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Solitary Retreats
Schedule a Retreat

Members of FCM have the extraordinary opportunity to experience a solitary retreat at beautiful Empty Cloud Cottage, a truly sacred, tranquil space in which to meditate and study at a deeper level under the skillful guidance of Dharma Teacher, Fred Eppsteiner. 

A private retreat differs from a group meditative setting.  In a solo retreat student and teacher set the meditation schedule and choose the focus of the practice. Since solo practitioners have to rely on their own inspiration and self-discipline to practice, there is more opportunity for touching deeper reservoirs within themselves, strengths and abilities that they might have doubted lay within. Also in solitary retreat the students have a unique experience in modern America...an opportunity to spend time away from the myriad distractions of daily life that they conspire with to keep from looking deeply within. In solitary retreat, you as a student can learn how to dwell alone in happiness and well-being. There is also the opportunity to meet daily with the teacher and receive the relentless energy of that individual to prod you out of the familiar and comfortable, to help you wake up. 

Solo retreats lasting from three to seven days are available to members of FCM who have attended residential retreats and who have an established relationship with the teacher, Fred Eppsteiner.  The following Frequently Asked Questions provide helpful information about Solitary Retreats. Please use the link above to schedule your retreat. We recommend making retreat reservations at least two months in advance. You may also contact Fred at fred.eppsteiner@gmail.com with any additional questions you may have about solitary retreat. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Solitary Retreats


What do people do on solitary retreats? 
Your daily practices and meditation schedule on retreat will be determined in consultation with Fred prior to retreat or upon your arrival. Generally, one does eight or more hours of meditation and focused study in four sessions a day, i.e., before breakfast, mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and evening. There is time for sleep, meals, relaxation, bathing, and exercise. On retreat you maintain complete silence, except when talking with Fred. You will not leave Empty Cloud Cottage during your retreat. 

What do I not need to bring with me?
All electronic devices should not be brought into the cottage and family members and work colleagues should be told that you will be unavailable during your retreat stay. An emergency number will be furnished to you for sharing with family members. No extraneous reading materials or journals. No alcohol, drugs or pets allowed.. 

What is the length of a solitary retreat? Arrival/Departure?
At Empty Cloud Cottage, the minimum retreat is three nights, while the maximum is seven nights. Retreatants arrive mid-late afternoon on their first day and depart late morning on their last. You need to let Fred know your arrival and departure times in advance.

What kind of support is available for solitary retreats?
There will be at least a once daily consultation with Fred. 

What are the accommodations at Empty Cloud Cottage?
There are two bedrooms, which contain a bed, a chair, and a meditation mat and sitting cushion. There is a kitchen and dining area, a dining/seating area, and a bathroom with shower.  

What do I need to bring with me?
Adequate food for your entire stay. Linens (sheets and pillowcase) that will suffice for a twin bed and towels (your own blankets and pillow, if preferred). Personal cosmetic and hygiene articles. Personal meditation paraphernalia, if needed (a mat and cushion are provided). If coming from a distance that does not allow you to bring your own bedding, etc., Empty Cloud Cottage can provide these.     

What are the food and cooking arrangements?
There is a kitchen in the cottage with an electric stove, oven, microwave and refrigerator. The kitchen is stocked with pots, pans, tableware, etc. Retreatants are expected to bring adequate food (vegetarian only) for their retreat. Obviously, foods that are simple, nutritious and easily prepared are best.  

What are cleaning arrangements?
On the morning of departure, retreatants are expected to clean their rooms, bathroom, kitchen, and dining/seating area. As there is no staff, we are trying to minimize costs by making Empty Cloud Cottage a self-cleaning and self-cooking retreat facility.  

Retreat Rates

Daily rate is $35, with a minimum stay of three nights and maximum stay of seven nights. Please make payment to Fred Eppsteiner. The daily rate covers expenses of maintaining Empty Cloud Cottage and does not include Dana for the teacher.

A deposit of one half the total is due with ten days of making your reservation. Once you have confirmed your retreat reservation with us please send your payment to Fred at 1011 E. Broad Street, Tampa, FL 33604.


: The address is 1011 E. Broad Street, Tampa, FL 33604.
Air travel: Tampa is the closest large airport.

Once you have registered for retreat, please print and bring this Information Sheet with you to Empty Cloud.

FCM Meditation & Education Center - 6501 N. Nebraska Avenue - Tampa, FL 33604
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