Manifesting Spiritual Aspiration by Deepening Practice:

People of Color Retreat for Experienced Students


 Teachers:  Gina Sharpe & Larry Yang
August 12 – 21, 2018
at the Columbine Inn in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

Co-sponsored by New York Insight and the East Bay Meditation Center (Oakland, CA)


This retreat for Communities of Color will be of 10 days’ duration, for those who have been undertaking study and practice for at least four years.  Accompanying the instructions for retreat practice will be deep exploration of what constitutes authentic personal expression of the traditional teachings and what bridges the contexts of practice between the Buddha’s time and our present day cultures.  We will examine the relationship of the personal and the collective in reflection and practice.  We will also explore how to live in the relative world with transcendent understanding and how to apply transcendent values to living immanently in the relative world.  We deepen practice to live with integrity, kindness, attention and true service in our vulnerable world.



We invite People of Color who have been undertaking study and practice for at least four years and have sat three or more 5-7 day retreats to join us for this retreat. You will need to complete an application for the retreat, and it will be reviewed by the teachers

Please be sure to fill out the application sections asking for any meditation and retreat experience, as this information will be helpful to the teachers.  Where applicable, include details of the retreats, including teachers’ names, dates, location and length of the retreat.

The retreat will be limited to 16 practitioners, so early application is suggested. It is asked that retreatants commit themselves fully to their stay. All business and family obligations should be taken care of prior to arrival so that practice and study can be uninterrupted.


Gina Sharpe cropped

Gina Sharpe was born in Jamaica and immigrated to New York at the age of 11. After retiring from the practice of law, she co-founded New York Insight Meditation Center in 1997, and served as its Guiding Teacher until December 2016. She has taught at Retreat Centers and other venues around the United States including a maximum security prison for women. She has been teaching the Dharma since 1995 and is particularly inspired by the potential and application of Dharma to transform and illuminate interpersonal and multicultural relations.

Gina has an A.B. in Philosophy from Barnard College and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. Before practicing law, she worked for the New York City government and in the motion picture industry, as well as conducting research in public not-for-profits. As a lawyer, she practiced as a corporate litigator and then as a corporate lawyer. She also served as an executive in the fields of venture capital and mergers and acquisitions. She co-founded New York Insight after retiring from the practice of law.



Larry Yang teaches meditation retreats nationally and has a special interest in creating access to the Dharma for diverse multicultural communities. Larry has practiced extensively in Burma and Thailand, with a six month period of ordination as a Buddhist monk under the guidance of Ajahn Tong.  Larry is on the Teachers Council of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, is one of the core teachers of East Bay Meditation Center (Oakland) and Insight Community of the Desert (Palm Springs). He is on the core teaching team of Spirit Rock’s current Dharma Teacher Training program.

Larry’s article, “Directing the Mind Towards Practices in Diversity” was included in Friends on the Path: Living Spiritual Communities, by Thich Nhat Hanh; this article is also being used by different groups based in Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication. Larry is a co-editor of Making the Invisible Visible: Healing Racism in Our Buddhist Communities, a booklet developed for building inclusive communities within spiritual practice. He has contributed to the groundbreaking anthology, Dharma, Color, and Culture, by Hilda Gutiérrez Baldoquín—a volume that provides a unique perspective from practitioners of color across the spectrum of Buddhist traditions. Larry’s new book, Awakening Together: the Spiritual Practice of Inclusivity and Community, is being released by Wisdom Publications in October 2017.

Columbine end from below


The Columbine Inn, in Taos Ski Valley, is a comfortable timber- frame lodge situated among tall pines at 9200 feet elevation in northern New Mexico’s beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  The Mountain Hermitage will have exclusive use of the Columbine Inn during the period of this retreat, enabling us to provide the privacy, quiet, and sense of harmony  most conducive to intensive practice.Columbine entrance

There is a lovely meditation hall,  indoor and outdoor walking areas, and a large dining area.  All of the rooms at the Columbine Inn include a private toilet, shower/tub, mini fridge and microwave. Many of the rooms are spacious enough to allow for sitting and walking meditation for those wishing to practice in a more secluded setting.

Information about transportation and what to bring will be sent to those accepted into the retreat in time for making travel arrangements and packing.Meditation hall2



Fees are on a sliding scale to allow you to pay according to your means. Our actual cost for the ten-day retreat per person is $1035. A portion of our scholarship fund is being allocated for this retreat to allow us to offer the low range on the sliding scale. Please pay as much as you are able, in order to allow others to attend who need to pay less. Any amount above $1035 will be gratefully received and treated as a tax-deductible donation.

