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Gradient Review & News Asters at Chaco vertical
"The Mountain Hermitage is a peaceful and unique spiritual refuge rooted in the Theravada Buddhist lineage. All who seek freedom of heart and mind are warmly welcomed to our meditation retreats where the teachings and practices of ethics, concentration, mindfulness, creative process and wisdom are offered. Our sole purpose is to support the development of individual awareness and compassion which in turn give rise to greater peace and happiness in the world."  
                             --Marcia Rose, Founder and Guiding Teacher

Message from the Guiding Teacher
Editorial Overview
Donor Offers 'Clarity of Mind' Challenge Grant
Kyhentse & Walbridge Foundations Grant Awards
Welcome to New Board Member...
Hermitage Garden Party
Passing of Charles Montgomery
*** Marcia Rose on the Conceit of Self
*** Greg Scharf on Finding True Freedom
***Winnie Nazarko "Make Me Happy"
*** Annie Nugent on Aspiration
*** Venerable Vivekananda on Controlling Anger
*** Venerable Dhammadinna on Compassion Essence
*** Andrea Fella on Culitivating Beautiful Mental Qualities
Stories from a Light-Filled Retreat
Treasury of Free Dharma Offerings on Website
Closing Words & Contact Information
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Gradation Message from GT

Dear Friends,

    Sitting down to write this note after spending a couple of hours this morning working and strolling in the gHollyhock bushesardens and meadows surrounding the house and The Mountain Hermitage office, I'm intimately reminded that it's 'that time of year' when the fragility and ephemerality of life is becoming prominently obvious. The heart's response to the beauty and poignant display of nature brings forth again a deep connection to this anicca process that is forever and everywhere occurring.

    The Mountain Hermitage is morphing into its ninth year of life in ways that none of us could have ever imagined or predicted. An amazing, deeply beneficial, and unique array of retreats are being offered through the Hermitage via Dhamma teachers who come here from various parts of the country and places in the world. The people sitting these retreats come from many of our 50 states and from across the globe.

   And very close to my heart is that The Mountain Hermitage has been able to continuously honor a cherished aspect of our original vision by awarding scholarships to those who would otherwise not be able to sit a Mountain Hermitage retreat. This too has morphed over the years via the ways that The Mountain Hermitage has received scholarship funding to support those sitting our retreats.   

    We of course don't know how this fragile and ephemeral life will unfold in the future. Here at The Mountain Hermitage we are doing our very best to meet it with the wisdom of a clear, open mind and heart. Sunflower fading against sky

    We are delighted and excited about the teachings and practices that are being offered through the Hermitage. Meeting and working with each and all of you who have attended Mountain Hermitage retreats is a deeply gratifying and expansive experience. Feeling and receiving the great generosity of heart from every single one of you who have offered dana and various kinds of support to The Mountain Hermitage brings tremendous appreciation and joy to our heart and mind.

    We look forward to the possibility of seeing you here for a Mountain Hermitage retreat again --or for the first time.

With metta,  Marcia Rose


Gradient Editorial Overview          
Ladybug up sunflower
                        Inch by inch -
                        Little snail
                        Creep up and up Mt. Fuji
                            -- Issa, 19th century Haiku poet

     2013 marks the ninth year of The Mountain Hermitage - nine years in which we've offered 24 retreats to more than 400 yogis, added several new retreat offerings, and all in the most difficult financial times. We've done that only because a small base of committed donors and a generous Foundation have faithfully answered the call for support. We've used our money wisely and well, multiplying its value manyfold in the lives of those we've served. Of the 400 yogis, 181, or 45%, have been the recipients of scholarship aid.
     In this ninth momentous year, we also welcome new Board member, Dave Simonson, and take this opportunity to honor our existing Board members, whose tireless efforts undergird the continuing vitality of the Hermitage. And with renewed urgency, we repeat our annual call for scholarship funding, so important in these continuing difficult times.
    Although our challenges are great, so also is our faith in the future of The Mountain
Hermitage. Our core mission remains strong and the commitment of an expanding circle of loyal friends and a hard-working Board is unwavering. And shepherded by the wisdom and care of our guiding teacher, we move into the unfolding future with determination and confidence.   

