Open Way Sanghas

Our sanghas are rooted in the mindfulness tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and consist of Open Way & Be Here Now in Missoula, Flowing Mountains in Helena, Open Sky in Kalispell, and the TNH Group in Bozeman.


Mindfulness Center

The Open Way Mindfulness Center in Missoula, MT is home to Open Way & Be Here Now Sanghas and also hosts many other community classes and events, see our calendar for more info.

               Open Way Mindfulness Center - 702 Brooks Missoula, Montana - 406-549-9005 


                         Interested in renting the Open Way Mindfulness Center? Please email us!


The Montana Open Way Sanghas consist of five communities in four different towns in western Montana: Open Way and Be Here Now in Missoula, Flowing Mountains in Helena, Open Sky in Kalispell, and the TNH Group in Bozeman. Twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, we all gather together to offer residential retreats in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh.


Retreat announcement: Saturday March 3rd, 9:00pm:

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED. Our cap for attendees has been met and our retreat is now full. We will have cancellations that will likely trickle in so please contact Nicole to be added to our waiting list and you will be contacted in the event a spot becomes available.

Nicole Dunn:


Retreat Confirmation Letter: For those who've registered for the spring retreat, you can access the confirmation letter, with info about what to bring, directions, sample schedule, and more by following this link:




2018 Spring Retreat Theme & Write-Up, from our teacher Michael Ciborski:

Living With Freedom and Non-Fear;
Sculpting the shape of our lives with the practice of True Presence and Interbeing

The practice of mindfulness offers us an opportunity to release our anxiety and touch the True Nature of our reality, the reality of Interbeing. This is not a theoretical statement, but an full bodied endeavor which has the capacity to completely transform our experience of suffering, bring us great freedom, and nourish us with the joy of living.

Our practice of Interbeing is a gift we must offer our children  and grandchildren to ensure their happy future.
We are called to Interbeing as activists, as a foundation for reconciling division and disparity between people. We are healed by Interbeing in our relationship with the natural world, through the persevering embrace we receive from our Great Mother Earth.

During the retreat we will discover the practice of Interbeing in our breathing, eating and walking through daily life.  We will feel the healing power of Interbeing in relationships, deep listening and forgiveness. We will explore how Interbeing can blossom within us as non-discriminative wisdom, as compassion, and guide our choices in lifestyle and livelihood.

Texts to support the theme:

The Other Shore- commentaries on the Insight That Bring Us to the Other Shore
Heart of Understanding- commentaries on the Heart Sutra
Peace is Every Step
The Sun My Heart
The discourses Dharma Seal and Absolute Truth from the Plum Village Chanting Book


2018 Montana Retreat Dates
Spring 2018: April 26th-April 29th, 2018
Family Retreat!  Kids are welcome!
Dharma teacher: Michael Ciborski
Location: Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp in Lakeside, MT
Fall 2018: September 27th-September 30th, 2018
Dharma teacher: To Be Determined
Location: Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp in Lakeside, MT
Future Retreat Dates:
2019 Spring Retreat May 2 -May 5
  Fall Retreat Sept. 26 - Sept 29
2020 Spring Retreat Apr. 30 - May 3
  Fall Retreat Sept 24 - Sept 27
2021 Spring Retreat April 29 - May 2
  Fall Retreat Sept. 23 - Sept. 26
2022 Spring Retreat April 28 - May 1
  Fall Retreat Sept. 29 - Oct 2


Our annual spring retreat teacher, Michael Ciborski:
Michael began his training in mindfulness in 1994 with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in Plum Village, France. In 1998 Michael received full precepts and joined the monastic community. In 2001, he received Lamp Transmission and became a dharma teacher in the Plum Village tradition. Michael returned to lay practice life in 2003. He is married to Fern Dorresteyn, also a dharma teacher in the Plum Village tradition. Together they have 3 children and reside in New Hampshire with the Morning Sun Mindfulness Community.
or Michael's personal website:

We understand that there is A LOT of info provided here but PLEASE read through it carefully so as not to miss any important information :)
Registration: In an attempt to save financial and environmental resources we will no longer be sending out retreat brochures in the mail (unless you've specifically requested to remain on our postal mailing list).  As retreats get closer you can obtain a registration brochure at your local Montana Open Way Sangha weekly meeting OR you can register & pay online. You can also print out a registration form and mail it in with your check by clicking the link below (once registration is open) and downloading the attachment.  
To hold a spot for you at the retreat we must receive your registration along with either a deposit amount of $50 per adult, or your full payment.  Any remaining balance will be due upon your arrival at the retreat, via cash or check only.


