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Venerable Ajahn Sucitto (residential retreat)
July 14 @ 1:00 pm - July 23 @ 2:00 pm
A Detox for the Heart
NOTE: This retreat is full, with a substantial waiting list. Although the wait list is long, it is usual to have cancellations and people on the wait list do get in. If you really want to attend, we encourage you send in the registration and to keep these days open right up to the time of the retreat. If someone cancels right before the retreat we start going through the wait list, so someone able to attend on short notice is at an advantage.
Madison Vipassana is thrilled to announce that Venerable Ajahn Sucitto will return to Wisconsin to lead a 10-day residential meditation retreat July 14–23, 2018. The retreat will be held at the St. Anthony Spirituality Center in Marathon, just west of Wausau. Situated on 40 wooded acres along the Big Rib River, the center offers quiet, seclusion, and lovely walking trails.
The theme of the retreat will be “A Detox for the Heart.” In the words of Ajahn Sucitto: “Our heart/mind gets clogged and soured by living in a situation of stress. Stress from performance drives and anxiety are a growing problem — they even affect spiritual and contemplative practice with goal-orientation and insecurity. All this leads to an obscuration of the potential for the heart: spaciousness, groundedness, and compassion. This retreat is aimed at putting us in touch with this fundamental resource, strengthening it, and integrating it into our lives.”
This retreat is intended for those who practice meditation on a daily or almost daily basis and have attended several three-day residential retreats or at least one residential retreat of five days or longer. Please do not register if you do not have this experience and do not have a regular daily meditation practice.
During the retreat, we will create a renunciate environment by following the Eight Precepts (see below), which include abstaining from eating after midday. There are also the following recommendations:
- To hand in your cell phone at the beginning of the retreat; and
- To refrain from using disposable plastic bottles for drinking water (please bring your own water bottle instead).
The retreat will be held in noble silence and offer exercises in strengthening attention and inquiry, as well as supportive bodywork (Qi Gong). There will be collective practices of chanting Buddhist reflections and aspirations, as well as some interactive practices. Please NOTE: The morning and evening chanting will include the lighting of candles and incense in the Dhamma Hall. Practice each day will begin at 5:00 a.m. and continue until about 9:00 p.m. in the evening. There will be unscheduled time during the day for people to practice independently.
Rooms are single occupancy. There will be a vegetarian breakfast in the morning and a vegetarian main meal that will finish by 1:00 p.m. Everyone attending the retreat will refrain from eating solid food between 1:00 p.m. and dawn the next day. Clear fruit juice and tea will be available about 5:00 p.m.
In keeping with Theravada tradition, the entire costs for this retreat are on a dana (freewill donation) basis. You will have the opportunity to offer dana at the end of the retreat.
The deposit required with your registration is just to hold your spot; it does not cover the cost of the retreat. The dana we receive will be used first to cover all expenditures (room and other facility costs; meals; organizational costs; and the teacher’s transportation, room, and meals). Once those expenses are met, the remaining dana will be offered to Ajahn Sucitto (through the English Sangha Trust) in gratitude for his teachings.
If you’d like to learn more about the Buddha’s teaching on dana and its rationale, these two articles by Thanissaro Bhikkhu may be of interest:
The Eight Precepts
By registering for this retreat, you are agreeing that you understand and will abide by the following training precepts throughout the retreat.
- Non-harming: Not intentionally killing or harming any living creature.
- Non-stealing: Not taking that which is not freely given, respecting the property of all beings.
- Refraining from false speech: Speaking only what is true and useful; speaking wisely, responsibly, and appropriately. In the context of this retreat, this means keeping noble silence.
- Refraining from sexual activity: Refraining from all sexual activity.
- Refraining from the use of intoxicants and drugs that lead to carelessness: Abstaining from the use of alcohol or other nonprescription This does not apply to medically required drugs. Please do continue to take any prescription or over-the-counter medications you normally require.
- Refraining from eating at the wrong times. Not eating from 1:00 p.m. until dawn the next day. There will be a light morning meal and a main meal that is completed by 1:00 p.m. Around 5:00 p.m., tea and clear fruit juices will be available. Those with medical conditions that make it impossible to abide by this precept should discuss their situation with the registrar.
- Refraining from entertainment, beautification, and adornment. Not indulging in entertainment or adorning the body with jewelry, makeup, or other things that draw the attention of others or distract from turning inward.
- Refraining from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place. Not overly indulging in sleep or using sleep as a means of distraction.
Young adults and people of color
We will hold a number of spaces open until the last week in June to facilitate attendance by young adults (18–26) and those identifying as people of color. We encourage young adults and people of color to register any time up until the end of June; a spot may be available even if our website says the retreat is full. To help us allocate these spots, please indicate your interest on the registration form.
Retreat scholarship program
Financial assistance is available through our retreat scholarship program. If payment of the $100 deposit is a barrier to your registration, please contact the registrar, Ann Varda, at email@example.com or (608) 843-7531 to discuss how we can help.
To inquire about special situations, contact Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 843-7531. Please note that we are unable to accommodate special dietary needs.
The retreat will begin on Saturday, July 14. Check-in will open at 1:00 p.m., and the retreat will begin in the Dhamma Hall at 3:00 p.m. The retreat will end on Monday, July 23, after the midday meal.
St. Anthony Spirituality Center is just 10 miles west of Wausau, Wisconsin, located at the eastern edge of the village of Marathon, off County Trunk NN (map).
To request or offer rides to and from St. Anthony’s, contact Ann at email@example.com
Out of respect for others, please register only if you can make a clear and wholehearted commitment to attend the full retreat. Early registration is advised as this retreat will fill quickly.
To register, complete the REGISTRATION FORM and mail it with a $100 deposit (payable to Madison Vipassana, Inc.) to:
Madison Vipassana, Inc. c/o Ann Varda
1724 Hoyt St.
Madison, WI 53726
The deposit is required to hold your place; it can be refunded upon request (except for cancellations after June 16, 2018—see Cancellations below). If we aren’t notified otherwise, all deposits will be added to the dana contributed at the end of the retreat. If payment of the $100 deposit is a barrier to your registration, financial assistance is available through our retreat scholarship program (see below).
During the first week of registration, priority will be given to Wisconsin registrants and those who have been to a previous Madison Vipassana retreat. After that, registrations will be handled on a first-received, space-available basis. Registrants who do not get a spot will be notified that they have been placed on a waiting list.
After registering, you will receive two emails, the first confirming that we received your registration. Close to the time of the retreat, you will receive another email providing information on the facility, driving directions, and recommendations on what to bring.
For questions about registration, contact Ann Varda, registrar, at 608-843-7531 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need to cancel your registration, please let us know as soon as possible so we can offer your place to someone on the waiting list. If you cancel by June 16, 2018, your deposit check can be refunded upon request, or it can be added to the dana for the retreat. The deposit will not be refunded if you cancel after June 16.