Gradient Donor offers Clarity....
    "A dear friend of 40 years passed away recently," our donor wrote, "and left me the Rocky Mt beeplant in ricegrass
$6,000 I am donating to The Mountain Hermitage. My friend suffered for about six years from dementia, and her mind deteriorated to the point that we were no longer able to  have meaningful conversations. She had a doctorate, and was a teacher, writer and scholar, but in the end there was little left of her brilliance and wit. In the years before her death, my own practice helped me sit patiently with her as we repeated over and over the same conversations.
    "I want the money to be used for scholarships to support those who wish to develop clarity of mind in their practice," she wrote. "This is the best way I can think of to honor the memory of my friend."
    This generous donor has attended several Mountain Hermitage retreats, and writes that she always comes away feeling inspired and renewed. "Everyone involved is caring, honest, ethical and deeply devoted to the Dhamma and the needs of those who attend."
    In the spirit of generosity and openness, our donor would like the money to
inspire a like impulse to give on the part of dedicated Dhamma friends, and in this way,
is a true challenge to develop the Buddhist spirit of dana, the perfection of giving,
characterized by unattached and unconditional generosity.
    Begging bowl
Will you join all of us in this spirit of giving?                          
    A gift of any amount will be received with utmost gratitude, and will help the Hermitage  continue to offer many needy yogis critical scholarship support . Please visit and click on the
                                How You Can Help Button
for more information

Gradient Khyentse & Walbridge...
    As Roses pink in shadow we reach out with gratitude to friends of the Hermitage, we continue to pursue  funding opportunities from appropriate organizations.  And we are happy to report that The Khyentse Foundation, registered in Seattle, WA has provided $4,000 in scholarship funding for financially challenged yogis who otherwise would not be able to attend a 2012-2013 Hermitage retreat. Khyentse Foundation's special grants and scholarships help make the Buddhadharma available to all who seek it - a perfect dovetail with the Mission of The Mountain Hermitage. We are also grateful to The Doris Goodwin Walbridge Foundation, which provided substantial scholarship funding in the early years of the Hermitage, and has honored our request for 2012-2013 scholarship funding with a $3000 grant.

Gradient Welcome New Board Member..
Dave Simonson cropped
We are delighted to welcome Dave Simonson to The Mountain Hermitage Board of Directors. Dave describes himself as "retired and happily living with my wife in Santa Fe." Dave has been a practitioner of the Buddha's teachings for many years and has attended a number of Mountain Hermitage retreats. "I hope to provide some help and support to The Mountain Hermitage for their important mission," he says.

  Gradient ...who joins our...
Jean Smith with Sophie
Jean Smith has practiced Buddhist meditation since 1986 and has published nine books on Buddhism, including The Beginner's Guide to Insight Meditation (with Arinna Weisman)and Now! The Art of Being Truly Present. Jean is a member of Taos Mountain Sangha, where she is often a guest teacher, and chairs the board for The Mountain Hermitage.
Allen smaller
Allen Atkins is a Professor of Finance at Northern Arizona University.  Currently living in Flagstaff, AZ, Allen's commitment to Vipassana Meditation began in 1978, and he has attended retreats every year since, including several three-month retreats at IMS and some practice in Burma and India. Allen has been teaching introductory meditation classes in Flagstaff for the past 14 years. Deben smaller
Deben Tobias
has been practicing meditation for nearly 35 years. He is currently Director of Finance at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes, CO. He lives at the Center with Roshani, his wife and his "two feline meditation teachers."
Marcia cropped & smaller
 Marcia Rose lives in Taos, NM and is the founder and guiding teacher of The Mountain Hermitage. For more bio information, click on the Guiding Teacher page at


Gradient Hermitage garden party  
   About a dozen guests enjoyed a lovely afternoon in early September at the hMarcia's garden overviewome of  Guiding Teacher Marcia Rose. Marcia has often used the example of planting and tending a garden as an everyday example of faith. Near the end of a very dry summer in Taos, all who attended had the good fortune to experience the results of her own loving attention among overflowing beds of wild and native flowers, artfully placed rock, and young fruit trees.
     The food was plentiful and delicious, the weather perfectly sunny with just enouGarden party lunchgh clouds to temper our New Mexico sun, and the conversation was delightful. Old and new friends shared stories and got to know each other a little better 'off the cushion.' Here's planting a seed that this event might come to full flower again next summer.

