A 5-Day Silent Mindfulness Retreat
with Melissa Blacker and David Rynick
24 - 29 October 2020
Soutelo, Vila Verde, Braga, Portugal
This retreat meets the pre-requisites to complete the MBSR teacher training program and Module 3 of MBCT at Oxford Mindfulness Center
This silent meditation retreat will be led by Melissa Blacker and David Rynick, both internationally renowned mindfulness teachers.
Refresh and deepen your personal meditation practice in this silent retreat exploring the Seven Qualities of Awakening. The Seven Qualities (mindfulness, curiosity, energy, joy, calm, concentration and equanimity) are described in the final section of the Buddhist teachings on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipatthana), which form the basis of modern mindfulness-based interventions.
Developing a lived experience of these qualities enhances our capacity to meet everyone and everything with kindness, clarity and balance.
Most of the retreat will be spent in silent sitting and walking. Every day the retreat leaders will offer talks, individual meetings and lead group inquiry. Towards the end of the retreat there will be periods of guided interpersonal inquiry and dialogue to explore the connection between personal practice, the qualities of awakening, and our daily lives.
Melissa and David bring their experience in both mindfulness-based interventions and the Zen Buddhist tradition to this retreat. Their commitment to waking up to life fully, their compassionate stance as teachers and their playfulness and humor create an atmosphere of deep practice that is essential for encountering the true nature of the heart-mind.
ABOUT THE TEACHERS
Melissa Myozen Blacker, MA, was an MBSR teacher and director of programs at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, USA, from 1993 to 2013. She is a fully transmitted Zen teacher (Roshi), and co-founder, guiding teacher and Abbot of Boundless Way Zen, a multi-lineage Zen community in New England. She is co-editor of The Book of Mu: Essential Teachings on Zen’s Most Famous Koan.
David Dae An Rynick, PCC, MALS, in addition to being a fully transmitted Zen teacher, is the Abbot of Boundless Way Temple and a life and leadership coach. He works with individuals in the US and UK to help them clarify what is truly important so that they can take action to align their lives more fully with their deepest dreams. He is the author of This Truth Never Fails: A Zen Memoir in Four Seasons. ick, PCC, MALS, in addition to being a fully transmitted Zen teacher, is the Abbot of Boundless Way Temple and a life and leadership coach. He works with individuals in the US and UK to help them clarify what is truly important so that they can take action to align their lives more fully with their deepest dreams. He is the author of This Truth Never Fails: A Zen Memoir in Four Seasons.
Interviews with Melissa Blacker and David Rynick:
Podcast teachings with Melissa Blacker and David Rynick here: https://worcesterzen.org/
Youtube Channel of Boundless Way Zen Temple: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi0fvFY-yTyMIgT1f8AKb4w
Casa da Torre, Soutelo, Vila Verde, Braga, Portugal (info here)
The accommodation at Casa da Torre is in individual and double rooms with private bathroom. The rooms are not luxurious, but rather very simple with all the comfort for you to have a pleasant and peaceful stay during the retreat. The Center has several gardens in the exterior that you can use during the entire duration of the retreat. It also has a beautiful terrace with an amazing view over an extensive natural area.
* Casa da Torre is a Jesuit Monastery and the choice of this type of retreat center is not because of the religious thematic of the place, which is not essential for a mindfulness retreat but rather because it meets several criteria that we find important for a retreat: silence, simplicity, high number of single rooms with private bathrooms available and great quality of the meals (variables that are requested for many of the people that are interested in our services)
Meals are vegetarian and they will include: complete breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If you need any special adaptation in terms of meals please let us know.
- 24 October, Saturday -
4.30pm - 5.30pm: Arrival
6pm – 7.15pm: Orientation Session and Welcome
7.30pm - 8.30pm: Dinner
- 25, 26, 27, 28 October (Sunday through Wednesday) -
6.30am: Wake up
7.00am - 8.00am: Sitting Meditation and Mindful Movement
8.00am - 10.00am: Breakfast & Rest
10.00am - 12.30pm: Sitting and Walking Meditation/Dharma Talk and Group Discussion, followed by Individual Meetings with Teacher
12.30pm - 2.00pm: Lunch & Rest
2.00pm - 5.30pm: Sitting and Walking Meditation & Individual Meetings with Teacher
5.30pm - 7.00pm: Dinner & Rest
7.00pm – 8.00pm: Sitting and Walking Meditation
- 29 October, Thursday -
6.30am: Wake up
7.00am - 8.00am: Meditation and Inquiry Practices
8.00am - 10.00am: Breakfast & Rest
10.00am - 11.30pm: Mindfulness Meditation: Sitting and Walking
11.30am – 12.30pm: Closing Session
12.30pm - 1.30pm: Lunch
515 euros (participants registering in individual name)
515 euros + 23% IVA (for participants registering through companies)
Meals, Coffee Breaks and Accommodation: 227,50 euros (individual or double rooms)
The limit date for registration is the 17th August of 2020. After this date we won’t accept any further registrations.
The number of places is limited, so we advise your registration as soon as possible.
