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Beginner's Mind Retreat

A "Beginner's mind" is a mind open to experiencing life in the present moment, free from preconceived notions and expectations -- a mind open to genuine understanding and self-realization. If you are new to meditation practice, or have never participated in a retreat, this is an ideal way to begin your spiritual journey.

In addition to sessions of seated meditation, this retreat features interactive workshops:

The Art of Sitting

Quintessential instructions on seated meditation in the Chan tradition, also teaches various ways to massage the body. An opportunity for students to ask questions and difficulties relating to practice.



The Art of Walking

Teaches three forms of walking meditation methods: slow walking, fast walking, and natural walk. Very often we take walking for granted. But the art of walking can show us how to open up new possibilities in our experience of the world.



The Art of Questioning

Explores the fundamental question of who we are as human beings through an introduction to the Chan Gong'an (Japanese: Koan) method, which confronts the most fundamental questions of our existence. The quest for meaning is the drive behind all Buddhist practitioners. The format of this workshop is dialogue and discussion.



The Art of Perception

Introduces the Chan direct contemplation method. Practitioners meditate only on sound or sight itself, before judgment, comparison or conceptualization even begins to arise. The format of this workshop may be creative drawing, sound exploration, or dialogue.

Sample Schedule

5:30 am Wake-up boards
6:00-6:30 Yoga
6:30-7:30 Guided Sitting Practice
7:40-8:20 Breakfast
8:20-8:50 Mindful Work
9:30-10:45 The Art of Sitting
11-noon Optional Sitting Practice
12:00-12:50 pm Lunch
12:50-1:20 Mindful Work
1:20-1:50 Rest
2:00-3:00 Sitting Practice
3:00-5:30 The Art of Perception
5:40-6:20 Supper
6:20-6:50 Mindful Work
6:50-7:20 Rest
7:30-8:00 Chanting Meditation
8:00-9:00 Dharma Talk
9:00-10:00 Personal Interview


Begins: Friday, April 29, 2016 - check-in 4:00-6:00pm
Ends: Sunday, May 1, 2016 - 3:00 pm
Fee: $190
Openings: Available - register online (http://www.dharmadrumretreat.org/retreats/register.php)
Deadline: April 26
Dharma Drum Retreat Center
184 Quannacut Road, Pine Bush, New York, 12566.
Phone: (845) 744-8114
Fax: (845) 744-8483
Email: ddrc@dharmadrumretreat.org

Nancy Bonardi

Nancy met Chan Master Sheng Yen in 1978, when he was a student in her English as second language (ESL) class. She soon began practicing meditation with him. Over the years she has attended numerous intensive Chan retreats, eventually serving as timekeeper and retreat supervisor. At DDRC and the Chan Meditation Center (CMC), she teaches beginner's meditation classes and metta contemplation, and conducts one-day Chan retreats. She is a member of the Chan Meditation Center Board of Trustees and teaches English to seventh graders in her home state of Connecticut.

Rebecca Li PhD

Rebecca began practicing in 1995, and attended her first seven-day intensive retreat with Chan Master Sheng Yen, founder of Dharma Drum Retreat Center (DDRC), in the following year. Since then she has attended numerous intensive Chan retreats. In 1999 after moving to New Jersey she began translating for Master Sheng Yen. In the same year, she began her training with the Master to become a Dharma and meditation instructor. Currently, she teaches meditation and Dharma classes and gives public lectures at the Chan Meditation Center (CMC) and leads retreats at CMC & DDRC. She has been training with Simon Child since 2008 to conduct retreat interviews and has been assisting in his intensive retreats since 2012. Along with her husband David Slaymaker, Rebecca leads Chan practice at Rutgers University and the New Jersey chapter of DDMBA and teaches on behalf of Dharma Drum in various community activities in the NJ-NY area. Rebecca is a board member of the Dharma Drum Retreat Center and a professor of sociology.



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