A contemplative and creative retreat with dharma teacher Kate Johnson. Qi Gong offered by Tagan Swao.

Friday June 1 - Sunday June 3, 2018 (6pm Friday to 1pm Sunday)

Red Hill Guesthouse, 456 Red Hill Rd, Benton, Pennsylvania


The Dharma essentially refers to the laws of nature, which is essentially the law of constant change. This Inner Fields weekend nature retreat will explore the beauty and creativity inherent in this principle through guided drawing meditations, a silent hike through Ricketts Glen State Park, formal sitting and walking meditation, and various other embodied practices. We will close on Sunday with a tree-planting ritual as an expression of mettā. This will be a contemplative and creative retreat, however no previous meditation or art experience is necessary. Meditation instruction, dharma guidance and embodied movement will be offered by dharma teacher and dancer Kate Johnson. Morning Qi Gong will be offered by martial artist and acupuncturist, Taganyahu Swao. Drawing meditations and ritual will be instructed and guided by artist Elaine Su-Hui. Periods of ‘Noble Silence’ will be interspersed with periods of group reflection and there will also be plenty of free time for you to enjoy as you wish! By practicing together in nature, we will be connecting with the generosity of the land and our ecological interdependence. 

About the venue: Located on 24 acres of land with a pond and organic garden, Red Hill Guesthouse is about 3 hours drive from Brooklyn/ Manhattan, 2.5 hours from Philadelphia. It is close to the beautiful Ricketts Glen State Park which has multiple hiking trails, waterfalls and swimming rivers. We will be coordinating ride-sharing to and from NY and Philly (more info below).  www.redhillguesthouse.com


Kate Johnson has taught embodied practices as social change methodologies for over a decade. A lifelong dancer and a longtime meditator, Kate is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leader training and is a current trainee in the center’s four year retreat teacher training. She has worked with people of all ages and abilities using Social Presencing Theater in public schools, community health centers, performance collectives and social justice organizations. Currently, Kate teaches at New York Insight, The Rubin Museum, the School for Visual Arts, Spirit Rock and at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. She is also on staff at Buddhist Peace Fellowship, where she designs online educational programs integrating Buddhadharma and Social Justice. www.katejohnson.com


This retreat will only accept 12 guests in total. In order to keep retreat fees as low as possible, guests will be responsible for providing and preparing their own food (there are 3 kitchens), as well as bringing their own sheets, pillowcases and towels (blankets and pillows will be provided). Yogi jobs will also be allocated so that the Guesthouse is left clean and tidy at the end of the retreat.

Rooms and apartments in the Guesthouse will be shared between 2-4 people and will be offered on a first come, first served basis. If you have mobility restrictions, please notify us so we can accommodate you accordingly.* There is a $40 discount for those willing to sleep in your own tent. Tent guests will have full access to a kitchen and bathroom.

*Please note: There is very limited wheelchair access at Red Hill Guest House, with only one apartment with a ramp. However, the showers and meditation studio are not wheelchair accessible.

RETREAT FEES: Private tent $120 / Bed in guesthouse: $160. Fees listed are per person and are for both nights of the retreat (not per night). 

GUESTS TO BRING: Your own meals and snacks. (Some basics such as milk, olive oil, salt and pepper will be provided.) Your own sheets, towels and pillowcases. (Blankets and pillows will be provided.) Suggested: yoga mats, sketchbooks, swimming gear, hiking shoes, insect repellent, etc.

GETTING THERE AND BACK: We will be coordinating ride-sharing to and from New York and Philadelphia. Please let us know if you are in need of a ride, or if you intend to drive and are able to take additional passengers. There are also bus services to Scranton, PA which is 1 hour from the Guesthouse, so we can also coordinate pick-ups from there. Communicate your needs and we will do our best to take care of everyone!

TEACHER SUPPORT: Teacher dana is not included in the retreat fee. Dana (meaning 'cultivating generosity') is a foundational aspect of the Buddhist teachings and is an integral part of every Inner Fields experience. Dana is not a tip. It's a profound, self-reflective practice which invites you to consider what it means to give generously, and with the intention to share. Retreat fees only cover operational costs such as the teachers' accommodation and travel expenses, so Kate and Tagan will be offering their guidance as a gift to the retreat. We encourage you to participate in this circle of giving and receiving by supporting their teachings with whatever you are able to comfortably and generously give. The suggested teacher dana for Kate is $85 and for Tagan $25, but we value whatever you can offer. Most of all, we deeply appreciate your thoughtful and intentional practice of dana.

REGISTRATION: Space is extremely limited so deposits are required when you register. Please pay your 50% deposit and fill out the form below: