eSangha Annual Retreat FAQ

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When and Where Is the Meditation Retreat?

Friday, October 26 – Sunday, November 4, 2018 at Diamond Mountain in Bowie, Arizona.  Bowie is about 2 hours east of Tucson, AZ and 3 hours west of El Paso, TX.  Dr. Tucker Peck and Upasaka Upali will be teaching the retreat.

So, What’s A Meditation Retreat?

It’s a break from the world during which we focus exclusively on meditation.  We will not use phones, internet, or the like, and our time will be almost entirely devoted to caring for our bodies (eating, showering, exercising) and meditation.

Can I Really Do This For Ten Days?  Me?

Yes.  Though if you have any physical or mental health conditions you’re concerned might alter my pre-fab “yes”, please ask!

So What Is Diamond Mountain, Anyways?

It’s a retreat center affiliated with the Asian Classics Institute and the Gelugpa lineage of Geshe Michael Roach, and it’s the former site of a 3-year retreat.  However, we are not affiliated (or affiliating) with that lineage, just renting a facility they own.

How Much Will It Cost?

Please see the registration page for how much Diamond Mountain charges based on your choice of accommodations.  They have offered us extremely affordable prices.

What Costs Aren’t Included In the Fee to the Retreat Center?

One is “dana,” which is payment to the teacher.  The intention of dana is to be as generous as you are realistically able to, and of course this amount varies greatly among students.  Traditionally, students pay dana following the end of the retreat.

We are hoping that transportation from Tucson to Bowie will be included in the retreat price, but if attendance is smaller than we’re expecting, we might need to ask for a tiny amount (probably $10 – $20) for transportation.

OK That’s Really Cheap, but I Still Can’t Afford That Price + Travel & Dana
Diamond Mountain has said that if someone could not come at their stated price, they would permit you to buy and cook your own food.  We will be 50 miles round trip from the nearest supermarket, so both the retreat center & I would discourage this except in the case where the fee for meals would truly prevent you from attending.

You can also apply for a need-based scholarship through the Pragmatic Dharma Foundation.

I’ve Got Some Extra Money.  How Can I Support People Who Want To Go On Retreats But Can’t Afford It?

Thanks for asking!  You can make a donation to the Pragmatic Dharma Foundation, a 501c3 organization (meaning this donation is likely tax-deductible in the US).

I’d Like To Come But Would Need To Leave Early.  Is That OK?
Yes, but only if you really couldn’t come otherwise.  It’s of course best to do the entire retreat.  If you do need to leave early, you will probably need your own car to get back to the airport.

Can I Come Late?

Probably not, though you’re welcome to contact us about possible exceptions.

How Do I Get There?

We’ll figure out transportation from Tucson when the retreat gets closer.  If there’s, say, 40 of us, we might get a bus, and if there’s, say, 15 of us, we’ll figure out cars.  You can also fly into Phoenix and take the shuttle down to Tucson to meet us if that’s better for you.

When Should I Arrive in Arizona?

We’d like everyone to be in Tucson by 1 PM on Friday, if possible, and to fly out of Tucson no earlier than 2 PM on Sunday (or Phoenix no earlier than about 4:30).

Will The Retreat Organizers Provide Lodging in Tucson the Night Before and After?

Last year everyone was invited to stay at Tucker’s house.  However, he might be moving around the time of the retreat, and isn’t sure if he’ll have his own place that week, so for now, assume that you’ll need to find your own lodging if you arrive early or stay late.  The night that the retreat ends is the All Souls Procession, which is probably Tucson’s best annual event, in case you were able to spend Sunday night.

How Do I Register?

Click here to register!

What If I Still Have Questions?

Depending on the question, you can contact Tucker and Upali, or you can contact Diamond Mountain.