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FEATURED ARTICLE:
Reflection from Jean Smith on Aging: Impermanent, Impersonal 
Manifesting Spiritual Aspiration by
 Deepening Practice...
For Experienced Students
August 16 - 25, 2015
Teachers: 
Gina Sharpe
 & Larry Yang
Columbine Inn
Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

Co-sponsored by NY Insight & East Bay Meditation Center (CA)

For those who have been undertaking study
 & practice for at least four years.
Accompanying the instructions for retreat practice will be deep exploration of what constitutes authentic personal expression of the traditional teachings and what bridges the contexts of practice between the Buddha's time and our present day cultures. We deepen practice to live with integrity, kindness, attention and true service in our vulnerable world.

Sliding Scale Fees:  
 $744  (low)   $994  (actual cost)   $1244  (benefactor)
Ample scholarships funds available
Healing Ecology - A Buddhist Response
To The ClimateEmergency
A Weekend with Buddhist Teacher & Environmental Activist
September 18-20, 2015

San Geronimo Lodge, Taos, New Mexico 

Does Buddhism provide any special insight into the ecological crisis? Do its teachings imply a different way of understanding the biosphere, and our relationship to it, which can really help us at this critical time in history, when we are doing so much to destroy it?
David will offer a public talk on Friday & then a Retreat/Workshop on Saturday/Sunday.
Option to stay over at San Geronimo Lodge

David R. Loy is a professor, writer, and Zen teacher in the Sanbo Zen tradition of Japanese Zen
Buddhism. He is a prolific author who lectures nationally and internationally, focusing primarily on the encounter between Buddhism and modernity: what each can learn from the other. He is especially concerned about social and ecological issues. He also leads meditation retreats.

Sliding scale retreat fee: $60 - $150
Fee for Friday Evening Public Talk $10 per person.
If you wish to  stay overnight, contact San Geronimo directly at (575)751-3776 for special discount rate. 
LISTENING, CONTEMPLATION &  MEDITATION: Study Retreat on The Art & Practice of Loving
with Ven. Dhammadinna
& Tenzin Jesse
 November 13 - 20, 2015
Columbine Inn in Taos Ski Valley, New  Mexico

This retreat will combine the practice and study of metta, or loving friendliness meditation. The Buddha taught metta meditation to quell fear and anger, to promote harmonious relationships, and to purify the mind in concentration. The benefits of this practice touch every aspect of our lives.

We will draw from a handful of sources for our study, including suttas from the Pali canon and teachings from the Tibetan tradition on bodhichitta, the awakened heart. We'll also give attention to Western neuropsychology. Each of these contribute a distinctive strand of meaning to the fabric of this practice.
Sliding Scale Fees:
$498 (low)    $698 (actual cost)    $898 (benefactor)
Partial Scholarships Available - Application Necessary
SPRING FUNDRAISING
In this season of new growth & renewal, please remember... 
 
The Mountain Hermitage
always need donations to help with operating expenses & to support those who would not be able to attend our retreats without financial help.
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Your gift will sustain this precious refuge of The Mountain Hermitage allowing us to offer the Begging bowl teachings and practices that bring greater wisdom, compassion, peace and happiness to our individual lives and out into the world.

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Finding Freedom through Insight Meditation
June 27 - July 3, 2015

Teacher  
Brian Lesage
Columbine Inn
Taos Ski Valley, NM
Taking applications for wait list only.
Learning to be aware of our experience from a place of stillness & equanimity allows us to see more clearly, and as insight deepens, compassion & wisdom can arise.
Retreat is designed for beginners & experienced practitioners alike.

Sliding Scale Fees:
$444 (low)   $644 (actual cost)  $844 (benefactor)
Partial Scholarships Available - Application Necessary
Photos from April Month-long Retreat...

...are now on website!
A Reflection from Jean Smith on Aging: Impersonal, Impermanent

Aging, with its concomitant physical and mental changes, happens to all of us. Whether aging brings suffering or happiness depends upon how we relate to it. When we're children, we're delighted to add another mark to the doorway to show how much we've grown; we come home excited because we've memorized a multiplication table. Fast forward some decades to the time

Jean rides her horse Jackson
for her 75th birthday.

we go in for an annual physical exam, are measured, and are told that we're an inch shorter than we used to be - or when we stumble trying to remember a word or name, having a "senior moment." Somehow we're surprised, as if we thought these changes happened to others but could never happen to us...

 

When we're young, we may be happy to have physically matured enough to compete in certain sports or to ride roller coasters. But as we get beyond a certain age, we begin to be more limited in what we can do physically. When I was no longer able to hike up mountains - one of my favorite pastimes - I had the choice to just sit there in the valley or to find an alternative. I bought a horse who could go up into the mountains and a ladder so that I could get on her....

 

I remember the first time I went to an aquatic aerobics class with all the other "ancients." It seemed to be the only kind of exercise I could still do. My first thought was "Has it come to this?" and when I realized realistically that it had come to that, I settled in and enjoyed the classes. At one point the instructor put on a tape of music from the 1960s. You should have seen this pool full of old gals, gray heads thrown back, singing every word, making vortexes in the water as we did a bit of the dirty boogie from our younger days. One woman commented that it was a good thing we couldn't fall down in the water. That day, I experienced impermanence through physical changes, saw these changes in everyone around me and acknowledged that they were not personal, detached from "the way I used to be," and enjoyed myself thoroughly.

 

One goal of spiritual practice is to see the world and ourselves in it clearly. When we have expectations that for the rest of our lives we'll be able to do everything we could at some magic age - say, thirty-five - we are simply being delusional. We have opportunities throughout our lives to observe impermanence as we age. We see the choices we have about our lifestyles as we age. We see these things in others. We can look back over our lives and be grateful for all the wonderful moments we've had, and we can come into the present moment with gratitude for the accomplishments, wisdom, and compassion we could only have achieved with life experience during the passing of time.

 

An excerpt from Jean's book Life as Spiritual Practice: Mindfulness and the Paramis,
 recently published by Wisdom Publications --2014
CLICK ON UNDERLINED RETREAT TITLE TO SEE ON WEBSITE 
For more information on all these retreats, you can contact us...
Limited scholarship support available for all of our retreats. Application Necessary.
Extensive information on the website: www.mountainhermitage.org

NOTE: We now accepts credit card payment through PayPal for retreat balance.
Contact TMH office for details.

May our practice serve towards the welfare, the happiness & the awakening of all beings.
Tuan lotus reflection
     "With the many maturing practitioners in our spiritual communities, it seems that now is the time to penetrate more deeply into the fragility, transiency, preciousness, and beauty of life...deepening our own practice in cultivating a wise & open heart that serves our aspiration towards living an awakened life...and that also supports our ability to be of service to others who are aging, living with illness, impending death, & the aspiration to awaken.  

     "Once we relinquish the belief that there is a more spiritually perfect, right or useful moment than the one we are in, we have then truly & wholly embraced our life & infused it with the energy for awakening. What more noble & beautiful thing can there be to do for each of us with what remains of this precious human birth."
    
--Marcia Rose from Dhamma Talk 'THE HEAVENLY MESSENGERS'
Awakening through Aging, Illness and Death