The Retreat Committee hosted a successful retreat with Heather Sundberg from Mountain Stream Meditation Center in Nevada City in September. Next is a retreat in Morro Bay on December 3 and 4 with teacher Shaila Catherine of Insight Meditation South Bay. These are our 4th and 5th retreats of 2016. We’ve planned four retreats for 2017, and are already working on the 2018 lineup.
The first White Heron Sangha retreat for 2017 will be in January with jhana teachers Tina Rasmussen and Stephen Snyder who were here two years ago. We invite you to come join us at this retreat even if concentration meditation is not your primary practice. From their website, jhanasadvice.com:
“The jhana practice is an ancient type of concentration meditation (samatha) that predates written history as a method to purify the mind… Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw of Burma is considered by many to be the leading Buddhist jhana teacher alive today. Tina Rasmussen and Stephen Snyder were taught personally by the Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw, who has authorized them as the first Western lay people to teach the samatha practices as the Sayadaw taught them.”
More information on this retreat can be found here.
White Heron Sangha is very fortunate to be able to attract such experienced and accomplished teachers from many different Buddhist traditions to offer our weekend meditation and dharma retreats. It is of particular benefit to those of us who are not able to travel in order to have access to these teachers and teachings; our teachers are willing to come to us, here in our home. Offering these retreats is also a wonderful benefit to our community and beyond; at every retreat, we see new faces and hear comments of gratitude for making these opportunities available.
"None of us welcomes the idea of having to cancel any of the retreats that are presently planned, but that is a very real possibility if we cannot find additional sangha members who are willing to join us on the committee and help with the retreats."
It is, however, a tremendous amount of work to plan, manage, and “pull off” these retreats. The planning begins as long as 2 years in advance, with teacher invitations and scheduling, venue reservation, etc. up to and through the actual retreat weekends. The work continues even after the retreats are over with financial reconciliations and other details.
A majority of us who are on the Retreat Committee are also on the White Heron Sangha Board of Directors, and some are on other committees, as well. Many of us are finding that we cannot assist at every retreat without seriously overextending ourselves in terms of available time and energy. And yet, we feel that the offering of our hosted retreats is too valuable to discontinue.
None of us welcomes the idea of having to cancel any of the retreats that are presently planned (see the schedule below) but that is a very real possibility if we cannot find additional sangha members who are willing to join us on the committee and help with the retreats. Ideally, we would have enough members so that the same committee members would not have to work at each retreat. We have developed some written procedures that make it easier for new members to assist in particular roles, even if they have not been involved before. And, of course, existing members would be valuable resources to help with guidance and training.
If you value our residential weekend retreat program and would be willing to become a contributing member of the Retreat Committee (or even to discuss the possibility), please contact me, Kristie Wells, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your interest will be welcomed and greatly appreciated!
Scheduled retreats 2017
Scheduled retreats 2018 (thus far)