Earth in Mind: Dharma, Deep Ecology and Land
July 16 - 21, 2024
The birds have vanished into the sky.
And now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together the mountain and I,
Until only the mountain remains.
– Li Po
In our times we live with the possibility of ‘The Great Turning’, the possibility of reweaving the human narrative so that we may live in a mutually enhancing manner as members of the wider Earth community. We also live with the possibility of the ‘Great Unravelling’, the continued degradation of many of the human and ecological systems we live within. It is a challenging time to be alive in, yet it is also a privilege – to be awake at this crucial juncture in our collective story, and to participate in the direction of its unfolding.
This is the wider context in which we hold our practice and indeed our lives, acknowledging the inseparability of our own well-being with that of the wider Earth community. This retreat is offered as an invitation to resource ourselves, to deepen our gratitude for being alive on this Earth as well as to nourish and inspire ourselves as we navigate our way into an uncertain future.
During this retreat we will take the time to slow down; to connect with ourselves, with each other and with the land in service of remembering with our minds, hearts and bodies what most deeply matters to us and what we most deeply belong to. In addition to our relationship with the inner landscapes of our own mind, integral to this retreat is our relationship with the land we will be in communion with.
Elders within both indigenous societies and contemplative traditions have long sought out the refuge of the wider natural world in order to become more intimate with a larger ground of belonging. These sages and elders of old deeply understood that the nature of their own minds was not separate from mountains and rivers and the great wide Earth. We continue this long tradition, exploring the gifts of nature-based practice and contemplative practice, experiencing the mutuality of these ways of deepening presence with life.
Meditation instruction will be offered around the four foundations of mindfulness, supported by nature-based practices drawing on an eco-centric model of human development that complement these foundations. Group inquiry and individual interviews will also be offered. The three threads of our time together: individual contemplative practice, community inquiry and connection with the land will serve as the foundation of this retreat. In support of deepening this exploration the majority the retreat will be held in silence, interspersed with periods of shared exploration through dialogue.
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!
NEW IN 2024: First-time retreatants at Southern Dharma must arrive by 5pm ET on the first day of retreat. Check-in begins at 3pm. Returning yogis can check-in between 3 and 6pm.
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.
All registrations are subject to our new 2024 cancellation policy. All retreatants must review and agree to this policy upon registration.
For our 2024 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 (camping with your own gear)
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 offers 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.