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 find the 10 day period works best. All available retreat dates are listed on the application form or you can request a different period and we can check on that.
We have a $300 deposit to reserve your space-applied to your total. It is refundable up to 3 months before your retreat. We have to have time to fill the space-sorry. The basic cost for your food and shelter here is $65 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 both meat and veg. diets of occasional beef, fish, and poultry and veg proteins. 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 and some chocolate is served at nightly around 5:30PM, 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 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: We will bring you back and forth to the airport or your hotel. There is a charge for that.
Airport Pickup -We get you from the airport $60 each way (Pay here)
If you are arriving by air to the St. Louis Airport (STL) then please send us your flight information and try to arrive for a 1PM shuttle, or 3PM pickup but no later than 4PM so we don't have to drive after dark. You can book an overnight at a closeby hotel the day before and we will get you from the hotel. Info below.
Returning to the airport
Please book your flight to depart after 1PM to give us time to get you to the airport from the center-2 hrs. Typically we will all have lunch locally before your flight.
Driving to the Center
More on transportation with maps, times, please see: Maps and Directions to DSMC. Please arrive after 1Pm to 4Pm
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.
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 is started unless approved.
DANA for the Teachers & the Center. 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. Shorts are fine -but not super short. Cover most of the leg to the knees. No tights please. 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 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.
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 unless approved.
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 to leave early.
Link to Retreat Payment
Fill out your retreat application ONLINE HERE.