This 11-night residential retreat will provide a rare opportunity for dedicated students to deepen their practice of Buddhist meditation. Students will be instructed in the development of the Jhanas - states of altered consciousness that the Buddha himself experienced and then taught as a means to profound insight and liberation from suffering. As a necessary support for this advanced meditation practice, this retreat will be held in Noble Silence and under the protection of the Eight Buddhist Training Precepts. Dhamma talks and personal interviews will take place throughout the retreat to clarify the teaching and provide individual support. It is highly-recommended that students have prior experience with 10-day residential retreats held in silence and contemplate the Eight Precepts before registering:
Rachael OBrien was invited to teach the Dhamma by the Ven. Bhante Vimalaramsi, and she has been teaching and leading meditation retreats since 2015. She is a mental health advocate and the Board Chair of the Resilience Charter School, an innovative public institution that integrates mindfulness practice into a broader social and emotional learning curriculum. Further information about Rachael can be found at https://www.awakeninsightretreats.org/rachael-obrien.html
Only single occupancy rooms spread over two floors will be offered for this retreat. Each room is centrally climate controlled and equipped with a bed and a private full bathroom. Please contact the Franciscan Center if you have a condition that requires you to room on the ground floor.
All meals are vegetarian. Breakfast will be served at 7:00am each morning and a heavy lunch will served at noon as the final meal of the day in keeping with the Eight Precepts. Tea and coffee will be available throughout the day and night. If you have a special dietary restriction, please contact the Franciscan Center no later than one month in advance of the retreat.
All rooms are single occupancy, and the total tuition (room and meals) for each retreatant is $1,492, which is due in full at registration. The Franciscan Center may charge an additional nominal service fee for credit and debit card transactions. Due to minimum attendance requirements to reserve the Franciscan Center, tuition for the retreat is not refundable after July 1, 2020.
This is a non-profit retreat. Registration fees cover only the costs of accommodations at the Franciscan Center for each retreatant and the teachers. In keeping with Buddhist tradition, the teachers offer instruction in the Dhamma freely. If you wish to support the continuing instructional activities of the teachers, a box for Dana (donations) will be available for donations.
For those arriving by air, Tampa International Airport is located 20 minutes from the Franciscan Center. Driving instructions may be found on the Franciscan Centers website at https://www.franciscancentertampa.org/directions/
Comfortable, light and loose fitting clothing that is compatible with sitting and walking meditation is recommended. Some also find light shawls to be helpful for both meditation and to deal with drafts from air conditioner vents. Sunglasses and hats are a good idea for the outdoors, and sunscreen and insect repellant are highly recommended. Please be mindful to avoid any scented lotions and perfumes.
Chairs are provided by the Center but meditation cushions are not provided. If you prefer a cushion rather than a chair for meditation, you must bring your own cushion and/or mat.
Bed Linens and bathroom towels are provided by the Center. Please bring your own toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothpaste). Again, unscented sunscreen and insect repellant are highly recommended. A small alarm clock for wake-up is also useful.
Cell Phones and Electronics
The use of cell phones, tablets, laptops or any other electronic gaming or communication device is prohibited during the retreat. All watches should be kept on silent so as not to disturb other retreatants.
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