Light of the Path Retreat Registration
Light of the Path Retreat: Sunday 3pm, May 4 to Sunday Noon, May 18, 2014
Where is the retreat being held?
When can I arrive at the retreat?
How do I get to Blue Ridge Assembly, Black Mountain, NC?
How and when can I register?
How much will the retreat cost?
What about meals?
Will there be precepts?
Is there internet access?
Are there laundry facilities?
What about translation and prayer books?
Blue Ridge Assembly General Policies
Blue Ridge Assembly’s Accessibility
Light of the Path Retreat will be held at Blue Ridge Assembly, a retreat and conference center in Black Mountain, in the Western part of North Carolina near Asheville. The retreat is NOT being held at Kadampa Center in Raleigh (which is about a 4-hour drive away in the Eastern part of the state).
Accommodation is available beginning Friday, May 2, 2014. This is before the retreat officially opens on Sunday, May 4th but allows those who are traveling a great distance to rest and begin karma yoga by helping the Kadampa Center community prepare the gompa.
There will be a small additional fee for the Friday and/or Saturday night stays before the retreat begins. Meals are also available for this time before the retreat begins and are highly recommended if the participant does not have a vehicle on the retreat grounds as Blue Ridge Assembly is quite remote.
By Car: Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain is just off Interstate 40 in Western North Carolina. For specific directions, please see Blue Ridge's website.
- By Air: The Asheville Regional Aiport (AVL) is a 30-minute drive or shuttle ride to the Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain and is the recommended arrival point. The airport can be reached via connections from anywhere in the country. Ground travel from Charlotte Douglas International Airport is not recommended because it is a several hour drive from Charlotte to Black Mountain. Ground Transportation from Asheville Regional Airport (AVL): Please call Joe Tandy from GrandyCo Transportation of Asheville at +1 828 273-3214 or click here to make reservations for shuttle service from Asheville Regional Airport to Blue Ridge Assembly. The cost is $25 per person with a minimum of two passengers. Joe will try to group people with similar arrival times but if your flight arrives at an off hour the charge could be up to $45. Don't forget to mention that you are part of Light of the Path Retreat!
All registrations are booked directly with Blue Ridge Assembly through the online registration system on their website (click here).
The costs of the retreat are divided into 2 segments: those associated with a residential retreat (room and board costs) and those associated with all of the spiritual program costs.
1. The "room and board" costs:
The registration fee paid directly to Blue Ridge Assembly covers the costs related to accommodation and meals. A full listing of the packages and registration prices are below.
Need based financial support for room and board costs is available for FPMT Sangha through the generosity of the International Mahayana Institute (IMI). For more information please contact Shiela Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are no camping facilities at the retreat venue.
Since the only fee being charged is for costs associated with a residential retreat (room and board), we are unable to offer work exchange options or discounts for those offering service in FPMT Centers.
A US$ 100. non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration either through the online registration system or by printing out the pdf registration form and mailing it to Blue Ridge Assembly. All deposits are subtracted from the total amount due. Deposits are non-refundable but transferable to a replacement participant until April 1st. All deposit transfers must be requested in writing to Erin Lucas, Assistant Director of Guest Services, Blue Ridge Assembly via email email@example.com. The remaining balance after the deposit is due on arrival at Blue Ridge Assembly.
2. The spiritual program costs:
We are depending upon donations to cover the entire cost of the spiritual program.
Kadampa Center never wants money to be an obstacle for receiving the Dharma, so we never charge a fee for the teachings at the Center. We continue this practice for Light of the Path 2014 Retreat, relying on generous benefactors to cover the spiritual program costs which are budgeted to be near US$ 70,000. These costs include bringing Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche and entourage to North Carolina, creating the gompa and supplying materials, as well as supporting ordained Sangha to attend. Quite literally, these teachings are not possible without the substantial support of donors.
Kadampa Center is relying on the generosity of all those who value these teachings – whether or not they are able to actually attend the retreat in person – to cover the program and teachings themselves.
Limitless merit is generated by supporting the spread of the Dharma, but we also wish to express our gratitude in this tangible way:
- US$ 10,000 and up gift – benefactors at this level will receive priority seating in the gompa, a Light of the Path 2014 t-shirt, a beautiful sandalwood mala blessed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and a copy of the Complete Works of Lama Atisha.
- US$ 5,000 to US$ 9,999 gift– benefactors at this level will receive priority seating in the gompa, a Light of the Path 2014 t-shirt, a beautiful sandalwood mala blessed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and your choice of one of two framed drawings by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
- US$ 2,500 to US$ 4,999 gift- benefactors at this level will receive priority seating in the gompa, a Light of the Path 2014 t-shirt, a Padmasambhava mantra crystal blessed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and an over door mantra drawing by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
- US$ 1,000 to US$ 2,499 gift– benefactors at this level will receive a Light of the Path 2014 t-shirt and a Padmasambhava mantra crystal blessed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
Need based support for room and board costs is available for ordained Sangha within the FPMT to attend the retreat through IMI. Please consider making a donation to IMI today to help the greatest number of ordained Sangha to attend this most beneficial retreat!
Retreat Packages and Prices
The available packages covering room and board are listed below - you can select any of these options when you register at Blue Ridge's website.
