dedicated to a peaceful & just society
grounded in contemplative & spiritual practice
Offering space and support for personal retreat is central to Liberation Park's vision. In fact, our infrastructure is geared for solo retreats more than group retreats (with small, occasional exceptions). If you would like to attend a group retreat with Santikaro, please go to the retreat page.
If you will be visiting Liberation Park, please download this Orientation Booklet.
Quiet & silence
Simplicity & solitude
Settling into meditation
Deeper Dhamma study
Intimacy with Nature
We are slowly building infrastructure to support individual practice-study retreats. Although we ultimately hope to have several three and four-season forest hermitages as well as a full-amenity community building with kitchen and showers, the current situation is more modest. For now, our housing is very simple and the amenities are basic. As of Summer 2012 we have two canvas cabins, running water, an outhouse, and simple indoor cooking facilities. Now that the caretakers' cottage is inhabited and functional, its shower can be used within scheduled times of the day. Though accommodations are simple, the settings are beautiful. If you're looking for a little more comfort, you might consider a day visit or staying in a nearby motel or B&B (Norwalk has a new one local press). We're happy to send you a list of other nearby accommodations.
The canvas cabins are 10' by 12' wall tents on wooden platforms. They are big enough to stand in and have cots and rocking chairs. The platforms keep them off the ground and deter bugs, with porches extending in front for sitting and enjoying views. They can be comfortably inhabited April through early July and mid-August through October (seasonal weather variations unpredictable). Hardy winter lovers may enjoy them during colder months.
We welcome retreatants who are mature enough in their practice to self-supervise and maintain their own schedules. We expect some familiarity with the basics of meditation as taught in Theravada Buddhism. Before arriving, we will negotiate your retreat intentions with our policies and help you come up with a structure or schedule for your retreat. We are flexible about details of solitude, silence, personal study, exercise, and chores. Santikaro will be available for periodic interviews and guidance.
Generally, we accept retreatants for any number of days up to two weeks. Santikaro's availability is also a factor. Longer stays depend on our familiarity with you and your practice, or a review after an initial shorter retreat.
Retreatants can do their own cooking on a propane stove in the shed, which also has a small refrigerator. We encourage retreatants to keep their meals simple and in line with the camp-style accommodations. There is no specific charge for retreats though Liberation Park subsists on the donations and volunteer labor of all who visit or benefit from the environs. Your contribution is valued.
We currently do not have facilities to host group retreats, except for small, informal tent retreats. When the weather warms up, we will have work weekends. Also, we do not currently have a "work-study option."
Please be aware that ticks are present at LP.
If you are interested in a retreat here, please email us with your intentions, something about your Buddhist study-practice background, the sort of retreat you would like to have, and dates. We will respond by email and also schedule a phone conversation.
- Your own food.
- Sheet, pillow case, & towel.
- A sleeping bag or blankets (though we have a few for loan).
- Personal toiletries, including non-toxic/non-insecticide insect repellent. All soaps and shampoos must be non-detergent based as they go directly into the ground water (castille, olive oil, or other natural products are acceptable.)
- Outdoor clothing appropriate for the season, rugged shoes, rain gear, and a water bottle.
- Flashlight, batteries, and alarm clock if needed.
- Water bottle
- Drugs, alcohol, or tobacco products
- Companion animals (unless special arrangements are made - under certain special circumstances dogs, horses, or other companion animals may accompany their human on retreat)
- Radios (musical instruments can be played with permission at times when they will not disturb others)
- Computers, ipads, and the like.
There is potential for long-term retreats and residency. For both, the starting point is for you and us to gain some familiarity with one another. Long stays will depend on a mutual understandings of Buddha-Dhamma, practice, and the lifestyle at Liberation Park. We will ask you to come for a visit or personal retreat as the first step, along with email and phone communications.