Our original wilderness excursion: now in it's 17th year. An introductory day plus a three-day meditation backpack onto the slopes of Mount Baker.
Inspired by Dogen's Mountains and Rivers Sutra (Sansuikyo), this retreat includes silent backpacking through a beautiful old growth hemlock forest to a seldom-visited base camp at Mazama Park, just south of Mount Baker at the foot of Park Butte. Activities include traditional Zen practice, a short solo exercise, and opportunities for day hiking. The retreat is appropriate for new meditators and beginning backpackers.
The group prepares for the mountains in the lowlands with an evening of meditation, day program in nature awareness, and Native American sweat lodge. The first two nights of this program are at Hawk Meadow Farm outside Bellingham, followed by two nights on the slopes of Mount Baker.
Wednesday evening - attend zazen at Red Cedar Dharma Hall in Bellingham and proceed to Hawk Meadow Farm.
Thursday - Nature awareness retreat, packing & preparation, sweat lodge
Friday - Sunday 3-day moderately strenuous backpack.
Arrival & Zen Orientation - Wednesday 7pm - We will meet at the Red Cedar Dharma Hall at 5pm for dinner, orientation, and an evening of meditation with the larger Red Cedar Sangha. After meditation we will drive about 20 minutes out to Hawk Meadow Farm. Sleeping will be in the zendo yurt on floor futons or you may set up a tent.
Nature Awareness Workshop - Thursday 9am - 3pm. Engaging the senses and slowing down together in the rich natural area around Hawk Meadow Farm. Formal meditation practice will be combined with outdoor explorations and encounters.
Packing & Preparation - Thursday 3pm - 5pm. An essential time to get our packs together, ready for a early departure on Friday morning.
Native American Sweat Lodge - Thursday 7pm - 10pm, facilitated by Rob Staveland, Northern Cheyenne-trained lodge teacher. A powerful ritual of purification and setting intentions. Sangha members not coming on the Mountains and Rivers are also invited to join in this evening of ritual. RSVP to Bob Penny (email@example.com / 360-927-5702) for details.
Going to the Mountain - Early Friday morning we leave for Mount Baker. Our trailhead is 2 hours drive away. Hiking in to our base camp on Friday in silence we will spend two nights in the wilderness. Returning to the cars on Sunday August 18th at about 4:00pm and final return to Hawk Meadow at approximately 6:00pm to end this retreat.
3-day Backpack: We hike into our base camp on Friday, hiking in silence and stopping for trail-side rituals along the way. At our base camp in Mazama Park we establish a zendo and practice all day Saturday. Hiking out on Sunday. The shape our journey is a pilgrimage, stopping at ritual sites along the way to recite Dogen's Mountains and River Sutra.
Returning from the Mountain. We generally reach the trailhead again on Sunday between 3pm and 5pm arriving back at Hawk Meadow Farm in Bellingham between 5pm and 7pm. This is a hiking event so arrival time can vary.
Cost includes breakfasts, dinners and trail parking passes and pre-registration via the website, plus a telephone interview with Bob to assess questions around hiking gear and fitness.
NOTE: The base cost for this retreat does not, however, provide any compensation to the teachers. Instruction for our Wilderness Retreat programs are offered on a
HAWK MEADOW FARM (1102 E. Kelly Road, Bellingham) MAP AND DIRECTIONS: Take Sunset Drive from I-5, drive by the Sunset Square Shopping Center going East, take a left on Hannegan, drive 3 miles, right on Kelly Road, drive exactly 1/2 mile, turn left immediately after a brown house (look for a reflective blue address marker for "1102"). Drive to the end of the long 1/4 mile driveway and turn right into the parking area for Hawk Meadow Farm.
Registration required, please click the "Register" button on the left to being the process.
There will be an opportunity during registration to make a dana offering if you choose (details on Dana Paramita here) and you may also make a dana offering at any time on the Dana page. Unlike our "indoor" retreats dana is not generally collected during the event.
Contact Wilderness Programs Coordinator Bob Penny at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-927-5702 with questions and see our Wilderness Programs webpage for an overview of this program.