Spring Retreat With Therese Fitzgerald

  • 26 Apr 2017
  • 4:00 PM
  • 30 Apr 2017
  • 2:00 PM
  • Sautee, GA
  • 4


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:

Registration is closed
Wednesday April 26 - Sunday April 30, 2017
Sautee Hereford Lodge, Sautee, GA

“To study Buddhism is to study the self,” Dogen Zenji wrote. World religious, philosophical, and psychological traditions point the way to self-intimacy. And we don’t stop there, for “in the one exists the all,” as the Avatamsaka Sutra as well as Walt Whitman’s poems inspire us. Our five days nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains will be a time to dwell in profound awareness of self that connects us to all beings, what Buddhists sometimes call “non-self.” There will be balanced encouragement for buoying and delving deeply. Supported by the beauty of spring, teachings, fellow practitioners, as well as solitude and silence, conditions may be most favorable to give rise to insights and ways of knowing ourselves most truly, including bearing the seemingly unbearable.

The program will include sitting and walking meditation, mindful meals, Dharma discussion, mindful movement, meditative work, and talks by and personal interviews with the teacher.

This retreat, held mostly in silence, is recommended for both beginning and experienced meditators who feel drawn to contemplation and inner work.

This retreat is one day longer than previous RCS retreats and we hope this will give everyone more time to settle in the dharma and be refreshed. 

Therese Fitzgerald received Dharmacharya ordination by Thich Nhat Hanh in 1994 and Soto Zen priest ordination by Richard Baker-roshi in 1986. She is Co-Founder of the Community of Mindful Living, which developed Thich Nhat Hanh’s teaching and Vietnamese social work base in the United States. Together with Maxine Hong Kingston, Therese helped start the Veterans' Writing Group. Therese lives on Maui, where she works as a meditation teacher and Spiritual Care Counselor at Hospice Maui.

Facility  The Sautee Hereford Lodge sits on a beautiful 350 acre ranch in North East Georgia (2 hours from Atlanta). The lodge has 12 bedrooms, 6½ baths, a full kitchen and eating area, and separated meditation hall. The lodge has full HVAC.

Accommodations  You may choose a shared room in the lodge or tent camping on the grounds. 

Climate Control The retreat organizer will set thermostats to maintain a reasonable temperature and air flow in the lodge and meditation hall. The fans on the units can be noisy and guests should be prepared for the noise. Anyone who experiences discomfort should contact the retreat organizer and should not adjust thermostats.

Meditation Hall The teacher will designate how the meditation hall is to be used, including AC, seating arrangements, bell protocols, window treatments, lighting, and arrival time. The Meditation Hall Team will carry out the teacher's wishes and should be contacted with any issues. 

Schedule  Registration is from 4-6pm Wednesday. The retreat begins Wednesday evening with a meal at 6pm and ends Sunday after lunch and cleanup (about 2pm). 

Wednesday Start  This retreat is one day longer than previous retreats at RCS. The teacher has requested that everyone attend the entire retreat. 

Late Arrivals  Because many folks will need to work on Wednesday, if you have been on retreat with us previously, you may arrive until 9pm on Wednesday night. Please indicate your planned arrival time on your registration form. 

Meals  Meals are vegetarian with dairy (labeled). Coffee, tea and snacks will be available during breaks.

All participants will have an opportunity for silent work in the kitchen to help prepare or cleanup our food. 

Cost  The cost of this retreat is $200 per person and includes accommodations and all meals. There will be an opportunity to practice Dana (generosity) to the teacher. 

This cost covers the facility, food, accommodations, and teacher expenses. It provides no profit to Red Clay Sangha. If we have more than 20 participants, it also will help cover a scholarship fund for those needing assistance.

Financial Assistance  We would like for every one to be able to attend regardless of ability to pay. To achieve this goal, we need those who are able to contribute into a fund to help pay for those who are unable. This gives everyone the opportunity to practice generosity together. 

All funds collected for this purpose will be divided equally between those who have requested them. You will be notified no later than 1 week prior to the retreat if there are insufficient funds to meet your request. 

Payment and Cancellation Full payment is required two weeks prior to the retreat to guarantee your spot. If payment or scholarship request has not been received, RCS reserves the right to fill spaces from any waiting list.

Cancellations at least two weeks prior to the retreat will be fully refunded. After this date, full refunds will be given only if the spot can be filled from the waiting list. If the spot cannot be filled, 2/3 will be refunded up to 2 days before the retreat.

No refunds will be made for cancellations less than two days prior to the retreat.

An Opportunity To Receive The Precepts During the retreat, Therese will be offering those who wish an opportunity to formally receive the Buddhist Precepts and a Dharma Name. More information can be found here.

Retreat Positions Red Clay Sangha is a peer-based orginization with no staff. All retreat roles, such as Bell Master (timekeeper), Meditation Hall Team, and Teacher's Attendant are performed by the participants to support each other during the retreat.  In this way, everyone does a little and no one is stressed out. You will have an opportunity to sign up for the retreat roles prior to the retreat and kitchen duties (either cooking or cleaning once per day) at the retreat. 

Bell Master and Meditation Hall Team will meet with the teacher at 5pm on Wednesday for training. Prior experience is not necessary. 

Kitchen orientation will be given after breakfast cleanup on Thursday morning. It is helpful if those who are helpless with cooking sign-up for dishwashing instead of cooking. 

There is not a designated work practice time on the schedule. 

Dana is the practice of generosity and helps remind us of the fundamental connected nature of life. By supporting our teachers we deepen our own experience on the path of practice while helping them to support others. Teachers generously give their time and energy through listening, sharing and teaching, often without financial reward. Offering dana makes it possible for them to continue their work and is their primary means of support.

In the spirit of this tradition, all participants will have an opportunity to make a voluntary contribution, called dana, at the end of the retreat. Because participants often ask what is considered appropriate, we offer the following guidelines: you may wish to make a contribution between $100-$200 for the retreat. Keep in mind your personal ability to give and what others might be able to contribute. Dana is entirely from the heart.

The Red Clay Sangha membership covers the travel expenses and a small contribution to the teacher. The retreat fees are used exclusively to cover the cost of the facility and food.

Questions or More Information? please contact Cherry Zimmer

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