Ten Day People of Color Retreat
for Experienced Students
with Kamala Masters & DaRa Williams
October 3 – 13, 2020
at the Columbine Inn in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
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.
There will be scholarship support available for this retreat. There is no fee for monastics. Please feel free to contact the Hermitage office if you have questions. Printable forms are at the bottom of this page.
PREREQUISITES FOR THIS RETREAT
We invite People of Color who have been undertaking study and practice for at least four years and have sat three or more 5-9 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 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.
Kamala Masters began practicing meditation in the mid-seventies attending retreats in the Theravada tradition. In 1977 she met Anagarika Munindra, her first teacher, who taught her the value of being mindful in everyday life. In 1985, she began to practice vipassana and metta meditations intensively with Sayadaw U Pandita with whom she temporarily ordained as a Buddhist nun in 2001 and 2003. In 2005, she began practicing cittanupassana, contemplation of mind, with Sayadaw U Tejaniya. She integrates this teaching with what she has learned from her other respected teachers.
Since the early nineties, Kamala has been teaching in the United States and abroad, and is a Guiding Teacher at the Insight Meditation Society. In 1995 she co-founded Vipassana Metta Foundation with Steve Armstrong, developing the Maui Dhamma Sanctuary for experienced students to practice and to receive continuing guidance from the teachers. She served as an editor on the Vipassana Metta Foundation Translation Committee for Mahasi Sayadaw’s Manual of Insight, published by Wisdom Publications in 2016.
Kamala strives for extended periods of self-retreat each year. She is grateful for the opportunity to serve and to grow in the Dhamma.
DaRa Williams is a trainer, meditation teacher and psychotherapist. DaRa has been a meditator for the past 25 years and is a practitioner of both Vipassana and Ascension meditation. She is a graduate of the Spirit Rock/Insight Meditation Society Teacher Training Program and is a Guiding Teacher at IMS. She is the Program Manager and a core teacher in the current IMS Teacher Training.
DaRa has been a clinician and administrator in the field of Mental Health for over 25 years and currently maintains a private practice in Manhattan. She is the NYC Program Manager and certified trainer and practitioner of Indigenous Focusing-Oriented Therapy and Complex Trauma.
DaRa integrates these skills, understandings, wisdom traditions and worldviews in her intention for contributing to the ending of suffering for all beings. “It is my belief that vipassana meditation and the dharma are ideal for transforming suffering, particularly the trauma of oppression and its many vicissitudes-where the chains around our minds and hearts can be broken and dissolved. Awareness and wisdom become the vehicle for freedom and transforming lives.”
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 ten-day 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.
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 $1557. 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 $1557 will be gratefully received and treated as a tax-deductible donation.
Sliding Scale Fees: $1357 (low) $1557 (actual cost) $1946 (benefactor)
There will be ample 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. 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 offer the Buddha Dhamma 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 teachers. Giving to the teacher from the heart is the practice of Dana. It is a practice that supports the giver as well as the receiver. It beautifies one’s own heart as well as supports our teachers so that they can continue to serve in the Dhamma. When one practices Dana, one is fulfilling the Three Pillars of the Dhamma… Dana, Sila, and Bhavana. 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: 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 teachers to help cover ongoing home expenses for the duration of the retreat; teacher transportation
Please send your deposit with your application. The deposit for non-scholarship applicants is: $350. 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. Sorry, but 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 August 26, 2020: your deposit will be returned minus a $25 cancellation fee.
Cancellations received on or after August 27, 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 $350 cancellation fee/deposit.
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 August 19, 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 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 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.