Ten-Day Vipassana Retreat
for Experienced Students
With Annie Nugent
November 3 – 12, 2023
Update on TMH’s COVID – 19 Protocol
It is our deep hope that our 2023 retreats will be held in-person. However, as you all know, it is hard to predict the future. We want to make sure that everyone participating at a TMH retreat will be safe. We will continue to seek guidance from our NM department of health and the CDC as well as from our Board, teachers, and staff. If you apply for this retreat, you will be asked to agree to wear a mask when in a space with other people for the first part of the retreat, and agree to follow certain guidelines that will help us all stay healthy. If anything changes before the start of this retreat, we will let you know. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Thank you again for your support of TMH and for your patience and understanding.
The Essence of the Buddha’s Teachings – “ Nothing is to be clung to…”
Awakening to a quietly joyful simplicity in life comes with a growing maturity in our understanding of the essence of the Buddha’s teachings.
This ten day retreat aims to strengthen our direct experience of these essential teachings on freedom, allowing the naturally wise and compassionate heart to engage the world with ease.
The retreat is designed for experienced practitioners and will include meditation instruction, Dhamma talks, teacher interviews and discussion time.
Printable forms are at the bottom of this page.
PREREQUISITES FOR THIS RETREAT
Practitioners wishing to join us for this ten-day retreat, you must have sat two or more 7-10 day Vipassana retreats. These retreats must have been led by a recognized Buddhist teacher. If you have questions about your qualifications, please contact Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details of the qualifying retreats, including teachers’ names, dates, location and length of the retreat, must be documented on the application form. Please make sure to include any meditation and retreat experience as well, as this information will be helpful to the teacher.
The retreat will be limited to 15 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.
Annie Nugent has studied and practiced in the Theravadan and Tibetan traditions since 1979 under the guidance of a range of teachers including Sayadaw U Pandita, Sayadaw U Teijanea, Tulku Akong Rinpoche, and various western teachers. Annie was the resident teacher for staff at The Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA from 1999-2003, and now teaches elsewhere, including the annual IMS three-month retreat and The Forest Refuge. Her teaching style aims to reveal how our lives are opportunities to develop a clear understanding of the Truth.
In addition to the teacher, the staff of this ten-day Mountain Hermitage retreat will consist of a resident retreat manager (the point of contact in case of any difficulties) and a retreat cook. There will be three delicious & nutritious vegetarian meals per day.
THE RETREAT FACILITY
Hyperslow Retreat @ San Geronimo Lodge (HSG), Taos, NM is situated among fruit trees along the banks of the Acequia Madres, and provides the privacy, quiet, and sense of harmony that is most conducive to intensive practice. There are beautiful indoor and outdoor areas suitable for sitting and walking meditation. It is situated at 7000 ft elevation on 2 1/2 acres of private naturally serene and beautiful land.
The Mountain Hermitage will have the exclusive us of HSG during this three-week retreat. Each room is spacious enough to allow for both sitting and walking meditation for those who wish to practice in a more secluded setting. The walking labyrinth is still there!
The meditation hall, bedrooms, walking spaces, dining room, and kitchen are all within one building. There are two wheelchair accessible bedrooms with enough beds to allow for an attendant, if needed.
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 ten day retreat per person is $1220. 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 $1220 will be gratefully received and treated as a tax-deductible donation.
Sliding Scale Fees:
$ 1020 (low) $ 1220 (actual cost) $ 1520 (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’.
USE OF FEES
Your fees for the retreat will be used to pay for: rental of the Lodge and attached expenses; other general retreat expenses; a retreat cook; 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; teacher, cook, and manager transportation. As you well know, transportation and rental costs have increased over the past 2 years. We have done our best to keep the retreat fees as low as possible without jeopardizing our and our teachers’ financial health and well-being. Thank you for your understanding!
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.
All Mountain Hermitage retreats offer participants an opportunity to offer Dana to specifically help cover the cost of meals during the retreat – for an entire day or for individual meals. The suggested amount for each of these will be posted at the retreat next to the Meal Dana basket.
HOW TO MAKE AN OFFERING
At the end of the retreat, Dana envelopes will be provided. Cash or checks on US funds may be used. All Dana checks should be made out to The Mountain Hermitage. The Mountain Hermitage is a 501 (c)(3) tax-deductible charitable organization. All Dana offered to The Mountain Hermitage for use in supporting the teacher, scholarships & general expenses are tax deductible. Donations offered to staff are not tax-deductible.
If you would like to offer Dana by credit card, please ask the Retreat Manager for more information during the retreat. Or ask Kathy at email@example.com
Please send your deposit with your application. The deposit is: $650. Please note that recently we have had to change our deposit, refund, and cancellation policies. This change is due to a large number of people cancelling after we had paid our non-refundable rent balance for the Spring retreat. If you cancel on or after September 1, 2023, your deposit will be non-refundable. Please consider carefully if you are fully committed to sitting this retreat.
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 in 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 August 31, 2023: your deposit will be returned minus a $25 cancellation fee.
Cancellations received on or after September 1, 2023 (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 $650 cancellation fee/deposit.
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 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 form, attach your deposit, and mail to: The Mountain Hermitage, PO Box 807, Ranchos de Taos, NM 87557.
Applications and deposits are requested by October 3, 2023. 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 may 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 15 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.