Nature-Based Work Weekend
July 8 - 10, 2022
Help the Southern Dharma staff care for our beautiful property, while immersing yourself in nature-based meditation practices. All activities including meals will take place outdoors.
Working meditation sessions will include gardening and yard work, painting, seasonal cleaning, trail and road maintenance, and other annual maintenance activities. These sessions will provide participants with an opportunity to practice mindfulness while engaging in everyday activities.
This Memorial Day work weekend is structured as a silent three-night retreat with daily scheduled group meditation sessions, opportunities to share practice notes with other participants, and some optional dharma study around nature and wilderness themes. Participants will be given basic instruction in nature-based meditation and mindful movement. There will be ample time to enjoy the natural beauty and seclusion of Southern Dharma.
Registration is open to both beginners and experienced meditation practitioners. We welcome participants with all levels of outdoor comfort, knowledge and connection, as well as any and all levels of physical ability.
Participants should plan to bring indoor and outdoor work clothes, water-repellent work shoes or boots, indoor shoes or slippers, an outdoor hat, rain gear, and plenty of clothing layers to keep warm and comfortable through weather changes and fluctuating early spring temperatures. Limited indoor accommodations will be available in our single kutis, others are encouraged to bring tents and gear for our rustic campsites. Please indicate your lodging preference during the registration process.
Prepared meals will be served outdoors at breakfast, lunch and dinner starting with dinner on Friday and ending with breakfast on Monday. Meals will be vegan with vegetarian options; additional dietary preferences can be accommodated upon request. The additional cost for the meal plan is $75 per person. There is no charge for use of the outdoor kitchen facilities or food storage areas (including refrigerator space). All participants will have access to filtered spring water, light snacks, tea & coffee.
Meditation guidance and group facilitation will be offered by Sonia Marcus, Southern Dharma’s Interim Executive Director. Sonia has been leading day-long and overnight meditation programs for the last five years with a focus on ecodharma and wilderness-based experiences. She is a certified “Awake in the Wild” teacher as well as a Wilderness First Responder.
All participants will be required to sign Southern Dharma’s Safety Information & Release Form and abide by our Community Covid-19 Agreement, which is designed to minimize transmission risk during on-site programs.
Until further notice, registration for our residential programs is restricted to individuals who have or will receive their final Covid-19 vaccination at least two weeks before their arrival on site. We will be restricting total retreat capacity to allow for comfortable, unmasked participation, as well as the option of outdoor dining. Please be prepared to present proof of your vaccination upon request.
Thank you for your understanding as we work to ensure the safety of our staff, teachers, retreatants, and larger community!
Check-in from 4-6pm; Early arrivals may be accommodated – email firstname.lastname@example.org to request.
Departures will take place by 2:00pm on the last day of retreat. Please make sure that you can attend the full program before registering.
For our 2022 retreats, three fee tiers are offered. Please choose the option that best fits your ability to give in this time. Any amount paid above the Base rate is a tax deductible contribution to Southern Dharma Retreat Center. Your confirmation email is your receipt for tax purposes.
We are deeply grateful for your support.
Note that registration fees do not include dana for the teacher(s). In the Buddhist tradition the teachings are offered freely and teachers are not paid for their offerings. They rely on dana contributions from students. Similarly, Southern Dharma keeps registration fees low to ensure the Dharma is accessible to all. Fees cover only a fraction of Southern Dharma’s operating expenses. We appreciate your practice of generosity to continue the dissemination of the Dharma.
Housing and all meals are included in the program fee. We are currently offering six housing options:
- Bed in Lodge, shared double room (2nd floor)
- Bed in Lodge, dorm with privacy partitions (3rd floor)
- Unheated kuti (single cabin, outdoor bathroom)
- Heated kuti (single cabin, outdoor bathroom)
- Canvas Tent (furnished, outdoor bathroom)
- Basic Tent Platform
Please use the appropriate field in the registration process to let us know your preferences in regards to housing, if any, and also specify if you insist on or prefer being housed with others of the same gender. All housing options are priced the same except for the Basic Tent Platform.
Southern Dharma is now offering 50% scholarship awards for BIPOC and Young Adults in addition to those with financial need. Indicate your interest in a Southern Dharma in-house scholarship during the registration process.
This program is also eligible for Hemera Contemplative Fellowships. Please note that you must apply for the Fellowship prior to registering for any program. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.