FCM Spring Retreat at the Franciscan Center
If you are receiving a message that the registration limit has been reached and the retreat is full, please use this link to sign up for the Retreat Waiting list.
“Non-fear is the greatest practice in Buddhism. It is the greatest gift we can offer to those we love.” Thich Nhat Hanh
The next residential retreat of our Florida Community of Mindfulness (FCM) will be held April 24th through April 27th. The three day retreat is entitled “Composting Fear into Fearlessness: Healing & Transforming the Separate Self through the Practice of Non-fear.”
Although the Buddha taught that all beings experience a state of anxiety when they resist the impermanence and unpredictability of life, sincere Dharma students often continue to struggle with long-standing fear-based emotional responses. Although longing to be happy and enjoy ease and well-being, they continue to be driven by strong habit energies of worry, anxiety, fear, self-doubt and even dread in their daily life.
Why do we invest so much energy into avoiding and running away from our fears? Why, when fear arises, do we look away, act out, repress, avoid, smooth over, take a pill, go to the mall, or read another book on Buddhism?
Buddhism teaches that to truly free the mind from fear, we can’t simply deny or cover over its existence. Instead, we have to look deeply into the causes of our fears. In order to overcome our delusions around life that create our fears, we need to practice mindfulness, calming, and insight to become intimate with these fears rather than trying to cast them out. By doing so, we discover a profound personal fearlessness within. We now have a capacity to live a courageous life.
In this three-day retreat we will stop and meditate deeply on the nature of the conscious and unconscious historical habit energies that drive our fear/anxiety responses to life. Dharma talks, guided meditations, experiential exercises and group dialogues will clarify for participants what nurtures and supports their self-created unhappiness and learn how to live a better and emotionally saner life. We will begin to integrate the reality of impermanence, transforming our view from one of resistance and fear to a deep appreciation of life’s wonders.
This retreat will be led by senior members of the Florida Community of Mindfulness. Daily, Fred will attend the retreat to give the Dharma Talk and to facilitate a question-and-answer session for participants related to the teachings and meditative practices being offered. As usual, this will be a silent retreat. The silence affords us the opportunity to deepen our meditative experience while absorbing the experiential meaning of the teachings and practices presented.
The retreat is being held in Tampa, Florida at The Franciscan Center, located on the Hillsborough River. The registration fee covers both room and board (three vegetarian meals daily), as well as any administrative and incidental expenses connected to the retreat. The teachings are offered in the Buddhist tradition of Dana, wherein the teacher freely gives of him or herself to the students out of gratitude for what they’ve received from their teachers and a desire to be of service. The student’s response is also based on Dana, i.e. generosity that naturally flows from a sense of appreciation of the value of Dharma and gratitude to the living lineage.
The retreat begins with dinner on Thursday, April 24th, and ends after lunch on Sunday, April 27th. The Franciscan Center has both single and double occupancy accommodations. If you are seeking double occupancy and have someone you wish to room with, please indicate their name. Otherwise, you will be placed in a room with another participant who has requested double occupancy as well. The registration fee for single occupancy is $325 and the fee for double-occupancy is $275.
Please note that participation in this retreat is open to both members and non-members of the Florida Community of Mindfulness. While participation in our local sanghas and Days of Mindfulness is open to everyone, membership in FCM is for persons wanting to deepen their practice of living an awakened life by being part of a dedicated practice community, having a direct relationship with a Dharma teacher, and participating in practice opportunities such as Intensives and longer retreats.
The retreat registrar will be sending additional information to accepted registrants before the retreat begins. Directions to the Franciscan Center and other retreat information will be sent to all registrants prior to the retreat.
The last day to register for the retreat is March 25th, but registration is limited and you will be notified if you accepted into the retreat or whether you have been placed on the waiting list by March 27th.