Essential Retreat Information Vail 2019
Arriving and Departing
Please plan to arrive between 2:00 pm and 5:30 pm. Arriving early will allow you to find your bed, settle in and familiarize yourself with the area. Dinner will be served at 5:30 pm and logistics will be discussed during dinner at 6:00 pm. Orientation and welcome, an opening ceremony, a short sitting period, and the beginning of silence will commence at 6:45 pm. If you will be arriving late please let the the offsite retreat manager know in advance.
The retreat ends at 11:00 am on Sunday.
We could use a little help with setting up furniture in the cabin. If anyone could arrive a little early and be there by about 4:00 or 4:30 that would be great.
Please check-in downstairs in Walter’s Cabin (see Accommodations, below). There will be a sign-in form on the table and liability release and retreat experience forms to sign if you were unable to complete the online form ahead of time. Once you sign in, we will let you know where your room is and you can get settled in.
Please check your email the day before the retreat begins in case there are any last minute details we need to communicate. The offsite retreat manager can be reached by email at email@example.com. Terry’s cell is 303-817-7778 if you need to call or text.
We will be staying at Shrine Mountain Inn above Vail Pass, CO, part of the 10th Mountain Division Huts. Most of you will be staying in Walter’s Cabin, which has two separate levels (with external stairs) each sleeping 6 people. Additionally, two people will be staying at Chuck’s Cabin, and some people may camp on the deck.
The cabins are comfortable yet simple, with heat, hot and cold running water, indoor bathrooms with showers, flush toilets, propane oven, and generator powered lighting. They are located away from main roads and conveniences so bring whatever you will need. There are beautiful hiking trails and there will be time to explore.
For more information about Shrine Mountain Inn you can view their website at http://www.huts.org/The_Huts/shrine.php.
Take Highway I-70 to Vail Pass, Milepost 190, and get off at the rest stop on the top of Vail Pass. Take the dirt road (only one) up about 2.5 miles until you see a parking lot with a sign for hiking trails and a restroom on the left. Take the road off to the left. You will have to open and go through a gate to the cabins. Walter's cabin is the last at the end of the road.
Sheets and Towels
The beds have sheets but they are not cleaned after each use. There is one blanket provided per bed. You may want to bring your own sheets or a sleeping bag. Towels are not provided so bring your own.
Smoking and Candles
Smoking is not permitted. Please, no open flames or burning incense and/or candles in your room or elsewhere. The exception to this rule is for the lighting of a candle on the altar.
We have found that a lovely part of the retreat is preparing meals and offering them to the group as well as having food prepared for us. It takes a little time at home before the retreat begins, and we hope this will be pleasant and useful for you.
You will be matched with one or two meal partners and assigned one meal (or all breakfasts) to prepare for the entire group. The offsite retreat manager will send out meal assignments by email 7-10 days before the retreat; once you get this email please contact your meal partners ASAP to coordinate.
Food should be vegetarian, but dairy and eggs are fine. Prefer simple dishes that are not too spicy so that they are more likely to be ok for everyone. You should plan meals that are mostly prepared ahead of time at home and only need to be warmed and served at the retreat, so that you don't have to miss too much to prepare food.
A list of ingredients set out next to the food is helpful for those who may have food allergies. Non-organic ingredients are fine, but please note which ingredients are organic.
Suggestions include dry cereal, milk, rice/almond milk, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, bread and fruit. Hot cereal is fine as long as there is not too much preparation time. In the past, we have found there are a lot of breakfast leftovers.
Lunch is the main meal of the day. Suggestions include beans and rice, soups, stews, casseroles and salads.
Dinner should be a light meal. Suggestions include salads, bread, hummus, cheese, crackers, rice cakes, veggies and fruit.
Additional Info on Food
If you have special dietary requirements or food allergies, please bring what you need for yourself. There may not be snacks, but you may bring your own.
Tea will be provided. If you would like coffee, please bring it along. It is helpful if a couple people could bring a coffee pot and electric tea kettle.
Meals will be prepared and served upstairs in Walter’s Cabin.
There is limited space in the one refrigerator in the cabin. If you need refrigeration, please plan accordingly by bringing an ice chest. There is not a place to buy ice nearby.
Our days together will begin with a wake-up bell at 6:30 am and an initial sitting period from 7:00-7:45 am. The remainder of the day is spent in silence, with periods of sitting and walking meditation and sensory awareness, as well as meals and meal preparation. Instruction and talks are offered. Optional group interviews will be scheduled periodically allowing those who would like to discuss their practice in more depth an opportunity to do so. A tentative schedule follows at the end of this document.
