Prerequisite: At least one 5-day or longer residential vipassana retreat.
The Living Dharma retreat is intended for committed vipassana practitioners who wish to deepen their practice and understanding of the Buddha's teachings through meditation, inquiry, study and sangha. Each year in this retreat, we offer some of the central teachings of the Buddha, and examine them in detail, especially regarding their relevance to our meditation practice and the experience of suffering and freedom in our lives. In 2014, the theme for the retreat will be the Four Noble Truths. The Four Noble Truths offers the Buddha's complete outline of all of his teachings on full liberation from all forms of suffering. During the week we will explore each of the Four Noble Truths through study, discussion and meditation practice.
The teaching sessions will include periods of silent and guided meditations, interactive presentations, small groups and dyads. There will also be time for meditation, self-study and reflection in silence. Readings and reflections will be sent to participants prior to the retreat to introduce them to the themes that will be covered. Because this retreat will involve interactive practices and engaging in community, there will be a special emphasis on the teachings and practice of Wise Speech.
It is important that students recognize that periods of this retreat, including some meal times, may not be in silence, so the retreat experience will be quite different from a typical silent meditation retreat. The development of community, and the sharing of personal experience that happens in this format, is an important part of this retreat.
Some comments from participants at the previous Living Dharma retreats:
"The Living Dharma format was a whole new experience and added depth and learning to the usual sitting and walking retreats. The teachers beautifully illuminated the dharma, and made even the more esoteric-sounding teachings live and breathe."
"The entire experience was exactly as it needed to be. Challenging, inspiring, heart opening, and full to the brim with learning. The opportunity to go in and out of silence, with teaching and exercises to support that, was a real draw."
Spirit Rock extends a special invitation to young adults (age 18-26) who wish to attend this retreat at a rate of $25 per night, on a first come, first serve basis. A limited number of special rates are available, please apply early.
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Also remember that the cost above is priced as a sliding scale. Please pay at the highest level of the sliding scale that you can afford. This allows others who need to pay less the opportunity to attend. Fee is for room and board. Teaching and staffing of the retreats is by donation at the end of the retreat. For more information, see Retreat FAQ.