SunDo's Retreat Center, a 72 acre site with forested hills and open meadows, is located in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. It is a setting where our community unites as retreats are encouraged for all those wishing to refine their practice, become advanced students or enter the instructor program. SunDo members travel from practice centers worldwide to share knowledge and lend support. The SunDo Retreat Center is also open to new students and the general public for open house days and workshop events. A meditation hall, a newly-built kitchen and dining hall, camping sites, labyrinth, rustic cabins and hiking trails provide peaceful and simple ways of enjoying the beautiful retreat land in the woodland hills of Northern Vermont.
Built in two phases between 1997-2003, the octagonal SunDo Meditation Hall was the first permanent structure at the SunDo Retreat Center. The first building held about 30 practitioners. It was later expanded to accommodate at least 50. A south side deck was added in 2008 as a wonderful place to take in the forest views or some sunshine. During retreats, the Meditation Hall is used daily for classes and workshops.
In keeping with the Taoist idea of letting nature take its course, the Hall sits at the edge of the forest. Its windows on the south and west sides overlook rolling green fields and a vast sky. The ceiling slants upward toward a cupola peak with skylights. Reminiscent of the eight-sided red barns commonly found throughout this area of Vermont, the building design fits nicely with the local landscape.
Kitchen & Dining Hall
In 2018, the SunDo Retreat Center began a new construction project to build a kitchen and dining hall building. Currently, the construction of phase two is almost complete, and in 2020, the third phase will begin with the installation of brand new kitchen equipment and the building's electrical circuitry. Other spaces include a dining hall room, main office, bathrooms, kitchen and utility room.
A southwest facing deck spans the entire front of the building with a ramp for wheelchair-accessibility. From the deck, retreat guests may enjoy a gorgeous evening sunsets over the distant field and hills on the horizon.
The Retreat Center features a variety of indoor and outdoor living spaces including a private cabin, tenting sites and dormitory-style housing. The main buildings provide some limited electricity to create a very simple, rustic environment. Peace of mind and personal quiet time provide opportunities to reflect on the beauty of nature.
Enjoy outdoor excursions while on retreat. Swimming in the near-by brook is highly encouraged, especially on warm sunny days. Or visit the adjacent Hoode Farm property for fresh milk and eggs. Sights to see in St. Johnsbury (located 5 miles north of the Retreat Center) include the Passumpsic River, Maple Grove Farms Museum and the Catamount Center for the Arts. Onsite, the retreat center also offers a large garden to tend, a forest labyrinth for walking meditation and many hiking trails through the forest and up to a summit hilltop over-looking the surrounding land.
For more info about retreats and registration, please visit www.sundo.org > retreats.