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Mountains and Rivers Hiking Retreat

  • Monday, August 15, 2016
  • 5:00 PM (PDT)
  • Friday, August 19, 2016
  • 6:00 PM (PDT)
  • Hawk Meadow Farm 1102 E. Kelly Rd, Bellingham and Mount Baker Wilderness
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  • Members can also consider if they'd like to give higher on the sliding scale to further support the sangha. Note that dana for the hike leader is chosen separately.

Registration is closed

Our original wilderness excursion: now in it's 16th year. An introductory day plus a three-day meditation backpack onto the slopes of Mount Baker.

Inspired by Dogen's Mountains and Rivers Sutra (Sansuikyo), this retreat includes silent backpacking through a beautiful old growth hemlock forest to a seldom-visited base camp at Mazama Park, just south of Mount Baker at the foot of Park Butte. Activities include traditional Zen practice, a short solo exercise, and opportunities for day hiking. The retreat is appropriate for new meditators and beginning backpackers.

The group prepares for the mountains in the lowlands with an evening of meditation, day program in nature awareness, and Native American sweat lodge. The first two nights of this program are at Hawk Meadow Farm outside Bellingham, followed by two nights on the slopes of Mount Baker.


Arrive at the FarmMonday  5pm-7pm, gather at Hawk Meadow Farm to meet the hike participants and arrange your sleeping space for Monday and Tuesday night at the Farm.

Sit in the Grove (All Sangha Welcome) -  Monday 7pm - 9pm, all are welcome to gather at Hawk Meadow Farm for an evening of zazen, kinhin, and a short Dharma Talk in the cedar grove.  Please arrive 15 minutes early to find the grove and get settled. You might bring a flashlight.

Exploring Hidden Mountain - Tuesday 9am - 3pm. Engaging the senses and slowing down together in the rich natural area around Hawk Meadow Farm.

Packing & Preparation - Tuesday 3pm - 5pm. An essential time to get our packs together, ready for a early departure on Wednesday morning.

Native American Sweat Lodge  - Tuesday 7pm - 10pm, facilitated by Rob Staveland, Northern Cheyenne-trained lodge teacher. A powerful ritual of purification and setting intentions. Sangha members not coming on the Mountains and Rivers are also invited to join in this evening of ritual. RSVP to Bob Penny (bobpenny1253@gmail.com / 360-927-5702) for details.

Going to the Mountain - Early Wednesday morning we leave for Mount Baker. Our trailhead is 2 hours drive away. Hiking in to our base camp in silence we will spend two nights in the wilderness. 

3-day Backpack: We hike into our base camp on Wednesday, hiking in silence and stopping for trail-side rituals along the way. At our base camp in Mazama Park we establish a zendo and practice all day Thursday. Hiking out on Friday.

Returning from the Mountain. We generally reach the trailhead again on Friday between 3pm and 5pm arriving back at Hawk Meadow Farm in Bellingham between 5pm and 7pm. This is a hiking event so return time can vary. 

More Details

Cost includes group backpacking gear, breakfasts, dinners, and trail parking passes. Participants bring their own trail lunches and snacks and must provide a full set of backpacking equipment.

NOTE: The base cost for this retreat does not, however, provide any compensation to the teachers.  Instruction for our Wilderness Retreat programs are offered on a dana basis (see below).

HAWK MEADOW FARM (1102 E. Kelly Road, Bellingham) MAP AND DIRECTIONS: Take Sunset Drive from I-5, drive by the Sunset Square Shopping Center going East, take a left on Hannegan, drive 3 miles, right on Kelly Road, drive exactly 1/2 mile, turn left immediately after a brown house (look for a reflective blue address marker for "1102"). Drive to the end of the long 1/4 mile driveway and turn right into the parking area for Hawk Meadow Farm.

Registration required, please click the "Register" button on the left to being the process.

There will be an opportunity during registration to make a dana offering if you choose (details on Dana Paramita here) and you may also make a dana offering at any time on the Dana page. Unlike our "indoor" retreats dana is not generally collected during the event.

Contact Wilderness Programs Coordinator Bob Penny at bobpenny1253@gmail.com or 360-927-5702 with questions and see our Wilderness Programs webpage for an overview of this program.

www.RedCedarZen.org     360-389-3444     registrar@redcedarzen.org
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