Evening Practice at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension

Evening Practice at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension

Fri, October 4 Sun, October 6

Fri, October 4, 5:00 pm

Fri, October 4, 5:00 pm – Sun, October 6, 1:30 pm

[Thursday, Sept. 26 : We are full or close to full in the lodge. If you wish to attend and stay in the lodge, please complete the registration form. We will let you know as soon as possible whether we have a bed for you, or whether you are on a waiting list. Thanks for your understanding.]

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The Three Touchings of the Earth, written by Thich Nhat Hanh, are guided meditations done in a posture of surrender. They help us let go of our notions and more directly experience our oneness with our ancestors and our descendants (impermanence), with all that lives on our planet (interconnectedness), and with the unfolding of the universe (no self).

In Beyond the Self Thich Nhat Hanh writes:

Touching the Earth is an easy and effective way to touch our ultimate dimension. If you do this practice, one day you will touch your true nature of no birth and no death. At that time, you will be liberated from fear. You can become someone who rides majestically on the waves of birth and death because you are no longer agitated by fear or anger.

During our 2019 Still Water Fall Practice Retreat we will calm our bodies and minds with mindful sitting, walking, eating, and living. Our exploration of the Three Touchings of the Earth will include learning to practice the Touchings in a group and on our own, studying the readings that go with each of the Touchings, and participating in Dharma sharing and guided meditations.

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  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.

Charter Hall View

Retreat Schedule:

We will gather on Friday evening for a pot-luck dinner, an orientation, and a sitting. We will enter into silence after the 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, while focused on the practice of the Three Touchings of the Earth, will also include Dharma sharing, sitting and walking meditation, eating meditation, and personal 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 1:15 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, 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. 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 $150 per person. For those camping, the accommodation fee is $80 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 voluntary tax-deductible donation. Often at Buddhist retreats a voluntary donation (Dana) is given to support the teachers. At Still Water retreats, Dana is given to support the Still Water MPC. With your contributions, Still Water is able to meet its financial obligations, develop new programs, create space for those with limited incomes, and offer no-cost community events.

You are invited to make a tax-deductible donation to Still Water that is in accord with the urgings of your heart and your means and circumstances. The suggested and benefactor donation amounts below are offered as guidelines.

The suggested donation for this retreat is $100 per person.

The benefactor donation is $200 or more per person.

Advance payment is needed to hold a place.

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@gmail.com or 301-509-0983.






Charter Hall Retreat Center

499 Charter hall Road

Perryville, MD 21903


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