Recognizing Natural Awareness
One-Week Insight Meditation Retreat
With Greg Scharf
August 13 – 20, 2021
at Columbine Inn, Taos Ski Valley, NM
Meditation can be seen as the process of learning to recognize and trust a natural quality of awareness that is available to all of us in any moment no matter what is happening in our experience.
This awareness allow us to open to and connect with the truth of each moment. As we gain confidence in the mind’s ability to recognize this natural awareness we begin to release the burden of trying to control, manipulate, or fix experience so that it meets our ideas of the way it should be, and relax into the truth of the way it actually is.
Clear seeing and wisdom arise naturally and we see directly for ourselves what leads to well-being and freedom and what leads to suffering, both in our own life and in the world around us. Through this process we begin to live our lives from a place of greater balance, integrity, confidence, and connection.
The retreat is open to beginners and experienced practitioners alike and will include meditation instruction, dharma talks, practice meetings with the teacher, and optional mindful movement. Printable forms are at the bottom of this page.
PREREQUISITES FOR THIS RETREAT
We invite anyone with a sincere interest in the Buddha Dhamma to join us for this retreat. You will need to complete an application for the retreat, and it will be reviewed by the teacher.
Please be sure to fill out the application sections asking for any meditation and retreat experience, as this information will be helpful to the teacher. 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.
Greg Scharf began meditating in 1992 & has been teaching residential meditation retreats since 2007, including the annual 3 month retreat at the Insight Meditation Society where he serves as a guiding teacher. In his teaching Greg emphasizes the understanding that meditation is fundamentally an exploration of nature and natural processes. He also stresses the critical importance of bringing the qualities of kindness, compassion, and a sense of humor to practice. Greg has a long-standing relationship with the country & people of Burma (Myanmar) where he trained as a Buddhist monk and where he works with a small humanitarian aid project – particularly targeting education, health-care, and support of Buddhist Nuns. Currently living in the high country of northern Arizona, Greg’s love of nature and the outdoors deeply informs both his practice and teaching.
The staff for this retreat includes the teacher, an onsite retreat manager, and a cook. Three delicious and nutritious vegetarian meals will be offered each day.
THE RETREAT FACILITY
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 one 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 area. All of the rooms at the Columbine Inn include a bed, a 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. Bed linens, blankets, pillows, 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.
Fees are on a sliding scale to allow you to pay according to your means. Our actual cost for this week-long retreat per person is $ 831. 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 $ 831 will be gratefully received and treated as a tax-deductible donation.
Sliding Scale Fees: TBD
$ 631 (low) $ 831 (actual cost) $ 1039 (benefactor)
If you need more scholarship support, some additional funds are available. Please fill out a scholarship application form and send it with your application form, specifying how much you feel you are able to pay. There is no fee for monastics.
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 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.
USE OF FEES
Your fees for the retreat will be used to pay for: facility rental & liability insurance; general retreat & administrative expenses; a small stipend for the retreat manager; a small parsonage to the teacher to help cover ongoing home expenses for the duration of the retreat; cook’s wages & food costs; and travel reimbursements.
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. If you would like to pay by credit card, please contact Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Checks/money orders should be made payable to THE MOUNTAIN HERMITAGE.
Cancellation fees apply to all confirmed registrations.
Cancellations received on or before July 1, 2021: your deposit will be returned minus a $25 cancellation fee.
Cancellations received on or after July 2, 2021, 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 $275 deposit/cancellation fee.
CANCELLATION FEES WILL BE APPLIED TO THE MOUNTAIN HERMITAGE SCHOLARSHIP FUND (after the cost of the retreat is covered).
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 Taos, NM 87557.
Applications and deposits are requested by July 1, 2021. 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 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.
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.