Frequently Asked Questions
Arrival and Departure
The retreat ends on Sunday June 25 with a final talk and ritual for the entire group to take down of the shrine. This is followed by lunch at noon. We will have to vacate our rooms by 9am except for the small group staying over for debrief on Sunday. Instruction will be given for where to leave luggage.
Please make your travel plans accordingly. If you must arrive later than dinnertime on June 16th or leave earlier than lunchtime on June 25th, please let us know as soon as possible. Please provide this information on the Participant Questionnaire in the section Late Arrivals/Early Departures. Or you can always email us at .
The Profound Treasury Retreat staff has gathered some additional, specific information captured in these Travel FAQs that are specific to the retreat and arriving by plane, train and bus.
The closest airport is Portland, ME, but you might get a better deal flying into Boston Logan Airport. From Boston, you can then either rent a car or take an Amtrak train to the retreat center in Saco, ME.
Another option is to come by train on the Amtrak Downeaster, which runs between Boston, Saco, and Portland. Amtrak now uses similar pricing strategies as airplanes so best to book ahead of time for significantly lower rates than closer to departure date.
You can also take a bus to Portland from Boston Logan International Airport on Concord Coachlines. See our other FAQ on getting from Portland down to Saco and vice versa.
First, Portland > Saco
You can take the Amtrak Downeaster train from Portland to Saco. If you fly into Portland, you’ll need to get a cab or bus from the airport to the Amtrak station there. Here’s some information on Ground Transport to and from the Portland Airport.
You can take a Shuttlebus/ Bus that runs frequently between Portland and Saco from 6:30am – 6:30pm. It’s about $5 one way. Complete information to help you make your choices on the bus is available on the bus site.
Depending on interest, we may again offer a special Ferry Beach Shuttle from the Portland Airport to our retreat at Ferry Beach for $20 each way. This must be reserved in advance and cancellations cannot be refunded. We will have more information on this option and a place to indicate interest shortly.
Check out our next FAQ in this section on getting from Saco proper out to the Ferry Beach site where the Retreat is held.
Ferry Beach is about 4 miles from downtown Saco. You can take a cab for $10 – $15. Uber also serves the Portland area. Note: If you are flying into Portland, you may also be interested in the Ferry Beach Shuttle provided by the Retreat host between Portland and Ferry Beach. Please see How do I get from Portland to Saco? for the details.
Everyone who was confirmed attending as of 5/24 received an email invitation to join the ride board on 5/24 around 11pm. The invitations contain a special and unique code per person and cannot be shared since the code uniquely identifies you. If you cannot locate the email, please write to email@example.com and we’ll happily resend.
What to Bring
We also have a limited number of support cushions, so if you’re accustomed to using one and can fit it easily in your luggage, bring it.
Those camping do not receive linens or towels. Please bring these with you when you come.
You should have rain gear and/or an umbrella, especially if you are camping.
We have a celebratory banquet on the last night, so please bring one dressy outfit for that occasion.
Ferry Beach Retreat Center is located 4 miles away from any kind of shop so there is no opportunity to pick up items once at the retreat. There is no store on the location of the retreat. Consider things like snacks, contact lens solution, soap and deodorant when packing for the trip. It’s Maine, so mosquito repellent as well as sun protection are great to bring.
Consider bringing a water bottle or a themos bottle if you enjoy hot coffee or tea late in the evening. To bring liquids into the shrine room we ask that they are in only spillproof bottles. No open containers such as glasses or mugs.
There are a limited number of platformed camp sites, which also include electrical outlets. Especially if you don’t get one of these sites, it is recommended that you bring a tarp.
Since the camping area is in the pine forest across from the Retreat Center, consider mosquito netting or repellent, a light source such as a lantern or flashlight, and perhaps a pad or air mattress for your sleeping bag. Flip flops or other easy on/off shoes are great for the trek to the showers and WC.
Campers should also bring their own towels and any other creature comforts.
The most important preparation you can do for the retreat is to have a regular sitting practice. Try to meditate every day and do longer sessions on the weekends. If you are able to attend group meditation sessions, that would be excellent. If you have been introduced to tonglen practice, make it a point to incorporate this into your daily and weekly practice so that it feels familiar to you.
Readings in the Hinayana volume
Chapter 2. The Frozen Space of Ego*
Chapter 9. The Painful Reality of Samsara*
Chapter 37. Rediscovering Your Own Mind*
Optional: Glimpses of Abhidharma by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (This is available as a book or as part of Volume II of The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa.
Terms in the Hinayana volume: ego, skandhas, kleshas, grasping, fixation, 8 kinds of consciousness, karma, nidanas, projection
Reading in the Mahayana volume
Chapter 32. Prajna*
Terms in the Mahayana volume: emptiness, compassion
Readings in the Vajrayana volume
Part Six. The Mandala Principle
25. The Sphere of Self-Born Wisdom
26. The Mandala of the Five Buddha-Families
27. The Outer Mandala
28. The Inner Mandala
29. The Secret Mandala
Terms in the Vajrayana volume: mandala, buddha families (buddha, vajra, ratna, padma, karma)
Optional: Orderly Chaos by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (this is a separate book and is also included in Volume VI of The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa
Our friends at Shambhala Media have generously provided a discount to retreatants for the 2017 Retreat on the Profound Treasury Volumes. You should have received this in an email from us, but you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for the code. We ask that you not share this code with others since it has been granted to us because of our close association.
These discounts are not for the general public but only for attendees of this year’s retreat. You should have received in early February a letter from us with the discount codes. If not, please email email@example.com.
At The Profound Treasury Retreat the responsibilities include shrine room duties such as umdze, ikebana, gatekeeper, shrinekeeper, drummer during chants. If you have an interest in any of these positions, there is always an opportunity for training and practice in a supportive atmosphere. You will have the opportunity to sign up for these positions at a board in the Shrine Room Building where daily announcements are posted.
We also have a number of events that require extra effort from our community for our community. These include building a bonfire one night, setting up for the final banquet, and help with any feasts. Opportunities abound for you to come deeper into the sangha to contribute. It’s a great way to meet people if you’re new.
Food and Drink
There are also gluten free indicators on the meals that are prepared to help make those choices. At the beginning of the retreat, a Food Liaison is appointed and all food related communication to the Kitchen staff is routed through her. Listen up for her name on the first day.
Photography and Use of Electronic Devices
Costs and Money
Application for Scholarship funds is made during the Application process and awarded on a first come first served basis so it’s important that you apply as early as possible. You will be notified of your award amount when notified of acceptance into the retreat in order to plan your path forward.
Sometimes retreat members who are artisans are invited to bring some of their work to sell during the retreat, you may want funds for that.