Beyond Distraction – Retreat in California

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Due to the current shelter-in-place orders, we have moved the retreat that was previously scheduled for January, to new dates: May 4-14, 2021. 

This retreat is open for registration! 

This will be a very special retreat—a rare opportunity to practice with seclusion and intimacy. We will  limit attendance, wear masks indoors, increase ventilation, practice social distancing, have daily temperature checks and self-scheduled practice periods. We believe the site of Redwood Glen offers a responsible place for a small group retreat. There are private rooms with ensuite private baths, an enormous dining hall and also outdoor seating in a beautiful Redwood forest. Even with our precautions, any gathering will involve some degree of risk, so we leave it to your good judgement to determine if this opportunity is appropriate for you.

Please review the preventative measures taken by the center, our new guidelines for reducing the spread of the coronavirus, and comments from students who attended our recent retreat in Georgia in September 2020.

Beyond Distraction: Overcoming Distracting Thoughts

A 10-day meditation retreat with Shaila Catherine

Tuesday, May 4 – Friday May 14, 2021.
Partial attendance can be arranged but must start on the first day of the retreat.

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.

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.

SITE FEATURES: This retreat will be held at Redwood Glen, a lovely retreat center nestled in a redwood forest between La Honda and Pescadero. It’s about a 15-minute drive from Pescadero State Beach, and about a 1-hour drive from either the San Francisco Airport or the San Jose Airport. This retreat center is convenient to reach, and yet offers a secluded and intimate environment for deep meditation practice. You will enjoy the benefits of natural beauty, a spacious meditation hall, comfortable accommodations, delicious meals, and access to walking trails. The center is nestled in a majestic redwood forest, adjacent to county parks and open space preserves. Just a few minutes’ walk from the meditation hall you will find yourself strolling along creek side paths, surrounded by the powerful serenity of the redwood forest.

Register now! Space is limited.

We usually keep this retreat small (under 36 participants) to enable in-depth guidance from Shaila. To increase social distancing due to the pandemic, we are limiting attendance to 24 participants.

The retreat begins with registration at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, May 4; it ends with an optional noon lunch on Friday, May 14. Participants who are traveling from afar might need to check flight times carefully, and if necessary arrange to stay in a hotel the night before the retreat. Early-arrival accommodations are not available at this retreat center, and we must depart shortly after lunch on the closing day.

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

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.

The retreat facility is somewhat handicapped accessible. Accommodations include comfortable hotel-style rooms with ensuite baths, and a few dorm-style cabins. RV camping with hook ups are available. See the application form for accommodation details.

COST: 10 nights (includes accommodation and meals), plus a donation to the teachers at the end of retreat.

Due to precautions regarding the spread of COVID-19, the double occupancy rate is only available to couples or friends who are arriving together and agree to share the room. Most participants will need to select the single room option and a rate along the single room sliding scale. 

  • Double occupancy sliding scale: $1900 – $1250 (estimated actual cost is $1600)
  • Single occupancy sliding scale: $2800 – $1900 (estimated actual cost is $2300)

Our estimated actual costs for double accommodations and camping is $1600, and for single accommodations it is $2300. These represent the amounts that we would have charged to cover the cost of accommodations, food, and basic administrative expenses if we had used a fixed rate instead of a sliding scale.

Selecting an amount above the estimated actual cost will support the retreat and enable those who need to select a lower rate to attend the retreat. Selecting an amount below the estimated actual cost self-selects a supported scholarship rate. This sliding scale will allow most scholarship needs to be managed by self-selecting an amount lower than the estimated actual costs. Inquire with the registrar if you need additional scholarship support to attend.

PARTIAL ATTENDANCE: Partial attendance may be arranged for a stay of 3-6 nights, but priority is given to full retreat participants. Partial attendees will likely be housed in double occupancy rooms. Contact the registrar to determine if single accommodations for partial attendance can be arranged. Retreats of 7-9 nights are priced using the sliding scale fee range for the full retreat, and we discourage departures in the final days of the program. If a 7-9 night option is necessary for your participation, contact the registrar in advance to determine if this will be possible at this retreat.

  • 3 nights (Tuesday–Friday) Double: $900 – $550 sliding scale; Single: $1080 – $690 sliding scale.
  • 4 nights (Tuesday–Saturday) Double: $1,100 – $675 sliding scale; Single: $1440 – $920 sliding scale.
  • 5 nights (Tuesday–Sunday) Double: $1,300 – $800 sliding scale; Single: $1800 – $1150 sliding scale.
  • 6 nights (Tuesday–Monday) Double: $1,500-$950 sliding scale; Single: $2160 – $1380 sliding scale.

Contact the registrar for details about partial attendance.

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

QUESTIONS?: retreatregistrationAddress_at_imsb

Co-Sponsored by Bodhi Retreats and Insight Meditation South Bay

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