Growing Our Happiness, Embracing Our Suffering: Mindful Families Retreat

Growing Our Happiness, Embracing Our Suffering: Mindful Families Retreat

Fri, October 21 Sun, October 23

Fri, October 21, 9:00 am7:00 pm

Fri, October 21, 9:00 am – Sun, October 23, 7:00 pm

This election season is unprecedented by any measure.  Even without the media constantly reminding us, we all realize the deep divide in our society and the absence of civility in the rhetoric as our candidates engage in name calling and scapegoating segments of our society.

In mindfulness terms, we say that the energy of this election season is watering many difficult seeds in us, in our children, in their schools and among their friends; seeds of fear, anger and anxiety. Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us again and again that only after we recognize and even embrace our suffering can we transform that suffering by recognizing that we already have all the conditions we need for happiness.

Those of us who have practiced stopping and dwelling in the present moment are able to touch the many conditions of our happiness that are available in the here and now. We find out that we don’t need more, because these conditions are more than enough for our happiness. Stopping is very important. As long as you continue to run, happiness is very difficult. Stopping allows your body and mind to rest. Stopping allows you to recognize the conditions for your happiness that are already there.
~Thich Nhat Hanh in Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children

We invite you to join us at Charter Hall over the weekend of October 21 -23, 2016, as we stop and dwell in the present moment in a child-inclusive and intentionally intergenerational community. We will share child-oriented practices for creating and maintaining safe environments for embracing our suffering and then transforming that suffering as we touch the many conditions of happiness available in the here and now.

All participants who share the aspirations of the retreat are welcome. Our mindful weekend offers a gentle rhythm of mindfulness practice, arts and crafts projects, nature exploration, planned and free play, and service to our retreat sangha. Children are invited to learn and lead basic practices of mindful living in community. Adult practice is supported by early morning sitting and walking meditations, as well as dharma discussions on parenting and practice in the family. The setting at the confluence of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay provides opportunities to explore and engage in mindful play and activities in a variety of natural habitats.

Cost: The Still Water MPC has established a sliding scale for our retreats so that all may attend:

Contribution Level Lodge- Adult Lodge-
 Suggested $130 $60 $80 $40
 Benefactor $180 $80 $120 $60
 Limited-income $110 $50 $50 $30

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.

With your contributions, 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. 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.

NOTE: All contributed amounts above the Limited Income level are considered by the Still Water MPC to be voluntary, tax-deductible donations.

Space in the lodge is very limited, so please register early.

Register now

For more information, please contact the retreat registrar, Lori at

Charter Hall Retreat Center

499 Charter hall Road

Perryville, MD 21903

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