When Bad News is Good News: Cultivating Fearlessness In The Face of Adversity

Date: February 4 - 6, 2022

Time: Friday 5pm - Sunday 1pm

Location: Great Vow Zen Monastery or Online

Address: 79640 Quincy Mayger Road, Clatskanie, OR 97016, USA

Price: $50 - $75

When Bad News is Good News: Cultivating Fearlessness In The Face of Adversity

February 4 - 6, 2022

Friday 5pm - Sunday 1pm

**This retreat is full for in-person attendance, please join as an online participant!** (1/31)

This retreat will begin on Friday evening 7:30 pm.

The Saturday schedule is still evolving, but here are the estimated times:

6:00 am – 8:00 am – meditation

11:30 am  – 1:00 pm – meditation

3:00 pm  – 6:00  pm meditation and discussion

7:30 – 9:15  pm meditation and formal tea

Sunday Morning:

6:30 am  – meditation

8:30 am – closing circle


In-person participants must be fully vaccinated including a booster AND receive a negative MOLECULAR (e.g. PCR, NAAT) Covid test within three days of arrival.

The Covid situation is changing fast. Please stay tuned for updated requirements for in-person retreats.


The mind states of fear, anger, and negativity are pervasive in difficult times. During such times, most people inadvertently increase their suffering by escalating self-concern and self-protection.

In a perhaps counter-intuitive way, the trained and determined practitioner recognizes and uses negative circumstances as precious opportunities for cultivating realization and freedom. But how, exactly can we do this?

 Following the practice-style of Machig Labdron, we’ll use a handful of precise and memorable instructions for cultivating fearlessness in the worst of times—each one a powerful method of cutting through ego-fixation, teaching us to rest at ease in the invincible heart of love-without-preference.

We’ll focus on practices aimed at reversing our tendency to meet challenge and obstacles with the worldly tools of analysis, problem solving, and reactivity—instead allowing them to unfold and resolve in the space of the unconditioned and heart/mind.

Without such an approach, even seasoned practitioners can wander away from meaningful practice, lost in the small world of “Am I OK now?” where the view, mediation and action are mistakenly invoked to identify almost entirely on preoccupation with the smallest, most confused version of ourselves—assuring we remain endlessly entangled in the cycle of suffering.

In usual Vajrayana style these instructions encourage us meet suffering at the level of direct experience and to steadfastly remain focused on the well-being of others. Letting go of self-preoccupation, many find their suffering mysteriously resolves, replaced by ease and joy.
The practice instructions we’ll employ were given to Machig Labdron by her teacher, Padmapa Sangye, and are sometimes translated as:

Confess your hidden faults.

Approach what you find repulsive.

Help those you think you cannot help.

Anything you are attached to, let it go.

Go to the places that scare you.

Enjoy a weekend in the delightful natural environment of Great Vow Zen monastery, in Clatskanie, Oregon, or join us by Zoom. For those attending in person, meals and lodging are included in the price of retreat. Details given at registration. Retreat is appropriate for all levels of practice.


Lama Lekshe