Future Retreats through our friends at Tri State Dharma:





DATES: August 31-September 5, 2018

LOCATION: Oakwood Retreat CenterClick Here for directions.

COST: $560



Doorways Into Deepening Awareness & Wisdom


This silent retreat will consist of alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation, plus teachings, and optional daily Qi Gong practice.  Instructions for insight meditation and all the Heart Practices (lovingkindness/compassion/joy/equanimity) will be offered.  We will initially focus on developing Body Awareness & Concentration, followed by an in-depth exploration of Awareness & Wisdom from the perspective of the Thai forest tradition.  To support deepening practice, participants will check in individually with the teacher every three days.

Pre-requisite: You must have attended at least two prior weekend retreats in Insight Meditation in order to attend this retreat.  In addition, retreatants must be able to attend the entire retreat in order to participate. Please do not sign up if you cannot be there for the entire retreat from the opening through the closing.

DATES: October 19-26, 2018

LOCATION: Oakwood Retreat CenterClick Here for directions.

COST: $800

Heather Sundberg has taught Insight Meditation since 1999 and has completed the Spirit Rock/IMS Senior Teacher Training.  Beginning her own meditation practice in her late teens, for the last 25 years, Heather has studied with senior teachers in the Insight Meditation (Vipassana) and Tibetan (Vajrayana) traditions and has sat 1-3 months of silent retreat a year for the last 20 years.  She was the Spirit Rock Family & Teen Program Teacher & Manager for a decade.  Between 2010-2015 she spent a cumulative one-year in study, practice, and pilgrimage in Asia.  Since 2011, she has been a teacher at Mountain Stream Meditation Center and sister communities in the CA Sierra Foothills.  She teaches retreats nationally & internationally, and has a long-term connection with Spirit Rock Meditation Center & Abhayagiri Monastery.  Her teaching emphasizes Awakening through the Body (1st foundation mindfulness), the Heart Practices (Divine Abodes), and Awareness Practices out of the Thai forest tradition.  For more information about Heather visit heathersundberg.com.

Heather is a wonderful teacher, deep and caring and skillful in guiding students at all levels. ~ Jack Kornfield, Spirit Rock Founding Teacher

Heather Sundberg has risen over decades through the training programs for teachers at Spirit Rock and has become an esteemed and respected and admired teacher by colleagues and students. The fact that she led the Spirit Rock Young Adult and Family Program for ten years added the skill of being able to translate Dharma to all ages and levels of competency. Heather has been faithful to her many long-term teachers across traditions but it would not be correct to say that she is like any one of them: My delight, as one of Heather’s teachers, is that she seems to me just like herself. When teachers share what they know from their own deep convictions, they come across and both genuine and inspiring. Her teaching style is warm and accessible. She remains alert and attentive to everyone in the room, moving the discussion to keep the material relevant to everyone. She is a refreshing new voice in the world-wide Dharma scene. ~ Sylvia Boorstein, Spirit Rock Founding Teacher




Vipassana Retreat


The New Year is considered an auspicious time to practice. We offer an alternative way to spend this time of year; instead of noise, enjoy the quiet.

DATES: December 28, 2018 – January 1, 2019

LOCATION: Oakwood Retreat CenterClick Here for directions.
COST: $450

Joan Staubach is an active member and past president of Tri-State Dharma. She is an experienced practitioner of Insight Meditation. She has been practicing since 1999. She has taught and co-taught the New Year’s Retreat for over 10 years, led daylong retreats, and taught numerous Insight Meditation classes. She has taken training retreats with Matthew Flickstein on Sharing the Dharma.


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.






 for more information or to register online. www.tristatedharma.org


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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