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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


Program Description

This four-day Insight Meditation retreat will support attendees’ exploration of awareness and the development of wisdom through the practice of insight meditation in daily life in a natural setting. In addition to daily dharma talks and formal practice, there will be ample opportunity to practice out of doors and take advantage of the beautiful lake and surrounding forest to explore mindfulness in nature. This retreat will be appropriate for meditators of all experience levels. Click here for a sample schedule.


Alexis Santos and Susa Talan have extensive experience as Insight Meditation practitioners and have co-taught together at IMS and other retreat centers. Alexis and Susa are the co-founders of Open Door Meditation Community and co-led the first Open Door Sangha Maine Wilderness Insight Meditation Retreat at Medawisla Lodge in 2022. We are excited to have the opportunity to practice with Alexis and Susa again this year. For more information about Alexis, click here. For Susa's bio, click here.


The retreat will take place at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Medawisla Lodge and Cabins in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness, an awe-inspiring setting with comfortable accommodations and delicious, healthful meals. AMC has a long-standing commitment to sustainable operations and environmental stewardship. The main lodge, where our sangha will gather to practice and to enjoy our meals, is solar-powered. In addition, Medawisla (Abanaki for loon) is located on land that has been designated an International Dark Sky Park and is one of the best places for stargazing in the region. Finally, the lodge is accessible by car on a graded dirt road. There is no need to walk or backpack in.

Housing Options

Most accommodations will be in shared rooms with a bathhouse and/or lodge bathrooms nearby. Lodging choices include hilltop cabins with bathrooms (on the same level as the lodge), meadow cabins near the lake with shared bathhouses (a short walk downhill from the lodge), and comfortable bunkhouses in both locations with shared bathhouses. A limited number of private or semi-private rooms will be available for special needs sleeping accommodations on a first-come, first-serve basis only. For more information about housing options and prices, click here.

Recreational Opportunities

There will be periods of time each day for practicing awareness and meditation in the wilderness. Attendees are welcome to bring paddleboards, windsurfers, kayaks, gravel or mountain bikes, swimsuits, wetsuits, fishing rods, etc. Hiking boots and hiking poles are recommended given uneven trail surfaces. A complete checklist of recommended clothing and gear, as well as maps of the surrounding area, will be provided in the summer mailing.


A foundational Buddhist practice is Dana or generosity. Alexis and Susa will offer their teaching as a gift to us. We can show our gratitude by offering Dana to them. For more information about offering Dana, click here.


Open Door is committed to providing equitable access and opportunities for those who otherwise could not attend due to their financial situations. Varying levels of support are available. For more information about how to request support to attend the retreat click here

Health/Infectious Disease Policy

All attendees will be asked to read and agree to the Health/Infectious Disease Policy.

Cancellation Policy

All attendees will be asked to read and agree to the Cancellation PolicyNote: there will be no refunds after August 1,  2024. 

Registering for the Retreat with ZEFFY

We are using ZEFFY, a ticketing platform for non-profit organizations. Before you pay for your retreat ticket, on the final check out page, you will encounter an autofilled 10% add-on surcharge. Note: This is NOT a donation for Open Door Meditation, but rather the "Zeffy" ticketing platform (like Eventbrite). Feel free to change this autofilled amount, by clicking on the drop down arrow next to it. You are encouraged to offer a small(er) amount of your choice, to support this non-profit Zeffy ticketing platform.



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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