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The Nature of Practice: An Awareness and Wisdom Insight Meditation Retreat
A four-day residential Insight Meditation retreat at AMC’s Medawisla Lodge and Cabins in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness sponsored by Open Door Meditation Community

When: Wednesday, September 11 at 2:00 pm - Sunday, September 15, 2024 at 2:00 pm

Where: Appalachian Mountain Club’s Medawisla Lodge and Cabins

                    Medawisla Access Road

                    (One hour beyond) Greenville, Maine 04441 (directions)

Taught by:  Alexis Santos and Susa Talan, Insight Meditation Teachers and Open Door Meditation Community’s Co-Founders

  • Arrival: Wednesday, September 11 at 2:00 - 3:00 pm

    • 12:00 - 1:00 pm: Plan on passing through Greenville, Maine

    • 1:00 - 2:00 pm: Arrive at AMC Medawisla Lodge and Cabins on Second Roach Pond

    • 2:00 - 3:30 pm: Retreat check-in at lodge and move-in time

    • 2:00 - 3:30 pm: Orientation to facilities, lakefront, and trails

    • 4:00 pm: Welcome session/orientation; Yogi job instructions and sign up

    • 5:00 pm: Dinner

    • 7:00 pm: Opening sit, teacher introductions and talk; enter silence

  • Thursday, September 12 - Saturday, September 14 (in silence)

    • Guided group meditation, awareness in every posture, Dharma sharing and Q+A; unstructured time to explore and practice in nature

    • Individual or small group interviews with teachers (each attendee will have one or two opportunities to consult/share with a teacher during the retreat) 

    • Schedule will be posted daily

  • Sunday, September 15

    • Group meditation time and continued awareness practice in the morning

    • Lodging check out by mid morning

    • Retreat closing session after check out 

    • Retreat teaching officially ends at noon; teacher good-byes

    • Optional lakefront lunch at 12:30 pm (bag lunches provided by AMC Lodge)

    • Yogis are welcome to use waterfront/lodge/camp facilities/hiking trails the rest of the afternoon

Sample Schedule

Housing Options

  • Shared Cabin (with nearby shared bathhouse) or Shared Cabin (with shared in-cabin bathroom)

    • Shared rooms are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    • Option to sign up to share a room with partner/friend: You must both register on the same day and each enter the other’s name for the optional roommate prompt.

    • Option to request a single private room in either a cabin with a bathroom or a cabin with a nearby shared bathhouse for an extra fee. There are a limited number of private rooms for special accommodations.

    • “Bath in Cabin” indicates a hilltop cabin on the same level as the lodge. “Bathhouse Cabin” indicates a meadow cabin near waterfront a short walk downhill from the lodge.

  • Bunkhouse (with nearby shared bathhouse)

    • Each bunkhouse has four sections, each with two bunk beds (four beds).

    • Sections are separated by three-quarter walls and hallway privacy curtains.

    • Most sections will have only two people in them.

    • Bunkhouse registrants must bring their own linens, comforters or sleeping bags, as well as towels and washcloths.

    • Pillows, pillowcases, and extra blankets are provided.

Room and Board Rates

Room and board rates are listed below. Please note that many of the prices have been lowered from last year's rates.

  • Basic: basic cost of housing, three meals/day for four days, plus service fees

  • Community Sustainer: basic cost plus additional contribution to scholarship fund


Shared Room Information 

  • Retreat roommates will be assigned randomly based on gender preference at the end of each day during which registration remains open.

  • Special roommate requests are not guaranteed; however, if made on the same day during open registration, every effort will be made to accommodate the request if the following is done: 

    • You must register on the same day as your requested roommate, choose the same type of housing ticket, and provide their name and contact information (phone number and email) on your registration form.   

  • Wish to share a queen bed with a friend or partner? Purchase a BEDSHARE ticket. 

    • Choose PRIVATE ROOM type of housing for Primary Registrant.

    • At the same time, purchase a BEDSHARE ticket for the second person and enter their name and contact information (email and phone number). 

    • Both people will be assigned to the same queen-sized bed in a cabin type chosen by the Primary Registrant,

  • If retreat housing is full or the housing you require to attend the retreat is not available, please purchase a $2.00 placeholder ticket for the retreat waitlist. 

  • Feel free to enter any additional information in the "preferred housing" question of this ticketing option. There are limited spaces for this wilderness retreat, but we will contact you if additional housing becomes available.


  • Please note that costs do not include Dana for teachers or tips for the AMC staff members, both of which will be encouraged at the end of the retreat.

  • Ideally bring a check or cash for teachers as there is no Internet connectivity at the wilderness lodge.

