The River of Awakening: Jump Right In and Stay There!
A Mindfulness Retreat with Brother Michael Ciborski Thursday, October 12 to Sunday, October 15, 2017 (Additional day for Order of Interbeing members and aspirants, Wednesday, Oct. 11)
American Bodhi Center Hempstead, TX sponsored by Mindfulness Practice Community of Houston
The River of Awakening Now, seemingly more than ever, we need to refresh, to renew, to listen more deeply, to learn new insight, to reconcile. And truly, with careful practice and the support of a virtuous community, healing and transformation are possible.
Sit by the river and allow its movement to become your own. Notice the curling eddy, the ripple, the tumble. Water is moving into itself, cleansing and healing as it flows. Practicing to be truly present with ourselves, as we are, opens the door for healing. With a clear and kind embrace, transformation occurs. When we come home to ourselves, we also discover we are a part of life; that our suffering and joy are interwoven with all beings. We touch our not-separate-self nature. We become part of the River of Awakening. Practicing together, our insight and capacity grow strong enough to embrace the collective suffering of our society.
About the teacher Michael is a lineage holding Dharma teacher in the tradition of the Venerable Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. (Michael’s Dharma name is Chan Trung Dao, True Middle Way.) He lived as a monk for seven years in Plum Village, France, and has worked intimately with Thich Nhat Hanh and the monastic community to organize, support and offer meditation retreats around the world.
A skilled musician, he studied voice training and chanting of several European and Asian traditions and served for several years as an English language chant master in the monastery. He lives now in New Hampshire with his wife and children, where they are building a residential mindfulness practice community and education center for sustainable living.
Retreat Format This residential retreat is designed for both beginning and experienced practitioners. It will center on periods of sitting and walking meditation and Dharma talks by our teacher.
There will be small-group Dharma discussions, meal meditations, and active, mindful work practice. Periods of silence will deepen and enrich the experience by allowing time for personal reflection.
Order of Interbeing members and aspirants Beginning on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 11, there will be an additional day for ordained Order of Interbeing members and aspirants. Ordained members are those who have formally received the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing.
American Bodhi Center The American Bodhi Center is a beautiful rural sanctuary developed by members of the Texas Buddhist Association. It is located on 500 acres just north of Hempstead, Texas. There are beautiful grounds to enjoy, two dormitories, a library/meditation hall, and a dining hall. The mission statement on their website reads: American Bodhi Center upholds Buddha’s teaching by promoting an engaged form of Buddhism through education, culture, philanthropy, and service to the public.
Accommodations The separate dormitories for women and men have a variety of room types. Mattress covers are provided, but you will need to bring your own sheets, pillows, and blankets. In each dormitory there are five double rooms with private bath, two dorm rooms which accommodate 4 - 8 people (bunk beds) each, and two rooms with private cubicles. There are five single rooms (for women) with private bath in the library/meditation hall building. Room requests will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. If you are requesting a particular roommate or roommates, please submit your online registrations on the same day.
Double with Private Bath
Dorm with Shared Bath (4-8 people)
Private Cubicles with Shared Bath (all attempt will be made to assign only one person per cubicle)
Meals Vegan meals are included in the price of the retreat beginning with dinner Thursday evening. We regret that we are unable to fill special dietary requests.
Dana The Buddhist teachings are considered priceless, and teachers do not charge for their services. Dana is the practice of giving. It manifests the fundamental interconnectedness of life and is a way for us to support the life and work of the teacher. There will be an opportunity to make a donation to Michael online in addition to your registration or at the retreat. Please note, the registration fee only covers accommodation and food. Contribution to Michael is separate and distinct from the registration. For normally employed people, $90–$200 is suggested.
Arrival/Departure Check-in will be from 4:00 – 6:00 PM on Thursday, October 12. If you are attending for only 2 days, please arrive no earlier than 5:00 PM on Friday to avoid disrupting afternoon activities. The retreat will end after lunch on Sunday.
Order of Interbeing members and aspirants attending for the additional day may check-in beginning at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, October 11.
Cost per person
2 days Friday Oct. 13 5:00 PM to Sunday, Oct. 15. This is to accommodate those who cannot commit to the full retreat. Single with private bath (women) $320 LIMITED AVAILABILITY: PLEASE CONTACT US BEFORE REGISTERING TO CHECK AVAILABILITY.
Double with private bath $295 4-person with shared bath $260 Private cubicle with shared bath $260
3 days ( October 12 - 15) Single with private bath (women) $430 LIMITED AVAILABILITY: PLEASE CONTACT US BEFORE REGISTERING TO CHECK AVAILABILITY.
Double with private bath $405 4-person with shared bath $350 Private cubicle with shared bath $350
4 days ( October 11 - 15) for OI members & aspirants Single with private bath (women) $520 LIMITED AVAILABILITY: PLEASE CONTACT US BEFORE REGISTERING TO CHECK AVAILABILITY. Double with private bath $495 4-person with shared bath $440 Private cubicle with shared bath $440
• a non-refundable deposit of $75 will hold your reservation • partial payments should be mailed to: MPCH, PO Box 667133, Houston, TX 77266 • registration deadline: September 27, 2017 • refund of full payments (less $75) will be granted until September 27, 2017
Scholarships Partial scholarships may be available. Our ability to offer scholarships depends on donations to the scholarship fund. If you need assistance, please complete the separate scholarship application form. The scholarship application deadline is September 22.