Letting Go of Limitations: Realize Your Full Potential
Within all of us exists an untapped potential for limitless peace, compassion, love, and concentration. By learning to take our own mind as our object of meditation, we can learn to quickly manifest this potential and gain insight in to what is really holding us back from experiencing this deep peace in our lives.
Over the course of the weekend, you will be guided in simple meditation techniques to create and maintain a special experience of inner peace. This mountain retreat is suitable for beginners and advanced meditators alike, everyone is welcome! Some of the benefits of the meditation techniques you will learn are…
Kelsang Tabkay is an American Buddhist monk and the Resident Teacher at Kadampa Meditation Center South Carolina. He has been a student of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso for many years. Tabkay travels regularly throughout the Southeast, presenting Buddhism and meditation in an accessible and clear way, dedicating himself to bringing peace into the hearts of others. He previously served as the Education Program Coordinator at KMC South Carolina.
Gen Mondrub is an American Buddhist Monk and the Resident Teacher of KMC Georgia. He has been a disciple of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and the Resident Teacher in Atlanta for many years. He has just recently returned from a two-year retreat.
Gen Mondrub has given some advice to those attending this retreat: “It is our experience that anyone who puts these “delight-filled” teachings and meditations into practice naturally experiences greater and greater inner peace, refuge and happiness throughout their lives and more and more harmony in their relationships. We believe this is the real meaning of life and makes an authentic contribution to a better world. We uniquely design our classes for busy, modern people leading busy, modern lives…this is modern Buddhism. We can all learn you how to take the most difficult situations, habits, and hardships and transform them into quickening our path of spiritual freedom—modern people like things quick! In this way we can fulfill our deepest wishes and be an inspiring example for others.”
How to Prepare
No preparation is required for the retreat. However, to get the most out of the experience, we recommend…
- CDs: Practice the meditation offered in the CD called Kind Heart.
- Books: As much as possible, it will be beneficial to familiarize yourself with Mahamudra Tantra. Also, Modern Buddhism and How to Transform Your Life are now offered as free ebooks, and would be very helpful.
What to Pack
- Breakfast: We provide vegetarian lunch and dinner on Saturday (meals are included in the pricing), as well as snacks and drinks throughout the retreat. But bring your own favorite breakfast snacks. Each cabin has its own kitchenette. Also, if you have special dietary requirements, please let us know in the “Additional Requests” box on the Registration Checkout screen as you purchase your ticket below.
- Layers of clothing: With a large group, it is almost impossible to find a temperature that everyone finds comfortable! We will try to make the meditation room as cozy as possible, but it’s still a good idea for you to come with layers of clothing so that you can adjust as needed. Also, we don’t wear shoes in the meditation area, so don’t forget extra socks or your fuzzy slippers!
- Blanket: The meditation room can be a little chilly this time of year, so you may wish to bring a blanket or two to put under your feet and/or over your lap.
- Comfortable walking clothes: You will want to enjoy some fresh air and the lovely park during your stay.
- Flashlight: It gets pretty dark in the middle of the forest!
- Dharma books: Optionally, you may wish to refer to your favorite Dharma books during the course of the retreat, especially How to Transform your Life (be sure to download your FREE ebook edition!) and How to Solve our Human Problems for this retreat.
- Meditation cushion or mat: If you have your own meditation cushion that you would like to use, bring it along. We will provide chairs and some cushions, but we will not have enough cushions for everyone.
What to Leave Behind
- Cell Phones: For the purpose of developing deeper concentration in your mind, take a break from cell phone. It’s OK to bring your cell phone and check in with your family from time to time. However, you will get the most out of this retreat by keeping your cell phone usage to a minimum; and we specifically request that you do not bring it to retreat sessions with you. This prevents the awkwardness of having your phone go off in the middle of a meditation session.
- Music: During the retreat, it is a good idea to refrain from listening to music. For the sake of your own concentration and the sake of others’, please do not listen to music, even on headphones, while at the retreat.
- Pets: Sorry, but due to pet allergies and the policies of Unicoi State Park, you will need to leave your animals at home.
The retreat will be held at the beautiful Unicoi State Park in the Upstate region of Georgia. Surrounded by lush mountains and waterfalls, the surrounding area is perfect for quiet walks and contemplation.
Retreat sessions themselves, as well as meals, will be held in the state park’s Beach House. We provide comfortable chairs and some meditation cushions. But we will not have enough cushions for everyone; so if you have your own meditation cushion, please feel free to bring it along. Join us for the whole retreat, or only for a day.
Overnight participants stay in the cabins at the state park. The cabins are clustered together about a mile from the Beach House. Like a standard hotel room, cabins include fresh linens and towels, along with a small living area that features a fireplace and plenty of wood. The kitchenette is fully stocked with all kitchen necessities including pots and pans, glasses, plates, flatware, kitchen appliances and a coffee maker. Bathrooms are full baths that include towels and soap. Bedrooms include queen size beds, bed linen, pillows, blankets and alarm clocks.
