Silent Meditation Intensive: The Cradle of Loving-Kindness

Loden Nyima

May 5–7, 2023

Tuition $195 + 2 nights

Loden Nyima

In today’s speedy world, we are all in need of kindness to ourselves. This two-day practice intensive is designed for meditators looking to take a deep dive into their practice. This weekend is spent in silence to offer ourselves space to settle, on the sacred land of Drala Mountain Center and with an experienced instructor. This way, we practice befriending ourselves and uncovering our natural basic goodness.

With Friday as the arrival day to settle in, this retreat offers full days of meditation on both Saturday and Sunday. Minimal instruction on the practice of sitting meditation, walking meditation, and mindful eating will be offered.

Due to the largely silent container and minimal talks and instruction, this retreat is not intended as an initial introduction to meditation practice.

Please Note

This program ends at 8:15 pm on Sunday. You may wish to book lodging at SMC for Sunday evening to allow you to enjoy the evening and make a gentle transition, or you may wish to depart after the closing circle and before dinner.

To book extra lodging select “add extra night- 25% off” in the upper right-hand corner of the registration page.

Please see the FAQs below for more information.

Please review our current COVID-19 policy before visiting SMC. 

Tentative Schedule

Arrival Day (Friday)

2-5 pm   Arrival

5:00 pm   Orientation, Welcome

6:00-7:00 pm   Dinner

7:00-8:15 pm  Opening Session


Program Day (Saturday)

7:30 – 8:30 am   Breakfast

9:00 am – 12:00 pm   Meditation

12:30 – 1:30 pm  Lunch

1:30 – 3:00 pm   Rest/ROTA

3:00 – 6:00 pm   Meditation

6:00 – 7:00 pm   Dinner

7:30 – 8:15 pm   Mediation


Final Program Day (Sunday)

7:30 – 8:30 am   Breakfast

9:00 am – 12:00 pm   Meditation

12:30 – 1:30 pm   Lunch

1:30 – 3:00 pm   Rest/ROTA

3:00 – 6:00 pm   Meditation and Concluding Circle (at 5pm)*

6:00 – 7:00 pm   Dinner

7:30 – 8:15 pm   Optional Meditation in the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya*

FAQs About This Retreat

Q: How much meditation experience do I need to attend this retreat? Is instruction offered?

A: Meditation instruction is offered on Friday night, and on Saturday there are optional one-on-one meditation interviews with the instructor, and an optional talk Saturday night. This retreat is not designed to be a first introduction to meditation because it is primarily silent practice with the only guidance being what was just mentioned. We’ve had participants from quite a range of backgrounds enjoy the retreat, from people who have meditated briefly before and are looking to go further, to long time practitioners seeking to reconnect through a weekend retreat.

Q: What kind of meditation is practiced? Is it a formal loving-kindness meditation?

A: It is not a formal loving-kindness practice. We will practice a basic sitting meditation called shamatha or “calm abiding”, primarily using our breathing as the support. The spirit of the practice is that we totally welcome everything in our experience just the way it is, and that itself is a profound act of loving-kindness to ourselves and eventually to others. Taking time out of our lives to settle into silence and practice this way is the cradle of loving kindness we’re referring to.

Q: Where can I read more about this approach to meditation here?

A: Our founder Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s book Mindfulness in Action: Making Friends with Yourself Through Meditation and Everyday Awareness is a great source, and copies will be available during the retreat as well.

Q: How long are the meditation sessions? Do I have to sit for three hours straight?

A: We practice sitting meditation for thirty minutes at a time, with a ten minute walking meditation in between. So for example in the morning session from 9am – 12pm, we alternate thirty minute sitting meditations and ten minute walking meditations that entire time. There are also resting postures that can be used at any point during the sessions.

Q: Can I sit in a chair?

A: Absolutely! And the instructor can assist you in finding the right posture for your body or making adjustments due to discomfort.

Q: What is Drala Mountain Center’s position on sexual misconduct issues in Shambhala?

A: DMC is unequivocally dedicated to providing a safe and responsive environment, and regards sexual misconduct as totally against our teachings and what we stand for. Under the “About” tab of our website, you can find our Code of Ethics and also our institutional responses in the Misconduct in Shambhala section.

Loden Nyima

Gelong Loden Nyima is a fully ordained Buddhist monk. He lived at Gampo Abbey from 2009 – 2017 where he practiced intensively, completed a cycle of advanced studies (Shedra), and served in various roles including as a senior teacher. He now lives at Drala Mountain Center where he serves as Resident Teacher and a founding faculty member for the Path of Meditation, the Summer Seminar, and other programs. He spends a portion of each year in retreat, travels to continue his own dharma education, and can often be seen jogging around the land at DMC.

Program Details

Registration takes place from 2 - 5 pm on your program start date. All participants and volunteer staff must check in at our Guest Registration house. Please arrive before 5 pm to check-in and settle into your accommodations. Your program begins with orientation at 5pm in the program space, followed by dinner and an evening session. The Guest Registration house closes at 5 pm after which no one is available to provide information or orient you to your accommodations. This program ends at 8:15 pm on the program's departure date. Further specifics regarding your program's schedule will be available upon arrival. If applicable, you will receive an email from the program coordinator in the week prior to your program with any additional information you may need.