Retreats at DSMC
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Choose your Retreat dates:
Please indicate the dates you want to come. The first time you come we recommend you do our 10 day recommended dates. Seven days is a minimum. We don't offer longer than 2 weeks. All available retreat dates are listed on the application form or you can request a different period and we can check on that. If dates are not listed then they are full.
We have a $40 fee to reserve your space. It is refundable up to a month before your retreat. The basic cost for your food and shelter here is $40 per day. Payment of deposits and retreats in advance may be made in the DSMC store by credit card or paypal.
We keep the price of the retreat stay very low to accommodate as many as we can. (Donations to the teacher are encouraged at the end of the retreat.) Your fees only support your room and board. The actual teaching and daily interview is freely given by Bhante Vimalaramsi. Donations help to provide further building and programs to support DSMC.
Attending to Special Needs & Diet
Before coming to visit us, please indicate any special needs for diet, mobility issues, special care needed, so we can accommodate you.
We serve a vegetarian and light meat diet of occasional beef, fish, and poultry. Please indicate any preferences or allergies. However, if you are vegan and/or full gluten free, the cost of food is higher for us and we will support you as best as we can, given our low budget and local availability. We serve buffet style so you may pick and choose anything that works for you. So far we have been able to handle all but the most extreme diets.
Cell Phone Collection
We will collect all Cell phones and keep in a safe place for the retreat. This is becoming standard practice now at retreats, and we follow this rule to allow you a quiet period of contemplation without outside interruption. You may give out our mobile number 573-604-1481 to your family or important contacts. If they need to call you with an emergency they call this number and we will put you in touch with them immediately. We have alarm clocks to keep time or you may bring one. You may not use your phone as a clock as it is too enticing to check all those little notifications... Note: only Verizon and AT&T cell phones work here -Most others have no service. We don't provide internet connections unless you need to check travel arrangements or something else.
Precepts for Retreat periods
Students keep eight precepts during the retreat with two meals each day (Breakfast and a robust Noonday meal). This is in keeping with the standard Buddhist retreat tradition. Tea or juice is served at nightly around 6PM, before the Dhamma Talk. (A light snack in the evening may be permitted only if medically required and then only 6 precepts will be observed). First time students find that keeping the 8 precepts is usually far easier than they thought!
Other points to note about the center.
We have a dog or two and some cats but meditation areas are kept free from animals. All of our buildings and cabins do have A/C and Heat. Weather can be warm in the summer months but it is nice and cool in the meditation hall!
TRANSPORTATION TO THE CENTER: You can use the shuttle or we can pick you up directly from the airport or bus/train station.
Shuttle pickup -Airport to Farmington
There is a shuttle named SMTS shuttle which can carry you down to Farmington from where we can pick you up and then carry you to the center.
When you arrive at the airport, you must take a short ride on the Metro-Link light rail from the Airport to the Greyhound Bus terminal in downtown St Louis(30min). The SMTS shuttle leaves from the Greyhound terminal for Farmington at 2 PM (Please be there at 1:45) and arrives in Farmington at 3:30 PM. You buy your $30 ticket onboard with cash or credit. We will pick you up at the shuttle stop using DSMC transportation to carry you to the center. We invite you to text us updates during the day to 573-604-1481. The shuttle only runs weekdays so can only be used on week-days.
Airport Pickup -We get you from the airport $60 each way (Pay here)
Note that the shuttle doesn't run weekends, holidays and leaves at 2pm from the bus/train station downtown. Most longer flights might not arrive in time for you to catch the shuttle so you need to have us pick you up.
If you are arriving by air to the St. Louis Airport (STL) send us your flight information and try to arrive after noon and no later than 6PM to give us time to come up. And so we don't have to drive after dark.
Returning to the airport
We can pick you if from the airport if necessary at additional costs. Usually you can take the shuttle back. It is best to plan return flights to depart after 1:00 PM so there is plenty of time to get to the airport to make your flight. Again, the shuttle only runs weekdays. Please inquire via email to us about arriving on different days.
Driving to the Center
More on transportation with maps, times, please see: Maps and Directions to DSMC. Please arrive after 1PM.
UPON YOUR ARRIVAL:
Upon your arrival to DSMC , you will be asked to pay the balance of your retreat cost and to fill out your paperwork, indicating your past retreat experience, medical information, and insurance, emergency phone#s etc.
A valid D/L/ or Passport and emergency contacts may be requested. We have Air Evac service if ever required and a hospital only 20 minutes away
Please note - Balance of retreat fees are due first day of retreat and not refundable after retreat started unless approved.
DANA for the Teachers. Your retreat fees only pay your room and board. It is important to understand that this center is a Buddhist religious center where the monastic teachers do not work and are only supported through offerings given to them after your retreat. This is the tradition of Buddhist monastics who have completely left lay life to devote full time work on the Dhamma. Your regular Retreat fees only cover the costs of the facility and your meals. The teaching is given freely to and tradition is that if you feel you have benefited from the teachings you may offer Dana (Gifts) to the teacher on the last day and/or donations to help build and continue the work of this center. Dana offerings are given completely at your own discretion and ability. What you offer also helps others to receive this training in the future. Dana can be offered on the last day of your retreat.
ABOUT THE WEATHER, WHAT TO BRING, AND WHAT TO WEAR:
Be prepared for summer weather temperatures in the 80-90's during the day and 60-70s at night. All buildings and cabins are air-conditioned. Modest light clothing is recommended. We ask you to please cover your knees and shoulders and we request no sleeveless wear, tank tops etc. out of respect for the monks. Please wear clothes without political slogans or messages on them. The traditional color to wear for retreat is white. It is an encouragement of purity and helps to empty the mind. However, this is completely optional and left to your own discretion.
It's a good idea to bring a light rain jacket with a hood and an umbrella. Most people bring slip-on sandals to easily go in and out of the meditation rooms and dining room. A light bathrobe for the short walk to the bathroom, at night is a good idea. Bring a small flashlight to walk around the facility at night.
A laundry room is available for students to wash clothes.
WHAT TO BRING:
Sheets, pillows, blankets, and towels are provided by the center. If you come by
car, you may want to bring your own sleeping bag, pillow, or comforter/sheets. Your first task is to make up your bed.
Bring a light bathrobe for walking a few steps at night to the bathroom facility.
Males and Females are in separate cabins. Couples or married people may not room together.
You may want a shawl or blanket to wrap around shoulders while sitting. We do have some light blankets for this purpose. You may bring your own meditation chair or cushion if coming by car. There are some chairs, benches, and many cushions at the center. You are NOT required to sit on the floor. You may use the comfortable chairs already here.
-Some items to bring:
Umbrella - Sunscreen and Sunglasses - Flashlight - Water Bottle - comfortable shoes for walking; Personal Hygiene Kits; bug lotion; hat; sitting cushion (if you want your own)
Do's and don'ts while at Dhamma Sukha ---> HERE
Talk to the Teacher First
You are invited to discuss your practice and any problems that arise with the teachers during your interviews, or at other times, if the need arises. Sometimes you might want to cut your retreat short in the middle of your practice, perhaps because of what is coming up for you, but you must always talk to the teacher first before making such a decision.
Link to Retreat Payment
Fill out your retreat application ONLINE HERE.
You can download an application and print this word doc and send it to us with a $40 deposit.