2020 Three-Week Summer Hermitage

Three-Week Summer Hermitage 

with Ariya Baumann

July 8 – 29, 2020

Columbine Inn, Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico, USA

Guidance for Vipassana, Brahma Vihara, and the Four Protective Reflections will be available.


The Three-Week Summer Hermitage offers a uniquely supportive space of solitude and silence for qualified individuals who wish to undertake longer periods of intensive meditation practice.  This three-week retreat will offer the opportunity for  Vipassana/Insight,  Brahma Vihara (loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity) practice as well as the Four Protective Reflections (the reflections on loving-kindness, the attributes of the Buddha, the non-beauty of the body, and death.) In consultation with the teacher,  students will decide upon a course of practice that may be directed specifically toward Vipassana, Brahma Vihara or the Four Protective Reflections or some combination of these three.

The Mountain Hermitage will offer this three-week Hermitage at the Columbine Inn from July 8-29, 2020, and invites experienced practitioners to join us for this period.  A scholarship fund has been established to offer financial aid to those who would otherwise not be able to attend and to promote diversity.  Applications and deposits are requested by June 8, 2020.  Late applications will be considered on a space available basis.  Hermitage retreats are small and intimate  — maximum 16 people — so early application is recommended.  Printable forms are at the bottom of this page.  



Practitioners wishing to join us for this retreat:  You must have sat three or more 5-10 day retreats. (If you have questions about your qualifications, you can call and speak with Hermitage staff.)

These retreats must have been led by a recognized teacher. Details of the qualifying retreats, including teachers’ names, dates, location and length of the retreat, must be documented on the application form.


Ariya Baumann was born and raised in Switzerland. She started to practise meditation during her training as a music and dance teacher at the conservatory in Zürich. In 1992, she went to Myanmar (Burma) and ordained as a nun under Sayadaw U Janaka and for many years she practised vipassana and metta meditation under his guidance. Later she assisted the Sayadaws by translating talks and interviews for foreign meditators. In 2006, she changed to the Chanmyay Myaing Meditation Centre, Yangon, where she assisted Sayadaw U Indaka as well as teaching the foreign meditators herself.

In 2013, she disrobed and is now based in Switzerland from where she continues to teach vipassana and metta meditation courses worldwide besides taking care of her old father. Metta chants form an important part of her teaching as a beautiful way to open and soften the heart.

She has translated a number of Dhamma books from Burmese to English and German. These books include Mahasi Sayadaw’s ‘Manual of Insight’ and Sayadaw U Indaka’s books on ‘Metta’ and ‘The Factors of Enlightenment’.

She is a co-founder and president of ‘Metta In Action’ which supports a variety of social and medical projects throughout Burma, especially nunneries.

In addition to the teacher, the staff of the Three-Week Hermitage will consist of a resident Retreat Manager (the point of contact in case of any difficulties) and a Retreat Cook.  There will be three nutritious vegetarian meals a day. The option of adhering to 8 Precepts is available.


“There was an understanding by staff and teachers of the combination of structure, freedom, and deep/simple teaching supportive of the practice of liberation.”
–Hermitage Retreatant

Ariya Baumann will guide The Mountain Hermitage’s Three-Week Summer Hermitage. This Hermitage is designed to offer experienced meditators the opportunity for more independent, less structured practice for an extended period of time. There is no fixed retreat schedule during this Hermitage time. The guidelines for each individual’s practice are worked out in consultation with the teacher. The program will provide a combination of independent practice with the opportunity to train with the guiding teacher in varying aspects of mindfulness, loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy, equanimity practice as well as the practice of the Four Protective Reflections. This will contribute to a comprehensive deepening of practice and understanding.

Yogis are expected to maintain sustained and continuous practice during their three weeks of Hermitage.  Teaching support will consist of 3-4 practice interviews per week, 3-4  Dhamma talks each week, and 1-2 guided sits per week.  Before each Dhamma talk there will be a renewed yogi group commitment to the refuges and precepts. Yogis will undertake one hour of work meditation daily.

