Taking Refuge: A Vipassana and Brahma Vihara Retreat
October 13 - 20, 2023
Make an island of yourself, make yourself your refuge; there is no other refuge. Make truth your island, make truth your refuge; there is no other refuge. – Buddha
Vipassana is a journey to the center of the heart. With vipassana practice, the breathing body becomes a refuge uniting increasing stillness with the immediacy of moment to moment awareness.
The Buddha taught the cultivation of the brahma viharas (divine abodes) as complimentary practices to vipassana. The brahma viharas are the four faces of love. Working together, they ground the mind and body in present time awareness. When cultivated, each of the four divine abodes become a refuge protecting heart from getting lost in the shadow play of fear and aversion.
Established in the clarity of vipassana:
- Metta transforms fear and ill-will into loving-kindness and benevolence, in our relationship with ourselves and others.
- Karuna transforms cruelty into the tender heartfelt qualities of empathy and compassion, with all forms of suffering within oneself and others.
- Mudita transforms jealousy and resentment into a state of joy, in the experience of happiness occurring in life, whether it be one’s own or others.
- Upekkha transforms indifference and disregard, into a state of even minded serenity, with all things as they are.
When taking refuge in an intentional way of living, the whole of life begins to change. We respond to the “ten thousand joys and sorrows” that come and go throughout this precious existence with love and gratitude.
This retreat will be held in Noble Silence. The daily schedule will include morning teachings and reflections, sitting and walking meditation, an afternoon discussion period, an evening dharma talk, and scheduled individual meetings with DaeJa. There will also be time to rest and spend time in nature.
Both experienced meditators and those new to the practice are welcome.
We no longer require COVID-19 vaccinations to attend our programs, but do still require testing. We require all registered participants to present negative results from a Covid test performed in the 3 days prior to the start of your retreat AND that you consent to being tested upon your arrival at Southern Dharma. Any rapid antigen test is acceptable for testing, including over-the-counter at-home tests.
Thank you for your understanding as we work to ensure the safety of our staff, teachers, retreatants, and larger community!
Check-in from 4-6pm; Early arrivals may be accommodated – email firstname.lastname@example.org to request.
Departures will take place by 2:00pm on the last day of retreat. Please make sure that you can attend the full program before registering.
For our 2023 retreats, three fee tiers are offered. Please choose the option that best fits your ability to give in this time. Any amount paid above the Base rate is a tax deductible contribution to Southern Dharma Retreat Center. Your confirmation email is your receipt for tax purposes.
We are deeply grateful for your support.
Note that registration fees do not include dana for the teacher(s). In the Buddhist tradition the teachings are offered freely and teachers are not paid for their offerings. They rely on dana contributions from students. Similarly, Southern Dharma keeps registration fees low to ensure the Dharma is accessible to all. Fees cover only a fraction of Southern Dharma’s operating expenses. We appreciate your practice of generosity to continue the dissemination of the Dharma.
Housing and all meals are included in the program fee. We are currently offering six housing options:
- Bed in Lodge, shared double room (2nd floor)
- Bed in Lodge, dorm with privacy partitions (3rd floor)
- Unheated kuti (single cabin, outdoor bathroom)
- Heated kuti (single cabin, outdoor bathroom)
- Canvas Tent (furnished, outdoor bathroom)
- Basic Tent Platform
Please use the appropriate field in the registration process to let us know your preferences in regards to housing, if any, and also specify if you insist on or prefer being housed with others of the same gender. All housing options are priced the same except for the Basic Tent Platform.
Southern Dharma is now offering 50% scholarship awards for BIPOC and Young Adults, in addition to those with financial need. Indicate your interest in a Southern Dharma in-house scholarship during the registration process.
This program is also eligible for Hemera Contemplative Fellowships. Please note that you must apply for the Fellowship prior to registering for any program. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.