Spring 2014 Retreat
April 11 through 13, 2014
Residential and Nonresidential Insight Meditation Retreat
Self and Not Self: Touching our innermost essence.
One of the most puzzling and difficult to understand teachings of the Buddha is anatta, which means ‘non self’ or ‘not self.’ In this retreat we will explore the interface of the relative human (meaning you and I) that we can refer to as ‘the self’ and our innermost essence, absolutely and always untouched by change and death. Can we have compassion for the human that experiences an arthritic hip, toothache or grief over the loss of a loved one without the need to build a ‘separate self’ around the pain or aversion to it? In our practice can we learn to rest in our innermost essence, which is spacious, clear and empty of a ‘separate self’? These are the questions worth reflecting upon and will lead us into an ever-deepening experiential understanding of non-duality.
A retreat is an opportunity to develop calmness, wisdom, and compassion in a supportive environment. Emphasis is placed upon developing mindfulness in sitting, standing, and walking to help us access our innate understanding, joy, and peace. Beginners, as well as the more experienced, are welcome to attend. There will be instructions, practice, dharma talks, chanting from various spiritual traditions and noble silence.
THE RETREAT LEADERS
John Orr received Theravada Buddhist ordination and training for a period of eight years while living in Thailand and India. He has been teaching meditation and leading retreats around the country since 1980. John is the guiding teacher of New Hope Sangha, an Interfaith minister, and teaches at Duke University.
Barbara Brodsky is a Quaker and trained dharma teacher in the Buddhist tradition. She is the guiding teacher of Deep Spring Center in Ann Arbor Michigan. Barbara has been deaf for over 35 years; living with silence has greatly influenced her life and teaching, as have years of active involvement with nonviolent action for social change. She is the channel for the discarnate entity, Aaron.
Aaron is a being of light who has evolved beyond the need to return to the physical plane. In his final lifetime on this human plane he was a Theravadin Buddhist monk in Thailand, a meditation master. We have created this page with an excerpted chapter from his book "Presence, Kindness, and Freedom," where Aaron speaks about himself.
Barbara and John follow an age-old tradition of freely and open heartedly offering the dharma. They receive no payment from the registration fees. Your dana (generosity) allows the teachers to continue their work of sharing the dharma. During the retreat there will be baskets available for your offerintgs.
The retreat will be held at Stone House in Mebane, NC. We are once again excited to be holding the retreat at Stone House. This is a beautiful center on 70 acres of rolling countryside. You can find more information about this center at their web site. Here are two maps for locating Stone House, far away and close up.
"What a joy it is to attend
a New Hope Sangha retreat.
I feel deeply loved and supported
by the teachers and
the other participants."
SCHEDULE, REGISTRATION, AND FEES
The retreat will begin with check in at 5:00 PM Friday. Following dinner at 6:00 PM, the weekend program will begin and continue until closing at 4:00 PM Sunday. The evening programming will end by 9:30 PM on Friday and Saturday. Breakfast will be served at 7:15 AM on Saturday and Sunday.
The retreat flyer with registration form in PDF format can be found here.
Fees include lodging, dinner on Friday, three meals on Saturday, and two meals on Sunday. The meals are vegetairan. The fees are based on your lodging preference.
Residing on site: $273
Tenting on site (bring your own tent): $243
For early registrations received before March 14, subtract $20 from your fee. For registrations received after March 14, include the full amount. About a week before the retreat you will receive directions to Stone House along with other information about the weekend.
Barbara and John will offer the retreat on a “dana” generosity basis. Participants will have the opportunity to offer dana to the teachers at the retreat. Your generosity is the main source of their livelihood.
For more information call Donna at (919) 667-5906 or email her.
OUR REFUND POLICY
We understand that circumstances may arise that will prevent you from attending the retreat after you have registered. If you cancel more than two weeks before the retreat, you will receive a full refund. For cancellations made less than 2 weeks prior to the retreat, we are not able to refund your payment.No refunds will be given for no-shows or partial attendance. Checks for refunds will be written after the retreat.
We are often so busy reacting to the world and trying to manage our affairs, that we do not really notice what is- sounds, smells, sites around us, nor the textures of mind…And the habits of mind that determine our experience of everything. Noble silence allows us to enter into a different mode of being. It invites awareness and a certain intimacy with life. Its nature is vastness and the experience of letting it gather around and within us can be profound. Disconnecting from our preoccupation with habits of mind, so that we can open to greater clarity, compassion and awareness, is a primary purpose of our practice. Silence does not need to isolate us. With time most people notice that silence allows a deeper appreciation of the simple things in life as well as an unusual depth of connection with others. We support each other with our silence and lack of eye contact. We contribute to the stillness by mindful walking, opening and closing doors quietly and being considerate as we eat our meals and return dishes.
We ask that you remain silent and avoid social contact except when talking with a teacher in your small group or in an individual session. The actions of one will benefit all.
Dana is a practice of generosity, kindness and letting go. By taking the opportunity to make dana a practice of awareness, brings it out of the realm of unconscious habit, and into the realm of wise attention. The teachers at this retreat follow an age-old tradition of freely and open heartedly offering Dharma talks. They receive no payment from the retreat registration fees. The fees cover room, board, rental of the facilities, office supplies and a little scholarship money. Dana is not intended as a tip, nor is it in exchange for receiving the teachings of the Buddha. There is no obligation to give. Offering dana indicates that we understand our interconnectedness. We realize that we depend on the generosity and kindness of others and they depend upon ours. We belong to what we support and what we support nourishes us. The decision of what to give is deeply personal. The practice of dana asks that we look within with wisdom and offer what we are able with loving-kindness. What we give allows the teachers to continue their work of sharing the Dharma. During the retreat there will be baskets and envelopes available for your dana offerings for Barbara and John.
Seva is the practice of unselfish service. At this retreat most of our needs are being taken care of by the retreat center staff and our retreat committee. There are, however, some opportunities for you to give service:
We have a practice at retreats of letting people know when sittings, instruction and evening programs are by ringing a bell five minutes before the scheduled time. We have a bell ringer sign up sheet. We ask only those who have previously attended retreats sign up for bell rigning. After your turn, please make sure to return the bell for the next person’s use.
We also need volunteers to help clean up after meals. Having volunteers for this duty keeps the cost of our retreats low and is also a wonderful part of our mindfulness practice. The duties are listed in the kitchen, or someone will be available to supervise. It would be helpful if each retreatant would sign up at the beginning of the retreat for one meal’s cleanup.
After the retreat’s closing we could use some help in packing our supplies into cars and returning the retreat center back to the state it was before our retreat. If you are not pressed for time, please consider extending your retreat a few minutes and lending us a hand.
November 14 – 16, 2014
Residential/nonresidential Insight Meditation Retreat
April 26-May 3 Emerald Isle, NC
Beach Retreat for Continuing Students with Barbara Brodsky, Aaron and John Orr
Contact: John Orr 919-943-0438 or email@example.com
May 30-June 1 Magnolia, MS
Vipassana Retreat with John
Contact: Flowering Lotus Meditation and Retreat Center 504-905-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org
June 21-27 or June 21-23 Ann Arbor, MI
Vipassana Retreat with Barbara Brodsky, Aaron and John Orr
Contact: Deep Spring Center - 734.477.5848 or email@example.com
December 27-January 3 Hot Springs, NC
New Years Retreat with John
Contact: Southern Dharma Retreat Center 828-622-7112 or firstname.lastname@example.org