Be a Refuge: Sacred Rain to Sustain our True Home

Monastic Sangha on the Mountain

July 18, 2021 @ 2:00 pm July 24, 2021 @ 3:00 pm PDT

Monastic Sangha on the Mountain

Summer Retreat 2021

The Summer Retreat at Deer Park Monastery marks the first time we open the valley in the hidden mountain to welcome the larger lay community since the beginning of the pandemic. The monks and nuns of Deer Park are grateful to again be able to offer in-person retreats like this. This special week-long retreat will be limited to 250 participants, with options of staying in the dorms or campground. During this retreat we will offer programs for adults, teens, and tweens. The retreat is open to anyone 12-years-old and above who has been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Proof of vaccination will be required.

Dharma Talks

Sư Cô Đẳng Nghiêm: Embracing Power of Mindfulness Thầy Pháp Lưu: A Deep Dive into our Mind, Body, and our Relationships Sư Cô Kính Nghiêm: Establishing and Sustaining our Connection Thầy Pháp Dung: Freedom is the Way Out

Retreat and Accommodation Rates

Tent – Adult: $360 – Teen: $240 – Child: $150
6 Bed Dorm – Adult: $450 – Teen: $300 – Child: $210 – Sold out (waiting list below)
3 Bed Dorm – Adult: $600 – Teen: $420 – Child: $270 – Sold out (waiting list below)

You may start registration or join the retreat waiting list below:

Please register at least one week in advance of the arrival day. Dorm room accommodations have sold out for the Summer Retreat. To register to camp or to create a waiting list entry, please choose from the options below. Kindly create one entry per person. Guests must provide their own tent for camping. Choose to register or join the waiting list below: Arrival date: Duration:
  Ocean of Peace Meditation Hall


July 18, 2021 @ 2:00 pm PDT
July 24, 2021 @ 3:00 pm PDT
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Monks and Nuns of Deer Park
2499 Melru Lane
Escondido, CA 92026 United States
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30 responses to “Be a Refuge: Sacred Rain to Sustain our True Home”

  1. Dear friends, I was so happy to see a retreat where we can attend in person. It feels like many of us have been missing out on Sangha greatly. I appreciate greatly your efforts to have people attending in person again.

    I must add that I was shocked to see that it is required to provide proof of vaccination to be able to attend. It is sad to see that we are isolating those that have chosen not to take the vaccine from our communities.

    I can’t help but wonder if the people that are vaccinated and choose to wear masks attend then they should be protected themselves. I feel as though others should be able to retain their choice to not take the vaccine and dividing people by denying unvaccinated from events begins to take away choice.

    I am hoping their can be a reconsideration because I would love to attend the retreat at the same time I will not take the vaccine.

    I ask that we really look deeply as to what is being asked of us by officials and authorities and to know that we have a duty in our communities to only follow what we believe strengthens our communities and unites our people.

    There is much censorship and persecution going on quietly in the public and all I ask is that all can be given a chance to voice their concerns and that there is some discussion allowed from every side in a healthy way.

    Thank you very much for your considerations. I respect the sangha greatly and would love a chance to get to know everyone on a deeper level and renew my practice. I understand these times have been challenging for many and I am wishing everybody well.

    • Dear Ethan. Thank you for the thoughtful and clear communication. We appreciate your mindful speech and know that sometimes these topics can easily become unskillful. We hear your request, to reconsider the policy, and we all agree that we do hope that we can open the monastery for everyone to attend. Right now the sangha has agreed to follow the CDC guidelines (safest activity) for “worship service” and “indoor chorus” (singing and chanting). We are also using the guidelines from California Department of Public Health on indoor activities. Not mentioned in these guidelines, but related to us, is that we are almost 50 people living in community with some monastics in high-risk categories. We have a responsibility to protect those living together in close proximity. Illness can very easily travel in the monastery. All that said, as these guidelines change, we will definitely revisit our policy at the monastery. And we look forward to being able to welcome everyone. Thank you for understanding.

    • Dear Ethan,

      I am a clinical pharmacist and have been managing covid-19 vaccination clinics, so I understand the benefits of vaccination and adhering to guidelines set out by the medical community as well the challenges in overcoming the pandemic well. I also know and understand of the people who are reluctant to get vaccinated and continue to follow guidelines.

      Please understand that there is no foolproof method of preventing disease transmission. Masks, while greatly helpful, is not 100% foolproof especially the ones employed by the public. This is because they are not designed to filter out viruses and so you can still infect and get infected, particularly because the many emerging variants are more virulent and may cause more severe disease. Gathering in large crowds especially indoors is still very much a risk at this point. Around 1,500 new covid cases still occur in CA per week.

      As part of a sangha, citizen of the U.S., and global community it is our responsibility to ensure we do everything within our power to decrease risk. Its important to remember that you may get infected without any symptoms at all but pass it on to someone who could die from the disease. There are too many cases of that occurring to even count. This is what saddens and truly shocks me and my colleagues.

      Please reconsider and reflect.

