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"... in the footprint of the Buddha..."
with Marcia Rose
& Nikki Mirghafori
 November 1-18, 2014
at San Geronimo Lodge in Taos

     This two and a half week Samatha/ Concentration retreat for experienced Dhamma students will offer guidance for the development and nurturing of deep concentration leading towards Jhana in the lineage of  Burmese meditation master Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw.
The small group size at Mountain Hermitage retreats (a maximum of 15 students 
 for this one) helps create a more intimate experience and easier access to teachers.
Marcia Rose is the founding and guiding teacher of The Mountain Hermitage. She has been studying and practicing Buddhist teachings and meditation with Asian and Western teachers since 1970, primarily in theTheravada-Vipassana  tradition. Her own teaching reflects a clear influence from the Burmese Mahasi Vipassana and Pa-Auk Forest Monastery lineages with authorization from Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw to teach Samatha and Jhanas in his lineage. Marcia was resident teacher for staff at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, MA from 1991-1995. She has been one of the teachers for the annual three-month retreat at IMS, and currently is an occasional visiting teacher at IMS and a regular visiting at The Forest Refuge in Barre, MA.  Marcia teaches Vipassana, Concentration, Brahma Vihara, and Creative Process retreats in various U.S. and international venues, and is dedicated to offering these ancient and timeless teachings in ways that make them accessible and authentic for contemporary culture.

Nikki Mirghafori was introduced to contemplative practices and yoga in the early 1980's.  Since 2003, she has studied and practiced mainly in the Theravada tradition with renowned Western and Asian teachers. Her primary teacher, Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw, authorized her to teach jhanas and vipassana in his lineage in 2008. She was also invited to join Jack Kornfield's teacher training program at Spirit Rock/Insight Meditation center. She has taught mindfulness courses and is a certified mindfulness facilitator through UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, and is also currently completing The Stanford University Center for Compassion & Altruism Research & Education compassion cultivation teacher training program. Additionally, Nikki has a Ph.D. in computer science from University of California at Berkeley and has had an active career as a research scientist in academia and industry.
Sliding Scale Fee for 18 days:
(low) $1,625 (actual cost) $1,775 (benefactor) $1,925
Additional Scholarship support available - application required
Some thoughts from Marcia on Wise Concentration...
Buddha face narrow From the Buddha: "If concentration is developed, what profit does it bring?  The mind is developed. If the mind is  developed, what profit does it bring? All greed is abandoned."
"If insight is developed, what profit does it bring? Wisdom/insight is developed. If wisdom is developed, what profit does it bring? All ignorance is abandoned."

      We work with  Concentration and Insight meditation in alternating sequences throughout our practice.  All of this rests on the essential foundation of the gradual  purification of our habits of greed, clinging, worry, resistance, anger and fear... a process which comes about in part through the understanding that blossoms via the exploration of Virtue/Sila with its underlying principle of non-harming. These unwholesome habits are primarily what create suffering in this here & now round of daily and meditative life and obstruct the development of a deep and purifying concentration ... and our growing recognition of the true nature of things.
     Understanding the difference between wholesome and unwholesome states of mind is essential for the development of concentration and its attendant wholesome states. The wholesome fruits of concentration, calm, joy, tranquility, happiness, peace & equanimity along with the deeper states of concentration called Jhana cannot grow when unwholesome habits of mind such as greed, clinging, aversion, lethargy, agitation, and doubt are occurring.
     The active force of a peaceful, lucid and undisturbed state of mind attained by the practice of strong mental concentration begins by gathering together the potentially powerful energy of the mind that ordinarily is quite dispersed. The initial act of concentration reins the mind in from its myriad distractions. We then learn how to focus it by coming back again and again to the simple present so that our mental and physical energy isn't being used up or usurped in unconscious and unskillful ways.  For this, one needs a willingness rooted in the wholesome intention to stay present with the chosen object of attention, along with the development of clearly knowing when the attention gets lost in something other than what is intended.  A clear, relaxed and focused mind feeds itself as our ability to stay present with the object of attention and not attach to other Marcia in interview room things strengthens. The mind is just where it is... pure, clear, and calm... which can be an energizing, refreshing and beautiful experience. 
     In order for us to learn how to properly apply the three active forces of purification - virtue, concentration and wisdom -- just as the Buddha did, we need to learn directly from our own experience -- from some of our most difficult experiences and also from our quieter, pleasant, beautiful, and subtle experience. The process of purification is synonymous with this act of learning.
     Within the three currents that carried the Buddha across the river of dissatisfaction and confusion to the other side --the currents of virtue, concentration and wisdom -- the current of concentration, possibly including states of deeply absorbed concentration/Jhana, is beautiful, healing and powerful in and of itself.  At whatever level we are able to develop a concentrated mind, from the perspective of the Buddha Dhamma it is ultimately to be used towards seeing the true nature of phenomena - towards parting the veil, untangling the tangle that keeps us from seeing it, thus allowing us to awaken into the natural state of an undisturbed mind.
Preview of 2015 Hermitage Retreats....
     ~ March 29-April 26, 2015  ONE-MONTH SPRING HERMITAGE RETREAT with Marcia Rose & Annie Nugent
     ~ June 27-July 3, 2015  FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH INSIGHT MEDITATION  with Brian Lesage
      ~ August 16-25, 2015  PEOPLE OF COLOR RETREAT with Gina Sharpe & Larry Yang
      ~ November 13-20, 2015  ONE-WEEK STUDY RETREAT with Ven. Dhammadinna & Tenzin Jesse
Please don't forget...
Begging bowl...we offer you thanks for all we have accomplished together in fellowship and our powerful shared purpose, and we invite you to join your commitment with ours with a generous donation of whatever amount you feel you can contribute. 
Thank you!  
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We are also deeply grateful to those who offer their dana to The Mountain Hermitage year after year through vital volunteer work that enables us to continue our retreats. In celebration of their spirit of generosity, we will continue to share some profiles in upcoming issues. 
For more information on all these retreats, you can contact us....
(575) 758-0633  or Taos Mountain Evening
Limited scholarship support available for all of our retreats. 
Application Necessary.
Extensive information on the website:

May our practice serve towards the welfare, the happiness & the awakening of all beings.