In Buddhism, meditation retreats have been the main path of awakening. Meditation retreats offer an opportunity to engaging the journey of meditation more deeply and to transforming your everyday experience by sowing the seeds of awareness. The aim of this retreat is to allow you to deepen your practice and integrate it fully into your life. The mindfulness practice on retreats is often accompanied and complemented by training in loving-kindness meditation. Kalama River Meditation Center provides a peaceful and fresh atmosphere for meditation and walks in nature, supported by Buddhist teachings. Careful guidance and training is offered in meditation. Most retreats are suitable for both new and more experienced students of meditation.

Program:


In the Meditation Retreat, you will learn an effortless technique of meditation that allows the conscious mind to experience the silent depths of its own nature. This program is not a work program, or an alternate living co-op, but a small community of practitioners developing their understanding of the teachings both on and off the cushion. Practice, study and service join to shape an intensive experience of this lineage’s path.


Schedule:

3/9/18-3/11/18: Three day Insight meditation with Luang Por Yai.
This residential retreat will help you to develop greater mind-body awareness, compassionate life skills, and manage stress. There will be dharma talks, meditation instruction, and small group interviews with Luang Por Yai (aka. Master Lim).

07/13/18 - 07/22/18: Three Day Mindfulness Meditation Retreat & Consecration Ceremony of New Buddha and Bodhisattva Statues. 

Kalama River Meditation Center cordially invites everyone to a 3-day Meditation Retreat which will be guided by Great Monastics: Phra Ajahn Yantra,  Big Baba, Master Lim, and Phra Somchart. During this retreat, you will have an opportunity to witness the rare consecration ceremony of new Buddha and Boddhisattva Statue from Thailand and Vietnam.  

This retreat offers an in-depth look at mindfulness tools for engaging the demands of our lives and for deepening our inquiry into fundamental health and wholeness. There will be dharma talks, meditation instruction, and small group interviews with the monastics.

 

The daily rhythm of a retreat usually involves alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation, eating and work meditations, as well as practice meetings, dharma talks and rest periods. The first sitting usually begins at about 6:00 am, and a typical day includes seven sitting and six walking periods of 45 minutes apiece. Each morning the teachers offer continuing meditation instructions for the day. The whole retreat is a succession of mindfulness training, breathing practices, deep awareness of the body and environment, meditations on the nature of feelings, and awareness of mind and the laws that govern it. 

Sitting Meditation: Sitting meditation is a beautiful practice, at the heart of silent retreats. In sitting practice silence and stillness develop, concentration deepens, and awareness expands. The training of the heart brings kindness and compassion for all that arises. In sitting we can find for ourselves the wisdom and freedom discovered by the Buddha. Beginning meditators are encouraged to use the breath as a focus for mindfulness. The arising and passing of breath shows us in a direct way the universal truth of impermanence. After an inner calm and steadiness are established through breathing, the meditation is systematically opened to include mindfulness of all experiences, external and internal, of body sensations and emotions, of thoughts and the nature of mind itself.

Walking Meditation: Walking gracefully and wisely on the earth is also one of the great Buddhist meditative practices. On retreat, periods of walking meditation alternate with periods of sitting meditation. Just as in sitting meditation, where attention is brought to the rhythmic pattern of breathing, in walking meditation, mindfulness is cultivated by resting the attention on sensations of the body as one walks. In walking meditation we become aware in the midst of activity. Sometimes a slow, careful, practice walk is taught. At other times you are encouraged to walk more leisurely or move at whatever speed cultivates mindfulness for them. Throughout the retreat we learn to cultivate a mindful awareness in all postures prescribed by the Buddha--sitting, walking, standing up or lying down.

Eating Meditation: An awareness of food, and the mindful understanding of the entire process of nourishment and eating is included in the practice at retreats. You are encouraged to bring the same calm, focused attention to eating as is brought to sitting and walking. Mindful eating is a wonderful context for the arising of insights. The simple, mindful eating of an apple connects us to the orchard far away from our dining table, to the sun and rain and earth that nurture the tree, to the grower, the picker, the trucker, the grocer, to the truth of all existence. On retreat, carefully prepared vegetarian meals are served. You may assist the cooks in meal preparation and clean up through work meditations. The most substantial meal is served at mid-day. The lightest meal of the day is the "evening meal" usually offered around 5:30 pm.

Work Meditation:  Work meditation is an important part of the retreat practice. Through it we learn how to bring the spirit of wakefulness to the activities of our life. Work meditation also supports the community and assures the smooth running of the retreat. At retreat check-in you are offered a selection of work assignments to choose from for the course of the retreat (such as helping in the kitchen during preparation of meals, cleaning up afterwards, tidying up the dining room, or ringing the bells). The daily completion of the task is understood to be part of the continuous cultivation of mindfulness. Often meditators report important insights that surprise them as they wash pots or wipe table tops in a mindful way.

Dharma Talks: Dharma talks are the vocal heart of a retreat. Each day, for about an hour, the teachers present a different set of teachings from the central practices of Buddhism, offering ways to apply them to our own experience. Sometimes the talks focus on retreat practice, and sometimes they offer teachings for wise living in the world. In the talks the teachers may speak about the nature of wisdom or address Right Livelihood, explain the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, explore the Five Hindrances, speak of loving-kindness and equanimity, or tell stories from personal experience that help illuminate practice. The dharma talks are not Buddhist tenets to be believed, but are spiritual principles offered for students to consider and use in ways that bring benefit to their daily lives.

Leaving the Retreat: Whatever you think a retreat is going to be like, it will probably be different. Most participants find it deeply refreshing and healing, often life-transforming. While spiritual truths can be seen every day of our ordinary life, the stillness and simplicity of retreat brings a wonderful and unique possibility for renewal. At the retreat's end, talks and instructions are given for wise ways to leave the retreat and continue the practice at home. Our task is to return to our communities and bring a reawakened spirit of awareness and compassion to all we touch.

Meditation Retreats


KALAMA RIVER MEDITATION CENTER is a Federal Nonprofit 501(c)(3) Corporation
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KALAMA MEDITATION CENTER

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