Our 2017 Montana spring family retreat, in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, in pictures:
We just had our annual Montana Open Way Sanghas spring family retreat up on the Flathead Lake in Lakeside, Montana. It was our biggest retreat yet, with 56 adults and 26 kids (aged 2-14). For my retreat summary post this time around I’ll just share some of my favorite photos and also something I wrote in my journal early one morning.
This last weekend was our annual Montana Open Way Sanghas fall retreat. Once again we used the Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp facility in Lakeside, MT which sits right on the Flathead Lake – so lovely! As a bit of background the Montana Open Way Sanghas consists of four sanghas in three different towns in western Montana: Open Way and Be Here Now (my group) in Missoula, Flowing Mountains in Helena, and Open Sky in Kalispell. Our collective sanghas are joined together as sister communities in the mindfulness tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing. The buddhist word Sangha means spiritual community in Sanskrit. We all join together for two retreats a year, assemble an annual newsletter publication, and our leaders meet quarterly. We are a big happy family here in Big Sky Country!
Our retreats start on a Thursday evening and end on Sunday afternoons. This past weekend we had 60 retreat attendants, our largest adult population yet to date. How wonderful it is that we have these opportunities locally to go on retreat and to be attracting so many folks. We brought in a dharma teacher from Austin, TX to lead our retreat, Terry Cortez-Vega. It was the first time she had come to lead a retreat for us and we very much enjoyed her down to earth style and way of sharing the dharma with us.
This past weekend we had our local Montana Open Way Sanghas fall retreat. We have four sister sanghas in three different towns in western Montana and twice a year we get together for retreats. The leaders of each sangha also get together throughout the year for board meetings and organizational purposes, of which I am part of. So I always very much enjoy these retreats for the simple fact that I get to spend time with the sangha friends that I don’t get to see very often.