      Yours truly,

    • If I may, I would ask us to not confuse denial of choice vs consequences of a choice. No one is forcing anyone to be vaccinated. Anyone has the choice to be vaccinated or not. With any choice anyone can make, there are the resulting ramifications of said choice. To be direct, stating that the non punitive consequence of a decision is taking away anyone’s right to choose is a fallacy. Deer Park Monastery has the right to make their decision to do what they believe will protect the inhabitants of the monastery. Mainstream science has done repeated testing, research of all available data (not just data that fits a certain belief) and has recommended the current guidelines for vaccinations and community gathering. With a topic that has, inexplicably, become so controversial, I can imagine Deer Park has looked deeply and realized any decision will result in disagreement. As such, I believe it is quite reasonable for Deer Park to follow the guidelines as laid out by doctors to protect and strengthen the community.

      • This is exactly what I was thinking Hieu. Some of those in our communities are choosing not to take the vaccine. Places of worship, businesses, and individual other community members are then making their own choices about how to return to a less restrictive state with minimal risk of sickness and death. For some, this could be not inviting over unvaccinated persons for dinner, because their elderly relative who lives in the home has co-morbidities. For places like the Deer Park Monastery, it is requiring proof of vaccination for an in-person retreat. Thank you for your thoughtful words Hieu.

    • I agree with Ethan. Since vaccinations provide near complete protection, those who are vaccinated are safe and need not be scared of others, vaccinated or not. Therefore, I don’t understand the reason for this limitation to attendance. It makes me sad that people who don’t want or can’t get vaccinated are left out by a buddhist community. I believe buddha’s documented actions provide a different guidance.

      • Ondrej, Buddhist community or not, I believe that if any community follows the CDC guidelines, then those people who don’t meet the guidelines will not be eligible to participate in these communities’ activities. Simple as that. This community is not turning people away because of prejudice. All they are doing is to ensure the safety of everyone. We can not just bend the rules for a few individuals at the risks of many lives. Please understand. Thank you.

    • Thank you for the question Janne. This is open to anyone, including families. So long as those attending are 12-years or older and vaccinated.

      • thank you Janne for asking this question. Just to make sure I understand. The 12-year old cut off is due to vaccinations beinging available to 12yrs and up. Will that age cut-off change once the vaccine are available to 2-12 years of age? I believe that might happen by Sept so we would not be able to bring our little ones to these up-coming summer retreats. But possibly in the future ones?

        • Correct. The age limit is due to vaccination availability. As these change, so will we. And as CDC and California Public Health Department offer new guidelines, then we will consider those as we currently are with this reopening.

    • We will try to get the prices posted today; the registration office is still working on getting things setup.

  2. Thank you so much for offering this retreat. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to practice in person again. Will masks be required indoors, outdoors, both?? Will Deer Park be following the CDC Guidelines that allow people NOT to wear masks outdoors? Thank you.

  3. While I am disappointed that because our 4 year old daughter is not vaccinated, we will not be able to join our beloved sangha this Summer, upon deep reflection, the community’s choice to require vaccination will help prevent community spread of this deadly disease, especially given the large size of the group. With a lotus bow and thanks to Thay, the monastics and the whole sangha.

  4. We were so happy to see this and will miss being in the retreat.

    Though we are vaccinated, we are going to be missing it because our younger child is 11 so just missed the cut off!

    I hope the children’s vaccine is approved soon and there will be more weekend retreats and opportunities for families again!

    Hope to see everyone soon again in Deer Park.

  5. Hello dear friends! It is a wonderful thing that the monastery can offer in-person retreats. Will the morning meditations and dharma talks be offered online for those of us who are not attending physically? Thank you 🌸

  6. I’d like to attend but only tent spaces are left and I am not much of a camper. Is it possible to bring a camper-type vehicle and sleep in it?

    • Dear Michael, yes, the monastery does receive camper vehicles that are 22 feet long and under. However, we do not have water or electricity hook-ups for camper vehicles. In addition, to protect the trees and natural habitat, we do not allow vehicles to camp in our campground. Instead, we have a designated parking area.

  7. Is this program for English speaking only? I have a mix of teenager and older adults in our group, so I hope this program in dual English and Vietnamese.

    • Dear Sophie, organizers are still working on a schedule for the Summer Retreat. In the meantime, below is an example of our special retreat schedule.

      5:00 AM Wake-up bell
      5:45 Sitting meditation
      6:45 Walking meditation
      7:45 Breakfast in silence
      9:00 Working meditation
      10:30 Dharma talk
      12:30 PM Lunch in silence
      2:15 Deep relaxation meditation
      3:30 Dharma sharing
      5:00 Mindful rest
      5:30 Dinner in silence
      7:30 Dharma presentation
      9:00 Noble silence
      10:00 Lights out and bedtime

  8. Hello. I am so looking forward to the retreat starting on the 18th and am flying in from New York for it. I’m 77 and have had quite a few injuries, so I don’t do well sitting on a cushion. Will there be some chairs around the edge of the meditation hall for people like me? Thank you so much.

  9. Hello! I have never been on a retreat before and have never been in the monastery. Could someone help with some questions please? I do not know where to park because I didn’t get the notice of the place my dormitory is going to be.
    Also it said the retreat starts at 2:00, but I’m nos sure at what time you recommend we arrive at the premises. Would 1:00 be ok?
    Also I don’t know if I need a blanket if a reserved a dormitory. Thanks 🙏🏾 and see you all soon!

    • Hi Karen. Thank you for asking. You will see a sign for where to park and we have staff present to direct you where to go from there. Arrival begins at 2pm and you can arrive anytime between 2pm-5pm. This period is for you to check in and find your lodging in a relaxed way. Yes, bring your own blanket and pillow. We provide a sheet. Safe travels and see you soon.

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