About This Meditation Retreat
During this 3-day mindfulness meditation retreat at the Mt Adams Buddhist Temple and Trout Lake Abbey, we will use the practices of mindfulness meditation (sitting and walking) and loving-kindness (Metta) to investigate our moment to moment experience. Using the body and breath to stabilize the mind, we learn to observe the impermanent, imperfect, and impersonal characteristics of our existence, through repeated observation of the rising and falling away of sensory phenomena. On a very basic level, this is a practice of “nothing special”. We aren’t going for states of rapture or bliss or oneness with allness. If that happens, great. Although what we ultimately will discover is that happiness isn’t found in a profound experience—it is found in a mind that doesn’t cling to any particular experience.
This meditation retreat will include evening Dharma talks, individual practice meetings with the teacher, guided meditations, and guided mindful movement practice. The retreat is suitable for all levels. There will be basic instruction for newcomers, and refinement and continued momentum for those with previous experience.
The registration fee covers the cost of food, lodging, and administration of the retreat logistics, and is separate from payment to the teacher for offering their time and wisdom during the retreat.
It is important to understand that teachers offer these experiences without any guarantee of payment or reimbursement, and operate fully on the faith of the tradition. Please consider offering teacher dāna at the event to support their livelihood. (Dāna is a term for generosity, or freely offered giving.) There will be opportunities at the retreat to learn more about this tradition and ask any questions.
We offer a 3-tier payment to choose from. The supporter tier covers the bare costs to run the retreat. The base tier is the lowest for those needing financial subsidy, and the sponsor tier helps to pay for those with less resources.
- Base: $350
- Supporter: $400
- Sponsor: $450
This retreat will fill.
The Abbey has a mixture of single, double, and shared housing options, which include a bed & breakfast with 5 rooms (1 of them has a bunk bed that accommodates 2 people), meditation huts (single occupancy, very simplistic), and a dorm-style room with 8 hostel beds.
Pictures of the B&B and hostel can be viewed here https://www.tlabbey.com/bed-and-breakfast-trout-lake/
There is space to bring a tent and camp, as well as parking for a van/RV. Campers share bathrooms/showers with those staying in the meditation huts.
Accommodations are assigned based on the order of registration—the first to register are assigned the B&B rooms, then the meditation huts, and then the hostel room. We keep the cost the same for all participants in order to simplify the process, and because everyone is paying to use the facilities, which include the commercial kitchen and meditation halls. You are also paying for an indoor sleeping space in the event of severe weather. This would mean sleeping on a tri-fold mattress inside one of the buildings.
The office staff needs to be alerted to any special needs IN ADVANCE of the retreat that are relevant to how we house you. Rooming is finalized just prior to the retreat start in order to accommodate any last minute changes, so in most cases we’re unable to tell you in advance what your specific housing assignment will be. We cannot guarantee last minute requests for changes, since the assignments are specifically geared to the number of retreatants and the various special needs requests we receive.
Please be aware that in assigning housing, we must meet a variety of needs with the resources we have available. We ask that you practice with whatever situation in which you find yourself and accept whatever housing assignment you’re offered with gratitude and equanimity.
We can’t tell you your assigned housing until just before the retreat begins, unless you are planning to camp or stay in a vehicle. You will have the option to request this during the registration process.
We hold many large retreats like this all year long, and find that most people really enjoy the housing and space, as most of our groups are repeats.
If you live in the area, you are welcome to make the commute each morning and evening, though it is important to arrive/depart on-time, and to attend the full retreat in order to be supportive of the group energy.
About the Teacher
August Jensen is a fully ordained Dharma teacher at the Mt. Adams Zen Buddhist Temple, studying in the Vietnamese lineage with Thay Kozen. Previously, he studied in the tradition of Shambala, and graduated from Naropa—a Buddhist contemplative university in Boulder, Colorado—with an advanced degree in contemplative practice, and completed the Naropa University invite-only meditation teacher training program. A psychotherapist in private practice, he integrates Buddhist practices with Western Psychology. Learn more about his practice of merging Buddhism and Psychotherapy.
What is Dāna?
The custom of Dāna, or generosity, set forth by the Buddha, is a compassionate, ethical practice based in the realization of interconnectedness, and a way that you can support a teacher and community of practice in sustaining the realization of Truth. Our dharma teachers make a leap of faith with every retreat, offering their wisdom, compassion, time and life energies with no expectation of receiving anything in return. Their own practice involves living from a place of deep trust that those who value and practice the teachings will be inspired to help provide for their support, which allows them to continue to offer these priceless teachings.
There will an opportunity to give dana at the retreat. The temple is a 501(c)3 tax exempt religious organization. Donations made to the temple can be credited by the IRS as a donation and you may receive a deduction in your taxes.
Each participant will be able to sign up for working meditation tasks that help the retreat and facilities run smoothly. Some examples of tasks are: food prep, washing dishes, trash/recycling, bathroom cleaning, sweeping, bell-ringing, etc. There will be time after each meal to accomplish these tasks. They are an important part of the retreat tradition, as well as the continued practice of mindfulness in daily life.
This retreat will be held in silence. By observing outer silence and temporarily renouncing our usual habits of conversation, we provide a support for the cultivation of a deep inner silence. You will be asked to refrain not only from speaking but also from activities like reading, writing and using technology or communication devices. A silent environment supports each retreatant to engage the immediacy of his or her experience in the present moment on deeper and more subtle levels than is normally possible.
