January 16 - 25, 2024
Winter Retreat Session 3: Silent Illumination
The annual Winter Retreat, also known as the Snow Retreat, is designed to provide an intensive meditation practice experience. The Winter Retreat is divided into three sessions: Session 1, the Foundation retreat, will take place from 12/26/2023 to 01/01/2024; Session 2, Calming and Contemplation retreat, will be held from 1/2/2024 to 01/15/2024; and Session 3, Silent Illumination retreat, will be held from 01/16/2024 to 01/25/2024. Practitioners have the flexibility to attend any single session or multiple sessions.
Abbot Guo Yuen will lead the Winter Retreat, while offering the Dharma talks, guided Chan practice, and interviews. Especially, the second session of the retreat will be based on a video by Master Sheng Yen, followed by a brief summary and sharing by Guo Yuen.
This winter retreat’s unique characteristic is the three stage method for the cultivation of a deeper practice. First level Foundation retreat is basic practice: participants will practice adjusting the body and mind through relaxation in order to smooth the breathing. Continuing this practice one can naturally and smoothly enter the second level of this method: calming and contemplation. This will be a 14-day experience of vipassana and samadhi. During the 10 days of the final level, participants will be able to easily practice the method of silent illumination using the entire body and mind in harmony. Of course, it is important that a participant follows all three stage of practice step by step in any retreat.
Chan meditation is fundamentally a practice that connects the mind and body. Its purpose is to cultivate inner peace, tranquility, and a deeper sense of presence in one’s daily life. Through deep meditation, participants can establish a connection with their inner selves, the serene environment of DDRC, and the interconnectedness of the universe.
Requirements for this retreat：
This retreat follows the traditional Chan monastery schedule, starting early in the morning and making the most efficient use of time in concentrated group practice. Participants should be mentally and physically prepared for the rigors of such a regimen. Therefore, we ask each applicant have sufficient experience as below requirements before register.
- Prior completion of basic meditation instruction
- Established daily meditation practice
- Previous attendance at least one 2-Day retreat/weekend retreat