At retreat, we choose to follow certain guidelines and etiquette policies in order to enable a safe and comfortable container for all retreat participants. Guidelines and policies are created with the intention of building a comfortable community with mutual respect. Please feel free to familiarize yourself with retreat guidelines and etiquette below or download a Retreat Etiquette Policy document. If you have any other questions, please contact the retreat registrar or manager.

General Information

  • HONOR NOBLE SILENCE in the Hall, on the grounds, in your room, and on the bulletin board. This includes not using your cell phone, laptop or other electronics during the retreat. Please see the handout on Practicing-Noble-Silence for more information.
  • If you have questions or need anything during the retreat, leave a note for the retreat manager on the bulletin board or quietly take the manager aside. Consider carefully whether your note is necessary.
  • The teachers ask that you temporarily put aside other meditation practices in order to make the most of the instructions offered at this retreat.
  • If a situation arises where you need to leave the retreat early, please notify the retreat manager. If possible, also speak to the teacher before leaving.
  • Remember to do the “Metta” sneeze and cough, into the elbow or shirt collar, not into the hands.

Meditation Hall Protocol

  • Save one spot for yourself, either a chair or a cushion, but not both. It’s fine to keep a cushion on the floor, even if you sit in a chair most of the time. Just don’t make the chair “permanent” — leave it open for others when you’re not using it.
  • Be on time for scheduled sittings and Dharma instructions/talks. Stay for the entire sitting/Dharma talk and leave only in emergency.
  • Enter the hall quietly. Pay attention to your movement within the hall and be aware of the presence of the others and try to move in such a way that you make a minimal impact.
  • If you have an interview, sit or walk outside the Meditation Hall.
  • Turn off beeping watches, clocks and cell phones.
  • Leave food, bottled water, and cups outside the Meditation Hall.
  • Use non-fragrant body products. Help yourself to extra supplies downstairs.
  • If you have a need for something more, leave a note for the manager.
  • If someone beside you is snoring or breathing loudly, tap them lightly.
  • Out of respect for the Dharma, do not lie down in the Meditation Hall. If you have a medical problem, speak to the teacher.

In the Rest of the Building and Grounds

  • Move with a sense of quietude and respect for everyone’s practice.
  • Movement practices such as yoga, qi gong and tai chi may be done in the Sumac Lodge and Woodhaven meeting rooms, and the parking lot at the top of the hill. Retreat House meeting room can also be used except during formal walking periods. Refrain from these practices elsewhere, including anywhere in the main center or on the deck. (A short stretch for a minute or two is fine.)
  • Wear footware in the dining area.
  • Showers and baths can begin 1/2 hour before the morning wake-up bell and should end 1/2 hour after the final sit.
  • Help maintain a quiet atmosphere. Please close doors gently and with mindfulness.