The Healing Spring Monastery is delighted to announce that our community will be observing our annual 90-day Winter Retreat from 17th November 2018 to 17th February 2019.
17th November: Counting Stick Ceremony
18th November: Ceremony to Open the Winter Retreat (Face to Face)
17th February: Ceremony to Close the Rains Retreat (Pavarana Day)
You are warmly invited to join us for the full three months. Observing an annual 90-day “Winter Retreat” is a traditional monastic practice dating back to the time of the Buddha. Registration for the full 90 days is open to those who already have experience with Plum Village practice.
The Winter Retreat is primarily a time for the monastics to come together to study and deepen their practice, and during these 90 days the monastics do not leave the monastery to teach outside.
It is a time for everyone to deepen and strengthen our spiritual roots. The emphasis is on generating a powerful collective energy of mindfulness, as we live, practice and work together with a full schedule of Plum Village mindfulness practices six days a week.
Generating a Strong Collective Energy
In the Winter Retreat we will have a Day of Mindfulness on every Sundays, for a Dharma Talk and a full day of practice together. The teachings will be in French, English and Vietnamese, and there will be simultaneous English and French translation if needed.
Everyone staying in Healing Spring Monastery is requested to observe the “Winter Retreat Boundaries,” by not going online nor leaving the monastery to go to town and so on. This creates a very focused and solid collective energy of practice.
Who is the Winter Retreat for?
The Winter Retreat is the only retreat in the year which is oriented primarily towards monastics and long-stay practitioners. The teachings, classes and other sharings will provide a continuity for deepening the practice for the full 90 days.
Be aware that although the Winter Retreat offers a more regular schedule than our other retreats, our focus is still on community practice. We will learn to find a balance between study, practice, work and play. It is not a silent retreat, and we will offer a maximum of two sessions of sitting meditation per day: morning and evening. By living together and dealing with each other on a daily basis, we learn to develop our understanding and compassion in such a way that we can see the fruits of the practice right away in our relationships. Anyone wanting to join us for the 90-Day Retreat must be willing to go in the direction of harmony, open communication, and reconciliation in the face of any interpersonal challenges that come up during the retreat.
There are limited spaces available for the full retreat. If during the course of the retreat, you decide not to continue through the full 90-days, there will be no refund for the remainder of your stay.
Submitting an application is only a preliminary step. We will contact you with further information about how to move on through the application process.
Retreatants staying the full 90 days are invited to arrive early (between the 12th and the 16th November) so we can prepare to start the retreat together.
All 90-day retreatants are requested to make departure arrangements for the days after the closing ceremony on the 17th of February 2019.
Please keep in mind that the opening of a new monastery is an adventure that takes time and that we will not be able to offer immediately the same conditions of comfort and organization as those of Plum Village.
How to enjoy the retreat?
Please read and practice the guidelines from the Plum Village website during the retreat. These pages will be especially useful: