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The Dzogchen Summer Retreat
June 21–28, 2014

Retreat Details, Conditions, and Policies

Orgyen Zangpo

Orgyen Zangpo teaching during the 2011 Dzogchen Autumn Retreat
at the Dzogchen Retreat Center USA

Last updated: April 14, 2014

Overall Rereat Schedule

This year there is a single retreat duration option available for the full one week (3 PM on Saturday, June 21 through 3 PM on Saturday, June 28, 2014). Retreatants will need to attend all sessions to participate in the retreat. In other words, retreatants cannot miss any of the sessions and then continue to participate in the remainder of the retreat without special permission. You may leave the retreat early, but you should not enter the retreat with that intention.

What is Included

The fee includes: 

  • 21 meals
  • 7 nights of rustic lodging
  • 1 amazing week of Dharmic experiences
The fee does not include:
  • Transportation to and from the retreat center.

The Food

The cost of the retreat includes three buffet style meals a day as well as limited snacks. 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 which will 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 Retreat Director.


Sleeping accommodations are somewhat rustic and either cabin or dormitory style. The dorms are normally heated if necessary but not very private. There are private unheated cabins available. Each cabin has two single mattresses.

If you want to make your bed, bring sheets and blankets that will fit a single mattress. To stay warm, you'll need your own bedding such as a warm sleeping bag, or blankets. Also bring your own pillow and pillow case.


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 are sometimes made in cases of emergency or given advance permission of the teacher guiding the retreat.


Students should arrange their own transportation to and from the retreat center. If flying, we request that you fly into Eugene, Oregon (EUG) since this airport is only about an hour drive from the retreat center. The second closest major airport is Portland, Oregon (PDX) which is about three hours away by car and your ground transportation both ways will be prohibitivly expensive. If you are driving or taking a shuttle, the Event Director can send you a link with printable driving directions upon request.

The retreat directors can help arrange a ride from and back to the EUG airport if you provide your itinerary well in advance. Such rides are not free, and costs are shared between all passengers on each shuttle ride, keeping this expense to a minimum.

What to Bring

Below is a suggested packing list. Plan for the weather to be both warm and dry and damp and cool. Rain is possible any day of the year in this part of Oregon. Please bring appropriate sleeping gear, clothing, and shoes.

  • Computer (with charger) OR Notebook and pens
  • Sleeping bag OR sheets and blankets
  • Pillow and pillow case
  • Tent and poles (if you are tent camping)
  • Headlamp OR flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Toiletries
  • Water bottle – covered water is the only drink allowed in the shrine
  • 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 (some chairs and cushions are avaiable on site)
  • Lap blanket (to keep knees warm for long sittings in the shrine)
  • Cool clothing for daytime
  • Warm clothing for evenings
  • Water-proof shoes or boots
  • Hiking shoes
  • Plenty of socks and underwear
  • Rain coat, umbrella, or poncho
  • Coat appropriate to the season
  • Enough changes of clothes to get you through the retreat
  • Extra cash to make offerings to the teacher or contributions to special events

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 cabins, 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, tobacco products, or other smoking materials
  • Drugs that have not been prescribed to you by your physician
  • Weapons such as guns
  • Fireworks
  • Drinking alcohol for personal consumption (you can bring only if it is an offering for a puja)
  • Pets

Possession of drugs, cigarettes, personal alcohol or weapons can be grounds for expulsion from the retreat.


When packing just before 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 the scheduled weeks of the summer retreat this year the average high is around 82°F, the average low is around 52°F. The record high is 103°F, and the record low is 39°F. July historically gets a fair amount of precipitation and variable teperatures, so pack along warm clothing and rain gear. There may be an umbrella you can borrow at the retreat center.


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 an hour trip from 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 practice schedule of the retreat. If you are taking any type of pharmecutical that can influence your mental state (including but not limited to anti-depressant, diabetes and thyroid medications), we require that you bring an adequate supply for your entire visit here, and that you consistently follow the usage pattern and medical advice prescribed by your physician. You must 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. Anyone less than 18 must have a parent or legal guardian present during the entire retreat. Daycare facilities are currently not available.

Meditation and Sitting 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. During teaching and meditation sessions you are welcome to sit in a chair, but most people choose to sit on a cushion on the floor. Many people bring their own personal seating, but chairs and cushions are available here for those who unable to bring them.

Daily Retreat Schedule and Sessions

This will be an active retreat with a 24-hour schedule. Everyone is expected to remain in all teaching and practice sessions without creating disturbances, but it’s okay if you need to briefly step out, for example as a result of a bathroom emergency. There are breaks between sessions. The sessions typically last one and a half to two and a half hours each, with up to five sessions per day. There will be about eight to ten hours of scheduled practices and teachings per day. In addition, during break times, Yoga, music, dancing, art, and other Dharma activities may take place.

As part of your daily practice, for an eight hour period, from about 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM you will be required to maintain a vow of silence and not engage in any normal waking activities except using the bathroom. These times may vary from day to day, but the idea is that you will be laying down resting your body for eight hours every night and not unnecessarily disturbing other people.

Additional Requirements

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. You may leave the retreat at any time, but you cannot leave the retreat and then return to the retreat.

To attend the retreat one has to be a non-smoker, drug-free, and mentally stable. Possession or use of smoking materials, illegal or mind-altering drugs, or non-prescribed pharmaceuticals are not permitted. You may of course bring with you and ingest any prescribed medication except medicinal marijuana which is not permitted.

There will be no shopping trips, so you should bring any supplies you need with you for the entire duration of the retreat.  You should bring with you to the retreat adequate supplies of things like clothing, bedding, toiletries and medicine.

Except for pets belonging at the retreat center, no pets from visiting guests are allowed on property and no pets living in students cars or quarters during the retreat are permitted.

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.


Your payment in full is due upon the acceptance of your application and must be paid in full by June 11, 2014. In the event that your application is not approved, any retreat payments you have made will be returned to you in full. Your prompt payment when you register will help us to purchase supplies for the retreat in advance.

Visit the Payment Options page for more information on how to pay.

Cancellation and Refunds

You may cancel any time prior to June 11, 2014 and receive a refund of 100% of any fees you have paid. There will be no refunds after June 11, 2014.


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 Shri Singha Foundation 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.

Please contact the retreat director if you are able to contribute to the scholarship fund. We aspire to assist diligent students who are have financial need of assistance.


Retreat costs do not include any payment or donation to the guiding teacher. Any offering 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.

The Buddhist teachings during the retreat are free, but not e that within Dzogchen Buddhist tradition, the teacher does not charge the organizers for the teaching services, and therefore individual offerings by retreatants to the teacher are always welcomed and needed in order to support the teacher's Dharma activities. This is also a gesture of appreciation, respect and aspiration for the perpetuation of the teachings.


If you have any questions, or are just wondering if this event is for you, you should contact us in advance to discuss. This page will be updated with some of the answers to questions posed, so questions are very much welcomed.

If you have any questions about anything, don’t hesitate to contact the retreat director or assistant retreat director.

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.

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