Retreat in Georgia: Concentration, Jhana, and the Breath

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Concentration, Jhana, and the Breath

A 10-day meditation retreat with Shaila Catherine

Monday, October 23 – Thursday November 2, 2023
at Calvin Center, 13550 Woolsey Road, Hampton, GA 30228
(near Atlanta, GA)

The retreat begins with registration from 2:30 – 4:00 pm on Monday, October 23. The retreat ends with lunch on Thursday,  November 2.

Partial attendance may be possible, but it must begin on the first day of the retreat and priority will be given to those registering for the full retreat.

This retreat will follow the approach to deepening concentration and attaining the absorption states of jhāna as described in Shaila Catherine’s first book, Focused and Fearless. Instructions will use the breath as the primary meditation object and will encourage the development of meditative skills that lead to deep concentration (samādhi) and clear insight (vipassanā). Daily group instructions will guide participants to efficiently overcome hindrances, cultivate the jhāna factors, develop skill in the meditation object, apply balanced effort, and learn how to enter, emerge, and master the jhāna attainments. Meetings with the teacher in small groups and one-on-one dialogs will tailor the practices to meet the needs and interests of individual students. Participants who have previously attained the four jhānas on retreat with Shaila may further develop their samādhi with jhāna practices based on the body, the kasinas, and formless perceptions.

This retreat offers a special opportunity to train in concentration and jhāna practices with personal guidance from Shaila Catherine. It is one of the very few retreats each year in which Shaila systematically guides students to establish the four jhānas. See our Concentration and Jhana FAQ page for more information about developing concentration and the absorption states of jhāna.

This silent retreat is structured with alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation, dhamma teachings, and teacher consultations. It is intended for meditators who are already familiar with mindfulness based practice, and have previously attended at least one week long silent residential insight meditation retreat.

Prior to the retreat, please read the first half of Focused and Fearless by Shaila Catherine.

SITE FEATURES: This retreat will be held at the Calvin Center in Georgia. It is a lovely and quiet retreat center in the country side that boasts a small lake and opportunities for canoeing. It is conveniently situated less than 30-minutes from Atlanta’s airport. You will enjoy the benefits of natural beauty, a spacious meditation hall, comfortable accommodations, delicious meals, access to walking trails, and the chance for mindful canoeing.

COVID PRECAUTIONS: Please read our page on COVID Measures and Compliance Requirements. This will explain  the measures we are taking to prevent the spread of illness, and the actions that will be required of retreat participants.

Register now! Space is limited.

Participants who are traveling from afar might need to check flight times carefully, and if necessary arrange to stay in a hotel the night before the retreat. Early-arrival accommodations are not available at this retreat center, and we must depart shortly after lunch on the closing day.

TO REGISTER: Please use the online form at the link below to submit your registration and waiver forms.

This form will take approximately 20 minutes to fill out. Upon completion of the form you will receive an email with details for completing your payment. You have the option of paying the non-refundable deposit of $250 or the full retreat payment either by mailing a check to the registrar or by making a Zelle bank transfer. The address and account information for making this payment will be included in the registration confirmation email.

Details of our cancellation policy are on the registration form.

The retreat facility is somewhat handicapped accessible. Accommodations include comfortable hotel-style rooms with ensuite baths, and a few dorm-style cabins. See the application form for accommodation details.

COST: 10 nights (includes accommodation and meals), plus a donation to the teachers at the end of retreat.

Due to precautions regarding the spread of COVID-19, most participants will need to select the single room option and a rate along the single room sliding scale. 

  • Full retreat for single occupancy: 10 nights is $3,000 – $2,200 sliding scale (estimated actual cost for single is $2500)
  • Double occupancy sliding scale: $2500 – $1900 (estimated actual cost for double occupancy is $2200)

Fee covers only accommodations, food, and basic administrative expenses. There will be an opportunity at the end of the retreat to make a donation to the teacher.

The estimated actual per-person cost if we had used a fixed rate is $2500 for a single room, and  $2200 for a shared room. By selecting an amount above the estimated actual cost, your generosity supports those who need to select a lower rate to attend the retreat. Selecting an amount below the estimated actual cost is equivalent to receiving a partial scholarship.

The sliding scale will allow most scholarship needs to be self-managed. If you need additional scholarship support to attend, consider applying for a scholarship through https://opendharmafoundation.org, or contact our registrar for assistance through IMSB/Bodhi-Retreats.

PARTIAL ATTENDANCE may be arranged for a stay of at least 3 nights, but must begin on the first day of retreat, and priority is given to full retreat participants. We strongly encourage attendance at the full retreat. Applicants for partial attendance will be placed on a wait list which will be reviewed approximately 2 months prior to the retreat. We cannot guarantee single rooms for partial attendees. You may contact the registrar to determine if single rooms for partial attendance are available approximately two months prior to the retreat.

The rates for partial attendance below are listed as single occupancy. The mid-point on each sliding scale is our estimated actual cost. Take 18% off any point on the sliding scale for double accommodations.

  • 3 nights (Tuesday–Friday) is $1100 – $900 sliding scale
  • 4 nights (Tuesday–Saturday) is $1,300 – $1100 sliding scale
  • 5 nights (Tuesday–Sunday) is $1,600 – $1300 sliding scale
  • 6 nights (Tuesday–Monday) is $1,900 – $1500 sliding scale
  • 7-9 nights is same as full retreat: single $3000 – $2200 sliding scale

DANA: Compensation for the teacher is not included in the registration price. There will be an opportunity to offer donations to the teacher at the end of the retreat.

QUESTIONS?: meditation1bodhicourses

Co-Sponsored by Bodhi Retreats and Insight Meditation South Bay

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