Gradient Passing of Charles...
     We here at The Mountain Hermitage were deeply saddened to hear of the sudden death in September of Charles Montgomery, co-owner with his wife Pam Tyler of San Geronimo Lodge Charles & Marcia at San G -- beloved home to many of our retreats over the last 9 years. He is shown here in this photo with Marcia Rose on the final day of the 2011 Spring Month-long retreat. Charles & Pam have been most generous, supportive & beneficial to The Mountain Hermitage. In his retirement, Charles has put long hours into improving and beautifying the lodge & grounds, and his caring & creativity shine through. Hermitage yogis have benefited from his efforts, and many have expressed appreciation to he & Pam for what a wonderful retreat center they have created from the historic B&B. Pam has assured us that operations will continue the same at the Lodge... but without Charles it will never feel QUITE the same. Of course we know that things always change... and in this time of transition at San Geronimo, we want to express love & appreciation for Charles, and to mourn his passing.

Gradient Filled with Light
              Please go to and click on Retreat and Event Schedule
 for Full Descriptions, Guidelines, Registration &Scholarship Forms for the following five retreats. 
Limited scholarship support is available for all these retreats -- application is required.

San Geronimo view indoors length     All 2012/2013 Hermitage retreats (unless otherwise noted) will be held at San Geronimo Lodge in Taos, New Mexico.  As many of you know, San Geronimo offers extraordinarily
comfortable retreat accommodations and a serene and meditative environment.  It is uniquely loved by our yogis.
NOTE:  San Geronimo Lodge is wheel chair accessible.
     Another special quality appreciated by our yogis is the small size of Hermitage retreats. Retreats are less than 20 people, which allows for greater access to teachers and a unique sense of intimacy overall.
Barn Owl
  November 5-19, 2012:
 "... a footprint of the   Buddha"
  with Marcia Rose 
This two-week Samatha/Concentration retreat is for experienced Dhamma students.  Guidance will be offered for the development and nurturing of deep concentration leading towards Jhana in the lineage of Burmese meditation master Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw.
Greg smaller                                                  February 9-16, 2013:
Winnie smaller
with Greg Scharf & Winnie Nazarko
This Vipassana and Metta retreat will emphasize how the unfolding of wisdom through present moment awareness opens the heart to the beautiful qualities of love and compassion. The retreat is suitable for new students as well as established practitioners.  

                               April 4-May 2, 2013: 
Annei Nugent brightened
ONE-MONTH HERMITAGE RETREAT   Marcia slightly different
with Marcia Rose & Annie Nugent
This retreat for experienced students only will provide a combination of independent practice with the opportunity to train with the guiding teachers in varying aspects of Vipassana (Insight), Brahma Vihara, and Concentration practices.  

     June 16-July 14, 2012 Vivekananda William Lk cropped
with Sayadaw Vivekananda & Marcia Rose
at Columbine Inn, Taos Ski Valley, NM.
This retreat for experienced students will be conducted in the Mahasi approach to practice, with the 'progress of insight' as its basis. Columbine Inn, in Taos Ski Valley, is a comfortable timber- frame lodge situated among tall pines at 9000 feet elevation in northern New Mexico's beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  

Dhammadinna at San G
November 8-15, 2013:  
Listening, Contemplation, and Meditation:
with Venerable Dhammadinna
"When, friend, a noble disciple understands the unwholesome and the root of the unwholesome, the wholesome and the roots of the wholesome, in that way he is one of 'right view'." (Ven. Sariputta) We will give careful attention to discerning the skilled and unskillful...looking into the workings of the law of nature as it pertains to our cultivation of this wise discernment.  This retreat is suitable for new students as well as established practitioners.

Gradient Reflections on Practice
Seven Mountain Hermitage teachers offer Dhamma thoughts ...

