Chod is one of the most recognized practices in vajrayana Buddhism. Rooted in a complex integration of ritual chants, visualization, music, and meditation, it is an expression of offering what we hold most dear to those who need it the most.
The practice evokes some of our deepest fears and helps us to develop a sense of fearlessness and honest direct relationship to what scares the shit out of us. In making this profound offering and confronting our deep seated fears, we actually work to dissolve our attachment to ego. The practice is often done in groups as well as individually with locations ranging from charnel or graveyards to shrine rooms.
In this retreat, the chod initiation will be offered and we will engage in the traditional practice of chod as we prepare to use the practice to work with the traumatic history of the South. This practice has the ability to support us in processing the violence of American history including violence against black bodies in the form of lynching, murders, assault, and other forms of violence that remains in the land, our minds, and bodies as unmetabolized trauma. The practice of chod can support us in the process of recognizing this energy and healing ourselves as well as the land. In this retreat, we will bear witness using chod at local sites around the temple that have been the sites of violence and explore healing.
HOW TO APPLY
All yogi's wishing to attend this retreat are required to complete this brief application form to register their interest in attending.
Successful applicants will be contacted with a ticket link to complete their registration and book onto the retreat.
For individuals needing transportation from PTI, Charlotte, or RDU, we are running a limited shuttle service on the day of registration. Details will be given nearer the date of the retreat.
There are also local taxi services available.
Thomasville Buddhist Centre
Our center, a small and cozy country center, which boasts a “coming home” feeling. We invite you to take your shoes off and feel the easygoing energy. The smell of food cooking in the air, incense aroma, nature, barefoot walkabouts, and wooden boardwalks among the trees. Thomasville Buddhist Centre offers a large open hall for meditation, as well as an adjacent minor hall that can accommodate approximately 35 retreatants. Both halls (large and minor) are used also for palletized sleeping and resting. A curtain and partition system is used to isolate retreatants for co-ed purposes. Zafus, mats and pillows are provided for comfortable sitting. Reading and meditation spaces available inside and around the spacious grounds.
Recommended due to their close proximity and price range, should anyone desire to lodge in private dwellings, we can recommend the "Comfort Inn and Suite" by Wyndham - $74 per night and "Microtel Inn and Suites" by Wyndham $59 per night.
THOMASVILLE BUDDHIST CENTRE
Thomasville Buddhist Center is a 7, 208 sq. ft. multipurpose religious, educational, and charitable center parented by the Mount Sinai Faith, Hope, and Love Ministries, Inc. (MSFHLM). Once a progressive southern Baptist church, Thomasville Buddhist Center is an anomaly of what it means, and looks like to “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,” as the Apostle Paul encouraged.
Having been inspired to look deeper into the humanity and true nature of Christ as a human being, the curve towards Dharma was established. Guided by the church’s progressive pastor, and interfaith minister, T. Marquis Ramsey, STM, PhD, the journey of transformation began. In 2008 Dr. Ramsey, while yet a Christian minister, publicly announced his intention to “leave the institution of the church,” and follow the Middle Path.
A center known and recognized by many across the globe as a compassionately radiating Buddha-Dharma teaching Sangha. Dr. Ramsey continues to lead and direct Thomasville Buddhist Center as its abbot, and director, however now, He leads as Repa Bushi Yamato Damashii, the name given to him by his Zen Budo sensei, Shihan Harris Brody. Bushi is now a direct student of two of the country’s most insightful Buddhist teachers, Repa Dorge Odzer (Lama Justin Von Bujdoos), and Lama Rod Owens.