The Maine Retreat

JUNE 12-21, 2020 IN SACO, MAINE

Living Dharma

The Joy and Challenge of Joining Practice and Action

In these times of turmoil, it’s important to reflect on ways to bring our lifestyle and our actions into greater accord with the dharma. If our life does not reflect our practice, what is the point of meditation and study?

The time spent in sitting meditation is much less than the time spent going about our everyday lives. Therefore, post-meditation practice is essential. The combination of meditation and post-meditation makes our practice complete—running through our entire life rather than something we turn on and off.

The Joy and Challenge of Joining Practice and Action

The focus of this year’s Profound Treasury Retreat will be the challenges of living a dharmic life, and how they are addressed in the three stages of the Tibetan Buddhist path. We will work with the foundational or hinayana guidelines for living life with simplicity and contentment. We will study mahayana teachings on how to activate compassion and benefit others. Finally, we will explore vajrayana teachings on how to engage more freshly and spontaneously by cutting hesitation and fixed views.

Topics include:

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.

See the reading list.

The teacher

Judy Lief

Judy 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. 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. Applications for the retreat open in early December. 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

Pricing Plans

For any questions regarding our pricing plans below, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Triple Room
Per Person
  • Linens Provided
  • Bunk Beds
Double Room
Most Popular!
Per Person
  • Linens Provided
  • Can Request Your Roomie
Single Room
Per Person
  • Linens Provided
  • Not Available if Receiving $ Assistance
  • Limited Availability
Double Tent
Per Person
  • You Supply the Tent, Gear and Towels
  • Most Affordable
  • Some sites include a Platform w Electricity
Single Tent
Per Person
  • You Supply the Tent, Gear and Towels
  • Affordable
  • Some sites include a Platform w Electricity

“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

Financial support

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 Classes

Elective classes are designed to complement the overall theme of each retreat. Participants in the 2020 retreat will have the opportunity to pursue one of four elective classes during the retreat. Electives are smaller, usually 30 or fewer participants, and allow for study and lively discussion in a more intimate setting. Classes meet four times during the retreat.


Arrival and Departure

Arrival day is Friday, June 12. 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, June 21, 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, June 21 – lunch is optional.

Please make your travel plans accordingly. If you must arrive later than dinnertime on Friday, June 12, or leave earlier than 11:30am on Sunday, June 21, 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 Sue Rhodes at 207-776-1472, 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.

Ferry Beach has arranged a transportation service from Portland directly to the Ferry Beach Conference Center, which is on the coast about 4 miles outside of the village of Saco. This service is by pre-arrangement only – it is not a taxi service. You must fill out the Ferry Beach Transportation Request Form at least one week before your arrival. 

We recommend booking the Ferry Beach transportation service. The other options for getting from Portland to the retreat are more complicated. The journey you’ll make is getting from Portland to Saco and then from Saco to the Ferry Beach Conference Center, 

If you fly into Portland, you’ll need to get a taxi or bus from the airport to the Amtrak station in Portland. Here’s some information on Ground Transportation to and from the Portland Airport. Then you can take a Shuttlebus/ Bus that runs 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. Once in Saco, you can take a taxi for $15 – $20 to the Ferry Beach Conference Center. Uber also serves the Portland area.

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.

See the Reading List for this year’s retreat.

A great way to prepare for the retreat is to watch the video courses of past Profound Treasury Retreats produced by Shambhala Publications.


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 a fridge in the dining room next to the coffee station with limited space for personal food stores. All personal food items requiring refrigeration should be stored here and marked clearly with your name.

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.


We have the OCEAN! It is brisk!!

There is a coin-operated laundry across the street at the campground. There is 24-hour access but after dark you will need a flashlight to make your way there.

Costs and Money

Prices range depending on the type of accommodations you select. Please see the Pricing section for more details.

If you withdraw after May 1st, 50% of your Program Fee is non-refundable. If you withdraw after June 1st, a refund is unlikely as we will be committed to paying our host facility for the full cost of your participation. After the retreat, the Administrative Team will review finances and make additional refunds if possible.

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.

The Team

Bakes Mitchell

Program Manager

Bakes is the retreat Program Manager. He makes sure that the bases are covered, communication is flowing, and that the many area heads and volunteers have what they need to make the retreat the profound treasury experience that it is.

Lynn Friedman


Lynn is the Registrar for the retreat. She keeps everything running “behind the scenes”, including mailings, registration data, and logistics to ensure everybody and everything show up in the right place at the right time in Saco.

Sue Rhodes


Sue is our Controller and manages daily financial details, budgets and scholarships. If you received an invoice it’s from her. She’s also good about telling you about scholarships too. If it’s money — talk to Sue.

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.

Profound Treasury Dharma Foundation

Dear Profound Treasury Community, We hope this update finds you, your friends and family staying healthy, well and safe! And now…The Big Reveal…! We are pleased to inform you all that our Profound Treasury Board is officially targeting September 2021 for a smaller, COVID safe retreat at Ferry Beach Conference Center in Saco, Maine with an online component to connect to from home or locally.  The plan is to do a very small beta test of this model from Ferry Beach during the upcoming Nyinthun on March 27th, 2021. For more information, please email
If all goes well, we hope to formally announce the firm dates and open up registration by the end of April 2021!

~Jacqueline & Judy