Marcia Rose on The Conceit of Self 
    One of thMarcia with pine 3e most prevalent and pervasive ways that the deeply rooted habit of conceit, the 'conceit of self', binds us and is perpetuated is through the comparing mind. What a great gift  it is to ourself to wake up to seeing that the process of comparing oneself with others perpetuates one's learned feeling of being deficient or inadequate, or the learned self identification of being better than or the very best.  It's then that we begin to understand one of the primary reasons that we live with an underlying or not so underlying feeling of uncertainty, tension and stress.
    The 'conceit of self' is what usurps the vitality and power of being fully present, blocking mindful awareness of simply and clearly being with what is.  With 'conceit' we separate ourself - set ourself apart which is an endlessly unsatisfying and painful experience and a major source of suffering in this human realm.
    Another way that 'conceit of self' may show up in our practice is that often one's idea of what it means to be really honest with ourself about ourself, is understood as admitting our weaknesses, faults, and all the unskillful 'bad' things we've done.  This is another facet of the 'conceit of self'.  Identifying and dwelling in this negative idea and image of who we think we are is how guilt, sorrow and anguish are nurtured.  
    The Buddha instructs us to recognize, acknowledge and rejoice in our healthy 
humanbeingness through reflecting on ways we've been of service and cared for others and on the choices we've made that have been absolutely appropriate and wise at any given time.  We can reflect on and rejoice in the times when our mind/our heart has beeCosmos pink centern clearly present and connected, emanating loving-kindness, compassion and joy in relationship to others. And we can of course rejoice in the fact that we've had the great good fortune to  connect with the teaching and practices of the Buddha and are practicing!
    Taking the Buddha's instruction to heart by rejoicing in oneself isn't a call for arrogance or self-centeredness, but rather just the simple recognition and acknowledgment of our goodness, success, and compassionate heart.  To be able to rejoice in ourself is essential, not in a prideful or conceited way, but as a means of generating the self respect, love, confidence, joy and sense of well-being that is fundamental and natural for the cultivation of the wholesome mind and heart which are vital for our practice to deepen and blossom.  
    Until we are liberated/ the Buddha's words: "tis the self by which we suffer".

Greg Scharf on Finding True Freedom
Greg cropped with bark     One of the hardest things for us to learn in meditation is that our practice is not about having certain kinds of experiences. The path is not just about having good feelings or attaining some kind of special, blissful state. It's actually not about having any particular experience at all. Sometimes of course, we do have powerful experiences in meditation. They may bring energy, inspiration, and serve to bolster our faith. We feel like something is happening, that the practice is "working". And, ultimately, the path is about freedom in any moment regardless of what's happening in our experience.
    True freedom is not about having things be a certain way but about non-clinging in the moment to any state or experience. If we make freedom dependent on having special experiences or achieving some sublime state, we'll never find a true happiness or freedom because these states don't last. Conditions are always changing, and when conditions change, we're back where we started. There's no real freedom there. Freedom is to be found in our relationship to experience no matter what might be happening in the moment.
    We often come to practice with some kind of an agenda, something we want to work on or fix in our lives. We want to get something out of it, something to show for our efforts. Perhaps we're hoping to find some ease in the face of life's inevitable ups and downs. Maybe we want to get enlightened. At times we may feel frustrated or dissatisfied: we're not Flower dried getting anywhere; we haven't gotten any calmer or more peaceful. We fall into evaluating, assessing and judging our practice, looking for evidence of progress. Am I doing it right? Am I getting it? Everyone else seems to be getting it. We judge our experience & then judge ourselves based on our perception of that experience. If we notice this happening, a very useful question to ask is: how am I relating to this experience? 
    It's also useful to remind ourselves that whatever value we might get from meditation will be the result of what we let go of, abandon, and relinquish. We realize the end of suffering by abandoning the cause of suffering, not by getting to some sublime state of mind - not by getting anything at all.

Winnie Nazarko "Make Me Happy"
Winnie closer crop     I recently watched a video of my grandniece. Genny was sitting in some kind of floor vehicle, which she could scoot around the kitchen. This ride was musical, too. When she pushed a button on the handlebars, a Beatles tune would play. When "Eight Days A Week" sounded, she danced with abandon, moving her head from side to side and rhythmically bouncing up and down. She slapped her hands in time with the beat, movin' and groovin' with the music.
    Watching her joy, I was filled with happiness. My nearly ninety-year-old mother watched and laughed. I saw my mother's pleasure and laughed too. My sister saw us both, saw our grandniece grooving to the music and sang along.  Unlike the main dancer, we didn't have a tray to slap, but if we did we would have.  We were happy because Genny was happy. We were experiencing mudita.
   This state of mind, mudita, is translated into English in a variety of ways. The most
resonant for me is "empathetic joy", or happiness experiencing the joy, happiness, and
wellbeing of another. In order to reliably experience mudita, we need to have a basic
attitude of goodwill, or metta towards others as a foundation. If we sincerely wish others
well, when we see their happiness we naturally wish for it to continue and grow.
    Roses red-yellow But the development of mudita as a universal attitude can be surprisingly challenging, because we ourselves sometimes feel unhappy and lacking. Seeing the happiness of others, under some circumstances, can actually result in our unhappiness. Comparing ourselves to others who seem to have more, we may experience the painful states of envy, jealousy and resentment.
  It is part of the genius of Buddhism that it teaches clear practices and methods empowering us to overcome these difficult states and the contracted view they reflect. We can learn how to strengthen the mind's access to goodwill and empathetic joy. If we do, the beautiful state of mudita will arise more and more often in the mind, and we will be happier. As the Dalai Lama once said about mudita: " Six Billion people, six billion chances for (my) happiness!"

