Annual Summer Meditation Intensive—July 2018

About us

Attendance dates for the Summer Meditation Intensive have changed – we are now asking participants to register and attend a week at a time, in full.  Each separate week is a retreat within the Month-Long Meditative Container.  If you would like to attend more than one consecutive week, please register for both weeks and you can experience a continuous retreat.

Week 1

July 1-6: Resilience Through the Life Story of the Buddha (REGISTER HERE)

Lopon Liz Monson, Anastra Madden

The first week we will focus on the Life Story of the Buddha.  This story stands out in religious literary history as a powerful example of how one human being transformed his relationship to suffering and discovered a way of being sourced with boundless compassion, love, and wisdom.  During the first week of the summer practice intensive, Lopon Liz Monson will guide retreatants through the life story of the Buddha as a paradigm for exploring how to be in relationship with those forces, both internal and external, that keep us from accessing and resting in our innate nature. We will focus on how the metaphorical descriptions of the Buddha’s experience of encountering “Mara” under the Bodhi tree on the night of his enlightenment, provide us with a template for re-configuring our experience of and relationship to the difficult situations, emotions, and energies that we encounter in our lives. This week combines in-depth textual study with meditation practice for a unique encounter with the Buddha as archetype, inspiration, and embodiment of wisdom and compassion.  Required Reading for the first week: The Life of the Buddha, by Tendzin Chogyal and Kurtis Schaeffer. Other books/sources TBD.  A practice interview with Lama Willa or Lopon Liz is guaranteed.  Interviews are scheduled at time of check-in, not before.

Week 1 Special Event (open to the public!):  July 1, 2-4pm  Fire Puja, Instruction and Ritual

Week 1 Program Curriculum & Schedule questions:

Week 2

July 7-13: Heart Cultivation: Slogan Practice and Tonglen (REGISTER HERE)

Lama Willa, Lopon Liz, Camille Hykes

The second week of the July month-long Practice Intensive will focus on the teachings and practices of Heart Cultivation (Lojong).  Heart Cultivation, a lineage that derives from the teachings of Atisha, emphasizes that every moment of our lives can be practice. We will explore how difficult states and obstacles are especially welcome opportunities for transformation. Textual study sessions will focus on Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Bodhicaryavatara) and Jamgon Kongtrul’s The Great Path of Awakening.  Retreatants are requested to purchase and bring these books with them.  A practice interview with Lama Willa or Lopon Liz is guaranteed.  Interviews are scheduled at time of check-in, not before.

Week 2 Special Event (open to the public!):  July 8, 4-5pm  Bodhisattva Vow Ceremony

Week 2 Program Curriculum & Schedule questions:

Week 3

July 14-21: Vajrayana as a Path of Compassion (REGISTER HERE)

Lopon Liz, Lama Willa, Kathe McKenna, Lama Karma Chotso, Brendan Kennedy

How is Vajrayana Buddhism a path of compassion? In this week-long intensive, we will explore different dimensions of the vibrant tradition of the Vajrayana as a path of compassion, the branch of Buddhism extending from the Himalayan Regions of South Asia. We will explore some of the Vajrayana’s key features, such as:

    • Reverence, as a stance of profound appreciation and willingness to be transformed by the power of sacred view, meditation, and action.
    • Generating wholesomeness, the practices of arising, dissolving, and resting in our own inherent nature.
    • Outer, inner, secret, and innermost secret retreat. How to create the conditions for engaging in sacred world, whether we are practicing being in retreat with a group, alone, or in our daily lives.
    • How the Vajrayana cultivates relationship and the interpersonal through connecting with the lineage.
    • Some teachings & study of Creation and Completion.

A practice interview with Lama Willa or Lopon Liz is guaranteed.  Interviews are scheduled at time of check-in, not before.

Week 3 Special Event (open to the public!):  July 15, 4-6pm      Vajrasattva Empowerment and Transmission

Week 3 Program Curriculum & Schedule questions:

Week 4

July 24-31:  Restricted to Vajrayana Level III students

Week 4 Special Event (open to the public!):  July 31, 10-11am   Fire Puja


Daily Practice Schedule:

6:30-7:00       Sunrise Meditation

7:00-7:30       Breakfast

8:30-10:00     Yoga or Movement Practice

10:20-11:10   Dharma Teaching

11:30-12:15   Meditation Practice (guided)

12:15-3:00     Lunch and Mid-day Break

3:00-3:45       Meditation Practice (silent)

4:00-5:30       Dharma Study Session (M,W,F: Teacher-guided, all other days: Self-guided)

5:45-6:30       Meditation Practice (guided)

6:30-8:00       Dinner and Break

8:00-8:45       Evening Meditation (silent)

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Annual Summer Meditation Intensive—July 2018
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Annual Summer Meditation Intensive—July 2018

at Wonderwell Mountain Refuge

  • Jul 1, 2018 - Jul 31, 2018 (31 days)


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