Sky Meadow Retreat
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    group retreat
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    attending a retreat
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    Host Family
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  • Meditation has no levels and there is no body of knowledge to memorize or set of skills to master.
    It is much too simple for all this.
    It has to do only with being fully present in each moment,
    with no past or future, or any idea of what should happen next

    Meditation is simply the practice of letting go of everything, and allowing what is to be. As soon as we add more structure or form we risk acquiring a new identity.  

    The essence of true spiritual support is letting other people know that they are not alone. It is standing with them in their fear, and neither shielding them from the apparent threat, nor feeding their notion that the threat is real.

      - Beyond Perception


    We think we cannot be ourselves and maintain close relationships with other people. However, this is not so; we simply have not yet learned how.

    Codependency occurs when you sacrifice your need for independence in order to be accepted by another person.

    Conscious Communication is about learning how to be true to yourself and connect deeply with other people at the same time.


    Peace and love are not only possible; they are basic requirements for our health and happiness.

    Yet they are not something we can achieve or accumulate.
    They are like the air we breathe and water we drink, and we constantly need a fresh supply.

    Love is more than a spiritual ideal, it is the stuff we are made of. And closing ourselves down to it fragments and weakens us internally.
    Following a spiritual path, or just trying to be a good person, involves more than simply believing in great ideas. It challenges us to grow beyond our limitations, and become something larger and more complete than we are now. Beyond believing that it is good or right, we have to actively participate in the process of recognizing where love comes from and allow it to grow inside us.

    Instead of pretending to love, we can learn to find the love that is genuinely there,
    buried beneath our fear.

    - Conscious Communication

    The Sun Never Says
    by Hafiz

    Even after All this time
    The sun never says to
    The earth
     “You owe Me”

    Look what happens
    To a love like that,

    It lights the
    Whole Sky



Creating Conscious Community
 Being Authentic with Yourself and Others -
A 5-day Intensive Training

August 11 - 16, 2013 - Sky Meadow Retreat - Vermont

For people who want to connect and make a difference in our world

“When you finally find a place
where you are accepted as you are,
the struggle is over and you have come home”


* Connect with yourself through gentle meditation practices
* Connect with others using Conscious Communication skills
* Learn to be still, unwind, focus, and take care of yourself
* Learn to care about others while also being true to yourself

Each morning we will practice together the ancient and simple art of Insight Meditation, using natural bodily sensations to cultivate presence and awareness. You will learn to settle deeply into your body and mind in order to recognize who you are beyond the realm of your ordinary thoughts. This sustained Mindfulness practice gives you the tools to accept and care for yourself, which in turn helps you connect with and care for others.

After a quiet lunch and nurturing solo time in nature, we will gather each afternoon to sit in circle and tell our stories, practicing a new way of listening using Conscious Communication. You will learn how to receive another person with your heart, hearing them without imposing your own judgments, advice, or solutions. As we share and receive each other in this way, you will experience a deeply nourishing web of natural empathy and true connection that is too often neglected in the competitive stress of our daily routines.

Each day of the training our supportive community will grow stronger and deeper, culminating in a sense of safety and belonging beyond anything you may have imagined possible. Before we part we will create ways to stay connected and continue supporting each other after the training is over, and there will be an opportunity to plan future gatherings together to keep the circle alive.

“When you are witnessed without judgment
in sharing who you really are,
a profound healing takes place.

You recognize that you are not alone,
and realize how deeply connected you are to other people
and to the source of all life.”
This intensive training offers you a tranquil space
to become present with yourself,
and then bring your presence into a focused community
where you will give and receive genuine support from others.

Too many of us live without a sense of community and feel disconnected, even from our friends and family. We may associate belonging with self-sacrifice and are no longer willing to conform to unreasonable social rules merely to be accepted. Yet, in our push for independence we often find ourselves painfully isolated.

Caught up in the drive for ever greater autonomy, many of us have forgotten how to be together in a nurturing way, and this can underscore our lives with anxiety and loneliness. We may have achieved unprecedented personal freedom and comfort, yet often there is no one with whom we share the intimate details of our life. Underneath our pride, we may simply be afraid of being hurt, and have learned to keep a safe distance from others in order to protect ourselves.

