The Hermitage: Frequently Asked Questions
The Hermitage is located on Denman Island, off the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada. Ferries from Vancouver go to Nanaimo, which is about an hour from Buckley Bay, where you catch the 10 minute ferry to Denman Island. Buckey Bay is about 2 1/2 North from Victoria by car. The Comox Airport is about 30 minutes from the Buckley Bay ferry and pickup can usually be arranged. Please download our brochure for more details.
Spirituality may not be bought or sold as if it were a commodity, so we do not charge for the Buddha's precious teachings. All retreats are run on a donation basis and it is these donations from our retreat season that keep the Hermitage and its vision alive. Traditionally, an offering is made to the Hermitage itself and also, separately for the teacher (dana). We do not suggest an amount because the level of donation will vary from individual to individual, those with more to give benefiting the Hermitage more, and those without being benefited in turn. Please make your personal donation one that truly reflects your support for the centre.
Currently accommodations are somewhat limited, consisting of 8x10 cabins and some small trailers, all with comfortable beds but most without heat or electricity. These are set in the fields and forest and a walk to the bathrooms is involved for most. If it is convenient to do, please bring your own bedding or a sleeping bag, otherwise we will provide bedding. We also have a few spaces with heat and electricity, close to the bathrooms that we reserve for people with special needs. Needless to say we welcome campers! Accommodations at the Hermitage are assigned on a first come, first served basis. Participants are strongly encouraged to stay on site to fully experience a time of silence and concentration. Potluck at the Hermitage.
We believe that delicious and wholesome food makes the retreat a nurturing experience. We serve vegetarian fare (with vegan options). Breakfast and lunch are the main meals of the day with a light soup in the evening, in the tradition of most Buddhist retreat centres.
Certainly not! People from many religions, or with no religious adherence, have equally found meditation helpful and beneficial in their day-to-day lives.
For a person who is genuinely interested, meditation is not difficult. If one follows the instructions patiently and diligently, one can be sure of tangible results. The day's schedule is neither too severe nor too relaxed, but follows a comfortable Middle Path founded on moderation in all things. Lama Kunzang teaches that meditation should be pleasant and easy, if we want our body and mind to adapt rapidly to the practice.
To start with, read the Dharma Fellowship Meditation Manual. This gives you a very basic outline of the concentration practice that we teach at the Hermitage.
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