IMPORTANT, Cancellation Policy: The Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp has a cancellation policy that is non-negitoable. If for any reason you need to cancel AFTER the date posted below, you will still be responsible for paying the full price of the retreat. Our sangha will still be charged full price for you if you cancel AFTER the date posted below. Please keep this policy in mind when you  register.
Cancellations made BEFORE the date listed below will receive a full refund, LESS $10 for paypal fees.
CANCELLATION DATE for the Spring 2018 retreat: Monday April 9th

Retreat Format: Our retreats are held mostly in mindful silence and includes periods of sitting and walking meditation. readings, dharma talks from our teacher, free time, discussion groups, optional personal interviews with the teacher and other program events. There will also be an opportunity to formally receive the mindfulness trainings in a lovely ceremony on the closing morning of the retreat if you so choose. Our retreats are suitable for new and experiences folks alike.
Family Retreats (SPRING ONLY): The Montana Open Way Sanghas are happy to announce that every annual spring retreat that we hold will now be a family retreat and open to kids! It is our great pleasure to help support and nourish our sangha families that have young children and to come together as one big practice community of all ages.
Our kids program will be designed for ages 5 and up. Kids under 5 are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult at all kids program times. Ages 5-12 are asked to attend all of the kids program activities, unless they are sick. Ages 13-18 will have the option to either attend the kids or adults programming, but we do ask that they attend one or the other, and not be allowed to skip programs, so that we can all practice joyfully together as a sangha. During our morning kids program we will be splitting into two groups: Ages 5-8 (including kids under 5 as well) and Ages 9-18.
Our kids program will run during the morning dharma talks*, the afternoon discussion groups, and the evening programs after dinner - which allows the parents the opportunity to attend the adult programs. All other times during the day parents will be solely responsible for the care of their kids. Our young friends are welcome & encouraged to join in with everyone during the outdoor walking meditation and, of course, during our silent meal times. *Each dharma talk will start by offering a few words directed to the children (15-20 minutes), after this portion the kid's program leaders will escort the kids out to their own activities.
Typical kids program activities might include: brief sitting meditation periods (5-10 minutes), singing songs, arts/crafts, nature hikes, guided deep relaxation, pebble meditation, yoga, mindful movements, scavenger hunt, cooperative games.
For the early morning sitting meditation (at 6:30am) we try to get parent volunteers to sign up to care for the kids so that other parents might have the chance to participate in the morning sitting & sutra session before breakfast. There will be no childcare offered or organized for the evening sitting meditation session.
Since some of our young friends are quite hungry in the morning we will have snacks on hand for the morning before breakfast. We will also have snacks made available throughout the day as well in Hagen Hall (where all of our kids programs take place).
Start & End Times: Our retreats go from a Thursday early evening to a Sunday afternoon.  Check-in begins between 4:00-6:00pm.  You are welcome to start arriving anytime after 4:00pm and a full dinner will be served around 5:30pm.  Our evening program with introduction to the retreat begins around 7:00pm.  
The retreats end on a Sunday sometime in the early afternoon, around 1:00-2:00pm.  
SAMPLE Schedule:
(Friday & Saturday)
6:00am Wake Up
6:30am Sitting & Walking Meditation, Sutra Service
8:15am Silent Breakfast
9:30am Dharma Talk (kids program offered)
11:00am Outdoor Walking Meditation
12:15pm Silent Lunch
Personal Free Time
3:00pm Touching the Earth or Informal Tea with Teacher (kids program offered)
4:00pm Dharma Discussion Groups (kids program continued)
5:30pm Silent Dinner
7:00pm Mindfulness Training Panel or Q & A (kids program offered)
9:00pm Sitting Meditation
Lodging & Cost: You will be placed with 4-5 other people in very nice rooms, each equipped with its own bathroom.  The retreat cost includes all meals and lodging. A donation (dana) amount for our teacher is not included in the retreat cost, please read below for more info. Tents and campers are welcome and there is a bath house available for your use. There are two hookups on site a short walk from the camp. For all lodging options you will need to bring your own bedding and towels (pillows too!).  
To hold a spot for you at the retreat we must receive your registration along with either a deposit amount of $100 per adult, and $50 per kid, or your full payment. Any remaining balance will be due upon your arrival at the retreat, via cash or check ONLY.
All lodging options (including camping):
$260.00 per adult (ages 18 and over)
$150.00 (ages 12-17)
$125.00 (ages 5-11)
Ages 0-4 are free
Scholarships: Limited scholarship help is available, please contact the retreat director for more information.  We're also happy to set up payment plans for your convenience. We want to support those that need financial assistance as best we can, please contact us to work out an arrangement :)
Dana (generosity): By tradition dharma teachers offer their services free of charge, therefore, the cost of the retreat itself (as noted above) does not include any money that goes to our teacher. For regularly employed we ask that $100 be offered to help support our teacher and the work they do.  All donation amounts are welcome.  Checks (written to our teacher) or cash are accepted at the time of our retreat.
Food: All food is provided and cooked by the FLBC and is vegetarian with some non-dairy & gluten-free options (on request). If you have other dietary restrictions please contact the retreat director as soon as possible in order to see if we can help support your diet during the retreat. There will be a full dinner served on Thursday evening at the start of the retreat. Please note that on the last day of each retreat, which is a Sunday, only one meal will be served. Brunch on Sunday is served around 10:00am. 

