This central spiritual question has always been embedded in Buddhism and now takes on added weight as we personally and collectively struggle with the ‘unprecedented’ threats of climate meltdown, unresolved pandemics, and political conflict. For many, survival is uncertain and grief is pervasive. These existential realities are scary and the flood of information can be overwhelming. Many of us often feel ourselves floundering or sinking, rather than, say, surfing adventurously. Or we isolate in fear. These very challenges are also opportunities for awakening.

Buddhist practice confronts the dilemma of suffering and its end, the great matter of life and death. We raise children, survive illnesses and now a pandemic, and watch friends and family age. Society, climate, and natural systems are ailing too. Understandably, we feel concern, worry, sadness, frustration, and grief. The more we pay attention, the more we see suffering, which can be emotionally daunting.

This retreat celebrates courage as an essential quality of heart especially called for today. Buddhism offers a path for living through these realities with courage. Courage embodies compassion, faith, and realistic hope. We will consider the inner resources that strengthen courage and allow us to confront fear. Buddhist teachings help us discern healthy fear from neurotic and wise courage from foolhardy. With courage we learn from and move through fear along the path of awakening.

To foster the courage to wake up each day and cultivate the path, this retreat will care for the body’s health in various ways, will recognize messages from society that discourage us, will review practices that free our thinking from mainstream assumptions, and will foster compassion for all beings, including ourselves. We will meditate together, living mindfully, and enjoy the beauty and hospitality of Cloud Mountain.

Santikaro will offer guided meditations and Dhamma reflections, host conversations, and lead qigong. Collectively we will support each other in the practice of Sangha.


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.)


Cloud Mountain continues to take endemic covid-19 seriously as a public health risk in the retreat environment. Masking and rapid testing requirements are in place.


Scholarship funds are available on all retreats to assist those with financial challenges. For more information, read the Scholarship section of our overview information.


Generosity Tier : $750 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff

Base Tier : $570 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff

Subsidized Tier : $480 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.