Things to Know about Residential Retreats
Arriving at Great Tree
- Orientation begins for most retreats at 5pm
- A light supper will be served¬† at¬† 6:00pm
FEES: If you have a balance due, we request that you make payment, if you have not already,¬† by check, cash or money order when you arrive. We have no way to accept credit cards on site.
ABOUT DANA: Dana is the practice of giving freely without hindrance or attachment to the result of what is given.¬† It is the practice of countless Buddhist women and men over the more than 2500 years since the life of Shakyamuni.
If at the end of the retreat, you wish to leave dana for the teacher or for Great Tree Temple, ¬† please write your intention clearly on envelopes provided.
In the living room you will find membership, volunteer forms and dana bowl/box if you wish to leave offerings.
We are grateful for all support.
ACCOMMODATIONS:¬† Sleeping arrangements single-sex, dormitory style. Men and women are housed separately.¬†¬† We have no accommodations for couples nor private rooms.
Dormitories have both¬† single bunk beds, futons, and floor mattresses.
Bring your own bed linens,towels, pillows, and toiletries.¬† IF YOU ARE FLYING,¬† we do have some linens available.¬† Some find that the simplest thing to do is bring a sleeping bag to put down over your mattress or futon. We do have blankets¬† and pillows available.
For showering and personal care, there are three¬† bathrooms in the building, one on each floor. ¬† When you use the bathroom, please be considerate of others who may be waiting to use the same facility.¬† Our water is sourced from a well and is filtered. Please mark your toiletries, and remember to take them home at the end of the retreat.
MEALS:¬† Vegetarian – vegan meals are served, based on macrobiotic principles. Please tell us on your Personal Info Form if you require a special diet.
EMERGENCIES:¬† We ask for an emergency contact information and a list of medication on the personal information form. We are in a rural area just outside of Weaverville, NC. There is an Urgent Care office there.
CLOTHING: Wear dark or quiet colors and clothing that is comfortable to you for the practice of zazen (sitting).¬† Do not wear shorts or sleeveless shirts. Expect cool nights in the mountains, except in July-August.
Please avoid heavily scented perfumes and soaps. We¬† also ask you¬† not wear¬† jewelry or items that would possibly create noise or distract others during meditation. Please turn off your cell phone and make this an opportunity to unplug.
We do not wear shoes or sandals in any part of the Great Tree Buildings.¬† Bring warm socks or indoor slippers if you feel that cold floors may be uncomfortable. There is tile in some rooms.
The mountains of North Carolina are temperate and can be cool at night except for July-August.
In the Zendo: The zendo has zafu and zabuton (sitting cushions), but we do not have sitting benches.Please request a chair if you need one. There are shawls if you are cold sensitive or easily chilled. We use incense without any artificial or allergy causing additives.
SAFETY:¬†¬† Please bring a flashlight in case you need to be up after lights are out at 10pm.¬† We have no exterior lighting and it can be dark here in the country. You may want an alarm clock.¬† There are stairs and steps to navigate.
Smoking is not permitted inside any of the Great Tree buildings. Please smoke away from open windows and doors. Alcohol is not permitted.
If you are a light sleeper, bring earplugs as your roommate(s) may snore.
SILENCE :¬†¬† Although broadband internet access is available in the building , we prefer that you not use personal digital equipment¬† and ask that you turn off your cell phone.¬† If it is necessary to engage in this activity, please restrict your use to only what is absolutely essential.¬† We do not have public access computer.
Please maintain quiet and respect for the serious intentions of all those attending. Sesshin are conducted in silence as much as possible.
PARKING: ¬† Please use caution and when you drive up our gravel driveway, both to protect your card and the road.¬† Great Tree is at the top of the road on the right. We also have some spaces at our neighbor’s on the left fork. We will direct you to parking after you check-in.
Parking is limited at the top and should ¬†be primarily for short term use.
However, if you arrive early, there is room for about 3 or 4.
Try not to block anyone in that might need to leave early.
Parking at the top, if space is available: Please pull up to the building, then back carefully into the field with your front windshield facing the steps of the building. Please park with caution when it is wet, use low gear and go slow. Do not back further than 1 car deep. The septic field is behind you.¬† If you do NOT have all-wheel drive, please back into the the lower lot with your car facing downhill. ¬†This will permit easy exit.
If you are uncertain about parking or need help, do not hesitate to request help.
You are asked to abide by our Ethics Statement while at Great Tree.