Retreat etiquette

Observing the following practices creates inner and outer peace and harmony:

  • Silence is golden during a retreat. So as not to distract ourselves and others from the practice, we refrain from talking, reading, writing, or using various electronic devices. If we need to communicate with someone during working meditation, we may use gestures or write a note. Otherwise, communication such as friendly gestures, silent greetings, and even eye contact are distractions, and thus not necessary.
  • During retreat, we isolate ourselves and focus solely on our method of practice. Therefore, we refrain from communicating with the outside world, and do not receive guests, make phone calls, or check email during retreat. All mobile phones should be turned off.
  • Community spirit is important. We support one another by being together at all times during formal practice. If we need to excuse ourselves, we notify the person in charge. Participants must remain on the Plein-air House premises for the duration of the retreat.
  • Our job assignment is a form of meditation that is important in our practice and supports ourselves and others. If you need a rest, you can do so after you have finished your working meditation. Everyone is given an easy work meditation task; please carry out your task responsibly and wholeheartedly in mindfulness.
  • So as to maintain a peaceful and quiet atmosphere, please do not shower before the morning wake-up call or after 10 pm. Monitors will wake you in the morning; please do not use an alarm clock.
  • We all have a part to play in keeping the environment clean and orderly. In the Chan Hall, fold your towel each time you stand and keep your personal belongings tidy, to the left of your cushion. Keep your room, bed, and personal belongings tidy.
  • Please be on time for all activities, as when we are late we disturb others. Signals are given to remind everyone to return to the Chan Hall; please heed them promptly.
  • Practice illumination during walking. Walk in a manner that is calm, mindful, light, unhurried, peaceful and quiet.
  • Wear appropriate clothing, namely loose and comfortable clothes with neutral colors. In order not to distract ourselves and others, please do not wear bright-colored clothes, tank tops, shorts, tight-fitting pants or leggings, cosmetics, perfumes or colognes.