Sliding Scale Fees:    $835  (low)     $1035  (actual cost)     $1294  (benefactor)

There will be scholarship support for students wishing to attend this retreat. Please fill out a scholarship application form and send it with your application form, specifying how much you feel you are able to pay.

The Mountain Hermitage will gratefully receive donations to our scholarship fund to enable those in financial need to attend this retreat. Donations are tax-deductible and should be marked ‘Scholarship Fund’.

  Kitchen and dining6DANA

The retreat fees only cover basic expenses and operating costs. The teachers offers the Buddha Dhamma without any set fee, and totally depends on DANA – on the generosity of their students and benefactors – for the support of their daily life needs.

DANA, an ancient Pali word meaning generosity, giving, or gift, is central to the 2,600-year-old tradition of Buddhism. The teachings of the Buddha have been offered freely since the time of the Buddha. There was and is no way to put a price on the teachings of the truth – they are valuable beyond any fee one could set.

At the end of the retreat, envelopes will be provided for you to offer Dana to the teachers. Giving to the teacher from the heart, whatever feels appropriate, is the practice of Dana. You may also wish to offer Dana to the staff or to the Hermitage itself to support operating expenses or future scholarships.

Another way to support the Hermitage is to donate all or part of the cost of a meal during the retreat.


Your fees for the retreat will be used to pay for: rental of the Columbine Inn and attached expenses; other general retreat expenses; a retreat cook; a small stipend for the retreat manager; a modest parsonage to the teachers to help cover ongoing home expenses for the duration of the retreat; teacher and teacher assistant transportation.Yogi jobs3


Please send your deposit with your application. The deposit  for non-scholarship applicants is: $400.  The deposit for scholarship applicants is: $200.

The deposit will not be banked until your registration is confirmed and will be applied to the total fee for those accepted to attend. The deposit will be returned in full to those not accepted, or to those who are on a waiting list at the time that the retreat begins.


The full deposit must accompany your application, even if you are requesting scholarship funds. No monies will be banked until you are accepted on the retreat.  The balance of the retreat fee is due when you arrive for the retreat, or you can mail the balance to us in advance. If possible, we appreciate you paying the full fee (deposit plus balance) at the time of application or on acceptance, as this improves our efficiency. However this is not necessary.

Please pay by check or money order in US funds, drawn on a US bank. We cannot accept foreign cash or bank drafts, but we can accept international money orders in US dollars. We are sorry that we are currently unable to accept credit cards.

Checks/money orders should be made payable to THE MOUNTAIN HERMITAGE.


Cancellation fees apply to all confirmed registrations.

Cancellations received on or before July 4, 2018: your deposit and any additional payment will be returned minus a $100 cancellation fee.

Cancellations received on or after July 5, 2018: your deposit cannot be refunded. If you have already paid the balance, then that balance will be refunded minus the $400 cancellation fee/deposit.



In the event of specific, unusual emergency circumstances, the cancellation policy can be discussed with The Mountain Hermitage Office Manager after the retreat is concluded.  If you attend the retreat but for some reason decide on your own to leave early, the deposit and balance you have paid cannot be refunded to you.


Anyone interested in attending the retreat must have read this document. Then, complete the Application Form and Waiver of Liability, attach your deposit, and mail to: The Mountain Hermitage, PO Box 807, Ranchos de Walking 4Taos, NM 87557.

Applications and deposits are requested by July 12, 2018. Late applications will be considered on a space available basis. Applications will be accepted only by mail, not by phone, fax, or e-mail, because they must be accompanied by the appropriate deposit.

Incomplete registrations, including those without sufficient deposit, will be returned for completion.Yogi practicing outdoors 2

Each application will be carefully reviewed. In some cases, a personal or phone interview will be conducted with one of the teachers prior to determination of suitability for this type of practice.  All applications are processed by date received. We will respond within four weeks from receipt of your application.

If your application is not accepted for this retreat, your deposit will be returned.


Places are limiteColumbines several blued to 16 practitioners, so early application is advised. Once the retreat is full, you will be notified and placed on a wait list, and we will contact you if a place opens up. If it does not, then your deposit will be returned.

If you are placed on the wait list and you then cancel your registration before a space has become available, your deposit will be returned.

If you are placed on a wait list and are unable to attend the retreat, please let us know immediately. As long as your name remains on a list, we assume you wish to attend. If a space becomes available, we will automatically confirm your registration. Once you are confirmed for a retreat, you are liable for applicable cancellation fees if you subsequently cancel.

Printable Documents and Forms

Introduction (print-friendly version of this page)

Practice Guidelines


Waiver of Liability

Scholarship Application & Information Sheet

Special Flyer