RADICAL SILENCE RETREAT
For teachers, healers and those confident in self-guidance, this offers the depth and discipline of a solitary, silent retreat, but also the accountability and inspiration communal, led retreat
Solitary retreat is the most intensely revelatory and empowering spiritual practice that I have ever experienced. As I go through a really challenging time in my life I have been craving the radical peace and self-trust that I’ve only really cultivated alone in the woods. But I’m also craving the feeling of being held and nourished by a wise and loving community.
I had this flash of insight: what if I invited others from my sacred circle to do their own solitary retreat, silently by my side?
That’s when I thought of you. I’ve basically rented out this whole retreat center for us and I’m wondering it you want to join me. I’m not taking any fee, just asking for you to forward the contribution to the retreat center for accommodations and meals:
More info about Won Dharma Center can be found below or on their website.
At the heart of the 3-day retreat will be 48 hours of total silence. You won’t speak a word, and (blessed be!) neither will I.
We will meet for meditations and movement sessions in the beautiful Meditation Hall, but nothing will be explicitly taught or led. Unlike in a totally solitary retreat setting, if you get truly stuck or overwhelmed, you will be able to easily and discretely break silence and seek support from me or one of the wonderful ministers at Won Dharma Center.
Before diving into the deep quiet on Friday night, we will have time to meet one another, get comfortable in the space, ask whatever questions are arising and collect whatever resources we are craving. After we come out on Sunday night, we will have time to process, integrate and celebrate within the safe container of retreat, helping us prepare to re-enter the world at large.
If you’re interested, please fill out this simple application.
I always follow a pre-set itinerary when I do solitary retreat because it keeps me from drifting off into distraction. That being said, if you need less structure and community time, none of this is obligatory.
Meditations are all silent, though I will offer simple tools and practical advice about the practice for those who want them.
Free Practice means that the Il Won Hall is open for us to share the space silently while doing individual practices.
Circle is a space of communal sharing that I will gently lead.
Group Practice + Exchange of Offerings is a space for each member to share a practice that has been powerful for him/her/them with others in the group.
2-5pm Arrival + Option for One-on-One with Aaron
7pm Opening Circle
8pm Meditation + Passage into Silence
9am Free Practice
3:30pm Free practice
7:30pm Free Practice
9am Free Practice (in alternate space)
11am Meditation (in alternate space)
3:30pm Free Practice
7:30pm Passage from Silence + Sharing Circle
8am Group Practice + Exchange of Offerings
10am Final Meditation + Closing Circle
12:30pm Lunch + Departure
One final note on the format of this retreat:
In Tibetan Buddhism there’s a concept that one’s spiritual experience should be shaped like a “barley seed,” which is skinny and pointed at the beginning and end, and fat and round in the middle.
The idea is that we should start with small, simple practices and gently ease our way into the most challenging and ultimately most rewarding aspects of the work. At the end we ought to gently ease ourselves out before we thrusting ourselves back out into the busy world. This makes it possible to reach the deepest place available to us without shocking the system, causing us suffering and potentially unraveling some of our progress.
WON DHARMA CENTER
Won Dharma Center is an Open Circle of teachers and students, neighbors and visitors, young and old, from any faith to no faith. Their mission is to reduce and eliminate suffering in the world and to provide a safe and eco-friendly space for nurturing holistic well-being and spiritual growth.
Conveniently located in a rural setting near New York City and Boston, the Won Dharma Center is set on 426 acres in Claverack in upstate New York, overlooking the Hudson Valley and the Catskill Mountains. Surrounded by wooded foothills with a nearby brook, the retreat center is a serene natural setting for contemplation and renewal.
The food at Won Dharma is the best of any retreat center I've ever been to. Homemade Korean food, much grown or foraged on the property!
Single Room $720
Double Room $555
Quad Room $420
I’ve never done anything like this before and it’s feeling pretty radical. You in? Write me: firstname.lastname@example.org