We offer multi-day retreats for those already familiar with meditation or looking to deepen their practice. In addition, self retreats are available for those ready to take their practice to the next level.
Retreats usually begin on a Friday evening 6 PM and continue until Sunday after lunch. Longer retreats follow the same format, ending with lunch on the last day.
Limited individual rooms and dorm-style accommodations with bunkbeds are available for those staying over. People living nearby also have the option to go home in the evening and come back the next morning.
Vegetarian (lacto-ovo) breakfast and lunch are provided. Retreatants are expected to observe the monastic rule of not eating solid food after noon, so evening meals are not served. However, those with medical needs can bring their own snacks as a supplement. No cooking is allowed but a microwave is available to heat food if necessary. People should inform us of this need when registering for a retreat.
Meditation mats, cushions and chairs are all available as needed.
Things to bring with you for a retreat:
- Sleeping bag or bed sheets
- Pillow case
- Personal towel
- Yoga mat (some mats are available for those who do not have one.)
- House slippers
- Refillable water bottle (spring water is provided)
Overnight retreats are limited to 12 participants.
All programs are offered on a donations basis. See our Donate page for details.
Recordings from a past Thanksgiving retreat
Day 1 | Morning Instruction: https://youtu.be/IKZ4BJn36Ao
Day 1 | Dhamma Talk, QnA & Meditation: https://youtu.be/-awno_DoBB4
Day 2 | Dhamma Talk & Meditation: https://youtu.be/iHyBcdeZV9Y
Day 2 | Q&A Session on 4 Jhanas: https://youtu.be/YwaIVn2SkYE
Day 3 | ClosingTalk on Eightfold Path & Guided Meditation: https://youtu.be/xMHAHyc0ez4Retreat Registration
We now offer space for doing self-meditation retreats from two days or more, depending on variable factors. This is a mindfulness meditation center so one’s practice should center around the practice of Mindfulness/Vipassana meditation. A prospective self-retreatant will need to describe their personal practice and what they expect from their retreat. A person should inform us of any medical conditions or medications that may affect their stay here. A bed in a single room, dorm room, or a single room in our separate retreat building (kuti) could be available.
The resident monk/teacher, Bhante Rahula has an hour-long group meditation in the meditation hall at 6 AM and 7 PM each day that guests are expected to join. He can also be available for personal interviews or guidance on meditation practice. Retreatants can also participate in our other regular meditation programs or Dhamma teaching sessions in-house or over Zoom.
Breakfast and lunch are provided, however no meal is served in the evening. A person can bring some nutritional drink or the equivalent for the late afternoon or evening if needed.
Self-retreatants are expected to help for an hour or so with meal preparation, house cleaning, chores, or outdoor work. The rest of one’s time should be spent in individual practice.
To maintain a supportive and harmonious atmosphere the following guidelines should be followed while on self-retreat:
- Refrain from killing any living creature
- Refrain from taking what is not given
- Refrain from any sexual activity
- Refrain from false speech or loud boisterous talking
- Refrain from consuming any intoxicating drinks or drugs
- Refrain from wearing skimpy revealing clothing or perfumed cosmetics
A Self Retreatant’s Story
A meditator recently did a Self Retreat and offers her experience here.
“This summer I spent a few days on a “self-retreat” at Lion of Wisdom. The mechanics of it went like this. I slept out in a tent under the trees and stars. Every day I got up at 5:00, drank a cup of tea, and did morning yoga with Bhante Rahula. Then we sat for an hour, then ate breakfast, and then I spent the rest of the day meditating on my own time and in my own way. I would sit in the meditation hall, or do walking meditation inside or out, or sit outside in a little mosquito netting meditation tent. I’d drink more tea here and there. We ate lunch in the middle of the day. Then in the evening Bhante would lead me in another yoga session, followed by another hour of sitting together, and then it was time for bed.
On a formal retreat, your days tend to be pretty structured, and you’re given instructions in what to do. Formal retreats are invaluable. But it’s a really cool and interesting practice to try to structure your own day of meditation, which is what you have to do on a self-retreat. You realize you need to pay close attention to your instincts, so you know what feels like the right thing to do in each moment, and then commit to doing that thing. This can require a more subtle awareness of what’s going on in your mind than when you are simply following someone else’s instructions. It’s a really cool thing to watch and act on, and I think it probably helps your awareness develop beyond the days you are on retreat.
I am really grateful for these days of self-retreat at Lion of Wisdom. Especially now, when so many meditation centers are closed down because of coronavirus, it was so great to be able to go sit somewhere that was not my apartment, and to be in a space dedicated to meditation, designed to helping me fully dedicate myself to meditation. If you have a couple days to spare, I highly recommend it.