Ayya Medhanandi

Residential Meditation Retreat,

May 21-24, 2017

retreat begins at 10:00 am Sunday
(check-in opens at 8:30 am)
and ends at 4pm Wednesday

During the retreat, we will create a renunciate environment by following the Eight Precepts (see sidebar and description) and reflecting on every activity as part of practice. The retreat will be held in noble silence and offer morning and evening puja (chanting), sitting and walking meditation, daily instructions, and Dhamma talks. The morning and evening puja will include incense and the lighting of candles. There will be a morning and a midday vegetarian meal each day; we will refrain from taking food other than clear liquids after the midday meal.

This retreat is for individuals who practice meditation on a daily or almost daily basis and have attended several three-day residential retreats or one residential retreat of at least four days.


In keeping with Theravada tradition, this retreat is being offered on a dana (freewill donation) basis. The ancient and beautiful practice of dana is described this way by Abhayagiri Monastery:

During the past 2,500 years, support for the monastic life has been provided entirelyby lay supporters through daily acts of generosity. In this spirit, support in the form of work, money, foodstuffs, building materials or other help is both appreciated and needed. Your generosity allows the spiritual community to survive and to flourish. Theravada Buddhism has managed to keep the rich and vital interrelationship between lay and monasticcommunities set forth by the Buddha intact over the centuries. Theravada monastics, although renunciants, are not permitted to be recluses. To ensure this, the Buddha required that monastics be totally dependent upon the lay community for their physical support. Monks and nuns cannot handle money and can only eat or drink that which is offered to them. Reciprocally, the monastic community provides an important function for the lay community by caring for their spiritual needs and by providing moral and spiritual teachings and examples. The two communities, each essential to a balanced society, support and enrich one another within this economy of gifts.

There will be an opportunity to offer dana at the end of the retreat. Your generosity supports Ayya Medhanandi, the Sati Saraniya Hermitage, and the ability of Madison Vipassana to offer retreats. The bare costs for this retreat (use of the facility, including sleeping rooms; meals; supplies; and teacher transportation, room, and meals) are $300 per person for a double room and $442 for a single. These costs do not include any payment to Ayya for her teachings and time.

If you would like to learn more about the ancient and beautiful tradition of dana, two articles by Thanissaro Bhikkhu may be of interest:

The Economy of Gifts

No Strings Attached

Special Needs

To inquire about special situations, contact Ann Varda at registrar.madvip@yahoo.com or (608) 843-7531. Please note that we are unable to accommodate special dietary needs.


Out of respect for others, please register only if you can make a clear and wholehearted commitment to attend. Early registrations are encouraged. Registration is on a space-available basis and must include the registration form and a $100 deposit. The deposit is required to hold your spot; it can be refunded upon request (except for cancellations after April 24, 2017, as explained below), or it can be offered as dana. Your additional dana donations can be made at the end of the retreat.

Registrations will be handled on a first-received, space-available basis. Confirmation will be provided by email along with information on the facility, driving directions, and recommendations on what to bring. Registrants who do not get a spot will be notified they have been placed on a waiting list. Deposit checks from individuals who do not get a spot in the retreat or who cancel by April 24, 2017, can be refunded upon request. The deposit cannot be refunded to those who cancel after April 24. For questions about registration, contact Ann Varda, registrar, at 608-843-7531 or registrar.madvip@yahoo.com.

Reserved Spaces for those 18-26 and People of Color

We will hold a number of spaces open until May 8 to facilitate attendance by young adults (18–26) and people of color. We encourage young people and people of color to register; a spot may be available even if our website says the retreat is full.

Ride Sharing

To request or to offer a ride to the retreat, contact Chris Keenan at Cbkeenan44@gmail.com or 716-997-9361.

To Register

Send a check for $100 payable to Madison Vipassana, Inc., with the registration form below to:

Madison Vipassana, Inc.
c/o Ann Varda
1724 Hoyt St.
Madison, WI 53726

Madison Vipassana, Inc. 2017