NOTE: Due to COVID-19 restrictions and limitations, our 2021 schedule might be different than this. Our ability to sit together in formal group meditation sessions might be impacted by social distancing and masking practices. The following schedule is our normal routine in ordinary years. This year, depending on how public health guidelines evolve, we might spend more time in solitary meditation and/or outdoors.
After we introduce ourselves to one another, there will be an orientation session covering our schedule and the format of our group practice, etc.
Monday – Friday
6:15 Wake Up
Wake up. At our “meditation hall” (Marshman, for those familiar with Star Island) there will be yoga mats available, if you want to get there early.
6:45 – 8:00 Meditation
We begin our formal schedule of silent meditation together with a brief tea ceremony. Then there are two half-hour sitting sessions, with a walking meditation in between.
8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast
Breakfast is available buffet-style in the dining hall. We remain silent during this period.
9:30 – 12:00 Meditation
This is our main formal time together, consisting entirely of silent meditation, alternating periods of sitting meditation and walking meditation.
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch
Our schedule becomes informal in the afternoon. At lunch, some of us may wish to chat peacefully, while others may wish to remain silent, but we’ll all try to eat mindfully and savor the flavors.
1:30 – 5:30 Nature Contemplation & Free Time
During this period, participants are encouraged to engage in some sort of personal spiritual practice. This is a splendid time to head out to the rocks or sit under a tree to contemplate nature. Or it could be a time for practicing yoga or tai chi. Our meditation hall is always available for continued sitting.
Once we are relaxed and peaceful from meditating all day, we will be primed for all of Star’s traditional enjoyments — like visiting the snack bar for a Lime Ricky, lounging in a rocking chair on the hotel porch, visiting the Marine Lab or the Art Barn. Toward the end of the day many of us opt to be social. Some will remain silent all day, while others will take some time to get to know each other. When breaking the silence, participants are advised to remain mindful and speak deliberately, careful not to go “hog wild”.
There will be various other one-time activites in the afternoons. For example, early in the week, there will be a gathering for beginners to ask questions and seek advice. If the weather is tempestuous, we will have a fireplace going. There are various walks led by the island’s Naturalist or Historian. And David Scheuneman will be available for one-to-one consultation and “process facilitation”.
5:30 – 6:30 Social Hour
Before dinner we have a social hour to nibble on crackers, and compare notes on our day’s experiences. (Again, those remaining silent might skip this.)
6:30 – 7:30 Dinner
Another chance to meditate on flavors and get to know each other better.
8:15 – 9:00 Chapel
Right after the usually-spectacular sunset, we will gather for a candlelight chapel service.