Questions and Answers IMCC Residential Retreat
Insight Meditation Community of Charlotte
We invite you to join us for this unique practice opportunity.
Where is the Retreat Being Held?
The location is St. Francis Springs Prayer Center, 477 Grogan Road, Stoneville, North Carolina 27048. Stoneville is 38 miles NW of Greensboro.
What Can I Expect on Retreat?
A typical day consists of alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation. The schedule will begin about 7 in the morning and conclude about 9 in the evening. Three meals a day are served. There is a morning instruction period and an evening Dharma talk. On the first evening, participants are invited to take the 5 precepts, a collective commitment to ethical behavior during the period of the retreat.
How much silence is involved?
The retreat is conducted in Noble Silence, a practice that reduces interaction among participants, so that one can attend more closely to one’s own experience. Other than the teachers’ daily instructions, evening Dharma talks, and practice discussion meetings, the remainder of the retreat will be in silence. Reading and journaling are also discouraged. Pressing matters that arise can be addressed with the manager or teachers via written notes on the message board. It is recommended that speaking and/or note-writing between retreatants be avoided. Participants are also encouraged to free themselves from the distractions of checking email, texting or Internet use.
What About Meals?
The St. Francis Springs staff provides three vegetarian meals a day. Lunch is the main meal of the day and supper is lighter. Meals are served buffet style and eaten in silence.
Every effort is made to accommodate special dietary needs that are communicated in advance. However, SFS may not be able to accommodate all dietary needs.
- SFS usually can accommodate gluten-free and vegan diets.
- SFS can accommodate only 1 alternative milk option.
- You may bring your own snacks and you may keep them in your room.
- There is refrigerator space available for use by retreatants. (Please label with your name and the date.)
- There is also a small microwave available for use.
What are the Accommodations?
The retreat center has a combination of single and double rooms. (See ‘What about Covid 19?’ below). Each room has a private bath.
What is a Practice Discussion Meeting (or Interview)?
This is a time to check in with one of the teachers. You may discuss your practice, how the retreat is going for you, and ask any questions you may have. They last about 15 minutes and are optional but encouraged.
What about Costs?
The registration fee covers the direct cost of meals, lodging and the facilities used by the group.
What is Teacher Dana?
The teachers do not receive any funds from the registration fees. However, at the end of the retreat, participants are invited to consider the practice of “dana”, usually translated as “generosity.” This is an ancient practice from the time of the Buddha, whereby practitioners support the work of teachers by providing financial support. Everyone’s financial situation is different and changes over time. No one can say what amount of dana is correct for another.
Will there be Yoga?
Yes, a gentle guided yoga session will be offered. The focus will be on addressing tension and tightness in the body, especially areas affected by a lot of sitting like hips, back, neck, etc. This session is optional and walking meditation will be an alternative for participants who prefer. It will be helpful to bring your own yoga mat if you have one.
What about Covid 19?
CDC and NC Covid 19 guidelines will be followed.
People with Covid 19 symptoms or exposure within the 14 days prior to this retreat should not attend.
Retreatants will maintain 6 feet of social distance and wear masks when in shared spaces.
Hand sanitizer is available throughout the retreat center.
The dining hall seats are spaced 6 feet apart. Currently, food is served cafeteria-style by St. Francis Springs volunteers and the food is protected by plexiglass.
The number of participants will be limited due to Covid unless restrictions ease. This year there are no triple rooms available. Double rooms are available to family members or 2 people who have been vaccinated. More single rooms are available.
More Questions? Email retreat@IMCCharlotte.org