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2023 Alabama Meditation Network Spring Retreat

Registration & Information

Take your meditation practice to a deeper level

Experience the energy of sitting with others, find support and encouragement from like-minded individuals, and learn different present-moment practices such as Tai Chi, mindful eating and walking, tea meditation, and chanting. Refresh your mind and body as you immerse yourself in nature at the beautiful Living River Retreat Center on the Cahaba River.


6:00 pm, Friday -
3:00 pm, Sunday


April 14-16, 2023


Living River, A Retreat Center
on the Cahaba River
Montevallo, AL

Retreat Schedule


4:30 to 6:00pm: Check-in

6:00pm: Dinner

7:30pm: Orientation, meditation instruction, and lightly guided meditation

9:00pm: Noble Silence begins; ends after breakfast the next day. 10:00pm: Lights out


5:00am: Wake up
6:00am: Morning meditation
8:00am: Breakfast
9:00am: Movement practice
11:00am: Midday meditation
1:00pm: Lunch
2:00pm: Movement practice
4:00pm: Afternoon meditation 6:00pm: Dinner
7:30pm: Evening meditation
9:00pm: Noble Silence begins


5:00am: Wake up
6:00am: Morning meditation
8:00am: Breakfast
9:00am: Movement practice
11:00am: Closing remarks, group sharing
12:30pm: Lunch

Departure by 3:00pm


Our personal retreat chef will prepare delicious and nutritious vegetarian/vegan meals with fresh and locally sourced ingredients to support your meditation practice. 

We eat our meals together in mindfulness. We usually have 15-20 minutes of silent eating at the start of lunch and dinner, and breakfast is usually fully in silence. Eating in silence helps us appreciate the food deeply, and cherish the presence of those around us.

*Living River Retreat Center asks that no food be brought into the cabins or in luggage as it will attract mice.


Motel-style Rooms
  • 6 rooms
    • 3 with Queen Beds
    • 3 with 2 twins
Bunk Cabins
  • Maximum 10 people
  • Two showers stalls and two toilets in each cabin)
Tent Camping
  • Primitive camping, no electricity or water.
  • Bring your own tent, sleeping bag, etc.
  • Access to bathroom and showers in bunk houses.
Bring your:
  • Meditation cushion (Chairs will be available if you prefer to sit in a chair)
  • Mat (Zubbaton) or folded up blanket to go under your cushion

Don’t have a cushion or mat? We will have a few extras at the retreat for you to use.

*Do you have an extra cushion, mat or meditation bench? Please bring it to share with someone who doesn’t have one.
  • Pillow
  • Sleeping bag or sheets and blanket
  • Clothing appropriate for weather and length of stay
  • Sweatshirt or jacket
  • Pajamas
  • Rain jacket or poncho
  • Medications
  • First aid kit
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Towels, washcloths for showering
  • Soap & Shampoo
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Brush/comb
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Laundry bag or trash bag for dirty clothes
  • Flashlight
  • Food in cabins/luggage. (Candy or snacks in luggage will attract mice.)

Living River Retreat Center Photo Gallery

Your Retreat Meditation Instructor

Nick Shindo Street was a student at the Hazy Moon Zen Center in Los Angeles for 20 years. He started practicing meditation at the Hazy Moon in 2001, moved into the temple in 2006, and was ordained as a Soto Zen priest in 2007. During his two decades of Zen study, he participated in more than 80 weekend meditation retreats, roughly 30 week-long retreats, and half a dozen retreats of a month or more. His enthusiasm for Zen practice earned him a regular assignment as a meditation instructor for visitors and beginning students at the temple.

He put aside his priest’s robes after he decided to return to his native Alabama in 2021. In Birmingham, he found a diverse and thriving meditation community to support his weekly practice–though the opportunity for regular meditation retreats in the region was lacking. He initiated the Alabama Meditation Network in response to that need in himself and in the local meditation community.

His non-sectarian approach to meditation instruction integrates his training as a Zen priest with his insights as a religion journalist and researcher of contemporary mindfulness and meditation movements. He hopes to convey his appreciation for the transformative power of intensive periods of meditation as well as the sense of community that accompanies the meditation retreat experience.

Nick Shindo Street

Nick Shindo Street

2023 Spring Retreat Registration

Retreat Fees & Important Info.

All fees include accommodations, all meals, meditation instructions, and movement practices

  • Hotel Style Room: (Options available at checkout)
    • Double occupancy – $330/per person
    • Single occupancy – $630
  • Bunk House (10 people per house) – $205
  • Tent Camping (Bring your own tent) – $105

Become a Retreat Donor

  • Help defray retreat cost by making an extra donation at room selection.


All fields are required except where indicated.

Payment is required to complete registration.

Personal Information

Select Gender Identity/Expression
Select Accommodation Preference

Meditation Experience

How long have you been meditating for:
Will you need a meditation cushion & mat?
Do you currently sit with a meditation group?

Medical Information

Please describe any allergies you may have (If none, leave blank).
Please describe any ongoing medical conditions you may have and any medications you take for your physical health. (If none, leave blank).
If you have been diagnosed with a psychiatric or psychological condition, please explain and list any medications you take for mental health. (If none, leave blank).
Emergency Contact

I agree to:

Future Communications

May we stay in contact with you after the retreat with occasional updates about future group meditation opportunities and retreats?

Code of Conduct

Alabama Meditation Network

In order to create a safe and welcoming meditation and learning environment, we ask everyone to:

  • Practice acceptance of everyone regardless of gender, race, economic status, or sexual orientation.
  • Cause no harm to others.
  • Refrain from:
    • Sexual misconduct
    • Negative speech
    • The use of drugs or alcohol.
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Retreat Cancellation Policy

Refunds will be available up to two weeks before the retreat.

Later cancelations receive a retreat credit.

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Terms & Definitions


Any form of present moment practice which has a foundation of body and breath awareness.

Meditation Community:

Any entity that provides group meditation in a community of equanimity, compassion and acceptance, regardless of gender, race, economic status, or sexual orientation.