Program Details

Urban Weekthun

with Trinley Busby
August 3 / 8:00 AM - August 9 / 6:00 PM

Cleveland Shambhala Center is pleased to host a week long meditation retreat that will be based on teachings called the four reminders, also called the four thoughts that turn the mind. They can be viewed as representing the trips Prince Siddhartha took outside his palace that eventually transformed him into the Buddha. During these trips, Siddhartha encountered old age, sickness, and death, and developed the renunciation that turned his mind away from the distractions and deceptions of the outer world and in toward silence and truth.

As simple as they are, the four reminders can reverse our habitual patterns of forgetting the preciousness of human life, ignoring impermanence and death, pretending that the immutable laws of cause and effect do not operate, and chasing headlong after pain in the guise of seeking pleasure (faults of Saṃsāra). They are the first step in confronting our extreme beliefs about the existence of our world. Each of the reminders brings home the unerring message of change and the opportunity we have to practice meditation and study the teachings of the Buddha in order to gain insight and awakening in this lifetime.

The four reminders expose the bone-jarring experience of our daily life, which we usually try to pad with material comfort. They lead us away from our preoccupation with avoiding pain and seeking gain, and guide us toward seeing the true nature of our mind and our world. Then, having glimpsed things as they are, we are inspired to devote ourselves to benefiting others.

A one-week group meditation retreat led by a senior teacher, known as weekthün (week session), it is a powerful introduction and deepening of mindfulness-awareness meditation and is open to anyone.

Silence and functional talking are observed throughout the week and meals are served in the meditation hall as a contemplative eating practice. The retreat includes formal sitting and walking meditation practice, dharma talks on the theme of the retreat, study, body movement practices and a short work period.

An example of a day in the weekthün:

8:30 amOpening Chants (optional)

Practice: sitting & walking meditation | body movement practices

(yoga, social presencing dance, vitality raising movement practice)

12:00 pmContemplative lunch practice (Lunch will be provided)
1:15Work practice

Practice: sitting & walking meditation | body movement practices

(yoga, social presencing dance, vitality raising movement practice)

4:30Talk by retreat leader plus Q&A
5:45Closing chants (optional)
6:00End of day**

** there will be a few optional evening sessions throughout the week.

We will break at 6pm for dinner out, come back by 7:00 and end the evening session at 8:30 pm

Also included during the week will be one-to-one meditation conversations with retreat leaders, small and large group dialogue, Q&A sessions after talks, introduction to formal contemplation and study sessions, introduction to chanting (chanting is optional), introduction to objects and iconography in the meditation hall and traditions associated with opening and closing meditation sessions, plus much more.

Although there is a shrine with Buddhist and Shambhala symbols as well as chants at certain points of the day, one does not need to be a Buddhist nor even be interested in becoming a Buddhist to take part.  All the symbols and chants are oriented toward arousing our natural wakefulness and compassion and are provided as methods for realizing the nature of our minds.

In general, the daily schedule is quite full and there is not much time for personal activities. It is truly a time to slow down the pace we are used to going. We limit our speech and activity so we can deepen our practice. We ask  those we share our homes and lives with to support our practice of retreat by honouring functional speech at home when possible.

Please Note:  You can enter on day 1 and come for one day or more, though there is a requirement that you stay for the whole day of practice. If the you start with us on day 1 you have to do days consecutively.  For example : just day 1, just days 1 and 2, just the first 3 days, etc - if you attend part, you will also be invited to come back on the last day to finish out the retreat with us and to celebrate. NO NEW PARTICIPANTS day 2-7, this is less disruptive to the rest of the participants later in the week by not having to orientate new entries over and over.   The daily rate is .00/day.

To Register for certain number of days use the appropriate coupon code below, when registering.

Number of DaysCoupon CodeCost

Retreat Leaders:

Trinley Busby

Trinley’s professional background is in mental health and harm reduction. In Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES), she worked as a frontline service provider in shelters, transitional and permanent housing programs - serving those experiencing homelessness and struggling with concurrent mental health and substance abuse challenges. She worked as an activist with community based groups in the DTES to address poverty and housing injustices and as an advocate and ally to those engaged in survival sex-trade.

Trinley is a student of the Sakyong, Mipham Rinpoche and was appointed as a shastri (senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition) in 2013. For the past 10+ years, she has served in many leadership roles and regularly leads beginner and advanced meditation retreats. She resides in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband Michael and cat, Buster.

Alexandria Barnes

Alexandria is a student in Shambhala, meditation instructor in the Shambhala lineage & facilitator. She served as the Assistant to the Director of the Office of Social Engagement for Shambhala International and is involved in anti-racist training. She incorporates our bodies in the practice of meditation and study and enjoys folding in group conversation to the often lonely experience of the path. When not practicing, you can find her somewhere in the woods of the Hudson Valley, making food and reading.



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