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Deepening Our Roots (Retreat for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC))
April 6 @ 3:00 pm - April 10 @ 3:00 pm
Please note we can accommodate 50 fully vaccinated BIPOC friends, including a booster shot, if due, at least 2 weeks before arrival for this residential retreat. The monastery will not be open for any other unrelated individual and/or group retreats during this time. Live streaming may be considered, depending on the pandemic situation.
Magnolia Grove Monastery is hosting its inaugural BIPOC residential retreat as an expression of its commitment to creating a safer, nourishing, affinity space for members of our spiritual family who self-identify as BIPOC. We understand that BIPOC people face specific issues due to their racial/ethnic identities, and that cultivating affinity spaces is a necessary step and offers a beautiful opportunity for nourishment and healing, rest and restoration, and the cultivation of clarity and joy.
“I’m a person of color.”
~ Venerable Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, “Thay” (2004)
During this retreat, our time together will focus on firmly rooting ourselves in – the practice of self-care as self-love; building of kinship with each other; acknowledging our diverse historical roots and spiritual ancestors; and embracing the Dharma as a foundation for stability, liberation, and “love in action.”
“Beloved Community Garden,” Magnolia Grove Monastery
BIPOC practitioners, new or more experienced, are welcome to join us at Magnolia Grove Monastery (MGM). MGM is home to about 25 Monastics, the majority of whom are BIPOC of Vietnamese descent, and is in a state where nonviolent civil rights campaigns in the 1960s grew out of the mud of white supremacy. Then and now, the struggles for social justice and the search for the “beloved community” espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continue to serve as brilliant North Stars.
“Working within community … we are able to experience joy in struggle.”
~ bell hooks (1994)
The mindfulness meditation practices we will offer to “deepen our roots” will include sitting, walking, working, and eating meditation; deep relaxation and resilience practices; cultivating deep listening and nonviolent, non-harming speech during live Dharma talks, a Question & Response session, and Dharma-sharing … and more. Vegan meals will be served. We welcome you. Let us together, with compassion and open hearts, deepen our roots.
BIPOC Retreat FAQs & Links
“Vulnerable Stability,” Photography by Rhonda Y. Williams © 2019
- How will Magnolia Grove Monastery cultivate a retreat atmosphere and experience to support a safer, nourishing space for BIPOC practitioners?
- When was the first BIPOC retreat in the Plum Village Tradition?
- Have there been additional BIPOC retreats held at monasteries in the Plum Village Tradition since 2004?
- How can white practitioners learn more about anti-racism work and engage in white awareness work that help promote healing and transformation?
- Related Resources in the Plum Village Tradition
Who can attend this retreat?Only those who self-identify as BIPOC or “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.”
Can practitioners who are white or whose primary identity is white/European descent attend this retreat?No, such practitioners are not BIPOC. This is not to harm, hurt, or exclude. It is important for white (and all) practitioners to respect BIPOC mindfulness practice opportunities. Respecting such spaces is a practice of growing one’s wholesome intention and capacity to recognize, reckon with, and begin to develop insight regarding systemic racism and oppression. Racial oppression – which manifests as white privilege, white supremacy, settler colonialism, imperialism, etc. – has resulted in and continues to produce (un)conscious bias, racial trauma, violence, and inequality. BIPOC-only racial affinity spaces offer BIPOC retreatants opportunities for rest and healing.
What if I’m not sure whether I am considered BIPOC?We understand that racial/ethnic identity can be complicated and fluid. We also are aware that BIPOC may not be a universally known or globally used identity category. If you are still unsure whether this is the right fit for you, our organizing team is happy to speak with you and answer questions. Please email us at email@example.com. We would, however, deeply advise you to keep the following in mind: If in your daily life, (1) you primarily self-identify as white, (2) others perceive and treat you as white, and (3) you respond in accordance with the social and cultural norms of whiteness, this retreat is most likely not the right fit for you.
How will Magnolia Grove Monastery cultivate a retreat atmosphere and experience to support a safer, nourishing space for BIPOC practitioners?Magnolia Grove Monastery understands that BIPOC practitioners are in different places in their journey of healing from white supremacy. We are also aware that, for some BIPOC practitioners, seeing a non-BIPOC person in a racial affinity group practice space can be jarring and activating. For these reasons, BIPOC members of our spiritual family will guide or facilitate all the major practices, including sitting, walking, and eating meditation; deep relaxation; Dharma talks, the Question & Response session, and Dharma-sharing; and any other practices. BIPOC practitioners should be advised that non-BIPOC staff and Monastics may be present to support the retreat in specific capacities, such as working in the office, helping during the initial registration process, and engaging in working meditation. Only BIPOC Monastics and retreatants will participate in the actual retreat activities.
