90-day Rains Retreat | September 11th to December 15th | Registration now open!

90-day Rains Retreat in 2023-24

The 90-day Rains Retreat is an annual retreat whose origins date back to the time of the Buddha. It is a time for Buddhist monastics to deepen their studies, practice, healing and transformation. In the Plum Village tradition, we also welcome lay practitioners to join us and participate in the 90-days of practice alongside the monastics. This creates a joyful, community experience, and a time for collective healing and transformation.

Please apply if you are able to carry out the following requirements for staying, and can also commit to:

  • Practicing wholeheartedly with the monastic and lay community of Magnolia Grove, by following the daily schedule and attending sangha activities.
  • Offering your time and energy to serve voluntarily to support the daily functions and tasks of the community.
  • Practicing to live in harmony and respect towards each other through practicing the Five Mindfulness Trainings.

Step 1: Register for the retreat

**Please select “Personal Retreat” for “Two Weeks” beginning on September 13th, 2024. Also, please write in the notes section that you are applying for the 90-day retreat.**

Step 2: Fill out the 90-day application form

**We ask for your patience as we review the applications, and will get back with you as soon as possible about your reservation status. Please note that after you have been accepted for the 90-day retreat, then we will adjust your dates and retreat fee.**

Extra documents

After submitting the 90-day application form, please send to our office:

  • a copy of your health insurance
  • a copy of your ID

Questions

If you have any questions, please email office@magnoliagrovemonastery.org.


A unique experience

The 90-day Rains Retreat is a wonderful opportunity to experience an extended stay at Magnolia Grove to deepen your practice of mindfulness and get to know our community and our way of mindful living. The emphasis is on practicing as a Sangha: a community that lives in harmony and awareness. At Magnolia Grove, you will have a chance to cultivate siblinghood and form the heart of the lay community during the three months. 

Practicing during the Rains Retreat is also a concrete way of exploring whether you may like to extend your stay as a long-term practitioner with us in 2025. 

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Mindful service

As a 90-day retreatant, Magnolia Grove will be your home. In this spirit, we request that all retreatants join the monastics to joyfully contribute to Sangha service in and around the monastery during the daily service meditation time or as needed (e.g., help clean up after meals, wash pots, mop floors, help outdoors in the gardens, clean bathrooms, sort recycling, and so on). Those who are more experienced in Plum Village practice will also have an opportunity to facilitate lay group practices where needed.

Retreatants are expected to stay at the monastery for the entire retreat, which helps to support the practice energy in the community. If you have any concerns about fulfilling this expectation, we ask that you include this information in your application.

Practice activities

Please be advised that as this is traditionally a retreat for monastics, many activities will be organized into two groups: monastics and lay friends (“lay friends” include both our 90-day retreatants and our regular weekly guests). Monastics and lay friends will practice together for daily sitting and walking meditation, mindful meals and during Days of Mindfulness on Sundays, however some other activities may be separate.

Practice mentor

All our 90-day retreatants will have a monastic mentor who will guide you in your practice. Once a week, our 90-day retreatants practicing with the sisters will meet with one monastic sister; and our 90-day retreatants practicing with the brothers will meet with one monastic brother. Should you have any practice-related questions, please refer to this monastic assigned to your group  (who you will be introduced to upon arrival). 

Who to ask

If you have questions about rooms or beddings, please refer to our guest masters.

Should you have questions or concerns about the logistics of your stay (e.g., accommodation, financial contributions, etc.), please speak to our office team: either in person, with Sister Dinh Nghiem (Sister Commitment); or via email, with Matt at office@magnoliagrovemonastery.org.

If for any reason you need to leave earlier and are unable to complete the 90-day retreat, please inform your mentor and the office team so we can better understand if there’s any issue we can help resolve or support you with.

Mental health 

Many friends have experienced lessened anxiety, a lifting of depression and improvements in general well-being through mindfulness practice. However, we urge all friends to continue any medication or treatment prescribed by your health care practitioner during your stay.