Annie Nugent on Aspiration
    Some time before the Buddha was about to die, he gave his disciples a word of
encouragement and advice. He said this - and I'm putting it into my own words: "Freedom
from suffering is available to you if you practice by the proper means of mindfulness, but not without having the aspiration to learn and that will bring freedom."
    Like any undertaking in the world, it is helpful to know why we are doing it. For example, if Annie at San G cropped we exercise we know what our purpose is - to get fit. That is our aspiration. Similarly with our dharma practice. Aspiration is the wholesome wish to free ourselves from suffering by diminishing the unwholesome and strengthening the wholesome qualities of mind. This is our purpose in the dharma.
    The downfall comes when we misunderstand this word to mean striving and grasping for freedom. This is not aspiration, but the unwholesome aspect of craving, the very source of suffering. Notice the tightness and contractedness in the body when there is craving and how open hearted, light and uplifted the body feels when there is genuine aspiration.
    Many of us live busy lives out in the world. We have families, jobs, homes to tend and
sometimes we can begin to feel that we have lost touch with the dharma or that we "should" be doing something else to realize our aspiration. Right here we can remind ourselves that our job is to do what the teachings require of us, working with mindfulness in this moment. Anything more than sincerely doing the practice is a hindrance to it's unfolding. The wondering when, if, how soon and what else we can do to speed up the process - this is all worry and agitation.
    So we put it down, relax and simply do the practice right here, there isn't anywhere else to do it.  When we have this deep aspiration for freedom we find the willingness to bring mindfulness to all situations, using what life has offered us as a path to awakening - to stretch and train the heart not to react, but to slowly come to understand what our human existence is all about.

Venerable Vivekananda on Controlling Anger
"Conquer the angry by loving-kindness; conquer the wicked by
goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by
speaking the truth." (Dhammapada, verse 223)

Viveka in cave cropped     As human beings we are likely to experience anger on occasion. What to do with it? First, try to be mindful of it's arising, it's occurrence, and it's dissolution. Furthermore, try to know the conditions that lead to it's arising, such as seeing an undesirable animate or inanimate object. Be aware of the seeing (hearing, smelling etc.) process and pay attention to how this generates disliking in the mind. In the absence of mindfulness disliking can easily turn into anger. Notice what kind of objects frequently lead to the arising of anger and watch your reactions around those objects.
    More important than knowing which object triggers anger is to watch the mind in a detached manner when it is in an 'angry mode.' The problem is less the object than the anger itself. Pay close attention to the qualities of the angry mind, such as its boiling, non-peaceful, ferocious, revengeful nature. An angry mind is agitated, tense, and
tormenting. Be aware of the justification of one's own anger. Ultimately, anger is never
justified. Watch how the anger easily spreads, gains momentum, and gets out of control.
Pay attention to how quickly this can happen. Anger may manifest in many different ways, such as aversion, irritation, feeling grouchy, disliking, getting upset, going into a rage, blowing up, and giving some one the silent treatment. You might also watch for the manifestations of anger in the body such as tension building up, the heart pounding, the face Poppies orange turning red, and sweat forming.
    Never act out of anger. Let the anger first subside and then act. Acting out of anger is dangerous for the other person but first of all for yourself. Before harming another person the anger present in one's own mind is already tormenting one's own mind. Regular loving kindness meditation will help to weaken anger and smooth relations with 'difficult' people. When anger comes up radiate loving kindness (metta) to yourself and others.  Schedule a metta session for one or two hours at home. Loving-kindness meditation can bring about miracle changes when relating to a 'difficult' person. The proximate cause of loving-kindness is seeing the good points in others rather than focusing, as we often do, on the flaws or shortcomings of others.

