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The Dzogchen Winter Retreat
December 29, 2018 - January 6, 2019

Retreat Details, Conditions, and Policies

Group Photo

Last updated: October 16, 2018


Overall Retreat Schedule

This year there is a single retreat duration option available for the full week (Saturday, December 29, 2018 through Sunday, January 6, 2019). 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.

When making your travel plans, please plan your schedule so that you arrive at the retreat center by 1 PM on December 29, and depart the retreat center after 4 PM on January 6.


Transportation

After your application is approved, if you need to book flights, most people are flying into the nearest airport just outside Eugene, Oregon (EUG) which is about an hour drive from the retreat center. Occasionally in the past, retreatants have flown into Portland, Oregon (PDX), which is about a three hour drive from the retreat center, and coordinated with Sangha members in the Portland area or rented a car from there. 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 whoever is on each shuttle ride, keeping this expense to a minimum.


What is Included

The fee includes: 

  • 24 meals
  • 8 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.


Accommodations

Sleeping accommodations are somewhat rustic in unheated cabins. There may be some private cabins available for couples. Each cabin has two single mattresses. The weather may be damp and cold.  Bring your own bedding such as a warm sleeping bag, extra blankets and your own pillow. Mattresses are provided but pillows are not. Most mattresses are singles, and so you can alternately bring sheets and blankets that will fit a single mattress.


Attendance

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.


What to Bring

Below is a suggested packing list. Plan for the weather to be damp and cold.  Rain is possible any day of the year in this part of Oregon. 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 tent camping (with ground cloth)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Toiletries
  • Covered water bottle Ė water in a sealed container 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 (some chairs and cushions are avaiable to borrow)
  • 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
  • Coat appropriate to the season
  • Enough changes of clothes to get you through a week (very limited access to washer / dryer). 
  • Notebook and pens
  • Computer and charger

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 (strictly prohibited)
  • Drugs that have not been prescribed to you by your physician
  • Weapons such as handguns, rifles, and hunting knifes
  • Fireworks
  • Drinking alcohol for personal consumption (do not offer alcohol to any teachers here)
  • Pets

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


Weather

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. December  historically gets a fair amount of precipitation, so pack along warm clothing and rain gear. We normally have some umbrellas on hand at the retreat center, but bringing your own is a good idea.


Health

The retreat provides a healthy environment of good air, good food, enough hours of sleep, positive activities, and benefical teachings. 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

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 canít pack 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 itís 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, from about 10:30 PM to 6:30 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 8 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. Yes, 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.


Payments

Your payment in full is due upon the acceptance of your application and must be paid in full by December 21, 2018. 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 December 15, 2018 and receive a refund of 100% of any fees you have paid. There will be no refunds after December 15, 2018.


Scholarships

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. While there is no financial aid such as scholarships or work-study options available for lay attendees at this time, we are soliciting donations to help make some limited scholarships available for this retreat.

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.


Offerings

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 separately from your payment for the fees for this event.

The Buddhist teachings during the retreat are free, but note 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 promulgation of Buddha's teachings.


Q&A

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, donít 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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