Realizing Love: Meeting the Challenges of Our Time with Peace, Understanding and Compassion
A Mindfulness Retreat with Brother Michael Ciborski Thursday evening, November 8 to Sunday afternoon, November 11, 2018 OI/Aspirant Day begins Wed. evening, Nov. 7 American Bodhi Center Hempstead, TX (between Houston and Austin on US 290) sponsored by Mindfulness Practice Community of Houston
Realizing Love We all feel the call to be active, to participate in the transformation of collective suffering. To be truly effective in whatever we do, we need sufficient calm and clarity within ourselves. We know that we cannot do it alone. We need our spiritual community.
In this retreat, drawing on more than two millennia of engaged spiritual practice in Buddhism, we will work to establish the practice of mindfulness in our bodies and minds and to transform afflictions that burden us. We will also work diligently, through dharma teachings, reflection, discussion, and other shared practices, to build a collective inspiration and insight into how we can make use of the practice to help us engage with society and the world in a way that is relevant, skillful, and meaningful.
Come practice together, and we can distill the myriad facets of the practice of mindfulness into this simple expression: “The practice of mindfulness is a path of love.”
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 evening of Wednesday, Nov. 7, 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. Aspirants are those who have begun to study with a Dharma teacher and mentor prior to formally receiving the Trainings.
American Bodhi Center https://americanbodhicenter.org/ 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. Please note that smoking is not allowed on the ABC campus.
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 send your registrations together.
double with private bath
dorm with shared bath (4 - 8 people)
private cubicle with shared bath (although there are bunk beds, only one person will be assigned to each cubicle)
There are also a few single rooms, each with private bath, available for women in the library building.
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 either with your registration or at the retreat. For normally employed people, $90–150 is suggested.
Arrival/Departure Check-in will be from 4:00 – 6:00 PM on Thursday, November 8. Please note that the gates to the center are locked at 7:00 PM. The retreat will end after lunch on Sunday. Order of Interbeing members and aspirants attending for the additional day may check-in beginning at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, November 7.
Double with Private bath (WOMEN's rooms are FULL. Men's rooms still available)
Early Bird: $380
4-person Dorm with shared bath
Early Bird: $325
Private cubicle with shared bath (Limited availability for MEN's rooms - please check with us before paying the full fee)
Early Bird: $325
4-Day Retreat with OI and aspirants (November 7 - 11) Please add $90 to your total for the additional day on November 7. Early Bird pricing applies.
Payment Information & Deadlines
a non-refundable deposit of $75 will hold your reservation, but to receive the early discount the full amount must be received by Sept. 30, 2018
partial payments should be mailed to: MPCH, PO Box 667133, Houston, TX 77266
registration deadline: October 21, 2018
refund of full payments (less $75) will be granted until October 21, 2018
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 30.