Fri, October 7 – Sun, October 9
Fri, October 7, 5:00 pm–
Thich Nhat Hanh writes in Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise:
Practicing silence to empty all kinds of noise within you is not a difficult practice. With some training, you can do it. In noble silence, you can walk, you can sit, you can enjoy your meal. When you have that kind of silence, you have enough freedom to enjoy being alive and to appreciate all the wonders of life. With that kind of silence you are more capable of healing yourself, mentally and physically. You have the capacity to be, to be there, alive. Because you really are free—free from your regrets and suffering concerning the past, free from your fear and uncertainty about the future, free from all kinds of mental chatter. Being silent in this way when you are alone is good, and being silent in this way together is particularly dynamic and healing.
Inner silence is a precious gift of mindfulness practice. Often our minds are filled with sensations, feelings, emotions, and thoughts, bouncing from one to another like a car radio ceaselessly scanning channels. When we come together to cultivate silence, the bouncing slows down. Through mindful sitting, walking, eating, and living, we learn to embrace and look deeply into what is actually present in each moment.
As a spiritual community practicing together we assist each other in letting go of worries and preoccupations, holding our sorrows with tenderness, and opening to the understated joys of life.
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 periods of guided and self-guided formal sitting meditation, group walking meditation, eating meditation, and time for mindful walks, naps, or exercise.
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, as well as completing 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.
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. 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.
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.
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 garold.stone "at" gmail.com or 301-509-0983.
Charter Hall Retreat Center
499 Charter hall Road
Perryville, MD 21903
- Fragrance-Free Policy