I have arrived, I am home


Dear Friends,

It is wonderful that you will be at the retreat!

To Bring:

  • We invite you to share at the “Be-in” Saturday night, so please bring what you would like to share, including any musical instruments, poems, songs, stories, dances, jokes, games to help us explore the theme of the retreat in a celebratory and collective way.
  • The forecast is for quite cold weather – in the teens!!  We plan to be going outside for walking meditation, and walking the short distance to the dining hall, so warm clothing is essential, layers are best (including gloves and hats), flashlight and other items on the suggested packing list.
  • While we will have some zafus/cushions, you may want to bring whatever you are comfortable sitting with, if you will not be using chairs for sitting meditation.
  • For meditation sitting periods, doing mindful movement, InterPlay, etc., comfortable, modest clothing is best. A blanket, hat, scarves, etc., may also be of comfort while sitting.
  • Please use unscented or lightly scented personal products as some people are very sensitive.
  • Bed linens, pillows, towels, etc. are provided, so you will only need bring these if you have a particular personal preference.
  • We will be providing all meals, coffee, hot chocolate, an assortments of hot teas and other snacks. You are welcome to bring any special items for your consumption or to share with the sangha. We do have a limited amount of refrigerator space, a microwave oven and a kettle for hot water.

Arriving and leaving:

  • Please arrive Friday around 5pm in time for 6pm dinner followed by 7pm orientation on Friday. If you find that you will be late, please let us know (contact info below) so we can save you a plate of dinner. Here are directions and a link to a Google Map to The Mountain Retreat Center.
  • One you have arrived at The Mountain Center, follow the heart heart-88 signs, park at the office (see arrival map of the center below) and come check in. If you arrive between 6:15 and 7pm, stop at the dining hall for dinner. (full map of the center)
  • We will end the retreat on Sunday around 2pm after lunch.

At the retreat:

  • The 5 Mindfulness Trainings are the foundation of our practice together in this retreat and we ask all participants to observe them. If they are new to you, we invite you to take a moment to read them before the retreat. We will have a ceremony to transmit the trainings to anyone who is interested in publically indicating the intention of aspiring to this guidance for mindful living.
  • On the retreat, you will be introduced to a number of mindfulness practices from the Plum Village tradition.  This includes walking meditation, dharma talks, dharma sharing, eating meditation, recitation of the Contemplations at mealtimes, the use of gathas, stopping to return to the present moment with the bell, and periods of Noble Silence.
  • Please turn off your cell phones and other electronic devices during all group activities, including meals, to maintain an atmosphere of concentration and calm. We even encourage you to take a technological sabbatical during this retreat and leave your cell phone and any other devices turned off during the whole retreat.

Lastly, we are deeply appreciative of your decision to be a participant in this retreat, and may your journey to the heart of understanding begin and continue as you make your preparations to be with us.

Thank you and we hope you have a safe and enjoyable drive to The Mountain!