Gentleness is the Best Whip - Weekthun

with Donald Eckler

December 27th—January 2nd

Date details +
  • $450 Program Price
  • Or pay what you can afford

This seven-day retreat, also referred to as a weekthün in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, is an in-depth meditation retreat. It is a powerful introduction to and deepening of mindfulness-awareness meditation -- a technique that transforms how we relate to ourselves and everyday life.

"Gentleness is the Best Whip" is founded on the Shambhala principle that everyone, at their core, is worthy and complete. From this point of view, meditation is not so much a tool to fix ourselves or improve our abilities, but a powerful way to connect with the inherent goodness and wisdom within our present experience.

The daily meditation practice and routine of the retreat supports our journey of gently making friends with who we are and giving rise to our inherent fearlessness. The design of this program creates an atmosphere in which we can trust in the experience of truly feeling ourselves, the natural world, and human society.

Practice includes:

  • Sitting and walking meditation
  • Individual meditation instruction
  • Talks/Discussions
  • Study periods
  • Silence practice

Note: This program fulfills the weekthün practice requirement for those on the Shambhala Buddhist path.

Sample Daily Schedule

8:00 Breakfast Preparation
8:30 Breakfast
8:55 Group clean-up
9:00 Chants/Practice
9:35 Walk
9:50 Sit
10:20 Walk/Yoga
10:35 Sit
11:10 Walk
11:25 Sit/Lunch rota set-up
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Walk in Park (?)
1:30 Study/Nap
2:00 Reading  
2:10 Sit/Walk
3:00 Sit/Tea Prep.
3:15 Tea
3:45 Sit/Tea clean-up rota
4:00 Reading Circle
4:30 Sit
4:45 Closing Chants
5:00 End

About Donald Eckler

Donald Eckler has been a student of Chogyam Trungpa and Sakyong CMipham Rinpoche since the early 1970’s. For 37 years he was a teacher with the Toronto District School Board where he worked primarily with emotionally vulnerable children. He was responsible for designing and introducing the first class in the TDSB to integrate these sensitive, yet inherently good students into regular classrooms. He has had the good fortune to be a student, member, and teacher in the Shambhala Community for many years.

Retreat information

This retreat is open to everyone from beginning meditators to experienced practitioners.  This is a seven full-day retreat and participants are encouraged to attend the entire weekthün.

The retreat is open to those who wish to do a two day retreat, December 27 and 28.

If circumstances don't allow you to attend the full retreat, contact Donald Eckler at [email protected] to discuss options.

Note: The course price includes breakfast and lunch for seven days.

Online Registration

Please register for this program in advance by clicking on the "Click here to register" link below. After filling out the online registration form, you will have the option of paying online through PayPal using your credit card or PayPal account.  If you prefer not to pay online, you can pay by cash, card or cheque at the beginning of the program.

Note: If you cannot afford to pay the full program fee, see our generosity policy.