Evening Practice at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension

Evening Practice at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension

Fri, November 13 Sun, November 15

Fri, November 13,

Fri, November 13, 12:00 am – Sun, November 15, 11:59 pm

“Aware of the suffering brought about when we impose our views on others, we are committed not to force others, even our children, by any means whatsoever such as authority, threat, money, propaganda, or indoctrination to adopt our views. We will respect the right of others to be different and to choose what to believe and how to decide. We will, however, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness through practicing deeply and engaging in compassionate dialogue.” - Freedom of Thought: The Third Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing

Often, we find ourselves influenced by family or societal conditioning to mold our children in the “right” way of behaving, thinking, and believing. Even for practitioners, this habit energy can be quite strong, and can influence how we introduce and/or seek to engage regularly in mindfulness practices with our children.

Our teacher, Thich Nhat Hahn, reminds us that our presence, our calm, and our peace are the best ways that we can impart the practice to our children. We are invited to first take care of ourselves with regular practice. Once we have been able to take care of ourselves, we can help loved ones and our community to do the same.

Still Water’s Mindful Family Retreat offers an opportunity to model care for self, care for loved ones, and care for community, with and for our children, in the context of a supportive and practicing community. Together, we take part in mindful practices that can be continued in daily life, whether at home with family, at school, or in general community. The retreat is child-inclusive and intentionally intergenerational, with a broad and inclusive definition of “family”. All participants who share the aspirations of the retreat are welcome.

We will gather with retreat facilitators Lori Perine and Tim McCormack for a relaxed and joyous mindful weekend infused with 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, including: inviting the mindfulness bell, leading the five food contemplations at mealtimes, assisting with pebble meditation and tea ceremony, and participating in sitting and walking meditation. 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 is beautiful, and offers opportunities to explore and engage in mindful play and activities in a variety of natural habitats. There will also be time to relax, paddle canoes, play music and enjoy being together. The community engages in several “service meditations”, including responsibility for meals, facilitating planned activities, supervising children during play times, guiding mindful practices, and other activities. All are asked to bring games and arts and craft supplies to share with the retreat sangha. We ask participants to arrive on Friday evening and leave on Sunday after lunch. We have found that the sense of community is much stronger when everyone spends the full weekend together.

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

Charter Hall Retreat Center

499 Charter hall Road

Perryville, MD 21903


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