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Refuge: A Meditation Retreat for Families (5 days)

July 7 – 12, 2012 (Saturday to Thursday)

Registration for this retreat is closed

There may be rides available for this retreat. You can also offer a ride. Click here to view the listings.

This course for families is an invitation to free our hearts and minds in the very midst of our roles and relationships. Guided by the teachings of the Buddha, we learn to nurture an attitude of kindness, care and attention in all activities, from traditional rituals and practice in the hall to spontaneous play with friends. Through meditation, dharma teachings, discussions and community gatherings we explore the unfolding of wisdom, joy and compassion. The teachers will be assisted by Ofosu Jones-Quartey.

This retreat gives parents of young children the chance for supported practice time. An adult dharma program and a simultaneous, separate program for children aged 2-13 years take place each morning and evening. (This course is not open to teens aged 14 or older unless they are invited to serve as Young Adult Helpers.) Families gather all together three times daily. A parent or friend needs to stay with any child under two years old at all times.

For the children’s program, which is staffed by volunteers who coordinate age-appropriate activities, a sliding scale fee applies: each family unit pays $60 – $175. Please specify the name, full date of birth and gender of all children when you register.

For those with allergies, please note that IMS serves peanut butter at some meals.

This retreat is full with a very long wait list.


Tentative Daily Schedule

The following outline describes the daily Family Retreat structure and the kinds of activities that are included. Please note that it is not an exact schedule - this will be made available on arrival at the start of the course.

7:00 am Meditation in the hall for adults

7:30 am Breakfast and work-as-practice for adults and children

9:30 am Community dharma gathering for everyone in the meditation hall - this period might include rituals, mindful movement and guided meditation

10:00 am Silent sitting and walking meditation for adults - teachers will provide basic instructions and guidance.
Group activities for children with adult volunteers and teen helpers - teachers will provide dharma classes and guided meditation

Noon Lunch and rest time

1:30 pm Family time - various activities on- and off-site, such as swimming, rehearsals for the end-of-retreat skit, crafts and play.
Adults may attend small groups organized by teachers or other retreatants, or take more time for silent practice in the meditation hall

4:30 pm Community dharma gathering in the meditation hall - this period might include rituals, storytelling, songs and sharing

5:00 pm Dinner

6:00 pm Community dharma gathering in the meditation hall

6:15 pm Silent sitting and walking meditation for adults - this period might include a teacher dharma talk or time for questions and discussion
Children attend groups with adult volunteers and teen helpers

8:00 pm Pajama Puja for all retreatants

8:30 pm Family time - get ready for bed. A final 30-minute meditation in the hall will be offered for adults

10:00 pm Lights out


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