To register in the retreat:
- Make the payment of the value of the retreat: 515 euros (participants registering in individual name) or 515 euros + 23% IVA/VAT (for participants registering through companies)
- Payment can be completed bank transference using the:
IBAN: PT50 0035 0158 00018441030 71
BIC SWIFT: CGDIPTPL
BANK: CAIXA GERAL DE DEPÓSITOS (CGD)
(for international bank transferences you may need extra information than that provided above. Please get in touch with us via email to email@example.com to obtain this information. Thank you.)
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the name and date of the event you want to register, with the type of accommodation of your choice (double or single) and the bank statement proof of payment
In the first day of the retreat you will have to pay your accommodation/meals fee directly to Casa da Torre in the total value of de 227,50 euros.
After the reception of your email we will send you a reply confirming your place in the retreat and with information relating to the retreat. If you don't receive our reply please contact us.
- If your retreat is canceled until the 1st of June you will receive a full reimbursement of the retreat minus an administration fee of 50 euros plus fee for the international bank transference. After this date we won’t make any reimbursements.
- If the event is canceled due to an unexpected reason, Ser Integral: Centro Português de Mindfulness, will provide a reimbursement of 100% of the value paid for the retreat, but we won’t be responsible for any other costs (i.e., travelling and accommodation) associated with your participation in the retreat.
- The retreat will occur with a minimum and maximum number of participants (limited places available). In the eventuality of the retreat not having the minimum registrations established Se Integral: Portuguese Center for Mindfulness will have to cancel the event.
- Please bring confortable clothing, a meditation cushion, yoga mat and blankets for your own comfort in the practice room. Also bring confortable walking shoes to use on the gardens/forest and you might also be interested in bringing a mosquito repellent.
- The program is subject to minor changes according to the needs met during the retreat.
- The room has bed sheets, towels, blankets, but you should bring all the toiletries that you usually need (e.g., shampoo, soap, etc)
- Individual rooms are limited and they will be offered on first registration basis. The cost of a private room per person is the same as a double room per person.
How to get here?
Please see the information on: http://casadatorre.org/arrive/arrive.html
The closest airport is PORTO (OPO). From here you can rent a car to drive to Vila Verde (use the GPS coordinates and address below), take a taxi to the Bus Station in Porto (http://www.renex.pt/, Address: Campo Mártires da Pátria, 37, Porto) to get a bus from Porto to Braga and from Braga please see the details below:
By Bus: Between 7am and 8.15pm you can find several buses that leave the Bus Central Station of Braga to Vila Verde, Arcos and Monção. You need to get out at the stop – Rio Homem, make a left and you will have Casa da Torre ahead (with a big gate).
By Taxi: From the Central Bus Station or Train Station of Braga to Casa da Torre you will pay around 12 euros.
By Car: GPS coordinates :41º36’.08”N 8º26’17.05”W or the address: Casa da Torre, Avenida Viscondes da Torre, nº 80 4730-570 Soutelo – Vila Verde.
By Shuttle: Ser Integral: Portuguese Center for Mindfulness will organize shuttles from the airport to the retreat center if a minimum number of participants from other countries registers in the retreat. There will be a fee for this service (to be determined).
At what time should I arrive? When will we finish?
Arrival is on the 24th of October between 4.30pm and 5.30pm so that we can process your arrival and registration. You will then be assigned to your room and we will meet at the practice room at 6pm for an orientation session and at 7.30pm for dinner. In the last day of the retreat we will have lunch at the retreat center and after this we will all leave the retreat center.
Is there wireless and mobile phone connection?
Yes, but usage of mobile phones and internet is not allowed during the 5 days of the retreat.
Is it possible to arrive earlier or stay after the retreat ends?
Yes, if you need more nights at the retreat center you have to contact Casa da Torre directly.
What do I need to bring?
It is advised to bring confortable clothing, a meditation cushion, a yoga mat and blankets for your comfort during the practices. The room has bed sheets, towels, blankets, but you should bring all the toiletries that you usually need (e.g., shampoo, soap, etc). Also bring confortable walking shoes to use on the gardens/forest and you might also be interested in bringing a mosquito repellent.
Is this retreat accepted as a pre-requisite for the teacher training in mindfulness?
This retreat meets the pre-requisites for the teacher training program in MBSR and MBCT.
I’ve completed the MBSR in a retreat format or 8 week format. Should I expect the same dynamics in this silent retreat?
No, a silent retreat in mindfulness meditation does not follow the same dynamic of an MBSR program. This retreat will have almost no guided meditation practices, in order to help you cultivate the ability to practice in silence. There will be group discussions daily after the morning Dharma talk, and at the beginning and end of the retreat, but no other group discussions. You will also have the opportunity to meet individually with the teachers throughout the retreat.
What do previous participants have to say about their experience on other retreats organized by Ser Integral: Portuguese Center for Mindfulness?
"Thank you so much for organizing this retreat in Braga, it was a true gift for me and I got so much out of it...words cannot even describe. The organization was excellent, I loved the monastery and Paul and Anna were wonderful teachers!" - Myrto Legaki, Greece (2017)
"I flew from Denmark and joined a 5-day silent retreat organised by Ser Integral in Porto. The retreat place was perfect and I was very impressed by the genuine care of the organisers. They were truly helpful, professional, attentive and loving throughout the whole event. We stayed in single rooms and having this privacy was very helpful for me to extend deepening the silence. And if you are wondering, the food was great as well!:) I am looking forward to coming back for more retreats." Esen, Denmark (2017)
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