The Maine Retreat
SEPTEMBER 17-26, 2021 IN SACO, MAINE
Trust in the Heart
Loving Kindness and the Awakening of Buddhanature
Clearly, we have a lot to work with, both on the personal and on the collective level. Yet the times are untrustworthy, language is deceptive, and people are hateful and suspicious of one another. There are rising numbers of “deaths of despair,” as people lose hope.
As we enter 2021, we need to find ways to heal and to rebuild trust. It is a time to let the cooling waters of kindness and compassion soothe us, so we can begin to release the pain and grief we hold within us. It is a time to draw on the power of kindness and compassion as a reliable source of personal and social transformation.
In light of all this, in this year’s retreat we will focus on loving kindness (maitri) and compassion (karuna). These two powerful teaching streams are a continual source of strength and nourishment on the Buddhist path. The development of loving kindness begins with meditation. In meditation practice we get to know and trust ourselves on a deeper level, and we become friendly and kind to ourselves. That gives us the base of strength we need to reach out to others with compassion. The combination of loving kindness and compassion is the key that unlocks the wisdom and power of the bodhisattva path. The joining of the two provides the spark for awakening our buddhanature.
The goal of this year’s retreat is to deepen our understanding and experience of loving kindness and compassion through both study and practice. We will have the opportunity to connect more profoundly with compassion practices such as the four limitless ones, the exchange of self and other, and sending and taking, or tonglen.
Practice the Teachings of
The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma
During the Profound Treasury Retreat, we practice and study topics from The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, a compilation of the teachings that Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche gave over a span of 13 years at the Vajradhatu Seminaries, an intensive 3-month program of study and practice he offered to his students. Participants are strongly encouraged to study The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, especially the suggested readings, to help prepare for the retreat.
Judy LiefJudy Lief was a close student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who trained and empowered her as a teacher. She has been a Buddhist practitioner and teacher for over 45 years, and continues to teach throughout the world. Judy is an editor of many of Chögyam Trungpa’s books including, The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma volumes.
Judy is also active in the field of death and dying, and is the author of Making Friends with Death: A Buddhist Guide to Encountering Mortality. She offers workshops and retreats on the contemplative care of the dying for pastoral counselors, hospice workers, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. Her numerous articles have appeared in Lion’s Roar magazine, Buddhadharma: The Practitioners Quarterly, O Magazine, Tricycle, and The Naropa Journal of Contemplative Psychotherapy, among others.
Her podcast series Dharma Glimpses is a series of talks on different aspects of meditation practice and is based on Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s unique presentation of meditation.She lives in Boulder, Colorado.
The price of the Profound Treasury Retreat includes the retreat, lodging, and meals. The price varies depending on the type of lodging you choose. We encourage you to apply early. Our refund policy and other useful information is in our FAQ section.
Accessible Housing: The Ferry Beach Retreat Center has two accessible rooms available for individuals with physical limitations. For more information about accessible rooms and their pricing contact us.
The Ferry Beach kitchen accommodates a wide range of diets and dietary needs including omnivore, vegetarian, vegan and gluten or dairy-free. We will ask participants to fill out a questionnaire before the retreat to make sure everyone’s preferences, special dietary needs, or allergies are part of the meal planning. You can find more information on meals at the retreat here.
Fees and Housing Options
For any questions regarding our pricing plans below, don’t hesitate to contact us.
- Linens Provided
- Must Specify Roommate
- Linens Provided
- You Supply the Tent, Gear and Towels
- Most Affordable
- Some sites include a Platform w Electricity
- You Supply the Tent, Gear and Towels
- Some sites include a Platform w Electricity
- Linens Provided
- Bunk Beds
“Generosity is a willingness to give, to open without philosophical or pious or religious motives, just simply doing what is required at any moment in any situation”
– Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
The Profound Treasury Dharma Foundation is committed to offering the authentic transmission of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s teachings to all, regardless of their financial capacity.
If it will make the difference between attending or not attending the retreat, we encourage you to request financial support when you apply. Decisions on financial support are made concurrently with the application review.
If you would like to join us in offering financial support to those who need it to attend, please go to our Donations page.
The Profound Treasury Dharma Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.
Sample Schedule for a Study Intensive Day
Elective’s will not be offered at this year’s retreat. Instead, there will be one small group class with multiple sections offered on the Five Principles of Buddha Nature.