Venerable Dhammadinna on Compassion Essence
    The very starting point of spiritual practice is empathy, sensing the pain and vulnerability of others. We have a stunning insight that we can cause harm and that it is extremely Dhammadinna San G wall important for us to bring our aggression under control. The moment we become willing to sacrifice something of ourselves for the comfort and safety of others, we become "a person who can be tamed by Dharma practice." Consider this: our resolve to refrain from harming is the urge to gain mastery over our minds and the determination to tame impulsive, destructive moods. What a powerful karmic moment this is! From this intention arises our ethical discipline. When we feel pushed to react negatively it is a signal that we must take hold of something inwardly to check that harmful urge.
    A mind is not an easy thing to train, however. Part of the work of mindfulness is to bring to mind what is wholesome and to promote it, and to remind us of what is unwholesome and to remove it. So we practice to observe and reflect again and again on the fact that unwholesome actions bring pain and wholesome actions bring self-respect and peace of mind, in order to become certain of this in our hearts. Skill in the art of restraint saves us from being inflamed by self-blame and establishes us in the firm footing in self-respect. This kind of self-respect is like a bright ornament that beautifies us and brings a special joy and delight. All of these qualities make the mind soft and receptive to truth, and we come to understand that compassion is both the beginning and the essence of the spiritual path.

Andrea Fella on Cultivating Beautiful Mental Qualities Andrea at San G
    In mindfulness practice, we often notice the particulars of an experience that we are  observing, and we may not consciously recognize that beautiful mental qualities such as kindness and balance of mind are being cultivated. The practice of mindfulness cultivates a non-reactive attention to whatever happens to us, be it pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. When our minds are neither for nor against experience, there can be a natural openness, curiosity, and a kind and balanced attention that meet any experience. Recognizing that these beautiful mental qualities are present actually further supports their cultivation.

Gradient Stories from...
Gratitude ... Deepest Joy ... Enhanced Practice ... 
 The Dharma Carried into the World.

    In July 2012, 14 yogis, many the grateful recipients of scholarship aid, came to
Austinghaus Lodge in Taos Ski Valley, NM for the third bi-annual Self/No Self and the Creative Process Retreat with Marcia Rose, assisted by dance artist Wynn Fricke and writer Sean Murphy. Many yogis wrote light-filled letters offering fresh insights from their retreat 
experiences. Below are excerpts from some of these letters, including a sampling of poetry and drawings.

    My first time attending a Buddhist retreat. The newness was challenging which added to the richness of practicing presence and mindfulness. I found the teachers and staff were quietly observant and responsive ...... yet delicately and respectfully guiding my practice as I moved through the moments. The creative self, no-self integrated through movement, drawing-seeing, and writing helped me rediscover an artistic life that has always nurtured me, but that I left by the wayside some time ago. This aspect of this retreat, allowing beginners through advanced yogis, also made it all possible for me to attend and I am forever grateful for the opportunity.

Lisa's jawbone drawing cropped

    I discovered nothing - I was present - I did not have thoughts about it - I did not come to conclusions and I did not want to come to conclusions.

Yogi portrait cropped Excerpt from "Bats in the Belfry
Distract me with the fascinating
architecture of your little furry body,
with the sonar detection that
leads you to nurture - undistracted
by all of us sitting in the meditation hall
trying to find our own way
  breath by breath
         out of the blind corners of our lives.
Sean & portrait

    I'm glad for the experience; quiescent neurons have been activated, I will forever view the work of others from an enriched perspective ......but I do not feel overwhelmingly compelled to take part. The surface of the surface has been scratched. Purposefully pausing before beginning the process, rather than fearfully pausing to grope in the fog of intimidations while waiting for inspiration to congeal, this is something that is well on the way to becoming established habit. But again, a scratch on the surface of the surface.

