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Participants in this retreat must be vaccinated to prevent COVID-19. We have held retreats at this center in 2020 and 2021. We consider this site to be well designed for seclusion, and the staff diligent in their efforts to lower the risk of infection. Please review the preventative measures taken by the center, and read our new guidelines: Guidelines for Retreat Practice in the Covid-19 Era

Beyond Distraction: Five Ways to Focus the Mind

led by Shaila Catherine

Monday, August 29, 2022 – Thursday, September 8, 2022

The retreat begins with registration from 2:30 – 4:00 pm on Monday, August 29. The retreat ends after lunch at 1:00 pm on Thursday, September 8.

Partial attendance is possible in some cases, but it must begin on the first day of the retreat and priority will be given to those registering for the full retreat. A limited number of commuter spaces may be available.

Mental restlessness is an insidious and pervasive hindrance that most practitioners struggle to overcome. We can refine our skills for working with the modes of thinking that distract us from being mindful: critical thoughts, planning, worrying, lustful thoughts, judging, memories, internal commentaries, to name a few. The teachings on this retreat will present a sequence of strategies for dealing with obstructive mental patterns; these progressive instructions are found in two discourses in the Middle Length Discourses (suttas 19 and 20). Practitioners will be encouraged to develop a mindfulness-based meditation practice, while exploring these strategies. The practice can free the mind from habitual distractions, nurture calm, concentration, and jhana, and incline toward a liberating understanding of emptiness.
This retreat is suitable for practitioners of any level, providing you have attended at least one prior silent residential retreat.
Preparation: Please read the following two discourses prior to the retreat. You may wish to bring a print out to the retreat for your personal reference.
  • https://suttacentral.net/mn19/en/bodhi
  • https://suttacentral.net/mn20/en/bodhi
Daily group instructions will explore a multitude of ways to work with thoughts. Group and one-to-one guidance will tailor the practices to meet the needs and interests of individual students.
This silent retreat is structured with alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation, dhamma teachings, and teacher consultations. It will provide an ideal occasion for nurturing serenity and calmness, removing distracting thoughts, and inclining the mind toward a liberating realization of emptiness. This retreat is intended for meditators who already have an established mindfulness based practice, and have previously attended at least one multi-day silent residential retreat. Students will be expected to practice a mindfulness-based approach to meditation practice.

Register early! Space is limited. 

ABOUT THE SITE: Situated in a quiet rural area just outside of Atlanta, the Ingnatius House, a Jesuit retreat center offers convenience and comfort to support deep meditative experience.

TO REGISTER: Please use the online form at the link below to submit your registration and waiver forms.

Link to registration form:

This form will take approximately 20 minutes to fill out. Upon completion of the form you will receive an email with details for completing your payment. You have the option of paying the non-refundable deposit of $250 or the full retreat payment either by mailing a check to the registrar or by making a Zelle bank transfer. The address and account information for making this payment will be included in the registration confirmation email.

If we must cancel the retreat for any reason (such as if we are under shelter-in-place orders at the time of the retreat), we will return your deposit and fees, however, the $250 deposit remains non-refundable if you cancel your reservation. Details of our cancellation policy are on the registration form.

REQUIREMENTS: This 10-night retreat is designed for experienced students. Previous retreat experience in the insight meditation tradition is required, with a minimum of at least one week-long silent residential retreat. If you have less than one week-long silent retreat experience, your attendance requires approval from the teacher.

ACCOMMODATIONS AND MEALS: Ignatius House has been described as a hidden jewel in the Atlanta area. It is situated on 20 acres of lush secluded woodland overlooking the Chattahoochee River. The site boasts 1.5 miles of trail winding up and down through tall pines, along the river, over quaint bridges, and has many places to sit and soak in the serenity of this environment as it nourishes the heart. Seclusion and quietude permeate the environment, while it is conveniently accessible from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport.

All accommodations are in comfortable modest single rooms; each room has a private ensuite bathroom. Three meals a day will be prepared by the center’s acclaimed chef and professional culinary team. The meals will include omnivore and vegetarian options, plentiful salads, and daily desserts. Snacks, coffee, and tea will be available throughout the day. With advanced notice, the culinary team will be happy to work with allergies and special food needs.

The retreat facility is handicapped accessible. If you have mobility limitations, please contact the registrar for details.

Please note that this will be a non-smoking retreat.

COST: 10 nights (includes accommodation and meals) is $2800 – $1900 sliding scale, plus a donation to the teachers at the end of retreat. The estimated actual per-person cost for this retreat (if we used a fixed rate) is $2300. By selecting an amount above $2300, your generosity supports those who need to select a lower rate to attend the retreat. This sliding scale will allow most scholarship needs to be managed by self-selecting an amount lower than $2300.

COMMUTER OPTIONS:

  • Commuter option (no sleeping accommodations) for full retreat including lunch and dinner is $2300 ­– $1300 sliding scale.
  • Commuter option (no sleeping accommodations) for full retreat including breakfast, lunch and dinner is $2300 ­– $1500 sliding scale.

PARTIAL RETREAT OPTIONS: Registration options for partial retreat attendance are below. Priority will be given to students who are registering for the full 10-nights course. We do not encourage partial attendance, but offer these options for cases when full attendance is not possible, and only if we have space available. Applicants for partial attendance will be placed on a wait list which will be reviewed approximately 2 months prior to the retreat.

  • 2 nights (Monday–Wednesday) is $750 – $550 sliding scale
  • 3 nights (Monday–Thursday) is $1050 – $750 sliding scale
  • 4 nights (Monday–Friday) is $1,400 – $950 sliding scale
  • 5 nights (Monday–Saturday) is $1,700 – $1200 sliding scale
  • 6 nights (Monday–Sunday) is $2,000 – $1450 sliding scale
  • 7 nights (Monday–Monday is the same rate as full retreat $2800 – $1900 sliding scale

DANA: Compensation for the teacher is not included in the registration price. There will be an opportunity to offer donations to the teachers at the end of the retreat.

Co-sponsored by Bodhi Retreats and Insight Meditation South Bay

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