“The five buddha families are five principles of buddha nature; they refer to the buddha qualities in all of us. So, everyone is a fertile person, a workable person who could be related with directly and personally. From the tantric point of view, when we encounter different types of people, we are actually relating with different types of enlightenment.” Chögyam Trungpa—Profound Treasury Vol. 3, chapter 26
The five buddha families are expressions of buddha nature. They are also connected with primary colors, seasons, elements, landscapes and other aspects of the phenomenal world. Our study of the five buddha families can help us relate to ourselves and others and to the earth itself. They help us to understand both our awake nature as well as our neurotic tendencies. We will be using a variety of ways, verbal and nonverbal, to connect to these colourful and revealing aspects of our world. In this class we can experience expressions of these five wisdoms as playful, enriching, active, clear and spacious. A feast for the senses!
Arrival and Departure
Arrival day is Friday, September 17th. Plan to arrive after lunch and before dinner, 1pm – 5:30pm, to register and settle in. The first event is dinner at 6pm followed by an opening ceremony and welcome talk by Judy Lief at about 7pm.
The retreat ends on Sunday morning, September 26th, with final remarks and a closing ceremony during which all participants take down the shrine and close the shrine room. We need to vacate our rooms by 9am on Sunday – instructions will be given for where to leave luggage.
The closing ceremony is a very important part of the Profound Treasury Retreat. Please schedule your departure from Ferry Beach after 11:30am on Sunday, September 26th – lunch is optional.
Please make your travel plans accordingly. If you must arrive later than dinnertime on Friday, September 17th, or leave earlier than 11:30am on Sunday, September 26th, let us know as soon as possible by emailing the Registrar, Lynn Friedman
During your travels to the retreat on June 12, if any emergency should arise please call or text Bryan Welch at 785-249-0609, or call the Ferry Beach Conference Center at 207-282-4489.
The Ferry Beach Conference Center and Resort has very good information on travel options, including driving instructions from all four directions. You can check that out on their site at Directions.
For those who are flying, there are three airports in the vicinity of Saco, ME, where Ferry Beach is located:
- Portland Jetport in Portland, ME
- Logan International Airport in Boston, MA, and
- Manchester Airport in Manchester, NH.
The closest airport is Portland, ME, but you might get a better deal flying into Boston. From Boston’s Logan Airport, you can take the Amtrak Downeaster train to Saco, ME (book ahead for significantly lower rates), or you can also take a bus to Portland on Concord Coachlines.
What to Bring
We will provide meditation cushions—gomdens, zabutons, and a limited number of zafus and support cushions. We also have chairs for those who prefer them. However, if you use a meditation bench or a favorite cushion, please bring it with you.
Ferry Beach provides each participant staying in a dorm with 1 set of linens, which includes sheets, towels, a pillow, and a blanket. If you need anything else, you will need to bring it. For example, you might want to bring a beach towel or an extra blanket or that special extra-fluffy pillow.
Campers do not receive linens or towels. Please bring these with you when you come.
Daily dress for the program is casual but uplifted (in other words, not loose work-out clothing). Please refrain from clothing with complicated designs and messages as they can become distracting entertainments or annoyances during sitting periods. We advise you to check the weather in Saco, Maine, for the retreat period just prior to coming and bring appropriate outdoor clothing. Maine in June is likely to be chilly in the evenings so layers are recommended. 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.
Bring all your own toiletries including soap and shampoo. These items are not provided. Also bring any other personal care items and prescription, non-prescription vitamins & supplements that you use or may need. Again these items are not provided and unless it’s an emergency we are not able to shop for them during the retreat.
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 tick and mosquito repellent as well as sun protection are great to bring.
- A flashlight
- Bathing suit for the beach
- Flip flops for the beach or showers
- You may want a shawl or a throw for chilly mornings or evenings in the shrine room.
- Open containers like mugs are not allowed in the shrine room. If you need to bring liquids into the shrine room, please bring a spill-proof bottle or mug.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
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.
Keeping in mind that Maine can be chilly in June, especially in the early morning and at night, bring warm sleeping bags and blankets. Campers should also bring their own pillows, towels, linens and any other creature comforts. Be prepared for rain.
There are a limited number of campsites with tent platforms and electrical outlets. In case you don’t get one of these sites, it is recommended that you bring a tarp or ground sheet.
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 and flashlight, and a sleeping pad or air mattress. Flip flops or other easy on/off shoes are great for the trek to the showers and WC.
All of the housekeeping and meals – cooking and kitchen clean-up – are provided for us by the Ferry Beach staff. However, you will have the opportunity to participate in shrine room duties at the retreat. This is an important part of our practice and community. We sweep and clean the shrine room and the post-meditation hall daily–sand blows in from the beach, which is just a few feet away!
