3 Days of Silent Meditation
in a Stunning Natural Environment…
Have you ever wondered what it would be like attend a multi-day meditation retreat?
Here’s the perfect opportunity….
2 Weekend Options:
6pm Friday August 14 –
1pm Sunday August 16
6pm Friday August 28 –
1pm Sunday August 30
at the beautiful outdoor environment of
Ghost Ranch, Abiqui, NM
drive time from Albuquerque = 2 hrs.
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Multi-day silent meditation retreats can feel daunting, but most people find the shorter ones – like this – are surprisingly doable….and incredibly relaxing, shifting, inspiring, eye-opening, and softening.
And in this time of covid19, it can seem like a retreat is something that we just can’t be doing right now.
But we can…and we probably should.
With the incredibly gracious support of our location – Ghost Ranch – we have designed a retreat experience within which we can keep ourselves safe, away from close contact with others, out of shared breathing spaces with a group, out in nature and open air, AND deeply immersed in meditative experience.
Here’s what it will look like:
1. Every participant will either need to have their own room, share a room with a person with which they share a household, OR have a camp site reserved on the grounds of Ghost Ranch that maintains the same standards (either solo campers or camping with someone with whom you share a household.)
2. Our group meditation sessions will actually be conducted in each of our individual rooms. During the hours of meditation (see below for complete daily schedule), each of us will stay in our individual rooms and meditate there. The encouragement will be to keep your door either open or partially open during the hours of meditation, so that the retreat host – Michelle DuVal – will be able to periodically drop by and “visit” your room (from the doorway) and connect with you, to both see how you’re doing, and to help give guidance and progression through the various practices. Because this is a silent retreat, the only difference to this experience will be where you’re physically sitting or lying down in meditation – instead of us being together in one room, we will be together in our individual rooms.
3. As Ghost Ranch has a labyrinth for walking meditation, we will be using this feature more prominently as part of our retreat. We will use the labyrinth in shifts of 3-5 people at a time. This will allow us to be out in fresh air while still in a structured meditation, with some spacious connection with others as we meditate. Michelle will coordinate the schedule of this aspect of practice throughout the day and shift people from their walking meditation and back to their rooms in a safe, slow, and meditative way.
4. As Ghost Ranch is also one of the most beautiful places in the world – no joke if you’ve never been there – participants are also welcome to explore the natural environment outside their rooms at any time throughout the day. Easy walks, hiking, rock sitting, and sky gazing out in this huge spaciousness of this natural environment will provide the backdrop for our retreat, instead of an enclosed group room. You are also welcome to find a spot for meditation, perhaps on a blanket and cushion under a tree, and Michelle can drop by and “visit” you there during the hours of meditation.
5. In addition to hosting the retreat, Michelle will also be helping to ensure proper sanitation and hygiene throughout the weekend. Additional hand sanitizer and masks will be provided for all retreat participants, and reminders to wash hands will be given throughout the day – we’ll be doing hand washing meditations!
6. The Dining Hall – which is where we will be having our breakfast, lunch and dinner as part of the retreat, is huge, with plenty of space for all of us to sit with more than six feet between us. It will also be encouraged for people to take their meals “to go,” and either eat in their room or out in nature.
7. Michelle will be wearing a mask the entire weekend when out of her room, and she will always have hand sanitizer on her person. All participants are also required to wear masks when in communal settings such as the dining hall and walking to and from your room when it brings you into possible proximity with others.
8. All participants will be required to sign a “Shared Space” agreement, which allows us all understand and agree to what will be asked of each of us – namely wearing masks around others and participating in the hand washing/ sanitizing meditations throughout the day.
We feel very confident that within this new structure, we will still be able to provide a true meditative experience in the world class setting of Ghost Ranch, where we can focus on rest, self-care, quiet, yoga, nature, and of course, meditation AND remain safe and healthy as we do so.
From Michelle DuVal, MA, Director of The Mindful Center and this retreat leader:
“I have aging parents who are omnipresent in both my life and the life of my young children. I have decided to not even go to restaurants or bring my children out around others who are outside of our limited social circle at this time, so as to be ultra-conservative in my approach in dealing with covid19. With this ultra-conservative approach, I believe I can still offer an incredible retreat experience that maintains our health and safety at the same time. I couldn’t do it in any other facility but Ghost Ranch – with it’s seemingly limitless outdoor access, incredible mountains, hike, views, fresh air, flowers and wildlife. As this is a silent retreat, our new approach is actually even more perfect, as it will truly support our practice of both being with ourselves and with nature in this special state of meditation. I hope so much you can join us.”
The meditation sessions are longer (see daily schedule below), but participants can take breaks for themselves whenever they need. The longer sessions also include meditative walking instruction in the outdoor labyrinth, so attention to the body will be a part of the weekend as well.
There will be no formal instruction as part of this retreat, so participants should have some meditation experience. Light guidance from retreat host Michelle DuVal will be provided at different times throughout the retreat, delivered individually at the doorways of people’s individual rooms, so everyone feels supported in their practice. But please note that this is considered to be a silent retreat, so guidance will be light, and there will be no talking throughout the day’s meditation sessions. There will be opportunity to share experience and connect with others in the group over light snacks and tea outdoors in the early evenings. During the 2 hour free time during the day on Saturday (see schedule below), participants can do as they please – either stay in meditation or go hike and explore the incredible natural environment that is Ghost Ranch.
The daily schedule will be as follows:
5:45 – 6:30: Orientation over dinner outdoors
7 – 8:30pm: Evening meditation
7-8am: Early Morning meditation
8-9am – Breakfast
9 – Noon – Morning Meditation (includes walking meditation in the outdoor labyrinth)
Noon – 1pm: Lunch
1-3:00: Free time/ rest/ hike/ yoga
3 – 5:30: Evening Meditation
5:30 – 6:30: Dinner
6:30 – 7: Rest/ Free time
7 – 8pm: Outdoor discussion and connection with your group
8-8:30: Evening Meditation
7-8am: Early Morning meditation
8-8:30am – Breakfast
9 – Noon – Morning Meditation (includes meditative yoga)
Noon – 1pm: Lunch
All meals and lodging are included…the rooms are rustic but comfortable. The meals are vegetarian and healthy.
All rooms have two beds, either two doubles, or a double and a queen. You are welcome to share a room, but due to covid19, it needs to be someone with whom you share a household with. 1 spot in the meditation group is included with your reservation. If you are sharing a room with someone from your household, they will need to purchase the “retreat only” option. In order to secure the safety and health of all our retreat participants, anyone traveling with you to this retreat needs to be a part of the retreat as well.
Cost for retreat (which includes lodging and all meals): $679
Cost for retreat only (if you are sharing a room with someone else from the retreat; this option includes all meals and access to all retreat activities): $279
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the retreat leader Michelle DuVal, at firstname.lastname@example.org
$679 for retreat, includes food, lodging, snacks, and all retreat activities
$279 for retreat without lodging, includes food and all retreat activities. Use this option if you are sharing a room or are camping.