On 31 December, 40 people began our 9th annual ‘Snows Retreat’. Coming from England, Ireland, Switzerland, United States, Canada, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Spain, Germany, France and Scotland. For the next 3 months they will live and meditate together in complete silence. Having arrived from many different parts of the world …

… they still had to get up the track…

… and through a few gates…

… meeting the neighbours on the way…

Nearly there….

Arrived at last! Then, after a few days of rest…

The retreat began with Je Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugdan empowerments…

Our ‘Snows Retreat’ got off to a great start!

For some of the retreaters, snow is quite a new experience…

…but hopefully not for our Snow Team whose job it is to keep the paths clear

Having accomplished physical retreat and verbal retreat, now for mental retreat…

… both in the meditation session…

… and in the meditation break

It is also important in the breaktimes to go for walks – whatever the weather!

Sometimes there is even a view…

… the natural landscape helps the mind to become more expansive

In addition to the group retreat there are also retreaters in solitary 3 year retreat

Many activities support the retreat such as preparing lunch for the solitary retreaters…

…and bringing it to them

Unloading deliveries – even our foodstore is down a track –

…and keeping the retreaters warm

There are many jobs to do in the office too

Alongside the Snows Retreat, Tharpaland’s normal weekly teaching programmes continue…

Our weekly FP class…

… relocated to a student’s house in Dumfries for the duration of the retreat

Meanwhile back at Tharpaland everything is peaceful and the retreat continues…