April 19-22, 2018


Note on March 20: The Facilitator Retreat has reached capacity. Please scroll down to the bottom of this page to add your name to the waiting list for this retreat.
Deer Park Monastery is sponsoring a retreat for lay Sangha facilitators in the Plum Village Tradition from our Southern California Sangha community. This will be a small, regional retreat to better support Southern California practitioners and Sangha facilitators, in general. We recognize that the Sangha facilitator is a vital link for Thay’s continuation, and would like to support facilitators to deepen skills, connect with one another by practicing together, and share experiences around common issues that arise when facilitating a Sangha. This retreat is open to all practitioners (OI core community or not), from all backgrounds, who are facilitating or want to facilitate a Sangha in the Plum Village Tradition.

Topics may include:

Purpose of a Sangha. What is a Thich Nhat Hanh Sangha? How do we develop a shared understanding of purpose of the Sangha? How do we communicate the purpose of the Sangha?

Forms of Sangha Practice. Cultivating practices such as: use of the bell; Dharma-sharing guidelines and facilitation; the forms and guidance of sitting and walking meditation. We’ll look at deepening our individual practice to strengthen our facilitation and nourish the Sangha. We shall explore which forms are essential in our tradition as well as explore ways to understand and cultivate “socially engaged practice.”

Sangha Content. How do we ground the Sangha in the Plum Village Tradition? What do we study and do we provide opportunities for sharing about the joys and challenges of our individual practice? Where can we look for guidance in the practice?

Process of Sangha Functioning. We hope to explore topics such as: Sangha decision-making; involving community in caring for the Sangha; orientation of newcomers; developing leadership and cultivating the skills of inviting the bell; guiding walking mediation; facilitating Dharma sharing and other basic skills for the Sangha gathering. How does the Sangha build awareness and safety for practitioners of various ages, different racial or cultural or religious heritages, and different class or gender backgrounds?

Relationships. Structuring ways for people to get to know one another in and outside of Sangha gatherings including nourishing Deep Listening and Right Speech. Cultivating “non-discrimination” among members. We’ll explore Thay’s thoughts on interpersonal tension and conflict. We’ll look into how our Sanghas might develop guidelines for behavior, such as unwelcome attention and subtle forms of discrimination.

Registration information:

Retreat check-in time is between 2 and 5 PM on Thursday and the retreat will end around 3 PM on Sunday. We kindly ask all friends to arrive on the designated arrival day and depart on the designated departure day.

As you fill out the registration form for this event, please be sure to click both the “make reservation” and “proceed to checkout” buttons, whether or not you are making a financial contribution. This will ensure that we receive your reservation. For this retreat, please disregard warnings that your reservation will be canceled without payment.

Waiting List:

If you would like to add your name to the waiting list for the Facilitator Retreat, please click on the button below and fill out the form. If space becomes available, we will contact you. The arrival date for this retreat is April 19.