Friday evening for a silent pot-luck dinner 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 and early Sunday will be given to periods of guided and self-guided formal sitting meditation, group walking meditation, short Dharma talks and sharings, eating meditation, and time for mindful walks, naps, or exercise.

Late morning on Sunday we will come out of our silence and share together our experiences, challenges, and insights. The retreat will end after lunch on Sunday, about 1:00 p.m.

Charter hall lunch

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 other experienced members of the Still Water community.

The community will share responsibilities for the three meals on Saturday and the two meals on Sunday. 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, and complete individually assigned community chores during the retreat. (All meals are vegetarian and we can usually accommodate special dietary needs requests.)

The Still Water MPC has established a sliding scale for our retreats so that all may attend. For those staying in the lodge the suggested donation is $180 per person; the benefactor donation is $260 per person; and the limited income donation is $140 per person. For those wishing to camp, the suggested donation is $120 per person; the benefactor donation is $190 per person; and the limited income donation is $90 per person. You are welcome to contribute any amount between the limited-income contribution and the benefactor contribution (or more if you wish), in accord with the urgings of your heart and your means and circumstances. If contributing at even the limited-income level would be a hardship, please let us know and we will endeavor to make other arrangements with you.

With your contributions, the Still Water MPC is better able to meet its financial obligations, support its teachers, develop new programs, create space for those with limited incomes, and offer no-cost community events.

The limited-income contributions cover Still Water's accommodations and direct expense costs. All contributed amounts above the limited-income level are documented as voluntary tax-deductible donations.

Cancellation Policy
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.

Register now


Please contact the Retreat Registrar, Gary Stone, at garold.stone "at" gmail.com or (301) 604-6227.

Charter Hall Retreat Center

499 Charter hall Road

Perryville, MD 21903


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