Taking Refuge: A Vipassana and Brahma Vihara Retreat
October 11 - 18, 2024
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, “seeing things as they really are”, functions as a mirror reflecting the heart’s deepest longing to be free of suffering and its causes. With vipassana practice, the breathing body becomes a refuge uniting increasing stillness with the immediacy of moment to moment awareness.
The Buddha taught the Brahma Viharas as complementary practices to Vipassana. When cultivated, each of the four divine abodes become a refuge protecting the heart from getting lost in the shadow play of fear and aversion.
Taking refuge in:
Metta (loving-kindness) transforms fear and ill-will into loving-kindness and benevolence, in our relationship with ourselves and others.
Karuna (compassion) transforms cruelty into the tender heartfelt quality of empathy and compassion, with all forms of suffering within oneself and others.
Mudita (appreciative joy) 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 (equanimity) transforms indifference and disregard, into a state of even minded serenity, with all things as they are.
Over 2,500 years ago, the Buddha described “the entire world as ablaze with the three fires of greed, hatred, and delusion”. Now, as this is becoming more painfully apparent, we’re fortunate to be drawn to take refuge in the Buddha’s hopeful teachings and related practices.
The quiet environment of the retreat will help the heart to calm as the mind settles into awareness of the present moment. As this occurs, the endless cycles of contemplating the past and the future will relax, giving way to a discovery of inner resources that can change our everyday lives. So, although we may not be able to change the world, we will have greater faith and confidence in the ability to change how we live in the world – as the “ten thousand joys and sorrows” come and go throughout this precious existence.
What to expect:
This retreat will be held in Noble Silence. The daily schedule will include morning reflections and teachings, sitting and walking meditation, an afternoon discussion period, and an evening dharma talk. As well there will be time to rest and spend time in nature. There will also be a schedule of individual meetings with DaeJa.
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!
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.