Winter Retreat

February 5th—February 14th

Date details +
    Room: BSMC

    The annual Winter Retreat is a time of preparation for the Tibetan New Year, which begins on Shambhala Day, February 16, the Year of the Earth Dog.  At one level, the retreat is an opportunity for extended practice fit into the schedule of your daily life.  At a deeper level, the retreat is a time of contemplating the past year, engaging in practices to purify the karma of the past year - both individual and societal - in preparation for a shift to another year.  It traditionally is held for ten days, beginning the eleventh day before Shambhala Day.  The day between the retreat and Shambhala Day is Neutral Day, a day of resting and cleaning out, further preparing for the New Year.

    The schedule for the retreat is from 6 pm to 9 pm on Monday through Thursday, and from 9 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, to accommodate the Refuge Recovery group, we will begin at 7 pm.  People may come as go as their schedule and exertion permit, although there are a few hardy individuals who aspire to practice the whole time!

    The meditation schedule is the typical sitting and walking alternation.  A teaching, reading or contemplation will be included in each session.  This year we are hearing readings from the Sakyong's new book, The Lost Art of Good Conversation.  Each session finishes with the Shambhala closing chants which include repeetitions of the additional chant, Pacifying the Turmoil of the Mamos, for this season of the year.  On the weekends, the morning begins with the Shambhala opening chants, including the Heart Sutra.  If you're not familiar with the chants, this is a good opportunity to learn something about them.

    On Saturdays and Sundays, there will be a contemplative lunch consisting of soup/entree, salad, and bread.  This practice helps maintain the meditative container of the retreat.

    Since Shambhala Day includes the main fundraising event of the year for Shambhala International, pledge cards will be available during the retreat.  During the Shambhala Day broadcast, the total will be announced.