Cabin rooms are available on a first-come/first-served basis, and we expect them to sell out. Should they sell out, you can still attend the full retreat by arranging for your own local sleeping accommodations at the nearby Unicoi Lodge about three miles away. Please contact the lodge directly at (800) 573-9659 if you wish to do this.
Each session lasts approximately 1.5 hours. Sessions will include a simple preparatory practice, which attendees may choose to refrain from participating in if they are uncomfortable. The sessions also include the teaching on the meditation practice followed by a guided meditation to put the teaching into practice. Some sessions will include time for reading and discussion. Overall, the guided meditation portion of each session will range from 20 to 40 minutes.
During the retreat, we encourage you to maintain silence from the mornings through lunchtime.
Friday, December 1
5:00pm – 8:00pm – Check-in at the Beach House
8:00pm – Good Nature
Saturday, December 2
8:30am – Nature of the Mind
11:00am – Watching the Mind
12:30pm – Lunch
4:30pm – Letting go of Negative Minds
6:00pm – Dinner
8:00pm – Group Discussion
Sunday, December 3
8:30am – Realizing Your Potential (pt. 1)
11:00am – Realizing Your Potential (pt. 2)
Is this meditation retreat suitable for beginners?
Yes. Everyone is welcome to attend this retreat, regardless of experience level. If you are new to meditation, you can do some optional preparation as noted on the “How to Prepare” tab. The more you put into preparing, the more you will get out of the retreat.
How much meditating will there be in each session?
Sessions last for 1.5 to 2 hours, but some of this time is taken up with teachings and preparatory prayers. The meditations themselves last between twenty-five and forty-five minutes.
Should I bring my own meditation cushion?
You don’t need to meditate on cushions – you can meditate in a a seated position on, and we will have plenty of chairs for all. However if you prefer to meditate on a cushion and have your own meditation cushion that you like to use, you are more than welcome to bring it with you. We provide some meditation cushions but we will not have enough for all participants.
Is there a dress code?
No, but do dress comfortably for a lot of sitting time.
Do I have to be a Buddhist?
No, everyone is welcome. However, you will want to know that each session will include some preparatory prayers, which you can choose to participate in or not.
- KMC Georgia Benefactors
The first six registration options below are appropriate for KMC Georgia Benefactors donating $250 or more monthly and include the Benefactor discount. If you are a Benefactor at this level, please select one of these tickets. For more information, please visit our Membership page. If you are not a Benefactor at this level, please select one of the “Non-Benefactor” tickets.
- Private Rooms
The “Private Room” option reserves a private room in a shared cabin from Friday check-in through Sunday morning. The price is for one person and includes one queen size bed. If you wish to share your private room with someone else, they must also register through the purchase of the ticket called “Private Room – Additional Person”.
- Private Room – Additional Person
This option is for individuals who will be staying in a private room reserved by someone else. Please specify the name of the individual in whose private room you will be staying in the “Additional Requests” box on the Registration Checkout page.
- Shared Double-Occupancy Rooms
The “Shared Double Occupancy Room” option reserves a shared double room for you from Friday check-in through Sunday morning. Shared double-occupancy rooms include two queen-size beds and a shared bathroom. We will assign another individual of the same gender to your room unless you indicate a specific room mate. You can do so in the “Additional Requests” box on the Registration Checkout screen.
- Initial Deposit
We offer the option of reserving either a private room or a double-occupancy bed with an initial deposit. We will contact you to provide information on how to submit payment for the remaining balance in advance of the retreat.
“No-Accommodation” Options: We also offer two alternatives for individuals who do not need overnight accommodations…
- Saturday Only – No Sleeping Accommodations
This ticket provides access to all teachings, meditations, meals and refreshments on Saturday, December 2. It does not include any sleeping accommodations.
- Saturday and Sunday Only – No Sleeping Accommodations
This ticket provides access to all teachings, meditations, meals and refreshments on Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3. It does not provide sleeping accommodations.
Payments: We process payments through PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account, but if you do not have a PayPal account, a credit card will be required.
- We cannot offer a refund for “Initial Deposit” option, above.
- For Private-Room and Shared Accommodation reservations, $100 of the total registration fee is considered “Initial Deposit” and is non-refundable.
- For the no-accommodation options, $50 of the total price is considered the “Initial Deposit” and is also non-refundable.
- We can offer refunds on the balance of the registration fee up to seven days before the retreat. After that, no refunds are offered. To cancel your registration, you must send an email to Admin@MeditationForEveryone.org stating that you wish to cancel. A portion of your registration, minus the deposit, will be refunded if you cancel seven days before the retreat. No refunds are offered for cancellations within seven days of the retreat.