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Vimala Thakar on Watching Volcanoes Explode
Dear Dharma Friends,
     As days grow shorter & we anticipate the more inward days of winter, you may want to consider practice opportunities for the coming  year...
     The Mountain Hermitage offers a number of retreats for 2015-16, described below with links to fuller information on our website  Both our retreat venues Cathy cropped here in Taos, Columbine Inn & San Geronimo Lodge, provide lovely & peaceful accommodations for extended meditation practice & our small retreat size provides easier access to teachers.  Please consider joining us!  We offer limited scholarship support for all our retreats.
    We welcome any feedback or suggestions... on our programs, the monthly e-newsletter or other aspects of our Hermitage offerings. Just write us at We look forward to hearing from you!
                           with metta, Cathy Viele - The Mountain Hermitage
Listening, Contemplation, and  Meditation:
A Study Retreat on The Art and Practice of Loving
with Ven. Dhammadinna
November 13 - 20, 2015
Columbine Inn
Taos Ski Valley, New  Mexico

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

Dhammadinna very close up Venerable Dhammadinna took robes in 1983 in the Theravadin tradition. She moved to Burma with her teacher and remained in Asia for 21 years, studying with U Pandita Sayadaw & Ajahn Buddhadasa, among others. She has taught Buddhism & led meditation retreats in Thailand, England, India & the US.  In Dharamsala, His Holiness the Dali Lama accepted her as his personal student in 2000.  In 2006, she co-founded Bodhiheart Sangha Meditation Center in Seattle with Tenzin Jesse. Venerable Dhammadinna is deeply committed to the practices of samatha & vipassana meditation as shared by both the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions.
Sliding Scale Fees:
$498 (low)    $698 (actual cost)    $898 (benefactor)
Partial Scholarships Available - Application Necessary
View photos from the August People of Color Retreat at Columbine Inn in Taos Ski Valley....
Finding Freedom Through Insight Meditation
with Brian Lesage
February 21-28, 2016
San Geronimo Lodge, Taos, New Mexico

An opportunity to practice continuous mindfulness in silence throughout the day-in sitting & walking meditation. Learning to be aware of our experience from a place of stillness & equanimity allows us to see more clearly, & as insight deepens, compassion & wisdom can arise.
For beginning & more experienced students. 
Vipassana, Brahma Vihara & Concentration guidance available
with Marcia Rose
April 10- May 8, 2016
(Two-week options)
Columbine Inn, Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico, USA

The annual Hermitage offers a uniquely supportive space of solitude & silence for qualified individuals who wish to undertake longer periods of intensive meditation practice.  This retreat will offer the opportunity for practice of Vipassana/ Insight, Brahma Viharas & Samatha/Concentration in the lineage of Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw.
with Teachers Sayadaw Vivekananda  
& Marcia Rose
June 5 - July 10, 2016
Columbine Inn at Taos  Ski Valley, New Mexico

This 35-day retreat will follow a specific format based on the Mahasi approach to Vipassana practice, with The Progress of Insight as its basis.  We invite experienced practitioners to join us for the full five weeks only.
"... in the footprint of the Buddha..."
with Teacher Marcia Rose  
November 1-20, 2016
Columbine Inn, Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

This almost three week Samatha/Concentration retreat is for experienced Dhamma students.  Guidance will be offered for the development & nurturing of deep concentration leading towards Jhana in the lineage of Burmese meditation master Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw.
Vimala Thakar Watching Volcanoes Explode
This month, we offer something a little different from our regular reflections -- a piece by Vimala Thakar (1921-2009), one of the great Indian teacher J. Krishnamurti's closest & most spiritually evolved students... & a favorite of Hermitage Guiding Teacher Marcia Rose. Vimala Thakar became a powerful & very much sought after spiritual teacher in her own right during her lifetime, & is considered to be a teacher who expressed the understanding & perfect balance between the enlightened heart/mind & social consciousness.

We must become deeply aware of our bondage if we value freedom. We begin to watch our behavior throughout the day; we notice the fear, the anxieties, how much behavior is controlled by acquisitiveness, how we compare ourselves with others and  want to become something that we are not. When we watch our own lives, then there is the pain and agony that the awareness of the bondage creates. If we don't observe this in ourselves, we are only theorizing about freedom. [...]

As long as we cling to the idea that this is "my mind, my own personal mind," we'll have a strong tendency to want to look as good as possible. But if we observe the mind, from a nonpersonal viewpoint, from the perspective of nonownership, simply observe our minds and how they function, we'll be less trapped by judgments.

To be attentive to the psychological structure doesn't mean we must disappear somewhere and give up all relationships, responsibilities. The aim is to stay within the movement of relationships, to continue with work, to be a responsible citizen and to be attentive to the play of the mind. But we'll have to be very alert, for the mind is subtle, wily, full of tricks.

It's a tremendous thrill to see the beginnings of anger or jealousy or greed, not simply to be caught unawares when the emotion is full-blown and has us in its grasp, but to see the first tiny movements of emotion. Where does it spread, what does it do to our behavior? Just as there is joy in exploring the unknown wildness, there is a delight in exploring the inner territory, in watching the volcanoes explode without any movement of defense, judgment, sense of ownership.
Red poppy center If we have never observed anger in ourselves from subtle beginnings to full explosion, we will always be caught in its force. We may try to suppress the behavior of anger, but still it will do its damage and we will not be free from it.

Attentiveness without any movement of the defense structure has its own intelligence. But the automatic tendency is to bring in defenses, judgments and to move from observation to justification, evaluation. We may say to ourselves, "My mother or my father was an angry person. I can't help it; I've had an unhappy childhood, I am an angry person because of that." [...] All the explanations, justifications may be true, but they prevent direct perception of what it is that anger does to our bodies, to relationships, to the work we do.

 -- from 'Ego: Emergence and Merging Back of the "I" Process'  For an interesting article on Vimala's life & work, read:  Vimala Thakar: Liberation Beyond Gender by Elizabeth Debold
Please don't forget...
Begging bowl ...The Mountain Hermitage always needs donations to help with operating expenses & to support those who would not be able to attend our retreats without financial help. NforG DONATE NOW BUTTON
We are delighted & filled with gratitude that an important part of The Mountain Hermitage original vision & mission - to be able to offer scholarship aid to those who would otherwise not be able to attend Hermitage retreats - has become a substantial reality. This important & deeply heartfelt aspect of our vision & mission has been made possible totally through the incredible generosity of peoplPraying hands olde like yourself. As more & more people want to come to our retreats, the demand for support increases... and so we encourage you to help us meet this growing need by contributing whatever you are able to our Scholarship Fund.  
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For more information on all these retreats, you can contact us...
(575) 758-0633 or
We would love to hear from you!
Taos Mountain Evening
Limited scholarship support available for all of our retreats. Application Necessary.
Extensive information on the website:
NOTE: We now accept 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
"The essence of religion is the personal discovery of the meaning of life, the meaning of truth. Religion is related to the unconditional, total freedom that truth confers on us. It is a revolution of the whole way of living. Religion moves us from the superficial layers of existence and encourages us to go deeper to the roots of life. It is an inward journey to the depths of our being."

Vimala Thakar, "The Eloquence of Living"