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Online Winter Retreat Session 2 – Huatou

Led by Abbot Guo Yuan


Sliding Scale


Begins: Thursday January 13, 2022
Check-in: 2:00 PM
End Date: Sunday January 23, 2022
End Time: 1:00 PM

Apply no later than Tuesday January 11

Retreat Program

This intensive Winter retreat is offered in two sessions: Session 1 will be Silent Illumination, and Session 2 will be Huatou. Practitioners are welcome to attend either, or both, sessions. (If attending both sessions, please apply for each separately.)

The meditation methods will be taught using videos of retreat talks by Master Sheng Yen. Abbot Guo Yuan will provide additional short sharings and interviews.

Unique to this retreat, practitioners can personally determine the length of their own sitting periods within the larger structure of the schedule. This means you can stretch your legs when needed, or take a quick break, and then return quietly to your seat and continue sitting. The timekeeper will sound the chime only to end a section of the day, for example, to break for lunch.

NOTE: Talks will be given in both Chinese and English.

Orientation (1/13/2022)

2:00 – 3:00 pm Orientation & Guided Meditation

Daily Schedule (1/14 to 1/22/2022)

9:00 am Morning service, sitting and walking meditation, yoga exercise
12:00 pm Lunch, work practice, personal time
2:30 pm Dharma talk (Master Sheng Yen’s video)、 Guoyuan Fashi Sharing, Q&A
4:00 pm Sitting and walking meditation, yoga exercise
5:30 pm Dinner, work practice, personal time
7:00 pm Evening service, prostrating, sitting meditation
9:30 pm Retire
9:40 pm Lights out

Last Day Schedule (1/23/2022)

9:00 am Three Refuges & Five Precepts (preceded by a short talk), Ceremony of Gratitude, Brief Morning Service.
10:00 am Final words by Guo Yuan Fashi
12:00 noon Retreat completed

Requirements for Intensive Retreat

Our intensive retreats follow 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 carefully screen each applicant to ensure sufficient experience for acceptance on an intensive retreat. The requirements are that the applicant has:

  • already received basic meditation instruction
  • established a daily personal practice
  • previously attended at least one three-day retreat

Sliding Scale

This event is priced on a sliding scale. Please consider paying at the highest rate that you can afford. Your generosity supports Dharma Drum Mountain, staff, your fellow practitioners and our continuous efforts to help people to learn and grow.

When you submit your application, select one of the sliding scale rates below. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Reduced: $150
Base: $250
Sustainer: $350
Benefactor: $450

Any amount paid above the Base rate is a tax deductible donation to DDRC. Your confirmation email is your tax receipt.

Abbot Guo Yuan, a Dharma Heir of Master Sheng Yen

Guo Yuan Fashi, one of Chan Master Sheng Yen’s Dharma heirs, is a Buddhist monk trained in Chan Buddhism. In 1985 he first encountered Master Sheng Yen’s teachings while attending a seven-day retreat in New York. He then decided to become a disciple before finally leaving his job in Toronto, Canada, to become a monk in the Chan tradition. He was ordained in 1987 in Taiwan. For over twenty years, he accompanied and became translator to Master Sheng Yen in various Chan meditation retreats in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, and Mexico.

He studied Theravada Buddhism for a year in Thailand in 1991. Upon returning from Thailand, Guo Yuan Fashi was elected abbot of both the Chan Meditation Center (CMC) in Queens and the Dharma Drum Retreat Center (DDRC) in Pine Bush, New York. His responsibilities included attending interfaith services, teaching meditation, and giving lectures on Buddhism. In 2006 he became the director of the International Chan Retreat Center in Dharma Drum Mountain, Taiwan. In 2016 he returned to Pine Bush to become once again the abbot of DDRC. Fluent in Mandarin, Vietnamese, and English, he leads Chan retreat in many countries around the world.