Sky Meadow Retreat
  • Listen to Meditation
    Instructions and Talks
  • Excerpts from Miles' book
    Beyond Perception
  • Testimonials
  • Miles' Blog
  • Mile's new book is now availableBeyond Perception by Miles Sherts
    Click on book to purchase

    Letting Go

    Spiritual practice is about letting go, not adding anything.  This is difficult for us because all of our conditioning is about getting things and learning how to hold on to them. 

    We have invested ourselves in the notion that we need to get more in order to be happy and complete, and so this is what we have learned how to do.  

    The act of release is actually quite easy, and requires much less effort than grasping or clinging.  Yet it is so unfamiliar that many of us have no idea how to do it.

    - Beyond Perception

    An old proverb goes
    something like this:  

    It is not the mountain ahead that wears you down, but the grain of sand in your shoe.

    If we are honest with ourselves right now, the mountains ahead of us do seem impossible to cross, and our chances of making it through this next period of human history make even the optimists among us hesitate.

    Yet the very problem may be that we are focusing on the mountains, instead of looking in our shoe.

    Beyond Perception

    Becoming More Awake

                The alternative to this is for us to become more awake. Waking up is not an abstract ideal or final destination. It is what we are here to do, yet it is not a goal to achieve some time off in the future. Waking up can only happen in this moment, and it happens by simply being present with what we are doing now.

    In each moment we are either more awake or more asleep. There appears to be a gradual process of becoming more awake that allows for us to do it in our own time. Yet in reality time is not involved and there is no learning required. Unlike any other achievement that we know of, waking up is not a step-by-step process that the perceptual mind can direct and measure, and this is what makes it so difficult for us.

    None of our learning patterns apply to waking up. Waking up is a decision that we make to be present, when we reach the end of our tolerance for living life from a distance. We don’t learn how to do it. There isn’t a way, there is only the will. When we want to wake up and be real more than anything else, it begins to happen by itself.

    -Beyond Perception

Insight Meditation Retreats

Also known as Mindfulness, or Vipassana Meditation, this simple method aims at clearing the mind, giving us a chance to experience truth directly for ourselves.  We use awareness of breathing and other body sensations to calm and focus the mind.  The retreat will be held mostly in silence and will focus on sitting and walking practice. There will be instructions, guided meditations, and inspirational talks based on personal insights inspired by  the teachings of the Buddha.

2018 Retreats

7-day self-directed retreats for experienced meditators

November 4-11

For details and registration click here

Retreats led by Miles Sherts

Miles learned this practice at a monastery in Sri Lanka in 1976.  The instructions and supporting teachings come from the Therevadin Buddhist tradition found in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, and other parts of Southeast Asia.  This tradition emphasizes the simple practices taught by the Buddha and does not involve ritual or complex systems of thought.  Miles has sat intensively and been on staff at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Mass, and has done retreats at other Asian and European Monasteries.

The teachings during these retreats will focus on experience learned through years of practice rather than Buddhist language or theology.   Some basic teachings of the Buddha will be offered to create a context for the practice of meditation.  The teachings will relate directly to each persons current experience and the application of direct awareness to that experience.  The main focus will be on loosening the mind from habitual patterns of holding in order to experience the present moment as it is.  

A Typical Retreat Schedule:

Saturday, Sunday morning (* bell rung at these times)                     
*   6:30 - wake up bell     
*   7:00 - sitting
7:30 - guided yoga

*  8:00 - Breakfast

*   9:00  - talk and instructions
9:35 – guided walking
10:00 - sitting
10:35 - walking
11:00 - sitting
11:35 – walking

*  12:00- Lunch

*   2:30 – talk and instructions
3:05 - walking
3:30 - sitting
4:05  - walking
4:30 – sitting
5:05 – guided yoga

*  6:00  - Dinner

*   7:30 - sitting
8:05  - stretch
8:15  - Evening Talk

9:00  – sitting
9:15 – self-directed practice, or bed