Solitary Cabin Rate Increase Maintains a Precious Space for Practice

Generosity Cabin Retreats
Created Tue, Apr 27, 2021 by
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Mike DeGive
Great Eastern Sun, solitary retreat cabin at Karme Choling Meditation Center
Interior of Nirmanakya retreat cabin at Karme Choling.

Interior of Nirmanakya retreat cabin at Karmê Chöling.

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The cost of a solitary retreat at Karmê Chöling will go up this summer to better reflect the cost of maintaining our cabins and supporting practitioners in this unique practice space.

Currently, a night in a cabin ranges from $25 to $50, depending on the length of the retreat. The minimum stay is five nights. The longest retreat so far this year is 108 days.

The rate will increase by $5 per night on June 1, with a $150 maintenance fee added to each retreat. Reservations made before June 1, 2021, will be charged at the current rates.

I know a rate increase isn’t the best news, and for years we’ve kept the cost of solitary retreat artificially low. I hope you’ll see this rate increase in the same light as we do: as an investment that will allow us to maintain this treasured, solitary practice environment for years to come, where one can deepen their understanding of mind without the distraction of electronics, social media, work life and other obligations.

While rustic, the cabins have all you need for a simple, solitary retreat. We will protect and support your practice; we understand a retreat cabin provides an extraordinary opportunity to work with your mind and that the environment of solitude it provides is precious.

view from the porch of Nagarjuna Retreat Cabin at Karme Choling Meditation Retreat Center.

The view from the porch at Nagarjuna, one of seven retreat cabins at Karmê Chöling Meditation Retreat Center.

Each cabin is a shrine room, secluded in the forest, with a kitchenette, wood stove and bed. The lanterns and two-burner stoves are powered by propane gas, while water, ice and other necessities are delivered by a retreats assistant or the retreats master.

The maintenance fee will help the Retreats Department close its budget gap by partially covering the cost of cabin repairs, tree trimming, road work, upkeep, gasoline, water set-up and deliveries.

The land and retreat cabins have been blessed by many great teachers — among them, the 16th Karmapa, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, and Namkha Drimed Rinpoche. They have been ripened by the practice of generations of retreatants, including many of you.

Maintaining them is our honor. Your next solitary retreat will be a gift to practitioners for years to come.

Last year our retreats vehicle needed major work, including replacing a motor that outlasted mechanics’ predictions by a few years. Without the Polaris, we would be unable to reach at least two cabins in winter — the most popular time for solitary retreats.

This spring, the Facilities Team has been replacing Dhritarashtra’s roof and repairing a large skylight, among other things. This job is projected to be completed in a few weeks, weather willing. A generous donation will cover about a third of the cost, now estimated to be close to $3,000 in materials.

The view from Vaishravana retreat cabin at Karme Choling.

The view from Vaishravana retreat cabin at Karmê Chöling.

Another large cost projected this year is a composting toilet at Yeshe cabin. We’ll know more about the cost of this project next week. When it’s done, the outhouses at Vaishravana, Great Eastern Sun and Nirmanakaya cabins will need an upgrade.

While an article about a rate increase may not seem like the best place to ask for a donation to the Retreats Department, I disagree. I’ve recently rejoined the department, and have been reintroducing myself to the cabins, my old friends. They are jewels of great value. Every one.

There are times when I open a front door and feel embraced, or when i scrub a wooden floor and feel held. There are also times in retreat when the sadness and madness in my heart is so intense that I have to cry. And it’s rare to have a safe, supported space in which to feel into that sadness for stretches of time.

As friends of Karmê Chöling, we are caretakers of a great treasure here in the forest. If you’ve beheld it, I’m sure you agree it’s worth maintaining, so it can be offered to the practitioners who come after us.

If you’d like to donate to the retreats department click here:

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