It is Tri-State Dharma’s mission to make retreats available to meditators from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and beyond. To make these retreats affordable to all who wish to attend, the fees for each retreat are slightly less than the minimum amount needed to cover our expenses. This does not take into account the scholarships that we give for almost all retreats. If you are in a position to do so, please consider making a donation to Tri-State Dharma at the end of the retreat to help us continue this work. Thank you.

Deposits are your way of saving space for the retreat. If you must back out of the retreat, we will refund half of the deposit if you cancel 6 weeks prior to the retreat. If you have paid the full amount, we will refund the balance. For our Weekend retreats, if cancel 6 weeks prior, refund is all but $100.  If cancel less than 6 weeks prior, refund is all but $200. Thank you for not asking for the full deposit back.

The cost of the retreat covers room and board and Tri-State Dharma’s expenses. Meditation teachers in this tradition are able to continue their work through Dana, or generous, voluntary giving by students. At retreat’s end, students have an opportunity to practice Dana by offering contributions. There is no specific contribution amount expected; give what feels right.   Please think of this as an integral part of practice.

To request a scholarship please send an e-mail or mail a letter and registration form to Tri-State Dharma. No one will be turned away for lack of ability to pay.




First Retreat Experience

I attended my first retreat over New Years weekend at the Oakwood Retreat Center.  It lasted from Friday evening until Tuesday lunch and was led by Joan Staubach and sponsored by TriState Dharma. Near the end of the retreat, Mary Ellen  gave a short talk on dana.  She asked two questions--"Why did you come here?" and "What do you take away from here?"

Why did I come?  Mostly because it was suggested by people who have practiced much longer than I.  So far their suggestions had been good, so I trusted their advice to go on a retreat.

I was also just curious.  What would it be like to be silent for four days?  What would happen if I meditated for hours every day?

I was full of anticipation and fear.  Talk with the same friends who encouraged me to go helped me face the fears, find the trust, and move on with an open mind, body, and spirit.

And what did I take away?  When she asked that question, tears literally began streaming down my face.  I had no idea the spaciousness that could be found given time and support. My meditation and spiritual growth went to a depth that I don’t think would have been possible without the intensity of prolonged devoted time.  My daily praactice has not led me to experience so profoundly the exquisitiveness of the breath and the delight of stillness. Though there were only glimpses, I had a taste of the deeper fruits of insight meditation.  I had never truly understood the connection between insight and meditation.  But given the time, space, and support of the retreat sangha , I had  the  experience of insight that just arises unbidden by my brain, body, or self. A true gift.

One difference I have noticed in my practice since the retreat is that I approach the time with much greater ease.  I don't seem to worry as much about what I'm "supposed" to be doing.  I am much more willing to just do nothing.  

I hope to do the retreat again next year and to do other, longer retreats.  As Joan said repeatedly, "We're not done doing nothing yet."

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