Winter Retreat Essentials
"Immediately on my arrival I felt safe and cared for. This feeling endured throughout the retreat. We were fortunate to learn from teachings of Venerable Chodron, as well as each resident nun, in such a restful, gracious, and accepting atmosphere. All the teachings were helpful and very down-to-earth. What a benefit to be able to discuss and meditate on all those thorny life issues in such a safe and contemplative environment."
Winter Retreat Instructions (en Español)
Solitary Hero Yamantaka Retreat or Manjushri Retreat
(Click here for a retreat application)
Who May Attend
This retreat is for intermediate or advanced students; it is not for beginners. Yamantaka retreatants must have the Solitary Hero Yamantaka initiation and be familiar with the practice.
We have found that it is best if couples do not attend the Winter Retreat together.
No late arrivals or early departures except in case of emergency.
Many conditions must come together for you be to be able to do retreat. You create these causes and conditions by preparing internally as well as externally for the retreat experience.
The value of your time in retreat is directly related to the level of your preparation beforehand
For the Yamantaka retreat, please study:
For the Manjushri Retreat please study:
For the both retreats, please study:
It is also helpful to read the following books because they contain explanations of similar meditation steps found in the sadhana:
Learning Lamrim—the stage of the path to awakening (gradual path)—is another important preparation.
Please read some Lamrim books and think about and meditate on their contents. A Lamrim outline used in previous retreats is in the Lamrim section of www.thubtenchodron.org, as are audio and transcripts of Lamrim teachings Ven. Chodron has given. Various thought training teachings can also be found on this website.
In addition, you can get Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path, in which Ven. Chodron leads all the lamrim meditations. Please become familiar with these checking (or analytical) meditations; they will help you greatly during retreat.
In each session you will do some Lamrim meditation. This is a powerful way to gain insight into the Buddha’s teachings.
As you gain familiarity with all these practices—Yamataka/Manjushri meditation and the lamrim topics—your understanding will deepen as your readiness for retreat grow
There is no charge, but each retreatant is responsible for helping to gather the dana (donations) so that the retreat can happen. In this way, everyone works together as a group and contributes to creating the conditions for the retreat to occur.
There will be an opportunity to offer additional dana for teachings at the end of the retreat.
(Read more about how gathering dana creates the conditions to do retreat under “Creating Merit" in a A Letter from Ven. Chodron.)
Your participation in gathering the dana to support the retreat shows that you are serious about doing the retreat.
One-half of the retreat dana is due upon acceptance of your application. The remaining dana is due January 3,2015
All amounts are in USD. Make checks payable to Sravasti Abbey, indicating indicating Winter Retreat on the memo line, and mail to:
Sending the dana by credit card is fine, but please add 3.3% to offset the processing fees that the bank charges. Note “Winter Retreat” (1-month or 3-month) in the comments box. If friends or family send dana offerings on your behalf, be sure they tell us they are supporting your gathering donations for the retreat.
You will be notified of your acceptance as a retreat attendee.
If you have any questions, please contact us by email. If you would like to talk by phone, call the Abbey at (509) 447-5549.
The benefits for you and for all sentient beings of your doing retreat are incalculable. May positive conditions ripen for you to join us this winter.
Please read the other material on this website about the Winter Retreat (see below). You may also wish to look at the material about the previous Winter Retreats: Vajrasattva retreats (in ’05, ’06, & 11-12), Chenrezig retreat (in ’07), Medicine Buddha (in ’08), Manjushri (in '09), and Green Tara (in '10) on www.thubtenchodron.org.
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