All Mindfulness retreats, no matter their location, are designed to support each friend to rest and relax the mind and body, letting go of the tensions of ordinary daily life. By slowing and stopping, we have a chance to be in touch with our joy and happiness, as well as with the suffering that is also there, deep in our consciousness. Our retreats are organized in such a way that whatever is there has a chance to come up, and be recognized and acknowledged. With the support of the practice leaders and the other friends, all of our emotions are honored.
Ample time is built into the schedule for quiet time, journaling, and solitary reflection.
Most days include ‘Dharma Sharing,’ as we practice the skills of listening deeply to one another and using the language of the heart to express whatever needs to be heard.
The schedule also includes opportunities for formal consultations with one of the practice leaders.
Our retreats very quickly become a family affair, and in a spiritual family, the members look out for one another. Each member is assigned as a “Big Sister” or “Big Brother” for another member. The older sibling has the responsibility to know what is happening with the one whom they’ve been assigned. For example, if Little Sister is not feeling well, and misses breakfast, Big Sister knows this and communicates this to the practice leaders and retreat coordinator. This is a very useful system that ensures that everyone is remembered, and the support they need is provided.
Though there is the possibility to book a single room for the duration of the retreat, we encourage Twin Share occupancy. The practice of being a
room mate can be deep and fruitful. The simple need to remember to close the door softly requires one to be Mindful.
The activities of each day vary to some degree, though we strive to maintain a regular schedule for sleep, meals and afternoon rest. Whatever the activity, throughout each day, in every thing we do, we practice doing it in Mindfulness, being in the present moment, aware of our breath, aware of the thoughts in the mind and feelings in the body while also aware of what is going on around us. Every moment is an opportunity to be mindful.
A primary practice in our tradition is that of Mindful Eating, enjoying a plant-based diet of the freshest veggies and fruits, while enjoying the company of our friends. Eating healthy supports both our physical and mental wellbeing, as well as our commitment to practice reverence for life.
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We maintain a regular daily schedule, beginning each morning with Formal Sitting Meditation and ending most days in the same way.
To read a comprehensive list of the practices as observed by members of the Plum Village Community, most of which are part of our retreats,click here (or read more….?)
• Required of all Retreatants:
◦ Observe our practice traditions
◦ Raise a minimum of $400 from friends and family, to be donated during our retreats to our various community partners in Viet Nam. Click her for more information.
◦ Attend all practices and activities
Be on time, by arriving at least 5 minutes before the beginning of each activity.
We advise that you frequently refer to this section, as you make your plans.