The Way of Contentment

This has been an extended and beautiful spring season. As I sit here this morning I am aware that the morning temperature was cool at 63 degrees, the air was refreshing, sweet, a gentle breeze stirred the tree leaves which were animated and dancing, the sky was a true sky blue, bright and clear. At times like this my heart swells and I feel so grateful to be living this life. I hope you are also filled with this deep contentment.

Experiencing a deep sense of satisfaction is something that many of us rarely experience and when we do it often is such a surprise because we are reaching ahead, looking for the next best thing to achieve or make happen. We have missed the moment rather than meeting the moment and this phenomenon of distractibility and striving to have a better moment leaves us with a sense of boredom, ennui, and disappointment. This longing for life to be more than it is, is a pernicious snake wrapped around our bodies suffocating us, stifling our breathing, emptying our life force and spirit.

In mindfulness practice we are encouraged to embrace the present and pay attention on purpose to this one and only life. We can perceive as an artist sees the intricate patterns of a butterfly’s wing, touching the smoothness of a river rock while experiencing its texture, hearing the subtle whirling of the hummingbird hovering over an orange hue flowering shrub or the winds of late, flapping the tree branches.

It is beneficial to be aware of both why and how we strive for more, what takes us away, and what brings us back to a sense of fulfillment. Knowing the causes and conditions are essential to this practice. This recognizing brings us to a place of inner insight and allows us the opportunity to work with the situation, however it is. We can choose. I would like to share this prose piece with you from David Whyte that speaks to this so simply: “Enough”

These few words are enough, if not these words, this breath...
If not this breath, this sitting
this opening to the life we have refused
again and again until now. Until now.

In this moment of epiphany
this opening to the life we have refused
again and again
until NOW.

One of the gifts of our practice is a teaching by the Buddha; a well-trodden path to walk that can lead us to this contentment. It is known as The Eightfold Path to Happiness, a road map providing all the steps to peace and freedom.

In Loving Kindness,



All prices include 3 vegetarian meals per day.

Casita Manzanita

A cozy comfortable eco-friendly straw bale 2 private bedrooms – (1 Queen, 1 Single) fully-equipped kitchen, sitting area, shared bath with cast iron bathtub/shower, sliding door to outside patio, wood burning stove and front porch.

 Sleeps 2. Cost per person is $595.  - 2 spots left

Dharmatory Yurt

Our 30 ft. Mongolian style yurt with pine flooring offers a more rustic lodging option and includes 4 fully partitioned single-bed rooms, a main sitting area, electric hot water kettle, and running hot/cold water sink. Two composting toilets are located nearby.
(Sleeps 4) - Cost per person is $440 - 1 spot left.

Airstream Camp Trailer

Private, well maintained classic vintage trailer.  Wide single bed, extra sitting room, electric, no kitchen or bath.
Sleeps 1Cost per person is $545 - 1 spot left

AlpenLite Camp Trailer

Large comfy fully furnished trailer - 1 double bed in separate room, 1 single bed (in main salon area shared with full kitchen), convenient desk/chair, and shared full bathroom.
(Sleeps 2 persons) - Cost per person is $580 - 2 spots left

Moon Palace (glamping)

We offer 3 private large size sturdy hexagon tents (Shift Pods) made with reflective material and synthetic down thermal insulation - ours are designated for single occupancy, or 2 cozy friends.  Each moon palace has one single bed with frame, (can include extra one futon or pad); with electricity option if needed.

Sleeps 1 - Cost per person is $395 - these spots are all filled.


There are 4 nice camping sites for tents or a camp trailer. 

Cost per person is $350 - the camping spots are all filled. If we end up with enough room in the meditation hall we may open additional camping spots. Please contact the registrar for details.


Residential Retreat Mindful Job List

Before and After the Retreat

Coordinate Airport Shuttle – this person coordinates a shuttle, to and from the airport, for those arriving from out of town.  This is a good job for someone arriving from out of town that needs a ride to the retreat center.

Help with Retreat Set-up  – helps with the physical set-up of the retreat at the retreat center  and getting the supplies to COD Ranch. This will be done the day before the retreat in the morning.

Help with Retreat Teardown at the End  – helps with the physical teardown of the retreat at the end, and loads the supplies that go back to TCMC.

Greeters –  assist the registrar with welcoming guests to COD, and showing them to their rooms if necessary.  Greeters need to arrive a few minutes early.

Flowers – bring a bouquet of flowers for the front of the meditation hall.

Parking Coordinator –  manage parking at the retreat center as people arrive. Make sure the cars are clear from the roads leading to the rooms so that walking meditation can be done

Bring snacks for the yaza (all night sit)) (Shinzen Retreat Only) .  The snacks can include nuts, trail mix, chocolate, cookies, etc.  The expenses can be reimbursed up to $25 with a receipt.

Help Coordinate the Sweat Lodge (Shinzen Retreat Only): Will pass out maps to sweat lodge location and coordinate the food for the feast afterward.  Help coordinate rides to the sweat lodge location.  This will be done after the retreat ends.

Purchase Sweat Lodge Supplies: Purchase a list of items such as bottled water, cups, plates, etc for the sweat lodge, and bring them to the retreat. You will be reimbursed for the expense, and you don't necessarily need to attend the sweat lodge

Assist with Shinzen's book sales:  Make a sign and set up book display. Collect any money received daily and give it to the retreat registrar.  Make sure the book inventory matches the number of books sold.

During the Retreat

 Zendo Manager for the A.M. - Cares for and manages the Zendo (meditation hall) to insure that it is a comfortable welcoming place to practice. Manages temperature of the space, based on temperature set by retreat manager.

Zendo Manager for the P.M. - Cares for and manages the Zendo (meditation hall) to insure that it is a comfortable welcoming place to practice. Manages temperature of the space, based on temperature set by retreat manager.

Mindfulness Movement -  lead a mindful movement session in the morning. This can be yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, somatic movement etc. It is prefered if you have experience leading group mindful movement sessions.

Help with Yaza (Shinzen Retreat Only) - help coordinate the Yaza (all night sit)

Bell Ringing Coordinator – coordinates the bell ringing volunteers.

Sit leader Coordinator  – coordinates volunteer sit leaders.

Sound and Recording (Shinzen Retreat Only) –  record dharma talks during the retreat. Training will be provided.

Kitchen Liaison – work with the kitchen staff and retreatants to address any concerns or questions that arise during the retreat.

Maintain Flowers – maintain the flowers at the front of the meditation hall. Give them fresh water, etc.

Check Emergency Number Voice Mail -  check the emergency number voice mail for messages 3 times per day.

You may pay your final balance for the Arinna 2018 retreat by clicking the Buy Now button below.  After the PayPal screen appears  enter the balance due next to Item Price.  Then click the Update link which is below the item price.  The balance due  was on your email registration confirmation.  You may pay either by Paypal or with a credit card.  If you wish to pay by credit card, choose the "Don't have a Paypal account link on the PayPal screen, and you can enter your credit card information.  

It costs TCMC approximately $2100 per month to operate.  If you would like to make a donation to the TCMC General Fund to support day to day operations use the button below.  If you would like to make a donation to support the future needs to TCMC or to help support our new building please go the Friends of TCMC Program Page