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Retreats: Frequently Asked Questions

What are Retreats like?

Excellent question! We have "A Guide to Retreats" available for you to view to learn all about our retreats!

You can find it under the 'Retreats' Menu of this website labeled "Retreat Info Package". Or visit of these links:

How do I register for a retreat?

We have a comprehensive guide on how to register for our retreats available on our website under the 'Retreats' menu, labelled "Registration Guide".

Or, you may also go to this link to access the registration guide: https://truclam.ca/registrationguide

What should I bring?

We have a packing list available in our Retreat Info Guide under Appendix II A: Packing Checklist.

You can also view it by clicking the 'Retreats' section of the website, and scrolling down to the bottom of the page under 'Resources'>'Checklists'

Where is the retreat hosted?

Our retreats are normally hosted at Westlock Meditation Centre.

Address:

58012 Range Rd 270, Busby, AB T0G 0H0, CANADA

Here is a google maps link: (Click Here)

How far is it from Edmonton and the Edmonton International Airport (YEG)?

It is a 55-minute (73km) drive from the city and 1 hour and 5 minutes (101km) from the airport.

What should I wear?

Westlock Meditation Center is a practice center and monastery home to diverse cultures. To respect and support our collective energy of practice, we ask everyone always to wear modest, loose-fitting clothes.

Please wear only clothes that fully cover your shoulders, chest, back and legs past the knees. You may find a light shawl handy in Summer. Please do not wear shorts, hot pants, tank tops, short dresses, etc. If your clothing is too revealing, you may not be able to enter the Meditation Halls. These are sacred spaces.

Simple, casual clothing that’s easy to wash is best.

Please note: If you are coming in Winter, we recommend you bring plenty of layered clothes for wet, windy and cold weather, as well as for our drafty, modest accommodation.

What are the accommodations like?

At Westlock Meditation Center, we can accommodate up to 750 retreatants. All accommodations in Westlock Meditation Center is communal. Most living areas and all rooms are shared to encourage community living and mutual support in our practice. We cannot provide single rooms.

 

All beds are bunk beds.

 

Males will stay in male dormitories, and females will stay in the female dormitories. We are flexible if you bring infants and young children who wish to remain with their parents during retreats.

When should I arrive for the retreat and when should I depart?

We ask you to arrive at least one day before the retreat begins so you can acquaint yourself with your surroundings and facilities. You can depart the night after the end of the last day of retreat or the days after. If you wish to stay longer or there is a change in your travel itinerary, please get in touch with the registration office so we can sort it correctly.

Are there any fees?

There is no fee. We'd be happy to receive donations if you wish to make donations. Your contribution helps us maintain and develop the monastery campus, grounds, and facilities to create a healing and peaceful environment for your retreat and future generations.

What are meals like?

All meals are vegetarian. We eat our meals together in mindfulness. We usually have 15-20 minutes of silent eating at the start of lunch and dinner, and breakfast is usually entirely silent. Eating in silence helps us appreciate the food deeply and cherish the presence of those around us.

We regret that we cannot cater to specific individual dietary requirements or medical needs nor provide cooking or refrigeration facilities. Please bring your own supplements (or allergy replacements) as necessary.

Accessibility

We do not have rooms with wheelchair access and no dedicated parking (retreatants need to provide their own wheelchair).

We also recommend that retreatants with certain disabilities come with a friend/family who may provide extra support during their stay, because currently our accessible facilities and resources are limited and under development.

Bedding

Mattresses, pillows, sheets, duvets, and covers are provided. In the cooler/colder months, you should bring a sleeping bag or extra blanket for extra warmth.

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