When was the first BIPOC retreat in the Plum Village Tradition?While Magnolia Grove Monastery is excited to be offering its inaugural BIPOC retreat, the very first BIPOC retreat in the Plum Village Tradition, which the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh supported and fully participated in, occurred in 2004. Planners expected maybe 70 participants at the “Colors of Compassion” retreat; 400 people attended. For more information on this retreat, see the following interview with Kaira Jewel Lingo at https://wkup.org/in-celebration-of-black-history-and-black-futures/. You can also access the Dharma talks on TNH Audio at https://plumvillage.org/podcasts/
Have there been additional BIPOC retreats held at monasteries in the Plum Village Tradition since 2004?Deer Park Monastery and Blue Cliff Monastery hosted BIPOC retreats in 2016 and 2017. We continue to learn, grow, and heal with each BIPOC retreat.
How can white practitioners learn more about anti-racism work and engage in white awareness work that help promote healing and transformation?
For more information on anti-racism, “waking up to whiteness,” or white awareness work in the Plum Village Tradition, see “Waking Up to Whiteness,” https://wkup.org/waking-up-to-whiteness/
Related Resources in the Plum Village Tradition
- Gatha for Healing Racial, Systemic and Social Inequity formulated by the ARISE Sangha.
- “Building a Community of Love: bell hooks and Thich Nhat Hanh,” Lion’s Roar (2017)
- “Skillful Action for a Path Forward,” Interview with Valerie Brown, Racial Justice Series, Plum Village Website, June 8, 2020
- “Engaging Together for Change: An Invitation,” Thay Phap Dung, Racial Justice Series, Plum Village Website, June 19, 2020
- “Uncomfortable Spaces: Cultivating Love & Peace for Racial Healing,” Dharma Talk by Sr. Peace, Order of Interbeing Virtual Retreat, Blue Cliff Monastery, July 26, 2020
- Thich Nhat Hanh, Together We Are One: Honoring our Diversity, Celebrating Our Connection (Parallax Press, 2006)
COVID Safety measures
To protect the community and for your own safety and peace of mind, we are taking the following measures for this retreat:
- We will observe the CDC guidelines and wear masks indoors.
- All retreatants must be fully vaccinated, including a booster shot, if due, at least 2 weeks before arrival.
- The number of participants in this retreat is limited to a maximum of 50.
- The numbers of people per room is limited to 1 or 2, unless you come with a group/family you are happy to share with.
- We can offer a limited number of single occupancy rooms at a premium on a first come first served basis. Please make a note of your request on the registration page.
Please let the office know if you have any special needs or concerns. We look forward to welcoming you soon!
Select your contribution rate from the sliding scale. The top end of the sliding scale is most helpful in covering our operating costs. However, we offer a sliding scale for those who may not be able to afford this amount. We do not want the cost to block you from our retreats. If you cannot attend a retreat due to cost, we strongly encourage you to ask for a reduction.
This is a four night retreat. Prices include the cost of all activities, three meals per day and lodging.
- DORM/CABIN (1 – 2 people):
$200.00 – $300.00
- GUARANTEED SINGLE OCCUPANCY (one person guaranteed):
There are no more guaranteed single occupancy spaces left.
- CABIN WITH BATH (2 -4 people): (no spaces left in cabin with bath)
$320.00 – $400.00. Not available for Guaranteed Single Occupancy.
- TENT / RV/COMMUTER:
$120.00 – $200.00
In the note box at the bottom of the registration form, please write what you wish to pay from the suggested sliding scale for the retreat. The office will send you a link for payment.
Also in the notes box put any information that will help us process your registration and help with your needs.
THIS RETREAT IS NOW FULL. IF YOU REGISTER, DO NOT PAY. YOU WILL BE PUT ON A WAITING LIST.
Under Reservation Details, please choose BIPOC. Please send us a picture of your covid card to firstname.lastname@example.org to complete your registration.
* Do you need a ride or can offer a ride? Please click here to fill out the Google form.