risingfalling
risingfalling
Dharma work with Chris McKenna & Megan Cowan
 
 
 
 

Pyramid Retreats

Travel/Getting Here
What to Bring
Daily Schedule & Practice Style
Pre-Retreat 1:1 Session

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Getting Here

Our address

The Pyramid House
1404 Beddis Road
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
v8K 2C9
Canada

Getting here is easy/not easy. There are numerous ways to get here, including sea plane if you wish!

Below are the best options we have found. Feel free to dig around yourself.

 

Driving

Two options (which is best will depend on where you are coming from).

  1. Drive to Vancouver and ferry from the Tsawwassen Terminal to Long Harbor on Salt Spring Island (3 hours, Reservations are recommended). Then, it’s a 20-minute drive to our house.

  2. Drive to Port Angeles, WA and ferry to Victoria (90-minutes). Then, drive to Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal (30 minutes) and ferry to Salt Spring Island (35 minutes). Then, a 20-minute drive to our house.

Flying

  • You will fly to Vancouver or Victoria (preferred). There are some good flights to Victoria and in general will be an easier airport for most of you.

  • From the Victoria airport you drive (or taxi) to the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal (15 minutes).

  • Take the ferry to Salt Spring Island (35 minutes).

  • Drive (or taxi) to our house (20 minutes)

OR

  • From the Vancouver airport you drive (or taxi) to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal (30 minutes).

  • Take the ferry to Salt Spring Island (3 hours, Reservations are recommended).

  • Drive (or taxi) to our house (20 minutes)

 

 

Links to taxi & ferry schedules

Please note – reception is bad at Fulford Harbor, so have directions pulled up ahead of time! Also, Ferry reservations are strongly recommended in the summer months (only if you have a vehicle). Vehicle reservations are particularly important if you are traveling on the Tsawwaasen--Long Harbour route.

Carpooling – about 1 month before retreat, I will send an email to everyone requesting travel plans. There you will be able to offer or request a ride according to people’s plans and availability. On most retreats, people have been able to car-share from the airport or do pick ups at the ferries

Directions from Fulford Harbor Ferry to Our House

Although getting from the ferry to our house is not too complicated, the directions that Google and Apples Maps give are slightly confusing. Here are simplified directions you can use instead. Cut and paste them into your phone before you get to Fulford as cell reception is not the greatest there.

  • As you drive off the ferry, you will automatically be on Fulford-Ganges Rd. Drive up Fulford-Ganges past the small village of Fulford (about 300 meters).

  • Take a right onto Beaver Point Rd. (the first right-hand turn after you leave Fulford). Stay on Beaver Point Rd. for 2.5 km.

  • Take a left on Stewart Rd. (Steward dead ends into a Beaver Point Rd.) Take Stewart about 3.5 km until it dead ends into Cusheon Lake Rd.

  • Take a right on Cusheon Lake Rd., which dead ends into Beddis Rd. in about 800 meters. Take a right on Beddis and continue for about 1.5 km. Our house will be on the left. You will see a Pyramid!

 

What To Bring (Essentials)

  • Passport!

  • Check the weather! Winter is cold, rainy and possibly snowy, Summer is warm ;)

  • Clothes and shoes according to weather.

  • It’s a short walk between the pyramid and the house, so slip on shoes are nice but not necessary. House slippers are nice in the winter.

  • Clothes for sitting and easy movement indoors.

  • Sleeping Bag (please check with me if you cannot bring a sleeping bag – we do have some bedding.)

  • Any special cushions you need for sitting practice (we have chairs and zafus.)

  • Toiletries

  • Towel (we have some)

  • Journal and pen

  • A time piece other than a cell phone is suggested

  • Water bottle

  • Flashlight or headlamp for short walk between pyramid and house at night.

  • There is a sauna. Bring a bathing suit!

 
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Schedule & Style of Practice

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Rough Schedule

Wednesday

3-5pm Arrival
6pm Dinner
7:30-9pm Session

Thursday-Saturday

7-8am Session
8am Breakfast
9:00-12:00 Session
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:00 Free Time
3:00-6:00 Session
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:30-8:30 Session
8:30 Optional Practice

Sunday

7-8am Session
8am Breakfast
9am Depart

Practice Style

When less restricted by secular requirements, our teaching references the contemplative traditions of many religions, but is most influenced by Buddhism, Shamanism, and contemporary nondual teachings, as well as science and modern Western Psychology.

In a secular setting, mindfulness and meditation are often implicitly framed as a self-help strategy. Our relationship to practice, and our deepest interest in sharing it with others, is that of realizing the true nature of the human experience, and the wisdom, compassion and freedom that arise from that seeing.

In many ways, the secular framework and the spiritual framework are not in conflict. They both teach awareness, presence, and intention. But, the self-help framework tends to imply that practice leads to a better and better life, in an uninterrupted upward improvement. For both of us, the path of practice has innumerable ups and downs. The willingness to practice comes from a deep sense that there is something beyond the basics of life, not just “better” basics.

One does not need to start with that particular interest. Many people these days start practice through the “be more present” appeal. We find that, particularly when one goes on retreat, the sense of what is possible, what makes up this being human, and what cultivates happiness, naturally evolves.

From that context, the retreat will include silent sitting meditation, casual walking meditation, bringing presence and awareness into our “in-between” activities, and silent and non-silent meals together. During our sessions in the meditation space, we will also have instruction, dialogue, and the chance to address what is coming up in practice in real-time.

Usually, when we decide to go on retreat, things start churning long before we arrive to the retreat. Something in us knows we have just agreed to face ourselves more honestly, and the heart and mind start the journey. So, if obstacles or challenges are arising, or your inner world suddenly has a tumultuous quality, trust in the wisdom of this process as a support on your journey to deepening.

 

1:1 Session with Megan or Chris

It is not required, but if you’d like us to have a sense of how practice and life are going for you, it will help us be more nuanced and specific on retreat.

If you’d like to have a 1 hr session before retreat, they are $125 and can be scheduled by clicking below.

 
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