Occasionally matters arise that need to be addressed through appropriate and skillful communication. Essential communication of this kind is done through notes on the message board. For the sake of the integrity of your own retreat experience, however, we will ask that you keep notes to a minimum. In the event of an emergency, you are welcome to speak to a staff member in a way so as not to disturb other participants. There are a few exceptions to the silence: there will be daily Dharma talks and meditation instructions offered by the teacher, as well as opportunities to engage verbally during Q&A periods and during private practice discussions with the teacher(s).
These training precepts are offered to guide the ethical behavior of the entire Trout Lake Abbey community. Retreatants, staff, teachers, board members, and volunteers are all requested to do their best to cultivate these precepts while at the Trout Lake Abbey. They are intended as standards we can internalize as a foundation for our individual practice and to support harmonious community, as the Buddha intended.
1. Refraining from Killing
Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I will cultivate the precept of not killing, and will not encourage others to kill. In undertaking this precept, I acknowledge the interconnection of all sentient beings.
2. Refraining from Stealing
Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, injustice and stealing, I agree not to take anything that does not belong to me or has not been freely offered, and to respect the property of others. I will be honest in my dealings with money.
3. Refraining from Sexual Misconduct
Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I will avoid creating harm through sexuality, and will avoid sexual exploitation or breaking commitments of sexual fidelity.
4. Refraining from False Speech:
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful and untrue words, I will undertake the training of speaking truthfully, with beneficial words. I will cultivate deep listening. I will refrain from gossip about others. I will attempt, with kindness and honesty, to resolve any conflicts I have with other people.
5. Refraining from the Use of Intoxicants:
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption of intoxicants, I will refrain from abusing them, including non-medicinal drugs and alcohol.
Partial Attendance, Late Arrivals, Early Departures
Unless specifically noted, partial attendance on retreat is not permitted, nor are late arrivals and early departures of a non-emergency nature. (This includes early departures on the last day of the retreat prior to the final clean-up.) It is most respectful to the continuity of the group energy as a whole, for the smooth running of the retreat and the center, and for your own experience of full introduction, completion and closure that all participants plan to attend the full retreat. Special requests for partial attendance need to be made well in advance, are not guaranteed, and must be approved by both the retreat director and the retreat leader. Receiving permission from the teacher prior to contacting the Abbey is not a guarantee of acceptance for partial attendance.
Arrival and Departures
All retreats begin in the evening of the first day with check-in between 2pm and 4pm. The first gathering of the full group begins with dinner served at 5pm followed by Working Meditation Trainings. Group Orientation to the retreat begins at 7pm unless otherwise noted on your confirmation letter. Most retreats end on the final day with brunch, and a final clean-up. Most participants leave the center by 12:30pm on the last day. There are some exceptions to this ending time. Your confirmation packet will specify the exact ending time for your retreat. Special arrangements can be made with advance arrangement (at least 48 hours prior to the retreat start) for those catching a flight or driving to Canada that would necessitate early departure.
If you’d like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out the form, and specify how easy it is for you to arrange travel to and from the retreat. For last-minute cancellations, we will prioritize those on the waitlist that are able to make it from a shorter distance/less travel.
Spaces on retreats are not transferable to other individuals. Non-refundable portions of retreat fees are also non-transferable to other individuals or retreats. Exceptions will be considered for personal & family medical emergencies only. Requests for exceptions must be made within two weeks of the cancellation.
The retreat fee, less a $50 cancellation fee, will be fully refunded if the Abbey is notified more than 6 months prior to the start of the retreat.
The retreat fee, less a $100 cancellation fee, will be fully refunded if the Abbey is notified 6 or more weeks prior to the start of the retreat.
Half of the retreat fee will be forfeited if the Abbey is notified between 2 to 6 weeks prior to the retreat.
The full amount of the retreat fee will be forfeited if the Abbey is notified less than 2 weeks prior to the retreat.
TLA has several resident dogs. While never aggressive, they can be enthusiastic greeters and may sometimes jump. Please note that the dogs are never allowed in any of the bedrooms or other lodging in order to maintain hypoallergenic spaces.
Retreat Schedule (very likely to change)
2-4 pm Check-in
6-7 Working meditation trainings
7-8:30 First meditation session begins
6:15 Sitting meditation
7:00 Breakfast and morning tasks
8:30 Instructions and sitting meditation
10:00 Instructions and walking meditation (inside)
11:00 Movement outside with Thay Kozen
12 pm Lunch
1:00 Personal Time (Mindfulness of living)
2:30 Sitting (or practice discussions with the teacher)
3:15 Walking (or practice discussions with the teacher)
3:45 Sitting (or practice discussions with the teacher)
4:15 Walking ( or practice discussions with the teacher)
4:45 Break for dinner
6:30 Evening Temple Service with Thay Kozen (Metta Practice)
7:45 Dharma Talk
9:00 Sleep or continued practice
6:15 Sitting meditation
7:00 Breakfast and morning tasks
8:30 Temple Service with Thay Kozen (Metta Practice and Movement Meditation)
9:45 Instructions and sitting meditation
10:45 Walking meditation (outside)
11:30 Sitting meditation
12 pm Lunch
1:00 Personal Time (Mindfulness of living)
2:30 Sitting (or individual discussions with the teacher)
3:15 Walking (or individual discussions with the teacher)
3:45 Sitting (or individual discussions with the teacher)
4:15 Walking ( or individual discussions with the teacher)
4:45 Break for dinner
5:00 Dinner and work tasks
6:00 Sitting meditation
6:45 Walking meditation
7:30 Dharma Talk
8:30 Sleep or continued practice
6:15 Instructions and Meditation
7:00 Breakfast and work tasks
8:30 Bring bedding to Laundry
9:00 Dana Giving and Evaluations
10:00 Group discussion and closing
11:30 Checkout and Departure, snacks available