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

Online registration is now CLOSED (8/7/19)

To be placed on the waiting list, please contact Ann at

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Dharma Teacher: Terry Cortés-Vega

Terry has been described as “One of the funniest dharma teachers ever and one of the wisest ones.”

Terry Cortés-Vega began her training in mindfulness in 1998 with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. In 2012 she was ordained as a Dharma Teacher in his Order of Interbeing.

Her home Sangha is Plum Blossom Sangha in Austin, Texas.

For 37 years Terry has owned and directed MasterSchool, a summer program for gifted youngsters. She has offered Dharma talks and guided meditations to children and teens at the Buddhist Youth Academy Summer Camp in California and young adults at the University of Texas in Austin.

For more than 20 years Terry has led a weekly meditation/mindfulness/yoga class in various jails and prisons. With the help of inmates, she is writing a book for people who offer similar classes. She also leads a weekly “Buddhist Service” for inmates at the DelValle Correctional Center near Austin.

Terry is happily married to Gustavo Cortés-Vega, a beautiful Mexican who is now also a U.S. citizen. They have children and grandchildren in the United States and Mexico. Gustavo and Terry live in the country with horses, chickens, too many cats, a fat polkadot pig and various wild critters.

Retreat Dates:

All retreats will be held at the Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp (FLBC) on the Flathead Lake in Lakeside, Montana.


Spring Retreat May 2 -May 5, led by Dharma teacher Michael Ciborski

Fall Retreat Sept. 26 - Sept 29, led by Dharma teacher Terry Cortez-Vega


Spring Retreat Apr. 30 - May 3  

Fall Retreat Sept 24 - Sept 27


Spring Retreat April 29 - May 2  

Fall Retreat Sept. 23 - Sept. 26


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:



IMPORTANT, Please Read: This meditation retreat is not a physical or mental health treatment and does not provide physical or mental health treatment resources.  If you are under treatment for a physical or mental condition, please consult your medical provider regarding the appropriateness of this experience for persons with your condition.

Registration: As retreats get closer we will provide info here on this page as to when our online registration will open. Typically, we open registration about 2-months prior to each of our retreats.

To hold a spot for you at the retreat we must receive your registration along with either a deposit amount, or your full payment. Any remaining balance will be due upon your arrival at the retreat, via cash or check only.

Cancellation Policy: The Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp has a cancellation policy that is non-negotiable. 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.


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 6:30 am) 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 4:00-6:00 pm. You are welcome to start arriving anytime after 4:00 pm and a full dinner will be served around 5:30 pm. Our evening program with introduction to the retreat begins around 7:00 pm.

The retreats end on a Sunday in the early afternoon, generally between 1:00-2:00pm.

Sample Schedule:

(Friday & Saturday)

6:00 am Wake Up

6:30 am Sitting & Walking Meditation, Sutra Service

8:15 am Silent Breakfast

9:30 am Dharma Talk (kids program offered SPRING ONLY)

11:00 am Outdoor Walking Meditation

12:15 pm Silent Lunch

Personal Free Time

3:00 pm Touching the Earth or Informal Tea with Teacher

4:00 pm Dharma Discussion Groups (kids program offered SPRING ONLY)

5:30 pm Silent Dinner

7:00 pm Mindfulness Training Panel or Q & A (kids program offered SPRING ONLY)

9:00 pm Sitting Meditation

Lodging & Cost: You will be placed with 4-5 other people in well-heated rooms with bunk beds, each equipped with its own bathroom. The retreat cost includes all meals and lodging. A donation 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 or your full payment. Any remaining balance will be due upon your arrival at the retreat, via cash or check ONLY.

Fall 2019 PRICING
All lodging options (including camping): $270.00 per adult

Scholarships: 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 direct financial support for our teacher. If your situation allows, we ask that $100 be offered to help support our teacher - please know that all donation amounts are welcome. Checks (written to our teacher) or cash are accepted on site during our retreats.

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 10:00 am.

Silence: We will practice Noble Silence from after the evening program until after breakfast, approximately 9:30 pm-9:00 am. 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. 

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. 


Contact Info:

Fall Retreat, 2019 - Ann Kuntzweiler, co-directing with Stan & Sandi & Lauren

Spring Retreat, 2020 - Nicole Dunn, co-directing with Peggy & Bob,