Family Retreat: The Loving Mother of Wisdom

McKeever Environmental Learning Center, Sandy Lake, PA
Saturday June 7, 10:15am through Sunday June 8, 2pm.

The Family Retreat has been moved to 2015. Please check our program schedule for updates.

Our first ever Olmo Ling Family Retreat will have programming and activities for all ages, and opportunities to get to know our families, ourselves, and other families more deeply.

Each day will start after breakfast with a blessing and a family workshop on the Loving Mother of Wisdom with Tempa Lama. In the Tibetan Bon tradition, the Loving Mother of Wisdom is known as Sherab Jamma, the female Buddha of love and wisdom. The Loving Mother is the highest representation of awakening in the Bon tradition as she is the source of all living beings and the source of infinite love, wisdom, and skillful means. Tempa Lama will teach the meditation practice “Heart Drop of the Loving Mother” which helps us connect with our primordial capacity to love and care unconditionally for one another and for ourselves. There will also be a Parents’ Circle led by Tempa Lama and his wife Iris to share joys, challenges, and strategies for raising children with spiritual values such as love, compassion, generosity, and mindfulness.

We offer a variety of activities for children of all ages guided by our accomplished teachers and artists, including yoga, nature walks, sculpting and painting. Parents are welcome to join in these activities with their children. There will also be the freedom to meditate, rest and take small group hikes as suits your family.

Other activities will include a Bon bedtime story and a movie party Saturday night for adults and older children. The weekend will end Sunday with a picnic, bonfire and weenie roast along with some outside games before the closing blessing from Tempa Lama.

Accommodation and Meals

This is a residential Retreat held at the peaceful and beautiful McKeever Environmental Learning Center. McKeever is nestled into 205 wooded acres in Sandy Lake, PA, about 80 minutes north of Pittsburgh. Retreat fees include accommodation Saturday night and meals (Saturday lunch and dinner and Sunday breakfast and lunch).

There will be vegetarian and non-vegetarian offerings. For vegan, gluten free or other restrictions, you may be asked to bring a few of your own food items (tofu dogs, rice pasta for cold salad, etc.) which the McKeever staff will happily prepare for you. On Saturday morning we offer a potlock brunch to start the Retreat. We invite you to bring a small dish, yogurt, fruit, bakery items, cheese, etc to share. To help us plan, please enter the item you are planning to bring here.

There will be a dormitory with bunk beds for children aged 8-16 under the supervision of Bonnie Weiss, Facilitator of the Olmo Ling Youth Sangha and mother of two.

For adults we offer private double rooms with two twin beds which parents are welcome to share with younger children. Since McKeever does not offer cots for younger children, parents would have to bring sleeping bags, air mattresses, pack n plays, or co-sleep with younger children staying with them. If you have a child under 8 who would like to be in the dormitory, we ask that one parent will sleep in a bunk near the child.

Single parents will share the private room with another single parent. Please let us know if you would like us to assign a roommate or if you want to share the room with a friend who is also attending the Retreat.

Costs and registration

You can register securely online or by contacting Bonnie at the Olmo Ling office at or 412 904 1112. For your convenience the online system allows registering multiple family members at once. If you are registering multiple people at once and would like to select different meal options for each, just email us to explain after registering.

Registration will close on Tuesday May 27, 12pm. Retreat costs (incl. 1 night accommodation and all meals from Sat lunch through Sun lunch):
First adult: $90
Second adult: $75
First child ages 11 and up: $65
Second child ages 11 and up: $55
First child ages 10 and under (dormitory): $55
Second child ages 10 and under (dormitory): $45
First small child staying with parent: $30
Second small child staying with parent: $20

Scholarship fund

We would like to enable all families to attend, regardless of their financial capacities. If you are able to pay a little bit more, please consider supporting the scholarship fund for this retreat to enable low-income families to attend. You can make a tax-deductible donation securely online here or by mailing us a check or calling the Olmo Ling office. Even a small donation may be very helpful. Thank you very much for your generosity!

If you are not able to afford the full fee for your family, please contact the Olmo Ling office to see if we have a scholarship available.


The McKeever Environmental Learning Center is folded into a natural wooded setting about 75 miles north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, near Sandy Lake, Mercer County. Directions are provided here.


We are really sorry, there are no places left for this event.
Please check the Olmo Ling Retreat and Teaching Schedule to see if there is another workshop or retreat that you might be interested in.

If you still want to participate in this event, please send us an email . Back to Olmo Ling Retreat and Teaching Schedule