What does a well-rounded meditation practice look like? It:
* integrates all four applications of mindfulness;
* deepens concentration, calm abiding, joy, and freedom;
* fosters abundant insight and clear seeing;
* cultivates the seven factors of awakening leading to “higher knowledge” and genuine liberation.
Such is mindfulness with breathing (anapanasati, according to the original Buddhist teaching). Buddha left behind a framework for systematic meditation practice incorporating all of the above. Further, mindfulness with breathing serves as a foundation for jhana (meditative absorptions) and the brahma-viharas (divine abodes). What more could one want?
In this retreat we will focus on anapanasati on its own practical terms (rather than as a stepping-stone to other things). With two weeks to explore this rich, profound practice, we will have the opportunity to practice with and reflect on each level of its unfolding. We will touch on all of its rich possibilities from beginning to end.
For two millennia, generations of practitioners and commentators down to modern masters have fleshed out the specifics and nuances of practice. In Theravada Buddhism, Ajahn Buddhadasa is prominent among them. I’ve grounded myself in his teaching for over 30 years and often acted as his go-between for non-Thai speakers. In recent years I’ve experimented with ‘entries’ for each of the sixteen domains outlined by Buddha. To make use of the commentarial detail and depth, we need an experiential toehold in each area of mindful exploration. These ‘entries’ have proved to help a range of meditators do so. This retreat will survey Buddha’s sophisticated framework and introduce the entries appropriate to all four mindful holdings (satipatthana, also translated as four foundations of mindfulness).
We will be supported by the standard insight meditation retreat format of sitting and walking meditation, noble silence, simple surroundings, good companions, healthy food, talks and instruction, and practice interviews. Upon registration, you will receive PDFs of the Discourse on Mindfulness with Breathing (MN 118) and an outline of the 16 Entries into Domains of Mindfulness with Breathing.
Mindfulness with Breathing: a manual for serious beginners, Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (Wisdom, 1988)
2021 CURRENT COVID-19 PROTOCOLS:
A vaccination requirement is in place for all participants on this retreat. Follow this link for more information about the vaccine requirement, including an avenue for medical exemption.
All participants will be housed in single sleeping rooms.
We will continue to require all retreatants, staff and teachers to remain masked throughout the retreat.
The retreat container will be constructed in accordance with the current covid-19 conditions at the time to maximize individual and group health. All participants will be required to follow all covid-19 health and safety guidelines in place at Cloud Mountain. We reserve the right to adjust expectations of acceptable behaviors within the retreat environment to respond most appropriately to covid-19 conditions. PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR UPDATED INFORMATION ABOUT OUR COVID-19 HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS.
Scholarship funds are available on all retreats to assist those with financial challenges. For more information, read the Scholarship section of our overview information.
As this will be an in-depth exploration of the entire system outlined in Early Buddhist Teaching, prior experience w/ Anapanasati is important. Due to the length of the retreat, all retreatants must have completed 2 retreats of 4 days or more in which mindfulness of breathing played a significant part. Exceptions to these prerequisites are possible but only through prior arrangements with Santikaro.
Subsidized fee : $950 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff
Sustaining fee : $1050 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff
Supporting fee : $1150 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff