With Bonnie Duran, Sebene Selassie and Jeff Haozous
In many traditions, people journey into the wilderness for contemplation and purification. How often do we have the opportunity to connect to our deepest intentions and to experience spiritual renewal? Taking place at 9,000 feet in beautiful meadowland in New Mexico, the Vallecitos People of Color Retreat is designed to offer and support a practical introduction to insight meditation (vipassana). Meditation embodies the essence and wisdom of the teachings of the Buddha and has been the foundation of Buddhist teachings for 2,500 years. It is a simple and direct practice. Meditation is extraordinary in its simplicity, its lack of dogma and, above all, its results. This path to self-awareness can be successfully applied by anyone to their everyday lives. The ancient and profound teachings of interconnectedness and compassion are the foundations of spiritual awareness.
The retreat is based on the intensive training retreats that are traditionally the heart of Buddhist practice. The daily schedule, conducted in silence, is comprised of group sitting meditation periods alternating with walking meditation outdoors. There are group interviews with the teachers and a daily discourse from the teachings of the Buddha. In addition, there will be opportunities for optional group hikes and mindful movement to allow practitioners to fully experience Vallecitos’s beautiful natural setting, and to support physical joy and ease. Gourmet vegetarian meals add to the special nature of this retreat. To cultivate the meditation process, please note that complete silence is maintained at all times throughout the retreat, except during meditation practice interviews and the talks by the teachers, which may be followed by a communal conversation.
This retreat continues the ground-breaking tradition established at Vallecitos over the past two decades. People of color come to the mountains, the forest and the river not to conference, network, analyze or plan, but to practice one of the world’s oldest and wisest contemplative traditions. For some, the retreat may be the first extended period of meditation practice and practicing silence. No previous meditation experience is required to participate and the retreat is suitable for individuals at all levels of practice.