The Three-Week Summer Hermitage offers a unique practice opportunity.  In order to benefit from this environment, applicants need to be largely self-sustaining in their practice and be comfortable in unbroken silence and solitude. All participants must be mentally stable and physically able to care for themselves. Everyone must have health insurance or be able to cover their expenses in case of illness or medical emergencies.  Any special needs must be discussed and agreed to in advance, as the staff is very small and cannot accommodate high levels of support for any individual.

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 can be uninterrupted.


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 three-week retreat, enabling us to provide the privacy, quiet, and sense of harmony  most conducive to intensive practice.

There is a lovely meditation hall,  indoor and outdoor walking areas, and a large dining hall.  All of the rooms at the Columbine Inn include 2 queen beds, private toilet, shower/tub, mini-fridge, microwave, and hair dryer. Many of the rooms are spacious enough to allow for sitting and walking meditation for those wishing to practice in a more secluded setting.  Linens and towels are provided.

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


The general retreat schedule will consist of group events such as meals and talks plus a suggested schedule of alternate hours of sitting and walking.  Retreatants may choose to follow the suggested schedule or tailor it to suit personal needs in consultation with the teacher.

5:30 a.m. – Group sit and chanting|
6:30 a.m. – Breakfast
7:15 a.m. – Work period
8:15 a.m. – Group sit with short Dhamma reflection
9:15 a.m.- 12:15 p.m. Walk and sit alternate hours or personal schedule
12:15 p.m.- Lunch
2:00 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. Metta Chants                                                                                                                        2:20 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sit and walk alternate hours or personal schedule
5:00 p.m. – Tea
6:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Sit and walk half-hours or personal schedule
7:15 p.m. – Dhamma talks or guided meditations when scheduled (refuges/precepts are chanted before the talks)
8:30 p.m. – 10:15 p.m. Sit and walk alternate hours or personal schedule


Fees are on a sliding scale to allow you to pay according to your means. Our actual cost for the three weeks per retreatant is $2592.  A portion of our scholarship funds is being allocated for this retreat to allow us to continue to offer the low range on the sliding scale. Please pay as much as you are able to allow others to attend who need to pay less.  Any amount above the actual cost will be gratefully received and treated as a tax-deductible donation.

Sliding Scale Fees 
$2292 (low end)      $2592 (actual cost)      $3240 (benefactor)

Some additional scholarship funds are available, and there is no fee for monastics.   Please fill out the special scholarship application form and include this with your regular application form. 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’.


The retreat fees only cover basic expenses and operating costs. The teachers offers the Buddha Dharma without any set fee, and totally depend 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 teacher. 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 for the retreat.



Your fees for the Three-Week Hermitage 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 small parsonage to the teacher to cover ongoing home expenses for the duration of the retreat; teacher transportation.


Please send your deposit with your application. The deposit is: $600.

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 into 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.Checks/money orders should be made payable to THE MOUNTAIN HERMITAGE.  (We are sorry that we are unable to accept credit cards.)


Cancellation fees apply to all confirmed registrations.

Cancellations received on or before June 1, 2020: your deposit will be returned minus a $100 cancellation fee.

Cancellations received on or after June 2, 2020, including non-attendance at the retreat: your deposit cannot be refunded. If you have already paid the balance, then that balance will be refunded minus the $600 cancellation fee/deposit.


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 Three-Week Hermitage should read this document and the separate Practice Guidelines. Then complete the Application form and Waiver of Liability form, attach your deposit, and mail to: The Mountain Hermitage, PO Box 807, Ranchos de Taos, NM 87557.

Applications and deposits are requested by May 25, 2020. 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. Each application will be carefully reviewed. In some cases, a personal or phone interview will be conducted with the guiding teacher prior to determination of suitability for this type of practice. All applications are processed by date received. We will respond within two weeks from receipt of your application.

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

WAIT LISTMorning view of ridge

Places are limited 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 and Information Sheet

Retreat Flyer