Mindfulness with Breathing (ānāpānasati) is one of Buddhism’s foundation practices. Many meditators have been exposed to it in some form. This retreat will deepen the roots of this powerful practice so that it can truly serve as a foundation in our cultivation of the middle way, strengthening our daily practice of mindfulness, inquiry, serenity, and letting go.
What does a well-rounded meditation practice look like? It:
* integrates all four establishments of mindfulness;
* deepens concentration, calm abiding, joy, and freedom;
* fosters abundant clear seeing and insight ;
* cultivates the seven factors of awakening leading to “higher knowledge” and genuine liberation.
Such is mindfulness with breathing according to the original Buddhist teachings. Buddha left behind a framework for systematic meditation practice incorporating all of the above. On its own, ānāpānasati is a sophisticated meditation system that thoroughly explores our lived realities of body, feeling tone, mind, and the laws of nature permeating all conscious moments. Exploring these facets of life through and with breathing deepens awareness, serenity, and insight.
Further, mindfulness with breathing serves as a platform for jhana (meditative absorptions) and the brahma-viharas (divine abodes), providing them with a relaxed, grounded foundation. What more could one want?
This retreat is for experienced meditators who wish to focus on ānāpānasati within its own practical terms, dedicating two weeks to exploring this rich, profound process, practicing with and reflecting on each level of its unfolding. Mindful breathing in and out opens up the nurturing potential of healthy breathing. Skillful exploration of such breathing releases tension, settles restlessness, and helps us be more comfortable in sitting. As this sensitivity increases, the subtler dynamics of breathing deepen calm and enhance clarity. This enables us to recognize thoughts and emotions with greater acceptance and less reactivity. As we drop beyond rejection and indulgence, wisdom blossoms. This foundation will support any wise explorations that we choose.
Based on his decades of practice with and teaching of mindfulness with breathing, Santikaro will share skillful means for embodying this practice as a trusted friend. Supplemental practices will help us to stay balanced and on track. On-going reflections will inquire into the specific supports most needed for strong and vibrant practice.
Our explorations 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. Before the retreat begins, you will receive PDFs of the Discourse on Mindfulness with Breathing (MN 118) and an outline of the 16 Entries into the Domains of Mindfulness with Breathing.
Mindfulness with Breathing: a manual for serious beginners, Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu (Wisdom, 1988)
Experience Requirement: One residential retreat of at least 5 days.
Partial attendance is not offered on this retreat. Additionally, please consider attending this retreat only if your current life circumstances allow you to engage in an important modern renunciation practice of staying offline and off phone/text during the entire course of the retreat (some exceptions related to pressing family situations may be granted.)
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.
This retreat is intended for experienced students.
Subsidized fee : $910 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff
Sustaining fee : $1040 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff
Supporting fee : $1170 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff
Following in the Buddhist tradition, none of your registration fee will go to the teacher(s). Please consider offering teacher dāna at the event to support their livelihood. (Dāna is a term for generosity, or freely offered giving. You can find more information about this way of offering the teachings and the "economy of gifts" on our Donation page.)