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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: Thursday, September 14 at 2:00 pm - Monday, September 18, 2023 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: Thursday, September 14 at 2:00 - 3:00 pm

    • Retreat and lodging check in

    • Camp orientation and review of policies

    • Assignment of yogi jobs

    • Social hour before dinner

    • After dinner: Welcome and opening of retreat, enter silence

  • Friday, September 15 - Sunday, September 17 (in silence)

    • Guided group meditation, awareness in every posture, Dharma sharing and Q+A, unstructured time to explore and practice in nature (wilderness buddy system, if requested)

    • Individual or small group interviews with teachers

    • Schedule will be posted daily

  • Monday, September 18

    • Group meditation time and continued awareness practice 

    • Closing session after lunch

    • Retreat ends at 2:00 pm.

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 from most to least expensive.

  • Basic: basic cost of housing, three meals/day for four days and 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 SHARED 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 $1.00 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, which will be encouraged at the end of the retreat

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

  • 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 logistics 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.”

Scholarships 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

  • We ask that all retreatants are fully healthy and free of infectious disease and recent exposures prior to coming to this wilderness retreat. (The closest pharmacy and medical facilities are more than an hour away from the lodge).

  • Although the presence of epidemic and prevalent disease(s) in our country will change between your registration and September 14th, we ask that all retreatants be vaccinated with a Covid Omicron-specific booster and be willing to bring and wear an N95 or KN95 mask during inside activities, if necessary, based on disease prevalence. The booster requirement may change if new boosters become available. 

  • Please contact Open Door if you have a cold or cough in the days preceding the retreat.

  • If there has been a surge in the prevalence of Covid or another epidemic infectious disease at the time of the retreat, we will ask you to perform two rapid tests at home prior to the retreat start. 

    • Please take your first home test on Tuesday prior to the retreat start.

    • Take a second home test on Thursday morning prior to departing home or hotel for the retreat. Both 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 will take on the second day of the retreat.

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

  • Check back one month before retreat for changes in policy. In addition please do not come to the retreat with any cold or other recent infectious disease.

Cancellation Policy

  • If canceled before 

    • May 14, 2023: 75% of registration refunded minus $75 cancellation fee

    • June 15, 2023: 50% of registration refunded minus $75 cancellation fee 

    • July 7, 2023: 25% of registration fee refunded minus $75 cancellation fee

  • After July 7, no refunds to registrants are possible due to Open Door Meditation Community’s financial responsibility to pay AMC in full for the entire camp rental by July 7, 2023. 

  • If unforeseen circumstances arise between July 7 and August 14 (up to one month before the retreat), any registrant who must cancel will be provided with the contact information for the next several people on the waitlist, if a waitlist exists.

    • The $75 administration and registration fee for the new attendee will be the responsibility of the person canceling after July 7,  2023, and not the waitlisted person. The fee supports the administrative work necessitated by such a change.

    • The person canceling will be fully responsible for obtaining payment directly from the waitlisted person. No refunds from the Open Door retreat fund will be possible. (Replacement person must be the same gender as the canceling person if they originally registered for non-mixed housing.)

    • This option cannot be offered after August 14, 2023.

  • In case of medical emergencies after August 14 that preclude attending the retreat, Open Door volunteers can offer canceling retreatants the possibility of working with Appalachian Mountain Club to arrange for at least partial AMC (not retreat) credit for a future stay at an AMC Lodge.


  • 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 at (

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

Contact Information

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