Home Intro Schedule News Teaching Treasure Membership Mailing List Experience Contact

The Dzogchen Winter Retreat

Retreat Details

Thursday, December 27, 2007 through Friday, January 4, 2008

Last updated: November 26, 2007

Vows and Commitments

If you want to attend the retreat you’ll need to be prepared to receive these commitments:

    1.  Refuge Vows
    2.  Bodhisattva Vows
    3.  Tummo Transmission

The vows and transmission will be offered as necessary during retreat.

Additional Requirements

To attend the retreat one has to be a non-smoker, drug-free, and mentally stable.

You must have the willingness and commitment to practice with the group during all sessions of the retreat.  You should have good enough physical and mental constitution to be able to sit with us for the daily schedule, and a good enough temperament to be able to get along with others.  There will be chairs available, but most people will need to be able to sit on cushions on the floor during most of the teaching and meditation activities. If you have any questions, or are just wondering if this event is for you, you should call us in advance to discuss.

The Food

The cost of the retreat includes three buffet style meals and one snack meal a day. The food will be primarily vegetarian, though not necessarily vegan. Sangha money from retreat fees will not be used for the purchase of meat, but individual Sangha members have the right to donate meat to be made available to the omnivore members of the Sangha. Tea and water will always be available.

Retreatants with special dietary needs should note that during their retreat registration and also discuss this with the Event Director, Chris Carelli.


Students without exception will be expected to reside at the retreat center for the duration of the retreat.   Specifically, we have a rule that students who leave the retreat once it is in progress are not permitted to return to the retreat. Exceptions can be made in case of emergency or given the advance permission of the teacher guiding the retreat. Accommodations will be mostly dormitory style. The weather is likely to be wet and cold.  Bring with you a warm sleeping bag, extra blankets.


Students should arrange their own transportation to and from the retreat center. If flying, we suggest you fly into Eugene, Oregon (EUG) since this airport is only about a 50 minute drive from the retreat center. The second closest major airport is Portland, Oregon (PDX) which is about three times as far at 2-1/2 hours away. If you are driving or taking a shuttle, the Event Director will send you a link with printable driving directions.

What to Bring

Below is a suggested packing list. The weather will be wet and cold.  Please bring appropriate sleeping gear and appropriate warm, dry clothing and shoes.

  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow and pillow case
  • Extra blanket or comforter
  • Tent if you are winter tent camping (ground cloth)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Toiletries
  • Water bottle – water is the only drink allowed in the shrine room. 
  • Ritual objects i.e., your bell and dorje, drum (a puja table will be provided)
  • Copy of The Buddha Path practice book (you can purchase a copy at the retreat)
  • Sitting cushion or chair of choice
  • Lap blanket, hat, gloves, and scarf
  • Warm clothing for daytime
  • Warm clothing for sleeping
  • Water-proof shoes/boots
  • Slippers for inside
  • Plenty of socks
  • Rain coat/umbrella/poncho
  • Heavy coat
  • Enough change of clothes to get you through the full retreat (no access to washer / dryer). 
  • Notebook and pens

What NOT to Bring

Below is a list of things not to bring:

  • Food (All food will be provided for you. Because food may attract wild animals, no food is allowed in tents, RVs, cars or on your person.  All food brought to the Retreat Center is to be brought to the kitchen and offered to the cook to be shared by all)
  • Cigarettes or other smoking or tobacco products
  • Drugs that have not been prescribed to you by your physician
  • Weapons such as guns
  • Fireworks
  • Drinking Alcohol
  • Pets


When packing for the retreat, you can check the weather forecast online for the nearest town (Veneta, OR) to get an idea of the 10-day weather outlook and historic averages. For all the scheduled days of the retreat the average high is 46°F, the average low is 33°F and the average mean is 39°F. December and January get more precipitation in that area than any other months of the year, so pack along your winter weather and rain gear.


The retreat provides a healthy environment of good air, good food, enough hours of sleep, and positive activities and effort. Apart from that there are no professional medical facilities within about a 50 minute drive of the retreat center. Retreatants should take care of their own health, bring along any emergency supplies such as antidotes to any life-threatening allergies, and expect to be able to handle the somewhat rigorous teaching and meditation schedule of the retreat. You may want to inform the Event Director of your special medical conditions when you register.


Children are much-beloved, however we have no special program or supervision for children at the retreat. In the past, children have attended these retreats, but have only been able to do so as full, conscious, responsible participants under the immediate supervision of their parents. If you would like to bring children to the retreat, please call the Event Director first before registering and discuss this with us in detail.

Meditation Practice

Meditation practice will be incorporated and keyed to the daily teaching subjects, with the goal of moving from a superficial understanding of the Buddha's teachings to a profound and incontrovertible realization of their truth in our present moment thinking.

Daily Retreat Schedule

This is an active retreat with a 24-hour schedule. There will be about eight to ten hours of scheduled practice and teaching per day. Each session will last approximately two hours. In addition, during break times, Yoga, music, dancing, art, and other Dharma activities will take place. As part of their daily practice, from 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM students are required to maintain a vow of silence and not engage in any normal waking activities.


Everyone will be expected to follow the rules of the retreat which are outlined on this page. The rules are subject to revision. Also you must adhere to the schedule of the retreat and unless sick, attend all the scheduled events of the retreat. Yes, you may leave the retreat at any time, but you cannot leave the retreat and then return to the retreat. You should bring any supplies you need with you for the entire duration of the retreat.

There will be no smoking or drugs allowed at the retreat.  You may of course bring with you and take any prescribed medication. There will be no shopping trips, so you should bring any supplies you need with you for the entire duration of the retreat.  Except for pets belonging to the retreat center, no pets from visiting guests are allowed on property and no pets living in students cars during the retreat are permitted.

Payment Schedule

Your payment in full is due upon your registration and must be paid in full by December 21, 2007. In the event that your registration application is not approved, any retreat payments will be returned to you in full.

Cancellation and Refunds

You may cancel any time prior to December 21, 2007 and receive a refund of 100% of any fees you have paid. There are no refunds after December 21, 2007.


No scholarships or work-study options are available at this time. However, ordained sangha (Buddhist monks and nuns) can make an application to the Dzogchen San Diego to attend this event free-of-charge. These applications will be reviewed and applicants informed of availability prior to retreat. We are soliciting donations to help make some limited scholarships available.


Retreat costs do not include any payment or donation to the guiding teacher. Any donation to the teacher or to the hosting organization that you would like to make should be prepared outside of your payment for the cost of this event.

How to Register Today

Reservations are required and are currently being accepted. Everyone is welcome to register by filling out the online registration. We need to process as many applications, and receive deposits, as early as possible in order to properly prepare for the retreat. We hope you can help us with this. Retreatants need to register early order to reserve limited attendance and bed space.

Return to the Retreat Announcement Page.






Copyright © 2008