A Retreat-Pilgrimage Hike on the AT
Our intention is to enjoy each step with mindfulness and ease, with nowhere to go and nothing to do.
- Overview The retreat is divided into six one week sections over seven weeks, starting from Blue Cliff Monastery on the Day of Mindfulness, Sunday, April 8, 2018. We will finish at Washington D.C. Friday, May 25, 2018, with a peace walk to our nation’s capitol. We recommend that each person participates in just one week to give others a chance to come. We may accept as few as 20 people per week.
- Route We will follow the Shawangunk Ridge Trail to the Appalachian Trail at the NJ/NY border, continue to Harper Springs, West Virginia, then diverge from the trail to follow the Potomac to D.C.
- Weeks We will walk around 60 miles over five days (Monday through Friday) with retreatants arriving for the DOM (Day of Mindfulness) each week at a nearby city (NYC, Philadelphia, Allentown, Baltimore, Harper’s Ferry, Washington, D.C.) and then hiking with us until Friday, the departure day. Each week has a separate registration.
- Group size We will limit each week to 20 retreatants (not including staff), and hiking and camping will be done in three staggered smaller groups of maximum ten people each to respect the ecology and solitary nature of the trail.
- Dana The retreat will be based on dana (donations), with a $100 deposit to reserve a space. All donations will help support our monastics and our staff as well as the larger community of practice.
- Equipment/Food Retreatants are responsible for their own equipment and for carrying and preparing their own food (Vegan or Vegetarian meals only). Some shared cooking equipment can be coordinated. Staff will take care of their food responsibilities separately. We will provide some drinking water support when we meet the support vehicle.
- Support We will use a support vehicle for food, water, and additional equipment. The staff will drive it and will regularly meet the group at road crossings. Retreatants will be able to keep their food and some excess equipment in the support vehicle, and may also be able to have a rest day driving or riding in the vehicle.