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Buddha face Marcia's
"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."
                  The Buddha
"... in the footprint of the Buddha..."

with Marcia Rose
& Nikki Mirghafori

 November 1-18, 2014
at San Geronimo Lodge in Taos
Still a few spaces left....
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 the Theravada-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.
San Geronimo Lodge is situated among fruit trees along the banks of the Acequia Madre, and provides the privacy, quiet, and sense of harmony that is most conducive to intensive practice. There is a beautiful meditation hall and indoor and outdoor walking areas. The Mountain Hermitage will have exclusive use of San Geronimo Lodge during the 2 1/2 week period of the Samatha/ Concentration Retreat.  All yogis will have their own single room and bathroom.  Each room is spacious enough to allow for both sitting & walking meditation for  those who wish to practice in a more secluded setting.

Sliding Scale Fee for 18 days:
(low) $1,625 (actual cost) $1,775 (benefactor) $1,925
Additional Scholarship support available - application required
Reflection from Chris Clifford on Clear Comprehension...
    The term "clear comprehension" is  frequently used in the Suttas in conjunction with mindfulness to indicate a broader and deeper kind of mindful awareness within the context of ordinary daily life activities.   The commentaries to the Suttas describe four facets of clear comprehension.   Reflecting on our daily life activities in these four ways allows wisdom to inform more of how we live our life.
    Taking time to discern the underlying purpose of whatever we are engaged in helps bring  more energy and focus towards engaging in our life as a process of awakening. Is there a clear purpose in our current activity or has compulsive busyness or distraction taken over?  It may be that a job, hobby or pleasure that served us earlier in life is no longer in line with maturing spiritual wisdom...? Perhaps we need to find ways to refresh the original inspiration for our work...? Can we find higher purpose in our interactions by cultivating compassion for ourselves, our clients and co-workers...?  A former work colleague used to remind us, "don't let the urgent always drive out the vital".  There is a wholesome and necessary purpose for relaxation, playfulness, creativity and nourishing the spirit.
    Is how we are doing what we're doing suitable for the purpose?  Do we relax by watching a movie that arouses anxiety or desire? What is the quality of heart we bring to the moment: kindness or harshness?  As a retreat cook, though the purpose and suitability of the food lies in simplicity, I can get caught up in trying too hard to make novel or overly rich food.  
    The appropriate domain for our attention is the four foundations of mindfulness.  Can we stay connected and grounded in our bodies? Can we recognize judgment, grasping and emotional reactivity as conditioned, passing mind-states when they occur? Are we able to keep at least some of our attention in one of the four foundations of mindfulness during our daily life activities?  We are in the domain of practice when we tune into these ways of viewing our present moment experience.
    Are we acting in a way that accords with reality...non-delusion?  How upset are we with the first scratch on our new car?  How much are we trying to manage or defend our self-image in relationship to how we think others see us or how we need to see ourselves?  Living life with the deluded attitude that our health and life will last forever, do we keep putting off what we suspect we really need to do?
    Checking in with these questions throughout the day allows our ordinary daily life... its means and its ends... to support and inform a wholesome, wise and overarching clear comprehension that the purpose of our life is to awaken to freedom from suffering.
Chris is chief retreat manager & financial officer for the Hermitage, and also is very involved with the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City near where she lives in northern California.
Preview of 2015 Hermitage Retreats....
   ~ April 12 - May 10, 2015  ONE-MONTH SPRING HERMITAGE RETREAT with Marcia Rose
   ~ June 27 - July 3, 2015  FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH INSIGHT MEDITATION  with Brian Lesage
    ~ August 16 - 25, 2015  EXPERIENCED STUDENTS PEOPLE OF COLOR RETREAT with Gina Sharpe & Larry Yang
    ~ November 13 - 20, 2015  ONE-WEEK STUDY RETREAT with Ven. Dhammadinna & Tenzin Jesse

All 2015 Hermitage retreats will be held at the Columbine Inn, situated at 9,000 feet among tall pines in a mountain setting at the beautiful Taos Ski Valley.  

PLEASE NOTE: Photos from the summer 2014 Self-Not Self & the Creative Process Retreat are now up on the website... to see them  CLICK HERE.
Please don't forget...
  ...we always need donations to help with operating expenses & to Begging bowl support  those who  would not be able to attend Mountain Hermitage retreats without financial help.   NforG DONATE NOW BUTTON
                  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....
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.
    "Within the three currents that carried the Buddha across the river of dissatisfactTuan lotus reflectionion 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."                                                                                                                                   Marcia Rose