A) Full Retreat Package –--- Sunday, May 4th – Sunday May 18th, 2014
Cost includes 14 night lodging and meals with arrival on Sunday, May 4th and departure on Sunday, May 18th. Meals beginning with supper, Sunday, May 4th through breakfast, Sunday, May 18th are included in the rates listed below:
- Single Occupancy: Lee Hall $930
- Double Occupancy: Lee Hall $776
- Triple Occupancy: Hibbard Hall $724
- Quad Occupancy: Hibbard Hall $699
- Single Occupancy: Asheville Hall $1490
- Double Occupancy : Asheville Hall $1056
Early arrival for Light of the Path Retreat - for arrivals Friday May, 2nd or Saturday, May 3rd
- $ 22/per night - Lee Hall
- $ 62/per night - Asheville Hall
Extra Meals - Please note: unless you have transportation on site, extra meals are highly recommended as Blue Ridge is a fairly remote location.
- $ 14 – dinner Friday, May 2nd
- $ 9 – breakfast Saturday, May 3rd
- $ 11 – lunch Saturday, May 3rd
- $ 14 – dinner Saturday, May 3rd
- $ 9 – breakfast Sunday, May 4th
- $ 11 – lunch Sunday, May 4th
- $ 11 – lunch Sunday, May 18th
B) Weeklong Packages: Sunday, May 4th – Sunday, May 11th, 2014 or Sunday May 11th – Sunday, May 18th, 2014
Cost includes seven nights lodging and meals with arrival on Sunday and departure the following Sunday. Meals beginning with supper, Sunday through breakfast, Sunday are included in the rates listed below:
- Single Occupancy: Lee Hall $468
- Double Occupancy : Lee Hall $391
- Triple Occupancy: Hibbard Hall $365
- Quad Occupancy: Hibbard Hall $352
- Single Occupancy: Asheville Hall $748
- Double Occupancy : Asheville Hall $531
C) Weekend Packages: Friday, May 9th – Sunday, May 11th, 2014 and/or Friday, May 16th – Sunday, May 18th, 2014
Cost includes two nights lodging and meals with arrival on Friday and departure on Sunday. Meals beginning with supper, Friday through breakfast, Sunday are included in the rates listed below:
- Single Occupancy: Lee Hall $138
- Double Occupancy : Lee Hall $116
- Triple Occupancy: Hibbard Hall $109
- Quad Occupancy: Hibbard Hall $105
- Single Occupancy: Asheville Hall $218
- Double Occupancy : Asheville Hall $156
Meals are included in the cost of accommodation. All meals are served buffet style in a private dining room. All meals will be vegetarian with vegan and gluten-free options. Please indicate any food allergies or concerns on the registration form.
The food is being prepared by a food service company hired by the retreat venue, so we do not have control over the food preparation. They have been fantastic about accepting menu suggestions and working with us. For those with severe allergies, we cannot guarantee that you will not encounter your allergen in meals prepared by the food service company. We urge you to discuss your allergy concerns directly with the food service company to ensure your protection. If you are unsure about the ingredients for any dish, you will need to ask the food service people on site. Our goal for the retreat is to provide filling and healthy meals for everyone to help sustain their practice and to accommodate as many dietary restrictions as possible.
Yes. We may take precepts for 12 out of the 14 days of the retreat. A light supper will be available during that time for those unable to take precepts. Please indicate on the registration form if you plan to eat dinner on most nights.
It is strongly encouraged not to use cell phones, internet and email during the retreat in order to fully participate and reflect on the teachings during free time. It can also be disruptive for other participants. For emergencies and unavoidable situations, wireless internet service is available in most locations on the site, but NOT in the rooms.
There are no laundry facilities on site. Please pack with this in mind. We will have a laundry day mid-way through the retreat with pickup and delivery from a local company at least once during the retreat. The cost in 2010 was US$ 11 per person.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaches in English. The teachings are simultaneously transcribed and projected on an overhead screen. The retreat will be contemporaneously translated into Spanish and French. The teachings and translations are broadcast on FM, so a radio with headphones is needed for other languages. Some people also found it easier to hear Rinpoche teaching in English using a radio with headphones. If you require a language other than English, Spanish or French, you will need to find a translator. FPMT centers in your region may be able to help with this.
All retreat participants must have an FPMT Retreat Prayer Book. English, Spanish, French and Chinese Prayer Books can be pre-ordered and picked up on arrival at Blue Ridge. The cost of the English book is US$ 40. Due to the small number of prayer books to be printed in other languages, please be advised that prayer books other than English will cost more than US$ 40. Price to be determined.
Note: If you have the retreat prayer book from either the 2010 Mani Retreat or the previous Light of the Path Retreats, you will not need a new book. Returning participants, please do not forget to bring your copies of The Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment and Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga. New participants will receive copies of both texts on arrival at Blue Ridge in the language indicated on the registration form.
Meditation cushions will be provided at the retreat but if you are a local participant, please consider bringing your own cushion. Chairs are also available.
• Tobacco use is not permitted anywhere on Assembly property.
• Pets are not permitted.
• No candles, incense, alcohol, decorative lighting, helium balloons, glitter, or confetti is permitted in any building.
• Mountain biking, inline skates, and skateboards are prohibited.
Blue Ridge Assembly was built over 100 years ago on hilly terrain, so the site is not fully handicapped accessible.
Washburn Hall (the gompa) and some of the accommodations are accessible. This year we will have a van available to assist a limited number of participants to and from the gompa on a scheduled basis. Please be sure to clearly indicate what support you will need during the retreat on the registration form. If mobility is an issue, please consider registering for accommodation in Asheville Hall. Bear in mind that even this can still be physically challenging, and contact Blue Ridge if you need to ask specifics about your room location and accessibility.
If you have special needs or questions, please contact us at Light of the Path Retreat.
For registration information about the 2014 Light of the Path Retreat in Spanish, please click here.