    The retreat was profound. My current clarity is stunning. I have been able to see Writing session SnoS12 multiple
sides of conflict issues easily. I was so slowed down for the last two weeks, so aware.  Patience has improved..... It was very helpful for me, my learning style, to have the movement, drawing and writing (and the very slow hiking). Self, no self appeared much more easily, than through my mental considerations. It was hard and it was good. 
Tiny strawberry
                       Sweet taste, my mouth comes alive
Creating desire, wanting more

    I love the way Wynn teaches and embodies the artistry of our human anatomy. Also, the skillful and gentle support for us to experiment with our self/non-self expressions through movement and stillness......The one true thing may be this half-buried brown glass bottle in front of me and the half-inch long ant with red head & abdomen and a black behind. The ant contains everything, so does this seemingly empty bottle. I contain everything. Everything contains me. There is no one true thing. The truth is thing-less. No thing. 2 words. Nothing. Not 2.
Jill L foot photo SnoS12 Jill foot drawing cropped
Black ant travels on ground
Ascends dried-up slender leaf
A vertical climb.

Two empty bottles
Transparent brown glass with dirt
Nothing pouring out.

    Thank you for the retreat - even the part I had the most resistance to - the mCarolyn's drawing SnoS12ovement -
has been valuable. The drawing was of course my favorite part - soothing  my soul..... I have been listening to sounds arising and falling away when I do sit and when I am just trying to tune in more. I am grateful that I got to sit with and be taught by you (Marcia) again, and it was also an honor to sit and be taught by Sean and Wynn. 

    Most important to me turned out to be the lovely
morning "instructions" given by Marcia.  Each morning, a new focus. I especially appreciated the use of poetry as a means for Movement session SnoS12 "teaching" and was several times "broken open" by the reading of a poem....
    The movement section ... was a wonderful source of support for improvisation and exploration in a modality I had not tried much. Wynn's gentle teaching method was perfect. I fell into the seeing/drawing readily. The blind contour drawing done so purposefully and slowly led me to an experience of "being interested" in an ordinary object, which translated to my being better able to focus on and "be interested" in my breath while sitting.   Overall, it was a complicated experience for me; physically difficult, wonderful, challenging, heart opening, mundane, magical! The experience has long echoes for me.

    I learnt a lot about equanimity & preferences and how not to lock down on what I think is
best, because "anything can happen anytime." So the modalities were very useful as a Laughter last day SnoS12
tempering, a constant exercise in letting go. And often what came out of them was rich & valuable, dear & funny and really worth the effort....
    Again, as I've so often said, this retreat is fabulous for life-training skills.  I think as a result of the modalities, I really built some muscle in the realm of not holding tight to what I know.  I believe this might significantly impact the amount of suffering I experience on a day to day basis

Gradient Free Dharma Offferings
    Go to, and click on Dharma Talks for free downloads of talks and guided sits from the last three years of Mountain Hermitage retreats. CDs may be ordered on a dana basis.  Our cost is $4.50.  Hermitage Dharma Talks are also available through the web on I-Tunes.  
For Marcia Rose's international teaching schedule, click on Guiding Teacher
Gradient Closing Words &... Rocky Mt Beeplant

"If we are patient, determined, diligent, and at the same time relaxed in our practice - it is inevitable that joy increases, peace increases; that wisdom increases. It is inevitable that our ability to live a beneficial and compassionate life increases."
                                                                                      -- Marcia Rose
Thank you for your interest in The Mountain Hermitage. Your thoughts and comments are always welcome - and we would be delighted if you would forward this Review & News on to friends.  And please visit us at our Facebook home page. Stay in close touch with Hermitage news and views by adding your name to our growing list of Dharma LIKES...and contributing your thought & comments!
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Send snail mail to us at:  The Mountain Hermitage   
PO Box 807 Ranchos de Taos, NM  87557
Our website address is:
Taos Mountain Evening
May our practice serve towards the welfare, the happiness,
and the awakening of all beings.

                    Marcia with pine 7 Cathy in mts Chris at San GSurya laughing
                                           From left to right - Guiding Teacher: Marcia
                                                                        Admin Chief: Cathy
                                                                        Retreat Manager & Keeper of the Books: Chris
                                                                        Review & News Writer in Residence: Paula
               Cook Extraordinaire: Surya
Debora RitchieDave S verticalSarah Grant
Other highly valued retreat managers: (left to right) Debora, Dave, Sarah 
Marcia watering garden Michael gardening
(Most) All flowers from Marcia's garden... lovingly tended by Marcia, assisted by Michael