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Zen Mindfulness Retreat Information

Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks

February 15-19, 2023

Leader: Randy Wolbert Sensei

There’s never a good time for Mindfulness, and there’s never a bad time.

Mindfulness is one of those things you simply do, because if you practice being aware - completely open to the universe, just exactly as it is - you will transform your life in time.”

Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D., Rōshi

We are grateful to once again be able to meet in person for this retreat.
Redemptorist Renewal Center and Empty Cloud are requiring that attendees are fully vaccinated to attend.  You must send a scanned copy of your vaccination record to complete your registration. 
Mindfulness practice has its roots in Eastern meditative and Western Christian contemplative traditions. The contemporary clinical use of mindfulness as a treatment for mental disorders has focused on the core characteristics of mindfulness practice, independent of its spiritual origin and background. In this context, mindfulness is understood as the practice of awareness of “what is” at the level of direct and immediate experience separate from concepts, category, and expectations. It is the practice of living awake, with your eyes wide open; allowing the moment, so to speak. Mindfulness is thus the practice of willingness to be alive to the moment and radical acceptance of the entirety of the moment. The path of mindfulness is a journey without maps or destination, a path for you to discover and experience for yourself. At the same time, it is the window to freedom and wisdom.
The Mindfulness Retreat

The Zen Mindfulness Retreat offers the opportunity for an extended period of practice. At a retreat, we separate ourselves from our daily affairs in order to sink deeply into mindful practice, free to transcend the background chatter of our busy minds. These retreats follow the style and format initiated by Willigis Jaeger, O.S.B. (Ko-un Rōshi) and carried to the United States by Marsha Linehan. Formal procedures are observed. We practice together but we do not interact. Silence is observed throughout the retreat with the exception of the opening and closing meals, and private interviews with the teacher. A brief mindfulness talk is given each morning by Zen Master Randy.

The Retreat consists of four daily blocks of sitting: early morning, late morning, afternoon and evening. Each block is broken up into periods of 25 minutes of sitting. There is a 5-minute period of walking mindfulness between each period of sitting. Private interviews with the teachers are held during blocks of sitting. There is a rest period after each block of sitting and a daily work period. Mindfulness practice periods of extended walking and mindful dance are interspersed within sitting periods. It is assumed that everyone will participate fully in the daily cycle unless prior arrangements have been made.

Check-in is at 3 pm on Wednesday, February 15th, orientation to the center and instruction on sitting is at 4:30 PM and dinner is at 6:00 PM. The first evening sit will start at 7:30 PM.  Departure time is 10 AM on Sunday, February 19th.
Retreat Leader
Randy is a long time Zen Student of Marsha Linehan Ph.D. Rōshi and Greg Mayers Rōshi.  He was appointed a Zen teacher in the Empty Cloud Sangha by Willigis Jaeger Rōshi in 2016 and his appointment was confirmed by Marsha Linehan in April of 2018. In 2021 he received transmission as a dharma heir of Zen Master (Rōshi) by Greg Mayers.   He has been involved in attending, assisting with, and leading retreats in the US, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Chile, and Argentina and is actively adding new international locations to that list.
Retreat Venue

Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks

7101 W. Picture Rocks Road, Tucson, Arizona 

Toll Free: 866.737.5751 - http://www.desertrenewal.org/

About the Venue

The Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks Retreat Center is a spiritual center located in Tucson, Arizona. The Pathless Path, founded by Fr. Pat Hawk Rōshi and housed at Picture Rocks, is dedicated to the practice of silent meditation.  It has its own building with a Meditation Room, a Zen Garden, an interview room, a kitchen, and laundry room.  

The retreat center is adjacent to Saguaro National Park West and reflects the beauty and silence of the Arizona-Sonoran Desert. The grounds are alive with desert plants and animals, including a rich and varied bird population.   Located on 120 acres that border the Saguaro National Park West, it is a site that appeals to the nature lover and gently challenges the more urban personality.   The Retreat is 25 miles from the Tucson Airport and 16 miles from downtown Tucson.  

The accommodations for the 2023 retreat include standard single rooms, with a double bed and a private bathroom.  No shared rooms are available this year.

Items to Bring

Due to the fluctuation in room temperatures, please bring a sweater or jacket in order to keep yourself comfortable.  Please wear solid, dark, loose clothing.  Brightly colored or printed clothing can be distracting to others.  Loose-fitting clothing is best for comfort during the extended periods of sitting.  Shorts and tank tops are not allowed in the contemplation room, although you may wear them during work or rest periods.  Please remove extraneous jewelry for the duration of the retreat.  Perfumes, after-shave, and colognes can also be distracting to others.  Sandals or slip-on shoes are recommended for basic outdoor walking during the retreat, and are easily removed at the front door to the St. Alphonsus building.  You may wish to keep other shoes handy for extended outdoor walking contemplation, if you plan to hike, or if you would like to garden.  You may also wish to bring an alarm clock to assist you in waking each morning.  

Retreat Tuition

Retreat has limited capacity, please register as soon as possible.  Room rates for the retreat include sleeping accommodations for Wednesday through Saturday nights and meals for Wednesday evening (dinner) through Sunday lunch.  The rate for retreat participants is $850 per person.


Requests for refunds must be made in writing.  Full refunds minus $50 will be made for requests made by February 1st. No refunds will be made thereafter.

Please complete the following registration form and submit to secure your reservation. Email a copy of your vaccination record to admin@emptycloudsangha.org. Once registration is recorded, you will receive a PayPal invoice within 3-5 business days.

Registration is complete when:
1) You've submitted this form, 
2) Vaccination record is on file, and 
3) Payment is made. 

You will receive an email confirmation that your registration has been finalized. 

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