Twice each year, the Port Townsend Sangha hosts a weekend retreat with a visiting Buddhist meditation teacher. Most retreats feature a free introductory lecture on Friday evening, followed by two full-day sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
Visiting teachers may offer dharma talks, as well as instructions for sitting meditation and for walking meditation. In general, sitting meditation may last up to 45 minutes at a time, alternated with shorter periods of walking meditation or other meditation practices.
Dharma talks offered by the teacher may include a variety of Buddhist teachings, such as principles for ethical behavior and wise living, as well as advice to aspirants on meditation techniques. Often, teachers tell stories from their personal experience that reinforce the teachings. An intention of our retreats is the integration of our practice into daily life.
Our mindfulness retreats maintain silence during the day except for teachings or one-to-one trainings. This creates an atmosphere for intensive practice. Silence sharpens our awareness.
The retreats are held at the Port Townsend Yacht Club, in a wheelchair-accessible hall. The Sangha will provide chairs, and we have some cushions. Often people bring their own cushions, benches or other accessories. Some participants bring shawls or sweaters to stay warm, and outerwear for outdoor walking meditation.
At midday, we break for lunch. Retreat participants bring bagged lunches, or may take a break and leave the hall to eat at nearby restaurants or at home. All are encouraged to bring the same awareness and direct attention to eating as they do to other forms of meditation. The Sangha will provide tea, hot water and cups throughout the day.
Retreats are announced on the Port Townsend Sangha website, and by advance email. If you wish to receive email notices of retreats, please subscribe here. At this link, you can choose to join either the general email list or just the retreat announcement list.
Many participants who were new to meditation have found the weekend retreats an easy and dynamic gateway to meditation, mindfulness practice, and the development of insight practice, vipassana. We hope you will be able to attend these joyful affairs.
A suggested donation of $20 – $30 is collected to pay for the rental of the hall, for teacher transportation, and for supplies. If there is any surplus, it is used to support Sangha activities and is gratefully received. When attendance is insufficient to cover costs, the Sangha picks up the bill. Teachers receive no payment for services. Therefore dana (donations) to the teacher are deeply appreciated to show our gratitude and respect for their efforts.
Please let us know if you wish to recommend teachers for future programs.
If you would like more information about the Weekend Retreat Program, please contact us at this email address. We need volunteers, and would be grateful for your involvement.
The next two scheduled retreats are:
Keri Pederson Retreat – September 21 and 22, 2018 – Details are here.
Tuere Sala Retreat – April 5, 6 and 7, 2019 – Details will be provided in January, 2019.