The Divine Abodes, or Brahma Viharas, are ancient Buddhist heart meditations and related practices that reveal and awaken our deepest nature’s heart qualities. During this retreat, we will be learning these meditations and practices and exploring common resistances to Equanimity (Upekkha) and Empathetic Joy (Mudita).
Entering into the Buddha’s heart, our deepest heart, through Equanimity allows a foundation to be established of connection and acceptance for whatever is in our perception or experience. This foundation of acceptance is broadened through cultivation of Empathetic Joy, by relaxing the perceived boundaries of separation and softening any sense of isolation. Turning next to Compassion allows us to draw upon the deep acceptance of Equanimity and the undivided connection of Empathetic Joy to find within us an ability to extend an inclusive holding for our suffering and the suffering of others. Finally, we turn to expressing Loving-Kindness which is an expression of boundless love for ourselves and all beings. Loving-Kindness can then be expressed from the deep acceptance of Equanimity, the connectedness of Empathetic Joy and the deep holding of Compassion.
We will focus in this retreat on Equanimity and Empathetic Joy. Beginning with Equanimity supports a deep acceptance of reality just as it is coupled with a relaxing sense of soothing ease. Turning next to Empathetic Joy allows us to expand our undivided connection with others as we soften any sense of separation through unrestricted joy for another’s happiness.
Equanimity is a heart feeling-tone of perfect balance. It is a knowing, a trust, that everything we witness is unfolding perfectly within the wisdom of the universe. Empathetic Joy is the unrestrained, unqualified joy for another’s happiness and success.
This retreat will be based upon Stephen Snyder’s book, Buddha’s Heart, which was published in November 2020 and is available on Amazon. Participants are asked to obtain and read the relevant chapters of the book prior to the retreat.
The format of the retreat will include talks on True Nature’s heart qualities, instruction on the meditations and practices related to Equanimity and Empathetic Joy, group discussion on the common resistances to these heart experiences, and one-on-one interviews with Stephen.
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.
Subsidized fee : $420 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff
Sustaining fee : $510 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff
Supporting fee : $600 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.)