If you are experiencing any acute mental or physical illness, you may consider coming at another time. If you are experiencing any chronic long-term mental or physical illnesses, please let us know in this form, and ask your doctor if it is advisable for you to attend a retreat of this length with us. Please be aware that we cannot provide any professional care and should we see that it becomes appropriate to reach out for professional help, we may ask you to leave and seek proper help. 

Meals 

All meals are vegan and communal. Rice, vegetables and fresh fruit are available every day, regularly supplemented by tofu or other soy products, or beans and pulses.

Special needs

Please be advised that we have very modest facilities and cannot cater to special dietary needs. There are no facilities for you to store or prepare your own food. Please contact the office if you have any concerns about food.

Accommodation

Bed in gender-separated shared rooms, based on whether practicing with the Brothers or practicing with the Sisters. For couples, we have a very limited number of cabins. Camping is also available. 

Accessibility

We are doing our best to create easier access for people with physical limitations. We have some wheelchair-accessible toilets and showers in our main toilet block. We also have an all-gender restroom area in the main toilet block.

Electronic devices

Please note that attending the 90-day Rains Retreat (as well as other retreats) is an opportunity to: disconnect from electronic devices; deepen our practice of mindfulness; to be present for each other; and to enjoy the many wonders all around us. As the monastery is a practice environment, we encourage you to greatly limit your use of cell phones and other electronic devices during your stay in order to preserve the collective energy of mindfulness. 

Please let your family and friends know in advance that you will have very limited access to the internet during this time. Please note that cell service on our property is weak or not obtainable. Access to the internet is generally limited to “lazy days” on Mondays, and Thursday and Sunday afternoons. Using the internet or your phone outside these times requires special permission from your mentor. We encourage friends to focus their energy at the monastery.

We ask that you do not plan to bring work or other pressing commitments to the monastery during this time. Your stay with us is a unique opportunity to let go of your worldly commitments, to deepen your practice and look inwards.

How much?

The contribution towards the 90-day Rains Retreat is $2,400 per person. This contribution goes towards your full participation in the Rains Retreat schedule, accommodation, three meals per day, and use of facilities. Whenever possible, we ask that the contribution be paid in full as one payment before you arrive; however, the contribution can also be arranged as installments, if needed.

Financial assistance

We hope to make the retreat accessible to all. Please note in the application Google form there is a section about financial assistance – we ask that you please see this section, and fill it out if needed. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any special needs or concerns.

Cancellation policy

*Cancellation more than 3 days before the retreat – a cancellation fee of $50.00 will be charged.

*Cancellation less than 3 days before, including during the retreat (e.g., a retreatant decides to end their retreat early) – 100% of the full fee will be retained by us.

Dates

Arrival day and Welcome: Wednesday, September 11, 2024 (arriving a few days early to settle in)

Orientation: Thursday, September 12, 2024

Opening Ceremony: Sunday, September 15, 2024

Closing Ceremony: Sunday, December 15, 2024

Departure Day: Sunday, December 15, 2024 (retreats typically conclude around 2pm CT)

Traveling to/from the monastery

For more information about traveling to and from the monastery, we invite you to visit this page.

Additional information about our retreats

For more general information about attending retreats at Magnolia Grove Monastery (e.g., when to arrive, what to bring, etc.), we invite you to visit this page.

Please apply if you are able to carry out the above requirements for staying, and can also commit to:

  • Practicing wholeheartedly with the monastic and lay community of Magnolia Grove, by following the daily schedule and attending sangha activities.
  • Offering your time and energy to serve voluntarily to support the daily functions and tasks of the community.
  • Practicing to live in harmony and respect towards each other through practicing the Five Mindfulness Trainings.

Step 1: Register for the retreat

**Please select “Personal Retreat” for “Two Weeks” beginning on September 13th, 2024. Also, please write in the notes section that you are applying for the 90-day retreat.**

Step 2: Fill out the 90-day application form

**We ask for your patience as we review the applications, and will get back with you as soon as possible about your reservation status. Please note that after you have been accepted for the 90-day retreat, then we will adjust your dates and retreat fee.**

Extra documents

After submitting the 90-day application form, please send to our office:

  • a copy of your health insurance
  • a copy of your ID

Questions

If you have any questions, please email office@magnoliagrovemonastery.org.

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