Does this title put you off because it names too many “negatives”? Or does it speak to the samsāras swirling inside you and your loved ones, often too distressing to discuss openly, let alone forthrightly? If the latter, this retreat may be for you.

Some of us obsess over “the news,” while others shun “the news,” and many ping-pong between these two forms of craving and clinging. The messages hit us hard, often overwhelmingly, and we respond with anxiety, outrage, despair, and doubt. When we shut down, we almost never examine our own complicity in the suffering.

Public space is full of opinions concerning what to do or not do about current and looming dire conditions, depending on the beliefs and ideologies of the presenters. There’s lots of exaggeration, denial, argument, and fear. Some are sincere, some are duplicitous. It all can be heartbreaking and soul sapping.

Let’s not pretend that any one has “the answers” to the huge socio-economic and environmental challenges. Wise Buddhist practitioners should heed the Buddha’s own example and avoid such pretenses. What, then, is a body to do?

This retreat will explore early Buddhist teachings that emphasize what we can do internally in order to make wise and ethical choices midst the outer uncertainty and confusion. There are no easy answers (seeking and believing in them is part of what’s caused our mess). At a minimum, we seek to be kind and compassionate, including with ourselves, amidst the massive suffering of our times. Then each of us finds our skillful responses to the realities we live with.

This retreat is not an occasion to rehash our pet fears, opinions, and projects. Rather, it’s an opportunity to examine the suffering of climate catastrophe up close and simultaneously uncover resources for healing, sanity, meaningfulness, and compassion.


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.)

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.)


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