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Philadelphia, PA- Ancestry in Progress; Cultivating The Bridge Between Our Past, Present and Future

  • Chamounix - West Fairmount Park 3250 Chamounix Drive Philadelphia, PA, 19131 United States (map)

Note: This retreat centers Black, Indigenous and other People of Color, gender expansive/fluid folx, LGBTQIA, youth practitioners 18 and over, community organizers and others who are typically marginalized in wellness/spiritual circles. Everyone is welcome, and we are holding the majority of spaces for folx in the intersections we’re centering. The retreat center has mixed accessibility but is predominantly wheelchair accessible.

In Collaboration with Many Faces Sangha

Given the Fall date of our retreat, Many Faces chose the theme of Ancestry in Progress to reflect the seasonal practices of connecting with the past, our ancestors and also the transformation of our environment into a winter time of reflection.

Many Faces Shares: “As the daylight hours become shorter, the weather cools, and animals begin to hibernate we felt that an October retreat was a perfect time to practice transformation through intentionally cultivating a bridge between the past, present and future in both a literal and figurative sense. The term Ancestry in Progress originates from a Zap mama (Afro-Belgian vocalist) album describing her practice of incorporating her families’ past history with West African slavery to her contemporary travels around the world and in particular African-American contemporary soul and hip hop vocalists. We thought this was a fitting theme for our retreat as we incorporate mindfulness-based activities and aesthetics that support this process. As Many Faces Sangha continues to build a robust mindfulness community, we have found that there is a great need for spaces of retreat to deepen our collective practice. Many Faces Sangha seeks to fill that need by creating and facilitating our first weekend long retreat at the historic Chamounix Mansion in Philadelphia, PA. Nestled in the woods of the Wissahickon, this hostel is one of the few places within city limits to hold a residential retreat.

During the weekend of October 25th to the 27th, we will create space for diverse and marginalized communities and organizers to deepen their practice through meditation, dharma talks led by Dr. Larry Ward and Dr. Peggy Rowe Ward and mindful art practices that connect with our theme of ancestry and healing.

We are so grateful for the work and inspiration of ARISE in shaping our thinking/being/doing.


In order to protect the health of community members with environmental illness, please do not wear fragranced products (including “natural” fragrances) or clothes laundered in fragranced products to the retreat.


Your payment is on a sliding scale. The lower end of the scale is the actual cost for your room and board at the retreat. The higher end represents the actual cost of room and board plus an honorarium (in Buddhism, known as dana) for our teachers for their time, teachings and travel.

We are actively seeking donations to provide scholarships. If you are able to donate to the scholarship fund please do so via a link at the bottom of this page. Our goal is to make this retreat as accessible as possible for those who otherwise would not have the opportunity to attend. Scholarships will be awarded by September 24th.

Sliding Scale:

  • $319+ - room and board plus teacher honorarium/dana above $100

  • $318 - room and board plus $100 teacher honorarium/dana

  • $268 - room and board plus $50 teacher honorarium/dana

  • $218 - room and board

When you register you can make a sliding scale deposit ($18-$68) or full pay. If you cannot make the minimum deposit, contact us at manyfacessangha at gmail dot com.



  • Full refund until October 1st, 2019

  • Partial refund (your deposit) until October 10th, 2019

  • No refund after October 10th, 2019

  • Remaining balance due by October 13th, 2019


If you’d like to donate to the scholarship fund to make this retreat accessible to as many people as possible, please do so below, thank you!