Silence: We will practice Nobel Silence from after the evening program until after breakfast, approximately 9:30pm-9:00am.  During this period we will do our best to refrain from all talking.  The rest of the day we will practice Mindful Silence.  During Mindful Silence we will try to avoid all social or other unnecessary conversations.  Please keep in mind that during our spring family retreats we'll have kids present so we will also practice going with the flow of having wonderful little voices around :)

What To Bring:

Bedding & Pillow
Alarm clock    
Ear plugs (for sound sleeping)
Appropriate footwear for outdoor walking meditation
Warm coat
Loose, comfortable clothing (layers work great)
Toiletries and towel
Meditation cushion (we will have plenty on hand as well)
Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp (FLBC): The FLBC is a beautiful facility that sits right on the shore of the Flathead Lake in Lakeside, Montana. There are many wooded trails to stroll on and a spacious meditation area that includes an attached dining hall. For more info about the FLBC go to:

Directions to the Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp:

The drive will take approximately 2 hours from Missoula and 3 hours from Helena. 

From Missoula take I-90 W to exit #96/US 93 N/MT-200 W to Kalispell.  Turn right onto US 93 N and   continue to Polson, about 70 miles.  From Polson continue on US 93 N, around the west side of the Flathead Lake - it will be about a 35-minute drive to the camp from Polson.  Look for Lutheran Camp Road on the right hand side of US 93 N between mile markers 94 & 95.  You will see a Lutheran Camp Road sign about 700 feet before the turn off.  After you turn right onto Lutheran Camp Rd. you will come to a fork, go left and continue on Lutheran Camp Rd. to the parking lot.

From Helena take US 12 for app. 30 miles and then turn right onto MT-141.  Go app. 32 miles and then turn left onto MT-200.  In app. 23 miles you’ll turn right onto MT-83 and go 91 miles to MT-35 and turn right.  Take the first left onto MT-82 then turn left onto US 93.  Look for Lutheran Camp Road on the left hand side between mile markers 94 & 95.  After turning onto Lutheran Camp Road you’ll come to a fork, go left and continue on Lutheran Camp Rd. to the parking lot.         
Questions?  Each retreat is supported by all of our Montana Sanghas and led by two retreat directors, which alternate per spring and fall each year.  For more info please contact:


Fall Retreat, 2017 - Ann Kuntzweiler, co-directing with Stan,

Spring Retreat, 2018 - Nicole Dunn, co-directing with Peggy & Bob,