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Liberating Meditations on the Body, Impermanence, and Death

A 10-day meditation retreat with Shaila Catherine

August 26 – September 5, 2024
Partial attendance can be arranged but must begin on the first day of the retreat.

“Mindfulness of death, when developed and cultivated, is of great fruit and benefit, culminating in the deathless, having the deathless as its consummation.”
– Anguttara Nikaya 8.7

This retreat is designed to enhance your spiritual insights through a closer examination of the changing conditions of the body and meditative contemplations of death.

Developing mindfulness of our own death can protect the mind from complacency, and inspire us to practice dharma with greater energy and sincerity. Formal death contemplation can prepare us for the inevitable event of dying, help us to let go of latent fears, stimulate profound insights into impermanence, clarify priorities, and abandon sensory attachments.

Many forms of mindfulness of death practices (maranasati) are taught in Buddhist traditions. This retreat will begin with mindfulness of the body practices, and then introduce specific Buddhist approaches to the contemplation of death through guided meditations that encourage the perception of impermanence, develop ease with letting go, and use visualizations of skeletons and decomposing corpses as a powerful means for exploring impermanence and nonattachment. Most simply, we will practice remaining aware and balanced as we reflect on the fact that we will surely die. These contemplations can remove fear of death, produce a sense of being at ease with the nature of things, and support the development of mindfulness, concentration, and insight.

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

SITE FEATURES: Colombiere Retreat and Conference Center is a comfortable Jesuit retreat center located in woodlands about a one hour drive north of Detroit, Michigan. Colombiere offers a serene environment for meditation and contemplation. It boasts spacious grounds with gardens and pathways that invite quiet walks, and is surrounded by walking trails through pine and oak forests.

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.

The retreat begins with check in at 2:30 pm on the first day; it ends shortly before noon on the last day. 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 to ensure an on-time arrival at the retreat. Early arrival at the retreat center is  not available for this retreat.


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

  • Registration Form:

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 handicapped accessible. Accommodations include comfortable single or double rooms. Most rooms share a bathroom down the hall; a few rooms with ensuite bathrooms are available with an additional fee of $300. See the application form for accommodation options and details.

COST: 10 nights (fees cover accommodation and meals, and administrative expenses). In addition, there will be an opportunity to donate to the teacher 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. Couples or friends who agree to share a room can reduce the sliding scale by 15%. 

  • Full retreat for single occupancy: 10 nights is $2,800 – $2,250 sliding scale (estimated actual cost for single is $2500)
  • Double occupancy sliding scale: Any point on the above sliding scale, reduced by 15% (estimated actual per-person cost for double occupancy is $2125)
  • A limited number of rooms (for either singles or doubles) have ensuite bathrooms available for a supplemental fee of $300

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, $2125 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, please apply for a scholarship through https://opendharmafoundation.org, or contact our registrar for scholarship assistance through the IMSB/Bodhi-Retreats/Still Mountain scholarship funds.

PARTIAL ATTENDANCE may be arranged for the first 4 or 5 nights, but priority is given to full retreat participants. If you can attend for 6–10 nights, please use the full retreat sliding scale. 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.

  • 4 nights (Monday–Friday) for single occupancy is $1600 – $1300 sliding scale (estimated actual cost for single is $1450)
  • 5 nights (Monday–Saturday) for single occupancy is $2000 – $1600 sliding scale (estimated actual cost for single is $1800)

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?: meditation2bodhicourses

Co-Sponsored by Bodhi Retreats, Insight Meditation South Bay, and Still Mountain Buddhist Meditation Center

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