Silence and Simplicity, An Online Retreat

Silence and Simplicity, An Online Retreat

Fri, July 12 Sun, July 14

Fri, July 12, 7:00 pm12:45 pm

Fri, July 12, 7:00 pm – Sun, July 14, 12:45 pm

Please register with this link.

Still Water online summer retreat with Dharma teachers Barbara Newell and Mitchell Ratner 


The true practice of mindfulness doesn’t require sitting meditation or observing the outer forms of practice. It entails looking deeply and finding internal quiet. If we can’t do that, we can’t take care of the energies of violence, fear, cowardice, and hatred in us.

When our mind is racing and noisy, outward calm is only a pretense. But when we can find space and calm inside, then without effort we radiate peace and joy. We are able to help others and create a more healing environment around us, without uttering a single word.

—From Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise, by Thich Nhat Hanh

In this online retreat we will explore coming home to ourselves as a path guiding us to ease and freedom, and also as a daily experience. We’ll practice together with guided and silent meditations, Dharma talks, group sharing, mindful songs and movements, and mindfully engaging in the activities of everyday life. Periods of being together in a Zoom meeting will alternate with time offline enjoying practices such as meals, walking meditation, and mindful exercise.

The full schedule is available here.


The retreat will be led by Dharma Teachers Mitchell Ratner and Barbara Newell and by experienced members of the Still Water community. Participants with little meditation experience are welcome, as well as longtime practitioners. To fully benefit from and contribute to our shared retreat experience, all participants are requested to minimize outside commitments throughout the entire weekend.

Mitchell Ratner, the Senior Teacher of the Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center, has been a lay member of the Tiep Hien Buddhist order since 1993 and in 2001 received the Dharmacharya (Dharma Teacher) transmission. An applied anthropologist and the founder of the Still Water MPC, since 1994 he has taught classes and workshops focused on integrating mindfulness meditation with work, meaningful relationships, and the challenges of everyday life. When Mitchell Ratner became a Dharma teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh counseled him, “Your life is your Dharma talk.”

Barbara Newell practiced with the Still Water MPC before 2003 when she became a Plum Village nun. During her 12 years of monastic life she helped run retreats, mentored new community members, and edited books for Thich Nhat Hanh. She received Dharmacharya transmission in 2010. Since returning to lay life in 2016, Barbara has lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she mentors meditation and mindfulness practitioners individually and in small groups online and in person. She finds joy in helping people rediscover how to embody genuine presence, connect meaningfully with others, tap into fresh insight, and enliven the everyday.

Dana. The Still Water MPC is a religious nonprofit organization that depends on voluntary donations for its continued existence. With your contributions, Still Water is able to support its teachers, develop new programs, support other mindfulness communities (regionally, nationally, and internationally), enable participation by those with limited incomes, and offer no-cost community events.

You are invited to make a tax-deductible donation to Still Water in accord with the urging of your heart and your means and circumstances. Your donation will support the Still Water community and the teachers offering this retreat. All donations are appreciated. No one will be turned away.

The amounts below are offered as guidelines:

  • The suggested donation for this retreat is $165 or more per person.
  • The supporting donation is $300 or more per person.

Questions? We hope you can join us in this retreat. If you have questions, please contact the Retreat Registrar, Gary Stone, at or (301) 509-0983 voice/text.

Please register with this link.

Some participant comments from True Presence, Still Water's Online June 2022 Retreat:

  • I was surprised at how intimate an online retreat could be.
  • The small group sharing was able to go so much deeper than I expected.
  • Barbara and Mitchell bring so much wisdom, insight and care from their own decades of practice.
  • Felt like bringing a bit of Plum Village into the chaos of my home life.
  • Loved doing walking meditation down my street.
  • Since the retreat, I've practiced with online sanghas almost every day.
  • If you're worried that an online retreat wouldn't be the same, it won't. But it just may be better than you ever expected.

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