Once the retreat begins, you will be asked to honor ‘noble silence’ – a quieting of the body and voice that helps cultivate a calm and peaceful retreat environment. Noble silence also encompasses avoiding reading and writing, intentional eye contact with other yogis, using the telephone, or otherwise keeping busy and distracted. By leaving at home the many activities and communications that worldly life entails, you offer yourself the gift of stillness. Written notes to the teacher are permitted to communicate needs and there are opportunities to speak during the sharing periods. Any time there is an important need, you are always encouraged to speak with Terry or the onsite retreat manager. Silence is broken at the end of the retreat in time to allow you to talk and share your experience with other retreatants.
You may choose at the end of the retreat to offer Dana (translated from the Pali language as "generosity freely given") as an offering to the teachers in appreciation for the teachings and the time spent preparing for the retreat. Dana is a voluntary contribution and is entirely separate from any payment you make for room and board. Dana is tax deductible and IMC will have receipts available for those who want them. Please note that IMC does not have the ability to accept credit card payments so you may want to offer Dana by writing an additional check or offering cash.
Parking is somewhat limited at the cabins so we suggest that you consider carpooling. If you need a ride, would like a ride, or can offer to drive others, please let the offsite retreat manager know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the general area you live and what time you would like to leave. She will put people in contact based on what is needed and offered.
In the event of a medical emergency, Terry or the onsite retreat manager will call 911. We suggest that all retreatants have medical insurance or sufficient funds to cover the costs of any medical care that might be required. Please notify us in advance of any medical conditions that might require some special attention.
What to Bring
Clothing: we recommend that you come well prepared with clothing selected for comfort rather than style. The weather is always unpredictable and can be warm, cool with rain or even snow.
Medicines, vitamins, supplements, etc.
Unscented personal hygiene products.
Meditation cushion or bench.
Chairs will be available but not enough for everyone. You might want to bring a pillow or cushion for the seat and back. If you would like to borrow a cushion or a backjack, please contact the retreat manager.
Something small to put on the altar if you wish (flower, stone or anything meaningful to you).
Sturdy boots or shoes for walking outside.
A towel for personal use
Sleeping bag or extra blanket
A shawl or blanket to wrap up in while sitting
Yoga mat or blanket
Any special food, medical or other supplies that you need or want
What Not to Bring
Scented personal hygiene products
“Noisy” clothing (e.g. nylon)
Candles or incense
Anything that will be a distraction to you or other retreatants
Because meditation retreat practice can lead to a heightened sense of awareness, some participants may develop sensitivity to odors and perfumes from heavily scented shampoos, ointments or lotions. We suggest that you purchase unscented products before you come. (Some people are allergic to many chemicals. If you are very chemically sensitive, please advise us in advance.)
Meditating for extended periods of time can be physically and psychologically intense and challenging. Mental health issues or medical conditions may present problems during the retreat.
Meditation is optional and should not be done if there are any possible mental or physical reasons not to. If you have concerns about any such conditions, and especially if your medical history includes psychiatric hospitalization or antipsychotic medications, please call Terry Ray at 303 817-7778 to confidentially discuss the possible challenges and benefits this retreat may offer to you. You are also welcome to call with any other questions or concerns that you may have.
Tentative Daily Schedule
5:30-6:45 Evening Meal
7:45-8:45 Instructions and Sitting Meditation
Friday and Saturday
•6:30 Wake up
•7:00-7:45 Sitting Meditation
8:00-9:00 Breakfast & Clean Up
•9:00-10:00 Sitting Meditation
10:00-11:00 Body Awareness or Walking Meditation
•11:00-11:45 Sitting Meditation
11:45-12:00 Walking Meditation or Interviews
•12:00-2:00 Lunch & Clean Up, Free Time, Rest or Practice
•2:00-2:45 Sitting Meditation
2:45-3:15 Writing or Sitting or Walking Meditation
3:15-3:45 Sitting Meditation
3:45-4:30 Walking Meditation or Interviews
•4:30-5:15 Dharma Talk
5:15-6:00 Walking Meditation or Interviews
•6:00-7:15 Dinner & Clean Up
•7:15-8:00 Sitting Meditation
8:30- Sitting Meditation, Walking Meditation or Rest
•6:30 Wake up
•7:00-7:45 Sitting Meditation
9:30-11:00 Breakfast and packing
• Bell will be rung