In addition to our regular meditation schedule, Treetop offers a variety of retreat experiences to deepen your practice. From weekend intensives to week-long sesshins, practitioners of all levels can find a suitable retreat.
The Maine Woods in Winter
An Eco-Spiritual Weekend
February 10–12, 2017
This eco-spiritual weekend will be held at Treetop Zen Center in Oakland, Maine. But although it is located at the Zen center and its environs, this is not a Zen meditation retreat. It is a time to experience deep intimacy with the woodlands in winter. There will be some time spent meditating, but there will also be talks on eco-spirituality, opportunities to drink tea while we relax and get acquainted and discuss our outdoor experiences, readings on nature, and as much time outside as weather and the schedule permit.
When we go out in the woods — in addition to silent walking and snowshoeing — we will learn about forest ecology and how to identify tracks and trees and animal behavior in the snowy woods. We will also participate in eco-psychology exercises. Our movements outdoors will be at a slow, leisurely pace and we will avoid steep areas. Our goal is deep connection, not athleticism, so there won’t be any strenuous trekking. People of all abilities can participate.
We will our meals as a community in the Oryoki style. This traditional Japanese temple form is highly ecological, as it helps us to have focused attention on eating “just the right amount” with nothing wasted. We will have vegetarian meals with as much locavore organic food as is practical.
The weekend will be led by Treetop Senior Teacher and Spiritual Director Peter Seishin Wohl. In addition to being a Zen teacher, he is a registered Maine guide. Peter has taught eco-psychology at Burlington College and has presented workshops about connecting with nature at a number of conferences around New England including Maine’s HOPE Conference, the Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery annual retreat, and Connecticut’s Pathways to Recovery Conference. He has also led eco-spiritual trips in Maine, Vermont, and Québec.
Accommodations are hostel style — there is a large room with meditation mats that will be used for sleeping. The cost of the weekend (including meals and simple lodging) is $100. There are also three small off-grid heated cabins suitable for one person or a couple. A cabin is an additional $35 per person. Enrollment is limited to eight.
What you will need for the weekend:
· Layered dress appropriate for February temperatures in Maine, which can vary from 40 degrees above to below zero. Should include an outer layer that protects from snow, rain, and wind. Cotton clothes such as jeans are not suitable.
· Good comfortable boots for snowy woods.
· Snowshoes and poles (optional). We have a number of pairs of snowshoes available for those who need them.
· Sleeping bag.
· Sleeping pad (optional). Meditation mats are available for sleeping in the main rooms. Cabins have mattresses.
· Toiletries and towel.
· Pillow (optional).
· Oryoki set (if you have one). Sets are available for those who need one.
· Camera (optional).
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the weekend.