Retreat Rules & Guidelines
Basic Retreat Rules (see individual retreat announcements for additional specific information or basic requirements)
- No talking or visiting with other retreatants
- No music
- No alcohol, drugs, or pets
- No smoking or open fire of any kind on the retreat property
- No weapons
- Park in designated areas only; driving in and out of the Center during retreat is not permitted
Meals & Special Diet Requirements
For individual retreats we take into consideration dietary needs such as gluten-free, dairy- free, etc. For group retreats this is more difficult. We try to accommodate these needs but cannot guarantee meals to always be free of gluten, dairy, etc. Unusual food or supplies must be brought or you must arrange for them to be sent to you. If circumstances permit personal cooking in our kitchen, we will grocery shop once a week for you; meal plans & more information are available (click here)
You Might Want To Bring
Practice materials, shrine photos, candles (tea light type in metal cups and a glass votive holder for the tea light), incense, toiletries, medication, battery clock, flashlight, rain gear, slippers, laundry soap, thermos, small daypack, umbrella, special foods and condiments, special pillow, extra blanket, special meditation bench or cushion.
Clothing & Climate
This area of the country is considered temperate. Winter temperatures rarely go below freezing and summer temperatures rarely go higher than mid 80’s. During the summer the nighttime temperature drops at least 20 degrees making it very comfortable even after the hottest days. Winters are very wet and summers very dry. Layered clothing seems to work best. Exact conditions made available at the time of retreat.
If necessary, for retreats longer than one week, laundry service will be available.
Laptops & Other Electronics
Recording devices are not permitted during teachings, initiations, and retreats. Laptop computers, notebooks, and similar electronics are permitted for preapproved purposes during retreats (such as access to practice texts), but wireless internet access is restricted during group retreats. Headphones are required.
Currently only packages sent by FedEx Ground are delivered all the way to SKC, and they should be sent using the street address of 865 Bullfrog Rd., Friday Harbor, WA 98250. All other packages should be sent via the post office, using the following address: Person’s name c/o Sakya Society, 220 Blair St. #3191, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.
Cell phone service at the center is intermittent and unreliable. The center’s landline is available for reasonable use. For long distance calls, it is necessary to use personal calling cards, prepaid calling cards, or call collect.
Please treat the grounds, buildings and residents with care. Return your area to the condition in which you found it or better. Use water and electricity sparingly. Take short showers, use efficient dish washing practices, and be mindful of turning lights, etc. off when not needed.
Flora & Fauna
The San Juan Islands are very beautiful and benign. There are no dangerous animals or reptiles, and insects are for the most part just annoying. Animals around the center are: deer, raccoon, foxes and a large variety of birds from tiny little wrens to eagles and hawks. There is no poison ivy or oak. Stinging nettles like wet areas and can cause burning and itching if touched but they are also good to eat in the spring! Spring also brings a variety of wild flowers. Moss seems to be a specialty on our hill. There are a number of varieties and they are beautiful in their own quiet way.
Tick borne diseases are rare on the island and can be avoided by not hiking through the underbrush. The most important safety precaution is to never store food or keep food leftovers in your tent. Raccoons and foxes will cause damage and possibly harm in their efforts to obtain food inside a tent.