Friday September 13, 2013 at 12:00 PM EDT
Sunday September 22, 2013 at 6:00 PM EDT

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Sarana Springs 
Eastbackline at  Sideroad 10,
Chatsworth, ON N0H 1E0

Driving Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/YLvw4


Angie & Andrew Blake 

Medicine Buddha Retreat at Sarana Springs 

The Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala Tour, Sept 13-Oct 6
This rare and exciting spiritual and cultural event will tour two cities--Owen Sound (Sept 13-22) and Toronto (Sept 27-Oct 6).  You and your family will find many ways to participate: from the excitment of the Opening Tea Ceremony and Consecration of the Sand Mandala, viewing the monks as they pour tiny grains of coloured sand to create a work of art, attending teachings on the Medcine Buddha or the full retreat, to variety of traditional Buddhist ceremonies including a Fire Ceremony, Water Cermony, Lama Dancing Ceremony and the closing Dissoltuion Ceremony, when the mandala's sand is returned to the water at Inglis Falls. We hope each session will enrich and intrigue you as you deepen your understanding of the interplay between the sacred and the mundane.  As you will witness through all the events, the "Sacred is always present as a display", and it becomes visible as you witness these ancient practices. 
This site will provide you will all the details you need to attend the Owen Sound part of the tour. It gives you details for the retreat, at Sarana Springs, what to bring, accommodation choices, directions to Sarana Springs and a registration page, so you can enrole. The event is evolving, therefore slight changes may arise, so watch for any email updates. An event of this scale require a thorough reading of the material to determine what parts of the event you wish to attend. There are many options between the two venues--Grety Roots Museum and Sarana Springs.  While the cultural events will be happening mostly at the museum the spiritual teachings and practices will happen in the seclusion of the natural world.
The Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala tour will reach Toronto on Sept 25-Oct 2 and a similar but more simplified program will begin.   For all details and registration for Toronto Tour, go to:


You may decide to attend the whole 10-day program, stay for one or both of the weekend programs, or come for one day or even a half day.  For those choosing to attend the whole retreat, we will be following a traditional retreat structure that includes four meditation sittings, two teaching periods, work practice, free time to explore nature and you will be able to attend all of the cultural events at the museum. Together, we will function as a spiritual community, attending to and taking care of the temple space, grounds, gardens, outdoor kitchen etc.  Going into retreat with a teacher is a rare opportunity.

