In concentration and serenity (Samatha) meditation, we return our awareness to one object of meditation to the exclusion of everything else, thereby collecting and unifying the mind stream. This practice counteracts the overstimulation of today’s world, reflected in books like “The Shallows” that highlight the neurological effects of social media, texting, and technology that bombard our awareness with messages, alerts, and feeds. (Neuroscience will be discussed.) Practicing concentration meditation collects the mind stream and “builds the muscle” of concentration, enabling us to turn away from the constant pull of our smartphones, computer screens, games, and entertainment, allowing us to settle into the serenity of our deeper nature. The practice also reveals with heightened clarity our habitual patterns that cause us to suffer both on and off the cushion, a process referred to as “purification of mind.”
Then, as we build the capacity to turn away from these patterns, a laser-like awareness can develop that can lead to profound stillness and deep joy, as well as the possibility of the deep meditative absorptions known as the jhanas. This retreat provides an overview of anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing) concentration meditation as taught in the lineage of Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw of Burma, considered by many to be the leading living teacher of samatha practice and the jhanas. Highlights of recent neuroscience research demonstrating the benefits of focused attention meditation will also be provided. This retreat is open to all, and is suitable for beginners (provided you meet the prerequisites listed below) as well as experienced meditators. There will be instructions and meditation, silence, and periods of teaching and questions.
This silent retreat is open to all, and is suitable for beginners as well as experienced meditators (provided you meet the attendance prerequisites below). There will be teachings, instructions, periods of sitting and walking meditation, practice dialogues with the teacher, and Q&A opportunities.
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.)