When are check-in and check-out times?
What should I bring?
What should I not bring?
May I bring laptops, heaters, or other electrical appliances?
Can I check my messages or make calls if I need to?
What if I forget to bring something?
What can I expect on my first retreat?
How do I get there?
Check-in and Check-out times
Check-in is generally from 3 to 5pm on the first day of the retreat. Check the schedule for your particular group retreat to confirm check-in times.
Check-out is 1:30pm. Again, check your schedule for confirmation.
Items to bring
Shared dormitory guests will need to bring a sleeping bag or blankets. (Sheets and pillows are provided)
Private accommodation guests in both the private rooms and cabins will have all their bedding provided.
Essential Items to Bring:
Emergency contacts (doctor's info and two people we may contact in case of emergency)
Toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
Comfortable walking or hiking shoes
Cozy indoor shoes (no muddy shoes inside the meditation hall)
- Warm jacket
Suggested Items: Travel alarm clock (or meditation timer), Books, Journal and pens, Vitamins and medicines.
You may also want to bring cash, checks, or a credit card with you so that you can purchase items from our bookstore while you're with us. Items include books, batteries, chocolate, cards, earplugs, phonecards, and gift items. Additionally, you may wish to leave a donation for the teacher, the staff, or Vajrapani. Although we can make change for you, it's recommended to bring smalls bills.
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Items to avoid
We ask that retreat participants not wear perfume. Some of our guests may have chemical sensitivities or allergies.
Our electricity is generated by solar panels, which are not strong enough to run appliances with heating elements. These appliances may shut down our power system.
If your appliance is not included in the lists below or if you're not sure whether it is compatible with our system, just ask us when you book.
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Sometimes the world follows you, even all the way out to Vajrapani. While we discourage breaking your isolation, if you need to stay connected to your friends, family or work, the following options are available:
Cell Phones: Depending on your carrier, you may get cell phone reception at your cabin. However, because Lama’s Ridge is a silent area, we ask you to take your calls away from the retreat area.
Errands and Special Requests
Vajrapani Institute is 25 minutes away by car from the nearest small town so it’s important to pack carefully and wisely. Our staff will not be available to run personal errands should you forget something important.
However, we do have some essentials for sale in our bookstore including:
Soaps and Shampoo
Your First Retreat
After you’ve navigated the dirt road and arrived at Vajrapani, one of our helpful staff members will greet you, take care of any balances owed and help you find your accommodations. You will also be asked to take a Work Meditation job.
After a light dinner, all the participants will gather in the meditation hall to listen to a brief orientation of our safety systems, policies, and guidelines. Any questions you may have will be answered at this time.
Then, the retreat instructor will arrive and give an introduction to the retreat, explaining the format for the coming days. We usually post the schedule on the website before the retreat. Check the tabs under the registration button for your specific retreat.
Retreat offers us the rare opportunity to seclude ourselves from our everyday world, to keep silence, and to engage in personal reflection. Sometimes being in this environment brings up difficult thoughts or emotions and so it is very important to keep an open and loving attitude toward ourselves and take special care to relax.
If you start to feel unbalanced or uneasy, please let the Course Manager, Program Coordinator, or Retreat Instructor know. Often, a simple suggestion to change the way you are practicing may be all that is needed.
Meditation can be a subtle and challenging art, so it is important to check in with your instructor regarding any questions or concerns you may have.
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See our location information for detailed directions and our address.