Sarana Springs is nestled near to the dramatic vistas of the Niagara Escarpment and we are close to many water falls, caves and great natural beauty.  Our 171 acre retreat is at the source of the BigHead River which flows into Meaford and into Georgian Bay. We are 2 hours north of Toronto, 15 minutes SE of Owen Sound and the small village of Chatsworth just north of us and Holland Centre is south. As one of teacher's, Dhyani Ywahoo, explained to us, great spiritual centres of healing and prayer are found where the "pure water bubbles up from beneath the earth." Sarana is a Pali word which means, "refuge and sanctuary," and throughout the forests, meadows, and wetlands are countless springs gushing pure source water.
Facilities & Accomodations: Our facilities are very humble and beautiful, and you will have two options if you are coming from out of town: camping or staying in a limited number of B & B's in the area. If you live locally, you can of course commute and there may possibiy be a few billets with the local community.  At this point, we will provide a covered outdoor kitchen space with dining tables, water for washing, shower, teaching temple, outdoor washrooms, and there is a beautiful spring fed pond for swimming. Unplugging and living in nature is also a rare and precious opportunity, however some of us will need more "comforts." (See listing for B & B's and hotels in the area.)  
Food: At this time of publishing the event page, food will be your own responsibility, however we are working on some other options.  As there are daily programs at the museum, the museum has an excellent cafe, run by Robin Pradhan of the Rocky Raccoon Restaurant.  His food is excellent and inexpensive, so this could provide you with a daily lunch option.
Fees:  All teaching events, ceremonies, talks and seminars are all by donation and we encourage everyone to practice of the art of dana, or generously giving  financially to support  the gifts of spiritual activity.  There is a $20 tour pass that you purchase at the museum that gives you unlimited access to the venue and to viewing the making of sand mandala and attending all the cultural events.  For the retreat you have a variety of payment options.  Daily is $15, weekend including Friday $45, or whole retreat $135.  Camping is also an additional $10lday.  This nominal fees help us with operating costs of the event. Everyone is donating their time to make this event a rich and joyous experience for everyone.
Sarana Springs (aka Gtiche M'Qua Centre) is also grateful for any donations made to help in the establishment of this retreat facility and we can offer a tax receipt. 
Upon email request, we can provide you with a detail list of suggested "what to bring" if you are attending for a day or for the entire retreat and a retreat schedule, subject to reality.  At each event we will provide information on the "etiquette" for meeting the "Lama" and attending teachings, as well guidance, interviews and support in navigating the program. (Rev) Andrew and Theodore Tsaousidis will be guiding the retreat under Lama Karma's direction and will be availabe to guide and support you in your retreat.  If you wish, you can also arrange for a personal interview with Lama Karma. On a donation basis, Lama Karma will also be available for Buddhist divinations, special prayer and blessing ceremonies for those ill or who have recently died, blessings for statues, malas, babies, etc..  Contact Andrew directly to book an appointment.
For any details or anything missed in on this page, please contact us at:  info@gitchemqua.org  
Or call us at  647-216-9794
As I mentioned earlier, everything happening in this event is donated and offered from the place of the "boundless joy of giving and serving others," or bodhichitta.   Whenever you are able, we will invite you to  help so that all the "schlepping" and maintenance of this precious event has many hands.  In particular it is the generosity of Lama Karma, his family, and his Dharma friends from Tibet and Bhutan that are making this event possilble, without them this Sand Mandala Festival wouldn't exist. it also through the kindness of Kim Scarrow and restauranteur and chef Robin Pradhan from Rocky Raccoon Restaurant in Owen Sound, who gathered the community support for this event. As well Petal Furness from Grey Roots Museum was intrumental in helping to manifest Lama Karma's dream.
We are overjoyed to welcome you and to host you at this auspicious event.
Two Hands in Prayer,  Angie & Andrew Blake, Cofounders
 Local Listings for B & B  
We have provided you with the most local to the most distant in terms of B & B's in our area.  Not many as you can see.  Owen Sound is only 15 minutes from the retreat, so you are welcome to search on the internet for acccommodations.  Here are some B & B options.  We assume they are still in operation, assume is the key word. Let us know if you need any assistance.


SCHEDULE: Sarana Spirngs Retreat and Grey Roots Museum (Sept 13-22) Owen Sound

Friday 13- Saturday 21  The Making of the Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala--Museum Hours 10am-5pm (Open for public viewing with Museum admssion)

 Friday 13  5pm  Opening Tea Ceremony     7:30pm  Sand Mandala Consecration & Medicine Buddha Talk--Museum

Saturday 14 10am-12 Medicine Buddha Empowerment--Sarana Springs
2pm  Children's Program: Sand Mandalas & Prayer Flags--Museum
7pm  Sacred Arts of Bhutan: Talk and Presentation--Museum

Sunday 15, 10am-12  Medicine Buddha Teachings--Sarana Springs  
2pm  Children's Program: Torma Making and Mandala Bracelets--Museum
Monday 16, 10am-12 Teachings--Sarana Springs 
2pm  Tsa Tsa Seminar & Teaching--Museum
Tuesday 17, 10am-12 Teachings--Sarana Springs
2pm Torma Making Teachings/Seminar--Museum
Wednesday 18, 10am-12 Teachings--Sarana Springs
2pm Thangkas--Sacred Art Seminar--Museum
Thursday 19, 10am-12 Teachings--Sarana Springs
2pm  Talk on Gross National Happiness 
Friday 20, 10am-12  Teachings--Sarana Springs
2pm  Weaving Demonstration--Museum
7pm  Sacred Dance Ceremony: Lama & Dakini Dancing

Saturday 21, 10am-12 Teachings--Sarana Spirngs
2-5pm  Medicine Buddha Fire Ceremony--Amphitheatre--Museum
5pm Pot Luck Feast

Sunday 22, 11am Dissolution of Sand Mandala--Inglis Falls
2pm--Closing Fire Ceremony--Sarana Springs