Sirimangalo Retreat at Deerhaven

Welcome

It is our interest to host students for an intensive retreat at the Deerhaven Retreat & Conference Center in Paisley, Florida, USA between the 3rd and 18th of January, 2022.

Like all teachings from Sirimangalo International, this retreat is provided free of charge. Any who wish to offer donations specifically to address the costs of this retreat may donate here, with our gratitude. However, please understand that donating does not guarantee a reservation to join the retreat itself.

Location

The retreat will be held at the Deerhaven Retreat & Conference Center, located at 47924 NFS 540-2,  Paisley, FL 32767.

The surrounding region amounts to wood and swampland. Wildlife may tread on the grounds. Anyone who travels into the undeveloped woods may increase the odds of such an encounter, and is advised not to remain in the presence of wild animals.

Courses

Retreat attendees will undergo the Foundation Course or Advanced Course as is appropriate. Course descriptions may be found here.

Requirements

In order to apply for this retreat, the following conditions must first be met:

  • The applicant must have completed a meditation course with our organization (at-home, foundation, advanced, or instructor). Those who have not yet completed a course may still apply, provided they begin the at-home course before September 27th.
  • The applicant must be able to arrange transportation to and from the retreat facility.
  • The applicant must have completed a full course of vaccination for COVID-19.
  • The applicant must meet all other requirements expected of a student taking an intensive meditation course with Sirimangalo International. Please see “Taking the Eight Precepts” on this page, below.

Provided

Sirimangalo will provide the following:

  • Food We will provide a simple, nutritious vegetarian menu. We are unable to accommodate specific food allergies or dietary restrictions.
  • Lodgings We will provide a simple, unadorned room suitable for sleeping and storing belongings.
  • Basic meditation mats We will provide a small, square mat to give some comfort during seated meditation.
  • Meditation timers Simple countdown clocks suitable for supporting a formal practice.

Other needs, such as clothing and medicine, must be provided by the student.

Leave Behind

  • Any mode of entertainment, including: toys, games, pleasure books, multimedia devices.
  • Any intoxicants that cause heedlessness, such as alcohol, recreational drugs, non-prescribed medications. Nicotine and caffeine should also be left behind.
  • Any persons not accepted to the meditation course, or any animals not designated as service animals to support one’s health or mobility.

Further, it is recommended that a person close or pause any business with the outside world, for the duration of the retreat. To the greatest degree reasonably achievable, one should endeavor to seclusion, in order to gain the greatest benefit from their time.

Though you will be encouraged to disable or relinquish mobile phones, you can share with others the contact information of Deerhaven’s onsite manager, Robert Tillis, at 352-669-3791.

Apply

Please fill out this form to apply. Spots will be reserved in the order of application, provided that all requirements are met. Applications will no longer be taken after October 15th, 2021.

Resources

Personal Conduct

COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines

In order to best prevent the spread of COVID-19, we will be requiring proof of vaccination to be included with your application. Additionally, we will require face-masks to be worn whenever meeting indoors as a group. Note that these plans are subject to change due to international border restrictions, local restrictions, and our best assessment of public health concerns.

The Eight Precepts

A student taking an intensive retreat with our organization is expected to abide by The Eight Precepts. These are…

1. Refrain from killing.
This includes all living beings – even ants, mosquitoes and spiders. Please contact an adviser for help and advice in dealing with pests.


2. Refrain from stealing.
Certain items in the centre are clearly for public use and consumption. Certain items are clearly not. For any doubt about this matter, please ask. Please return borrowed items to their source in the condition when borrowed, cleaning and washing articles as appropriate.


3. Refrain from sexual or romantic activity.
Sexual and romantic activity of any form is not allowed at our centre. Please do not touch, talk seductively to or flirt with other people. Men are asked to keep distance from ordained female monastics; women are asked to keep distance from ordained male monastics.


4. Refrain from wrong speech.
Wrong speech includes all kinds of improper, unnecessary or false speech. Meditators should refrain from chatting. Visitors and guests are asked not to disturb resident meditators by talking with or near them. It is forbidden for persons engaged in intensive practice to talk to anyone besides their teacher about their meditation practice. When reporting to your teacher, please focus solely on your meditation practice. Do not engage in any small talk.


5. Refrain from intoxicants.
Resident meditators are required to inform their teacher or adviser of any medication they may be taking prior to initiating their course. All recreational drugs and intoxicating beverages are absolutely forbidden on the monastery premises. Cigarette smoking is not allowed, and coffee and caffeine are not recommended nor available at the centre.


6. Refrain from eating outside of the morning hours.
Consumption of food outside of the hours of 6 AM and 12 PM (noon) is not allowed at our centre. After 12 noon, soft drinks such as fruit juice are allowed, and may be provided by the centre. All visitors and guests are asked to respect and observe this rule as far as possible.


7. Refrain from diversion and beautification.
Singing, dancing, listening to music, watching entertaining shows, etc, are all disallowed at our centre. Meditators should not to write letters, read books, or use mobile telephones, internet or e-mail during their meditation course. Meditators should not leave the centre without informing an adviser. Wearing jewellery or cosmetics are considered beautification and must be refrained from by residents during their stay. All guests, visitors and residents are asked to maintain a modest and clean appearance at all times.


8. Refrain from sleeping in high or luxurious beds.
Meditators should be content with simple lodging and bedding, and sleep no longer than six hours per night. Sleeping during the day is not permitted during one’s meditation course.

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