As human beings, we all develop “identity view” – a sense of self. The Buddha helps us see that conditioned things, such as the body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and whatever is seen, heard, thought, known, sought, and explored by the mind, cannot be “self.” Even when this truth about conditioned things is clear to us, we still have a sense of “me” and “mine”, and the mind still continually tries to become something: the good person, the expert, the meditator, the stream enterer … “Becoming” or “being” something can be glaringly obvious or very subtle. Regardless, as Ajahn Chah said, “Don’t be anything at all. Being something, anything at all, is suffering.”

In this retreat, we will rely on the suttas from the early Buddhist texts in the Pali Canon to explore “becoming” and “self.” We will look at the range of ways in which the mind tries to establish and re-establish the sense of self and explore the choice we have when we recognize we’re in the process of “becoming”: to engage in that becoming or to step back and let go.

The retreat format will include group sessions for teachings or Q&A in the morning and evening. Much of the day will be unstructured to allow each participant to practice according to their own intuitive wisdom and self-guidance. The Ayyas will be very available in an ongoing way for individual check-ins.


Experience Prerequisites: three 7-day silent, residential, Buddhist meditation retreats, at least one of which was in the Theravadin/insight tradition.


Attendance Prerequisites: The following prerequisites are currently in place in order to provide the safest possible retreat environment under covid-19 conditions. In order for your registration to be accepted, we require that you:

  1. Currently follow all covid-19 health and safety protocols recommended by the CDC, including mask-wearing, social distancing and hand hygiene.
  2. Agree to abide by all covid-19 health and safety protocols in place at Cloud Mountain.
  3. Have already successfully attended at least one silent, residential meditation retreat of any length at Cloud Mountain OR at least two silent, residential meditation retreat of any length at two different retreat centers.
  4. Are willing to closely coordinate your travel plans with Cloud Mountain, so we can provide you with the best options based on covid-19 travel restrictions in place.

Each participant will have a single room, and personal “safety bubbles” will be created in accordance with the current covid-19 conditions at the time to maximize individual and group health. We reserve the right to amend these prerequisites and policies according to changing 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.

This retreat is led by a bhikkhuni or ex‐nun.


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.)


To learn more about a teacher, please click on their photo.