When and Where Is the Meditation Retreat?

Friday, December 3 – Sunday, December 12, 2021 at Diamond Mountain in Bowie, Arizona.  Bowie is about 2 hours east of Tucson, AZ and 3 hours west of El Paso, TX.  Tucker 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 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.  We are not affiliated 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 probably cannot provide free transportation to everyone from Tucson to the retreat center.  We will have some cars that will be doing the trip, and if we can’t offer you a ride, we will help connect groups to either rent a car or pay Diamond Mountain for a ride.

OK That’s Really Cheap, but I Still Can’t Afford That Price + Travel & Dana

You can also apply for a need-based scholarship through the Open Dharma Foundation.  Deadlines are Jan 15, Apr 15, Aug 15, and Oct 15, though if you’re applying for $300 or less, you can apply anytime.

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 Open Dharma Foundation, a 501c3 organization (meaning this donation is likely tax-deductible in the US).

Can I plan to leave early or come late?

Probably not.  Because we expect the retreat to sell out, if someone does, for instance, only a 3-day retreat, that would prevent someone else from doing the full 10.  However, you’re welcome to ask about exceptions.

How Do I Get There?

We’ll try to arrange a carpool from Tucson to Bowie and back, and we’ll be in touch when the retreat gets closer about specifics.

When Should I Arrive in Arizona?

We’d like everyone to be in Tucson by 1 PM on Friday and to fly out of Tucson no earlier than 2 PM on Sunday.  If you’d like to fly to Phoenix to save money, you can take the bus to Tucson; please arrive by 9:30AM or earlier on Friday if you’re coming to Phoenix.

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

Leigh, one of the students in Tucson, will organize an Airbnb for people arriving early.  We’ll start an email thread in mid September about this.

Will There Be An Optional Sweat Lodge Again Following The Retreat?

Probably not this year.

What Is The Covid Protocol?

In general, vaccination is required, and Diamond Mountain will require vaccine card photos in advance.   If someone cannot be vaccinated and would like to attend, we will follow Diamond Mountain’s protocol, which requires testing in advance.  NB in all the in-person events Tucker has done since covid, no one has ever asked about vaccine exceptions, so we don’t expect that’s likely to occur for this retreat, either.

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.