Most of us are not lacking things – we are starving for connection. Look at the proliferation of electronic devices which enable us to talk to anyone, anytime, and anywhere. Yet, until we learn how to feel and express our genuine emotions and needs, no amount of talking can remedy our loneliness or mitigate our chronic insecurity. What we need now is a way to connect deeply with other people, while still being true to ourselves.

The People
          This training is for anyone seeking support and encouragement to find and follow your own truth. It will teach you how to face your fear of vulnerability in order to realize your longing for connection, and it will give you skills to help others break through their isolation. Each training is limited to sixteen participants, assuring a rare degree of personal attention and intimacy within the group. The Mindfulness and Conscious Communication skills you will learn are powerful tools for ministers, counselors, teachers, personal coaches, healers, managers, parents, partners, and anyone wanting to make a difference in our world. A certificate in Creating Conscious Community will be issued to each person upon completion.

The Place
Sky Meadow Retreat presents a unique sanctuary for this profound work of re-connecting with yourself and others. Secluded at the end of a quiet road in the pristine mountains of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, hidden from view and away from the noise of traffic, 120 acres of forest and meadows are yours to explore. This expansive land includes four swimming ponds, wooded trails, open meadows, and a hilltop with panoramic views of the Green Mountains. Scattered through the magical landscape are a variety of unique structures, blended seamlessly with nature, inviting you to sit quietly or spend the night if you choose.

Sleeping accommodations include 5 large shared rooms with spacious private beds in our beautifully renovated century old barn, several rustic and whimsical private cabins, and three shared full bathrooms. Two private and fully equipped cabins for individuals or couples are also available for an additional fee. (by prior arrangement) You will be fed bountiful gourmet vegetarian meals featuring fresh organic vegetables and fruit from the large gardens which surround the main building.

The Format
            The first half of each day we will be together in silence, practicing sitting and walking meditation, gentle yoga, mindful eating, and being alone in nature. This practice enables us to go inward and find our true self again, without the distraction of trying to be accepted by others, or the need to explain ourselves.

The second half of the day will focus on establishing meaningful connections with each other. In a facilitated sharing circle, each of us will have a chance to tell others what is true for us in this moment and be received with compassion and understanding. Each evening after dinner there will be time to connect through  music, dance, play, or other forms of celebration and healing.

Your Facilitator
Miles Sherts moved to Sky Meadow in 1988, resurrected it from a neglected 1850’s hill farm into a working  homestead, and founded the retreat center ten years later. He has practiced Insight Meditation since 1976 and led retreats since 1999. He trained as a professional mediator and began teaching Conscious Communication and conflict resolution skills in 1990.
He is the author of:
Conscious Communication - How to Establish Healthy Relationships and Resolve Conflict Peacefully While Maintaining Independence, and
Beyond Perception- Finding Contentment in a Disillusioned World – A Guide to Meditation.
Miles has taught and facilitated classes, retreats, and workshops at the Community College of Vermont, and other schools and centers since 1990. His strength is creating a nurturing space for people to feel safe enough to risk vulnerability and be honest with integrity - inviting empathy, understanding and connection with those around us.

$655 includes room, board, and tuition
($600 if registered by June 1)

A non-refundable deposit of $325 is required to register.
You may also pay in full at this time
We cannot accept credit cards at the retreat
Please bring cash or check to your retreat to pay for the balance

Working Scholarship Program
We now have scholarship funds for a limited number of people to attend any workshop or retreat led by Miles for half-price. Please contact us via e-mail ( if you are interested.  You will still need to send a non-refundable deposit of half of the retreat fee to register.  Instead of paying the balance at your retreat or workshop, you will be asked to help out for a few hours a day during your stay.  Possible jobs include cleaning (kitchen, bathrooms, main room, or entryway), gardening, firewood carrying, or brush piling.  We will not require you to do physical work beyond your capacity, and will schedule your work times so that you do not miss any of your workshop. 

If a retreat does not reach minimum enrollment and we have to cancel, we will either return your deposit in full or you may transfer your deposit to any future retreat. If you are planning to travel to Sky Meadow by airplane, we recommend that you contact us one month or less before your retreat to be sure that the weekend has enough participants to run.

Creating Consciuos Community
August 11 - 16

Non-refundable registration deposit -$325

Gender (M or F)