The jhanas are eight progressive altered states of consciousness that can be identified with the aspect of the Buddha’s Eightfold Path called Right Concentration. Training in concentration leads to these states, each of which yields a deeper and subtler state of awareness than the previous one. The jhanas are not in themselves awakening, but they are a skillful means for stilling the mind in a way that leads in that direction, and they are attainable by many people who devote the time and sincerity of practice necessary to realize them. Jhana practice, combined with insight practices, is helpful for gaining wisdom necessary for ending dukkha.
This retreat will focus on the teaching of this technique and the application of the jhanas for enhancing insight practice. The retreat will be held in Noble Silence with sitting and walking meditation and personal interviews. In addition to the two teachers, the retreat will also include videos of Ven. Ayya Khema teaching The Potthapada Sutta.
The retreat numbers are capped to allow for the intensive interview schedule and for each participant to have a single room.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT RETREAT CENTER PREREQUISITES:
We are setting a high bar for retreats for advanced students. In the past, the definition of an experienced or advanced student has generally been characterized by the amount of formal retreat time in which one has engaged. While time logged on the cushion can be an important aspect of experience, we do not find this measure alone to be a meaningful gauge of the quality of a student’s practice.
We see an advanced student as someone who has developed a balanced practice, with sincere and diligent attention to practicing sila (ethical/moral conduct) and dana (generosity), in addition to bhavana (cultivation of mind). Sometimes yogis engage in unwholesome behaviors indicative of a need for additional development.
Some of these behaviors include
• Arriving late or leaving a retreat early without prior permission (except in the case of an emergency).
• Lying or manipulating to secure a single room or other personal preferences.
• Not fulfilling yogi job commitments.
• Not offering dana to the teacher or staff (of money, volunteer energy, or another expression of generosity/gratitude).
• Making demands expressive of entitlement.
All of these behaviors create hardship and have a corrosive effect on our collective ability to keep the Dhamma alive, available and accessible.
It is our belief as a Dhamma organization that those who aspire to take their wisdom practice to deeper levels should not neglect the vital foundational practices of dana and sila. All practitioners are welcome on any of our open retreats. However, in order to be considered a suitable candidate for an experienced/ advanced student retreat, these new criteria are in place to create the most fertile field of practice for all who attend and to provide adequate support for the teachers and retreat center who are gifting these practice opportunities to the world.
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.
All participants will be required to follow all covid-19 health and safety guidelines in place at Cloud Mountain. Follow this link for comprehensive information about the specific guidelines in place at this time.
The retreat container will be constructed in accordance with the current covid-19 conditions at the time to maximize individual and group health. 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.
PREREQUISITES AND REQUIREMENTS:
From the teachers: You must have sat at least two 7-day retreats in order to participate in this retreat.
Please include a comprehensive resume of your retreat experience with your registration materials.
From the retreat center: Each applicant must exhibit behaviors supportive of sustaining a strong spiritual community. Specifically, each applicant must have a strong practice of sila (ethical and moral behavior), of dana (generosity) and a demonstrated ability to comport oneself during retreat with maturity and integrity. For detailed information about these expectations, you may scroll to the bottom of the retreat description.
Subsidized fee : $2100 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff
Sustaining fee : $2300 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff
Supporting fee : $2500 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff