“We all need joy, and we can all receive joy in only one way, by adding to the joy of others.”
The BMCM offers both introductory and returnee programs in multiple locations throughout the US. Details about our offerings are given below.
We recommend this program for everyone coming to their first BMCM retreat, even for those with experience in other types of meditation. It will give you the strong foundation for applying your past experience appropriately to this new and demanding set of spiritual skills.
During the course of the day, you will discover the power of passage meditation, in theory and practice. You will learn the underlying principles of the whole eight-point program of passage meditation: why the eight points are beneficial, how they work together, and how you can apply them to your own challenges and aspirations.
You will receive full instruction in the first two points: meditation on a passage and repetition of a mantram. You will also learn how the other six points will carry the benefits of meditation directly into your work day and home life.
By the end of your retreat, you will learn a short inspirational passage to use in the two meditation sessions, and you will choose a mantram and learn ways to use it in your daily life. You will also participate in a relaxing and rejuvenating mantram walk.
The balanced schedule allows time for inner reflection, discussion, learning and application, in a comfortable and well-paced schedule. There is time to have your questions answered, meet other people in your area who are practicing passage meditation, and find local BMCM fellowship groups which meet on a regular basis for ongoing support. The combination of a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere and rich discussions draws together people of a wide range of ages and backgrounds.
This curriculum touches great depths, and yet gives you all the information and inspiration you need to start a passage meditation practice successfully.
You can participate in the discussions as much or as little as suits you.
The retreat presenters, life-long students of Eknath Easwaran, have decades of experience presenting Easwaran's program to a world-wide audience.
What people have said about this retreat:
“Whatever else might happen or not, for me, personally, last year will be etched in my memory as the beginning of an awakening within me that will probably dictate how I live the rest of my life.”
“I just returned from my retreat in Denver. It was a wonderful experience that exceeded my expectations. I was worried about many things: religious bias, the program being too metaphysical, for ‘very special people,’ etc. I found that passage meditation is logical, practical and comprehensive.”
“My expectations were much more than met. I had a very fulfilling and inspiring experience. Life-changing, I would say . . .&rdquo
“All of us want people to treat us with kindness and respect. We get upset when they don’t. To make ourselves unupsettable, Easwaran says, the secret is simple: treat others with the kindness and respect we want for ourselves. We can’t change them, after all. If we want less friction, our only practical choice is to make changes in ourselves. . . And as we do, we find we are including others instead of excluding them – gradually building bridges in our lives and beyond.”
– Christine Easwaran, from a chapter introduction of Strength in the Storm by Eknath Easwaran, which we will be studying at this retreat.
If your practice of passage meditation is getting frayed at the edges, this retreat is the boost you need. You will take part in a balanced, relaxed schedule that helps you re-focus on your highest ideals, imbibing inspiring talks by Easwaran and experiencing the strength of meditating with other dedicated aspirants. At the end of the retreat, don’t be surprised if you are deeply replenished and ready to face life’s challenges with renewed calm and wisdom.
We will study the chapter in Easwaran’s book Strength in the Storm called “Choosing Kindness.” In this chapter, Easwaran shows us how to choose kindness even when we need to stand firm in difficult situations. Don’t we all long for this seemingly magical ability? And isn’t it so helpful that it can be turned it into a skill that we can learn and practice? This retreat will help you find little, little ways you can gracefully integrate your practice of the eight points into your busy daily schedule — allowing the sweet fragrance of spiritual replenishment to linger in the months to come. Here are some comments from retreat participants:
“Each year the retreat has allowed me the opportunity to renew my commitment to following the Eight Points. The format and content of this particular retreat was especially meaningful for me.”
“Inspired, fresh curriculum. Study selections were profound. . . Circle format was unifying. . . Summarizing each paragraph of group reading very meaningful. . . it respected ‘slowing down,’ and ‘one-pointed attention.’ There was a comfortable pace and thoroughness so we could digest the essence of the material. Outstanding retreat in every way.”
Note: We offer two different weekend programs for returning meditators: Spiritual Replenishment in our one–day and weekend regional retreats (outside Tomales), and Thriving with the Eight–Point Program at our Tomales weekend retreats.
If you have a history or current condition of mental illness, please consult your health care provider before learning meditation or attending a retreat. Meditation is not a substitute for medical or psychiatric care, and there are circumstances when it is not advisable.
For the safety and well-being of all retreatants, we may decide not to accept retreat enrollments.
Click here to see all of our retreat fees and an explanation of our sliding scale.
The balanced schedule allows time for inner reflection, discussion, learning and application, in a comfortable and well-paced schedule. There is time to have your questions answered, meet other people in your area who are practicing passage meditation, and find local BMCM fellowship groups which meet on a regular basis for ongoing support.
The sample schedules below will give you an idea of the flow of each program.
One-day retreats begin on Saturday at 9 a.m. and end at 5:30 p.m. When there is also a weekend retreat, the one-day and weekend returnee retreat attendees will be in the same workshops on Saturday.
Weekend retreats begin on Friday at 4 p.m. and end on Sunday at 2 p.m. On Saturday, the one-day returnee retreat attendees will join the workshops. All meals are vegetarian.
Click here for details about our retreat logistics.