The Balance of the Dharma Life: Tuning in with The Five Spiritual Faculties | Regional Retreat 2024

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The Balance of the Dharma Life: Tuning in with The Five Spiritual Faculties | Regional Retreat 2024, January 12th to 15th

Long ago, a disciple of the Buddha named Sona became discouraged with his practice of the Buddha’s teaching and considered leaving the order of monks. Sona had been making vigorous effort, yet seemed to be getting nowhere! His practice of walking meditation was so intense, that his feet were worn raw. The Buddha became aware of Sona’s struggle and approached to help. The Buddha instructed Sona to approach Dharma practice as a musician tunes an instrument. When the strings of a lute are too tight or too loose, the sound that is produced is undesired. But when the strings are tuned just right, beautiful music resonates from the instrument! The Buddha said, “In the same way, Soṇa, when energy is too forceful it leads to restlessness. When energy is too slack it leads to laziness. So, Soṇa, you should apply yourself to energy and serenity, find a balance of the faculties, and learn the pattern of this situation.”

Perhaps we see something of ourselves in the story of Sona — going at it too hard or becoming discouraged and giving it all up! The wisdom of applying a balanced effort to Dharma practice is present from the very origins of Buddhism. We see this in the Buddha’s own story when he engaged in extreme austerities and had to reassess his approach when those failed. Thus was the Middle Way as an approach to spiritual life realized and passed on.

Does our own practice need some fine tuning? What is the quality of our own effort like? Do we tend to rely one-sidedly on any one dimension of Dharma practice? The teaching of the Five Spiritual Faculties is a core teaching of the Buddha and remains relevant and practical today. Taken together, the list of the faculties can be seen as a progression from Faith to Wisdom and as qualities that are balanced in our practice: Mindfulness balancing the dynamics of Faith and Wisdom, & Vigor and Meditation. On this retreat we’ll explore each of the faculties and engage in practices that inspire these qualities to develop in our lives.

The Faculties are —
Faith/confidence: Not belief, but the intuition and motivation to walk the path; the resonance in our hearts with Reality.
Vigor:  Energy in pursuit of what is skillful, of what leads to awakening.
Mindfulness: Awareness is everything!
Meditation: The integration of conflicting energy and resultant peace and clarity.
Wisdom: Not mere knowledge, but the direct experience of what is real and beyond words and concepts. 

This retreat is open to all sangha members from Aryaloka, Boston, Lubec, Portland, Portsmouth, New York and New Jersey. Born from a desire to bring our east coast sanghas together, the Regional Retreat has been running for 15 years! This is a wonderful opportunity to meet Buddhists from across the region and make new friends.
There is a Zoom option for some sessions of the retreat if you would prefer to attend from home. 

Led by Cittavan, Dharmasuri, Sravaniya, and Suddhayu

This retreat is residential and meals/housing are included in the price. Please see the note below about donations for teachers.  You can access helpful information about attending retreats at Aryaloka here.

A Culture of Generosity and Support
In the tradition of passing on the Dharma freely, our Dharma retreat and workshop facilitators offer their work without charge and are not paid. We recognize the value in what they do and want to thank them for their time, energy and wisdom. A financial gift can help support our facilitators to afford them the opportunity to lead. Please consider making a donation towards their support. There is often a cash collection and a thank you card that is passed on the retreat, though one can also make a donation directly to facilitators with a check, and some use money transfer services such as PayPal or Venmo. Thank you for your generosity.

How are we coming together safely?

  • Please take a Covid-19 rapid test on the day of the event (Aryaloka does not provide this test). A negative rapid test is required for entry; please take a photo of your test results and present at the door. 
  • If you know you have been exposed to Covid-19 within a five day period of the event’s start-time, we ask that you not attend in-person.*  Stay up-to-date with exposure guidelines here.
  • Masks are optional unless otherwise stated. Masks are required indoors for anyone testing negative of Covid-19 within days 6-10 of post-covid exposure without infection.
  • If you have recently recovered from Covid-19, stay up-to-date with CDC guidance here as to when you’re clear to be back in public.*
  • If you have cold or flu symptoms, we ask that you do not attend in-person.*
  • We have installed new air purifiers with virus-destroying technology!
  • There are new cleaning and sanitation protocols.

*Zoom options are available for many events. Transfer of fees or refunds are also available for illness or illness-preventative related absence. 
Please email if you have any questions about our safety protocols. Aryaloka may adjust these policies in relation to current, local infection rates, and will keep retreatants posted on such changes.

At Aryaloka, we strive to make our programs available to everyone regardless of their financial circumstances. Our fee structure allows you to pay according to your means. 

The Event Rate is our actual fee for the event. It is for people paying their rent or mortgage, and who can afford occasional or regular leisure expenses such as dining out. Any payment above the advertised fee is a tax-deductible donation. 

The Mid-Level Reduced Rate is for those who are paying their mortgage or rent, though experience a consistent tightness in budget that makes extras like leisure activities or unexpected expenses difficult or impossible. 

The Base-Level Reduced Rate is for those without an income or with an income low enough that making ends meet is a challenge. 

Those whose circumstances are not included above can email the office to make other arrangements.

January 12th, 2024 6:00 PM to January 15th, 2024 2:30 PM
14 Heartwood Circle
Newmarket, NH 03857
United States
Phone: 603-659-5456
Event Fee(s)
Event Fee $370.00
Mid-level Reduced $300.00
Base-level Reduced $230.00
Zoom Only $80.00
Zoom Only Reduced $20.00