June 2016 Newsletter

Wonderwell Opens For 2016 Retreats

On May 5th, Wonderwell joyfully reopened for retreats! So far, five retreats have taken place. The Foundation for Active Compassion Teachers’ Retreat explored the practices of devotion and compassion. Lama John Makransky continued his exposition of the Tibetan Buddhist sources for the practices of sustainable compassion. Dzogchen yogi, Brendan Kennedy taught students how to tap into the field of primordial awareness by encouraging them to explore the differences between focused and unfocused insight into the nature of mind. Jeanine Grillo-Marra led group of dedicated women in the practices of Yin/Yang Yoga conjoined with basic meditation practice. The NDF Teachers’ Retreat investigated Boundary Awareness in teaching, guiding, and mentoring students. Lama Willa Miller’s Awareness and the Body retreat examined the Three Kayas (Buddha bodies) through the powerfully unique lens of Lama Willa’s personal practice and deep engagement with these sources of primordial awareness.

Robbie Tisch Fundraising Training

Natural Dharma Fellowship is pleased to announce the hiring of Robbie Tisch, a fund-raiser with 35 years of professional experience and a dedicated Buddhist practitioner. NDF volunteers met with Robbie for a daylong training on Memorial Day to explore the mechanics of fundraising within a fun, informational, and powerful context. The most immediate result of this training has been the formation of the Wonderwell Coaching Team, a group of dedicated volunteers headed by Anne Rugg, who are motivated to engage in the inherent generosity practice that fundraising arises from and promotes. Different action teams have been formed. If you are interested in joining the effort, please email Anne Rugg (akashavanda@gmail.com) or Anastra Madden (anastramadden@hotmail.com).


New Appointments

New Meditation Teachers: Gina Michaels, Anne-Marie Polanski, Hank Reisner, Janine Grillo-Marra, Jeff Sullivan, Susan Malloy, and Joel Beahr.

NDF Buddhist Chaplain: Jean Ashland

Dharma Lopon: Liz Monson


Updated Registration and Cancellation Policy

The following paragraphs describe changes to the registration and cancellation policies for retreats at Wonderwell. Please read carefully.

At the time of registration, Wonderwell now requires a deposit of 25% of the retreat cost or $150, whichever is greater. Full payment is due no later than 30 days prior to a retreat start date. Applicants may also still choose to pay in full at the time of registration.

In order for a registration to be complete there are two steps:

•       First, applicants must fill out the entire registration form.
•       Second, once the form is complete, you will be directed to Paypal. Once you have paid either the deposit or in full, you will receive a “notification of payment” from Paypal.This notification is your registration confirmation. Please wait until you receive this notification before closing your browser. You will not receive a separate verification from Wonderwell.
Wonderwell’s new cancellation policy applies to the deposit put down for a retreat:
•       For cancellations up to four weeks prior to the start of a retreat, we will refund the entire amount of the deposit minus a $75 registration fee.
•       For cancellations made within four to two weeks prior to the start of a retreat, we will refund 50% of the deposit. (Please remember that the deposit is 25% of the total cost of the retreat or $150, whichever is greater).
•       Cancellations received within two weeks of a retreat’s start date forfeit 100% of the deposit amount.
•       Cancellations received within 24 hours of a retreat’s start date forfeit the entire cost of the retreat.
•       We ask that cancellations by work/study applicants be received no later than one month in advance of your retreat. This will allow us ample time to make sure that we have enough support for the retreat.

Premium Dorm Room Option
Wonderwell now offers a “Premium Dorm” room option. Premium Dorm rooms are rooms with the same privacy as a shared room, but without the amenity of a private bath. New premium dorm rooms include: Satori, Padma, and Samten-ling. Each of these rooms shares the dorm bathroom. The cost for premium dorm rooms is halfway between the dorm option and a shared room. Please note that Dorje is now considered a shared room with a private bath. Padma now uses the dorm bathroom. 
Updated Affordability Statement
Wonderwell Mountain Refuge strives to offer retreats in a manner that is non-cost prohibitive and inclusive to persons of all means. If the full cost of a retreat would create an undue financial burden, we encourage persons to apply for scholarship and work/study. Whether applicants need aid to defer a large or small portion of the cost of a retreat, we will do our best to accommodate you.


Ecodharma Conference in Planning Stages

This month, Wonderwell is honored to host Kristen Barker, co-founder of One Earth Sangha, a sister organization of Natural Dharma Fellowship, for a month-long residency. Kristen is in the process of building an Eco-Team to plan the Fourth Eco-dharma Conference for 2018 at Wonderwell Mountain Refuge!

The last Eco-dharma conference featured Bhikkhu Bodhi, David Loy, and many others. Next year’s Eco-dharma Conference will bring together leaders in the Buddhist community with environmental activists to discuss the critical intersection of contemplative practice with activism and mindful stewardship of the planet.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Eco-Team, please contact Kristen Barker at kristin@1earthsangha.org.


New Publications

Lama Rod Owens — Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation

Bill Morgan — The Meditator’s Dilemma: An Innovative Approach to Overcoming Obstacles and Revitalizing Your Practice


June at Wonderwell

Monday Night Meditation

6:30 – 8:00 pm guided meditation & instruction • 5:30 pm for tea or BYO supper. (June 20, 27)

Email Greg for information/directions.

Sunrise Meditation

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings from 7:00 – 7:45 am.

(Dates: June, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, July 4, 5, 6)

Yoga Returns!

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings from 8:00 – 9:30 am. (Dates: June, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, July 4, 5, 6)


Cambridge Tuesday Night Teachings

7:00 pm, Cambridge Friends Meeting House, Longfellow Park, Cambridge, MA

June 21: The Heart Sutra with Lama Rod Owens
June 28:  Our Pristine Mind with Khenpo Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche
July 7: with Bob Morrison


Monthly Words of Wisdom

Our mind can be compared to a hand that is bound or tied up, as much by the representation of our “me”, of the ego or self, as by the conceptions and fixations belonging to this idea. Little by little, Dharma practice eliminates these self-cherishing fixations and conceptions, and, just as an unbound hand can open, the mind opens and gains all kinds of possibilities for activity. It then discovers many qualities and skills, like the hand freed from its ties. The qualities that are slowly revealed are those of enlightenment, of pure mind.

— Kalu Rinpoche, Luminous Mind, The Way of the Buddha


Wonderwell Garden Updates

Summer has finally arrived at Wonderwell! We are continuing the cultivation of our organic garden this year. Please contact us at tech@wonderwellrefuge.org if you are interested in opportunities to come work in the vegetable and Mandala gardens. We hope you can come share in these outdoor contemplative practices that connect us to our beautiful natural environment!

We recognize that all people hold unexamined beliefs, assumptions, fears and prejudices about others, and especially those who seem different from themselves. These beliefs are a great source of suffering for individuals and societies. We welcome people of all races, cultures, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, classes, religions, abilities and ages. We are committed to providing a safe place for all people to explore the dharma and awaken to their true nature.