There are also opportunities to volunteer for shrine room duties such as ikebana (flower arranging), umdze (chant leader and time-keeper), gatekeeper, shrine-keeper, and 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 can sign up for these positions at a board in the post-meditation hall, 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. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and engage with the retreat.
Food and Drink
Ferry Beach does its best to accommodate everyone’s needs, and provides vegetarian and vegan options for those who request them prior to the retreat, as well as gluten-free and dairy-free options. You can see the Ferry Beach Summer Menu and read the Food Mission Statement on their website.
All participants will receive a Participant Questionnaire asking for information about their food needs and preferences. It’s important to fill this out so that the kitchen staff can plan to meet your dietary needs.
There is no consumption of alcohol during the main period of the retreat. At the celebratory closing banquet, libations will be available for those who wish to partake.
Costs and Money
Prices range depending on the type of accommodations you select. Please see the Pricing section for more details.
The Profound Treasury Dharma Foundation is committed to offering the authentic transmission of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s teachings to all who want to receive them, regardless of their financial capacity. Please see Financial Support above for more details.
You can apply for a financial support during the Application process. Funds are not unlimited, and are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please apply as early as possible. You will be notified of your financial support in your acceptance letter.
There is no ATM on premises or nearby. Please plan for cash needs before arriving since we cannot make trips into the village to get money.
Since there is no ATM on site, you should bring some cash (and/or a checkbook) for incidental expenses.
There will be an opportunity to offer a teaching gift to the head teacher (a traditional offering after receiving teachings). The amount of your teaching gift, if you wish to offer one, is completely up to you.
We also collect a small offering to show our appreciation for the Ferry Beach staff who who take such good care of us.
We can accept major credit cards for offerings if you don’t have cash.
Photography and Use of Electronic Devices
Participants cannot make video or audio recordings of the talks under any circumstances. An official retreat photographer will be taking photographs during the retreat.
Finally, to maintain the contemplative atmosphere of the retreat, we ask that you do not use your mobile phone in public spaces and that you only use it in private if absolutely necessary.
COVID/How will the retreat be different this year
Yes, the retreat is now requiring all participants to be fully vaccinated before the retreat begins and will be asking for proof upon arrival. All ferry beach staff are vaccinated, except for one staff member with a medical exemption. If you have a medical reason you can not receive the COVID-19 vaccines, please contact our admin team to discuss your situation.
The retreat will be following additional safety protocols in line with the latest Maine and CDC guidelines and Ferry Beach protocols and to minimize Covid transmission risks.
We are requiring all participants to get a negative test within 72 hours before arrival at the retreat and will test everyone again 3 days after the start of the program. Masks will be required in all indoor spaces except for eating and drinking in designated areas.
We will offer alternative outdoor sitting areas for those who are more comfortable outside or who wish to sit without a mask. We will also have an overflow room (with a video link) to provide more opportunities for social distancing during talks.
We will be staggering meal times in order to provide more space in the service and dining areas and will be asking people to keep 6ft distance inside and 3ft distance outside while eating, drinking or otherwise unmasked.
Current Ferry beach protocols can be found here: https://www.ferrybeach.org/covid-19.html
Yes. The Maine and federal CDCs both now recommend masks indoors for everyone in the area where Ferry Beach is located. Therefore, masks will be required indoors at all times, except when in your private dorm room or when eating or drinking in designated areas.
Please send a copy of your Covid proof of vaccination to email@example.com by Monday, September 6 2021 and please also send your negative test results (from a test taken between September 14-17th) to firstname.lastname@example.org PRIOR to your arrival. We are asking that you test at a designated testing facility that identifies you both by name and date of birth. This can be either a rapid antigen test or a PCR test.
Please also bring plenty of masks with you for the duration of the program.
We have a team ready to respond if this occurs. In the event that a COVID case emerges during the retreat, we plan to conduct contact tracing and will notify any person that was exposed to the infected person. For privacy reasons, we will not release the name(s) of anyone infected.
For those traveling from Canada, please familiarize yourself with all border rules and be aware of your local/home quarantine laws.
Bryan Welch & Daniel Nguyen
Bryan and Daniel are our co-coordinators this year, attending to a myriad of details and making sure all aspects of the retreat run as smoothly as possible. Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of them if you have questions about the retreat that aren’t covered here.
Registration & Finance
Sue is responsible for managing the daily financial details, budgets, and scholarships. She’s also handling the registration process this year. Please contact her if you need any help in these areas.
The Retreat Location
Ferry Beach is 30 minutes south of Portland, ME; 90 minutes north of Boston, MA;
and 5 miles from the Saco Amtrak station.