  • Tips for the AMC staff can be offered using cash, check, or credit card. 

  • If you wish to offer Dana electronically before or after the retreat, you can find information about ways to offer Dana to the teachers and to Open Door on the Support page of the website (

Special Dietary Needs

  • Please know that AMC Lodges cannot accommodate severe food allergies due to logistical and kitchen space limitations that may result in cross contamination.

  • Any special dietary needs or special meal requests must be arranged in advance via AMC group reservations, using “Medawisla Meditation Retreat Diet“ as your subject line. Email Kevin Smith ( or call him at (603) 466-7610. This must be done by August first.

  • As part of your registration, you will be asked to check the box that states, “I agree to contact AMC to request any food accommodations within one week of registering.”

Scholarship Applications

  • There are a limited number of partial and a few full scholarships available.

  • Requests will be considered on a first-ask, first-serve basis, and they will be based on both the amount of financial need requested and the availability of funds. 

  • No documentation is required to request funding support.

  • To request, choose a $75 Scholarship Application Ticket when you register for the retreat. (Doing so does not guarantee a space at the retreat, but temporarily holds a bunkhouse spot until we can determine if the financial support you need is available.) 

  • Consider how much support is necessary for you to be able to attend the retreat.

  • Then please text (207) 699-0901 with specific financial inquiries.  A retreat volunteer will reach out to you and determine if we can accommodate your request. 

  • Should your request be granted we will apply the $75.00 toward your reduced price ticket. 

  • If we are unable to fund your request for financial support, your $75 will be refunded to you.

Health/Infectious Disease Policy

  • All retreat participants are encouraged to bring their prescription drugs and frequently used over-the-counter medications. There are no medical facilities nearby and the closest pharmacy is more than an hour away from the lodge, with limited hours and supplies.

  • Please bring hand sanitizer and wash hands frequently. We retreat in close quarters for hours at a time, so it's important to use care and compassion for all. 

  • Although the presence of epidemic and prevalent disease(s) in our country will change between your registration and September 11th, all retreatants are asked to have a Covid Omicron-specific booster no more than 1-2 years before this date, although it’s advisable to have the most recent one available to you. The booster requirement may change if new boosters become available. 

    • If there has been a surge in the prevalence of Covid at the time of the retreat, we will ask you to perform two rapid tests at home–one 48 hours prior to the retreat start (Monday, September 9th), and the other the morning before leaving for the wilderness (Wednesday, September 11th). 

      • Both of these tests must be negative for you to attend the retreat. 

      • If instructed to do so, please bring along a third rapid test that you may be asked to take on the second day of the retreat.

  • Attendees are asked to bring and, if necessary, wear N95 or KN95 masks during indoor activities  based on disease prevalence at the time of the retreat and/or teacher concerns. 

    • Anyone who develops a sore throat or cold while at the retreat should immediately mask to protect others and notify the retreat staff of any coughing, fever, or GI illness. 

    • Open Door supports anyone who chooses to remain masked for the entire retreat for their own health reasons. 

  • Please contact Open Door at if you have a significant exposure or a cold or cough in the days preceding the retreat. In the two days before the retreat, call the AMC Medawisla Lodge directly (at 207-349-0437) and leave a message for retreat directors.

  • Check back one month before the retreat for changes in infectious disease conditions and updated policy. Any Covid testing requirements will be outlined in your August retreat information email. 

Cancellation Policy

  • ​First cancellation period  

    • ​March 15 - May 31, 2024: 70% of registration refunded minus $75 cancellation fee

  • Second cancellation period​

    • June 1 - August 1, 2024: 35% of registration refunded minus $75 cancellation fee

  • After August 1, no refunds to registrants can be guaranteed due to Open Door Meditation Community’s financial responsibility to pay AMC in full for the entire camp rental. 

  • Once the retreat is fully subscribed, it may be possible for us to facilitate the selling of your canceled ticket to the next person on the waitlist (minus the non-refundable administrative fee of $75).


  • Open Door Support: For specific questions about lodging, roommates, program, etc., email the retreat team at  ( )

  • AMC Staff: General questions about housing, wilderness camp, meals at Medawisla

    • Call (603) 466-2727 and select option #2 (Group Sales)

    • Go to the AMC website ( and search articles or use the new chat feature

    • For further questions regarding Medawisla cabin/bunkhouse lodging, email our AMC contact person, Penny Miller (

    • Dietary requests: Kevin Smith ( or (603) 466-7610.

Contact Information

The wilderness retreat is currently full, however we encourage you to sign up for the waitlist. We anticipate spots opening up over the summer due to cancellations. Click below to purchase a waitlist ticket for $2. ​


Questions: Contact us at​

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