14-DAY ONLINE HERMITAGE RETREAT
with Ariya Baumann
August 31 – September 13, 2022
Guidance for Vipassana, Brahma Vihara, and the Four Protective Reflections will be available.
The Fourteen-Day Online Hermitage Retreat offers a uniquely supportive space of solitude and silence for qualified individuals who wish to undertake longer periods of intensive meditation practice. This fourteen-day online 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 fourteen-day Hermitage online from August 31 – September 13, 2022, 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 July 31, 2022. Late applications will be considered on a space available basis. Hermitage retreats are small and intimate — maximum 20 people — so early application is recommended. Printable forms are at the bottom of this page.
PREREQUISITES FOR THIS RETREAT
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. 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 Fourteen-Day Online At Home Hermitage will consist of a Retreat Manager (the point of contact in case of any difficulties), and a supporting Retreat Manager/Technical Support.
ABOUT THE FOURTEEN-DAY ONLINE HERMITAGE
“There was an understanding by staff and teacher(s) of the combination of structure, freedom, and deep/simple teaching supportive of the practice of liberation.”
Ariya Baumann will guide The Mountain Hermitage’s Fourteen-Day Online Hermitage Retreat. This Hermitage Retreat 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 Retreat 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 fourteen days of the Hermitage Retreat. Teaching support will consist of at least 4 practice interviews during the fourteen days, Dhamma talks almost every day, and chanting practice and guided sitting meditation almost every day. Before each Dhamma talk there will be a renewed yogi group commitment to the refuges and precepts.
The Fourteen-Day Online Hermitage Retreat 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. 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 the retreat. All business and family obligations should be taken care of prior to arrival so that practice can be uninterrupted. At the bottom of this page is a document that has some suggested guidelines for setting up your retreat space at home and for navigating an online at home retreat.
SUGGESTED DAILY SCHEDULE
The general retreat schedule will consist of group events such as talks and group sits, 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. The times below are NM time. At the bottom of this page is a handy chart that has various time zones listed.
7:00 a.m. – Chanting practice, Instructions, & Sitting Meditation with Ariya
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Individual and/or Group practice meeting with Ariya
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Walk and sit alternate hours or personal schedule
1:00 p.m. – Dhamma Talk with Ariya
3:00 p.m. – Group Sit Retreat manager will be practice leader
4:00 p.m to 6:00 p.m. – Walk and sit alternate hours or personal schedule
6:00 p.m. – Group Sit Retreat manager will be practice leader
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. – Walk and sit 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 fourteen days online retreat per retreatant is $325. 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
$225 (low end) $325 (actual cost) $475 (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’.
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 are held to be beyond any price and have been offered freely since the time of the Buddha. This retreat is offered in that same spirit.
The early teachers received no payment for their instruction. In Buddhist countries, traditionally, it has always been understood that the lay community, through their voluntary generosity (their dana), provide physical support – the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and medicine – for the monks and nuns. In turn they were/are offered guidance and teachings in their own practice by this monastic sangha.
This practice of dana has been a very significant pillar in keeping the Dhamma (teachings) alive. The generosity of the laity towards the practical support of the monastic community since ancient times, is what has kept the Dhamma spreading through the world. Western teachers have continued this tradition of offering the teachings freely. In our culture, where no real training exists in living generously, it is a new practice for us in both offering and receiving the Dhamma.
Dana is not only a practical matter; it also plays a crucial role in the spiritual life of a Dhamma practicioner. Generosity is the first of the ten paramis, or qualities of character, to be perfected in spiritual life. The very act of giving is of immeasurable benefit to the giver, for it opens the heart, lessens self-absorption, and serves the well-being of others.
The Mountain Hermitage fees for this retreat only cover basic expenses and operating costs. The teacher(s) offer the Buddha Dhamma without any set fee, and depend on the generosity of students for the support of their daily life needs. 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.
USE OF FEES
Your fees for the Fourteen-Day Online Hermitage Retreat will be used to pay for: various administrative costs that arise from the change of format, other general retreat expenses; and modest stipends for the teacher and retreat manager.
Your deposit is the amount of retreat fee that you are able to pay. Please send your this with your application.
This deposit will not be banked until your registration is confirmed. This amount 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 amount of the retreat fee must accompany your application, even if you are requesting scholarship funds. No monies will be banked until you are accepted into the retreat.
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 July 30, 2022: your deposit will be returned minus a $25 cancellation fee.
Cancellations received on or after July 31, 2022, including non-attendance at the retreat: your deposit cannot be refunded.
CANCELLATION FEES WILL BE APPLIED TO THE MOUNTAIN HERMITAGE SCHOLARSHIP FUND (after the cost of the retreat is covered).
If you attend the retreat but for some reason decide on your own to leave early, the amount you have paid cannot be refunded to you.
Anyone interested in attending the Fourteen-Day Online Hermitage Retreat 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. You can also email your application to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications and deposits are requested by July 31, 2022. Late applications will be considered on a space available basis. Each application will be carefully reviewed by the teacher. 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.
Places are limited to 20 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.