Image by Gabriele Diwald

Online Rain Retreat

November 15 - February 14

suggested donation: $50 - $300

Traditionally during the rainy season, since the time of the Buddha, the monastics dwell together in one place physically with limited outside trips with the intention of strengthening the practice, reflecting on what habit energy each person would like to focus and transform, and encouraging each other's growth on the spiritual path. This inspiring talk from Brother Phap Dung opens our hearts to the spirit and possibilities of a rain retreat. It's a nourishing time to be with ourselves and among friends.


Plum Village has a suggested guidelines for lay friends to follow along including 6 sitting meditation, 6 mindful meals, 1 day of mindfulness,1 lazy day a week, watching a dharma talk and studying a sutra text together. This year we have a special treat that Deer Park monastery will be offering a weekly online Day of Mindfulness on Sunday and our sangha would like to support you with these periods of practice (schedule is attached).

Zoom link and password friendship. If you join us for the first time on Zoom, please send us a quick email so we can send you updates if necessary.


Weekly rain retreat schedule from Nov 15 to Feb 14. All times are in PST California time zone. It's okay if you join later than the start date of Nov 15. You can state your intentions to practice any time till the end of the retreat. 

​Please feel welcome to enjoy any or all of the practices offered during this time. It is not required to join every activity to participate in the retreat. 

  • Wednesday night 7-9pm sutra discussion will focus on the Discourse on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness and Full Awareness of Breathing, which are the foundations of Plum Village practices. Please try to attend all 12 weeks as they are related to each other. 

  • Saturday morning 7-8:30am weekly: interpreted dharma talk of Thay from Vietnamese

  • If you would like to learn to invite the bell, learn the morning chant or evening chant, offer mindful movements, songs, 5 contemplations for meals, or help us facilitate a session once or more during the rain retreat, feel free to email us at sugarplumsangha@gmail.comWe look forward to letting the refreshing dharma rain that we can create collectively together nourish our hearts and our community. 


Week 1 Setting intention for practice

From Brother Phap Dung's dharma talk, we can  intention of what we want to grow more in ourselves and what habit energy we want to focus on transforming for the next 3 months together.

This list of questions for reflection of our practice that Thay wrote for the monastics can be a helpful start. 

Thay also advises friends to keep a journal for the practice during this period so we can keep track of our efforts. This can also include a check list at the end of each day like this one Thay gave out during a retreat. 

If you want to be creative, you can even make a gatha (little poem) that has a spirit of your intention and connect that to some daily activities you do to keep that fire alive in you. For example, I made a tea gatha or a writing gatha like this: 










The list of Plum Village gathas is here or more explained in the book Present Moment, Wonderful Moment. 

The first interpreted dharma talk on Nov 14 is on the topic of "Untie-ing the knot of suffering in ourselves before we can help others" Thay gives us many insights into the nature of these knots that can be from hopelessness, craving, hatred, that can control us from the shadow day and night, but as we grow our nourishing seeds inside, we could find more of a balance and freedom from the tight grip of these knots and act in a way that's more true to ourselves. 

You can listen to this talk by downloading here


Please note interpreted talk will be every Saturday morning now 7-8:30am PST.



Once you enroll in the course, you can see all the texts and videos for the Anapanasati (Full awareness of Breathing) and Satipatthana (4 Establishments of Mindfulness) sutra.


The books that would be helpful for you are:

Awakening of the Heart by Thich Nhat Hanh

Satipatthana Meditation: A Practice Guide by Bhikku Analayo 

Thank you for your diligent practice and offerings to help the community.


Sugarplum Sangha does not charge registration fees for our programs. Instead we offer everyone the opportunity to practice generosity and encourage retreatants and members to financially support events by contributing their most generous amount given their individual circumstances.

We maintain funds for a resident practitioner program, facilities improvements, and retreat scholarships thanks to donations. Donations are made to the Mariposa Institute 501(c)3 and are tax deductible.

Click to Donate

Or, you may mail a check made out to the Mariposa Institute to 3801 Low Gap Rd. Ukiah, CA 95482. Please write the fund you wish to donate to in the memo line.

Sugarplum Sangha