Insight Retreat Center

Winter-Spring 2017 Newsletter

Please click below for either the Online Version or Printable PDF of our Winter-Spring 2017 Newsletter.


Mortgage Update

We recently paid off the mortgage for the property next door to IRC.  In celebrating that accomplishment, we may have given the mistaken impression that IRC is now debt free. In fact, IRC still has an $800K mortgage on the primary property. Because this mortgage has very generous terms, it made financial sense to first pay off the property next door, whose loan term was much shorter. We are grateful for the continuing support of our community towards helping us realize our goal of being debt free.

Great News! Buying the House Next Door to IRC

We are happy to report that thanks to the generosity of many, we have been able to purchase the property next door. The generous supporter who bought the property last year has made it possible for us to buy it by giving us a 9 year loan with a very favorable interest rate. This last year, our many generous supporters donated $250,000, all used for the down payment. We offer our great thanks to all these supporters!

Now that we own the house, we have begun doing various essential repairs and will be furnishing it. When it is ready, soon the home will become a multi-use building, including housing teachers during retreats. With the current drought, we are very fortunate to now have an additional well to augment the wells that supply IRC.

The loan on the house is $500,000. To safeguard our all-dana and all-volunteer approach to running IRC we feel it is important to pay off this loan as soon as possible.

Any help in paying off this loan is greatly appreciated!

DONATE Online: use the Green section on the page
DONATE By Check:

  • Make checks payable to: Insight Retreat Center
  • Mail to: Insight Retreat Center, 108 Birch Street, Redwood City, CA 94062.
  • Please indicate “Friends of IRC” in the memo.





IRC Update

New Retreat Added

Due to the long waiting lists for our retreats, we have added one more retreat to our schedule this summer:


Do You Have a Van You’d Like to Donate?

IRC is in need of a van that is in good condition, with less than 130,000 miles.
If by chance you have a van that you’d like to donate, it would be fully tax-deductible.


Please Use Amazon Smile if You Buy Through Amazon

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support IRC every time you shop through Amazon, at no cost to you.
Please Sign-Up Here.


House Next Door:  Fundraising Update

As of March 10th the Friends of IRC Campaign has raised $237,800, almost one third of the $750,000 needed to purchase the property next door to IRC!
Thank you to all those who have generously donated.

To Donate:

  • By Check:  Please write Friends of IRC in the memo and mail to:
           Insight Retreat Center, 108 Birch St., Redwood City,  CA  94062
  • Donate Online and choose the GREEN “Special Donation” section.
  • Questions or Gifts of Stock:  email
    or call  (831) 440-8858


Letter from Gil Fronsdal and Andrea Fella

Dear  Friends,

As we finish our second amazing year of running our retreat center we have a clearer understanding and vision of what will help the center thrive well into the future. Coincidently and surprisingly we have been given the opportunity to accomplish this!

Recently, the property next door went up for sale. It includes one forested acre with a 3-bedroom house. Owning this property will allow us to have more resident volunteers caring for our center and our retreats. This is probably the single most important step in creating a strong foundation for our future.

This new property will provide us the extraordinary opportunity to expand the natural setting for the retreat center. It also preserves the quiet and beauty of our retreat environment – the house is only 50 feet from our meditation hall!

The house makes an ideal residence for our teachers. It will offer them a better space to work, collaborate, and bring their families along as they teach retreats.  It also provides housing for training the next generation of teachers.

The forested surroundings will give us more space for walking meditation and private reflection in nature. We can also use this additional acre to create a community room for study retreats and disciplines such as yoga and qi gong.

Purchasing this property has become a possibility! In July, a generous supporter purchased the house in order to provide us time to raise the money to buy it from him for the $750,000 he paid. Please help ensure that this opportunity doesn’t slip away—the sooner we can buy it the sooner we can use it and benefit from it.

We are confident our collective generosity will nurture our community-run center, bringing more and more benefits to our world.  With your donations and good-wishes you can help IRC thrive as a retreat center and as a model for what is possible.

With much gratitude,

Gil Fronsdal and Andrea Fella

Click to see PHOTOS of the property.

~  Ways to Donate  ~

By Check:  Please write Friends of IRC in the memo and mail to:

Insight Retreat Center
108 Birch St.
Redwood City,  CA  94062

DONATE ONLINE  and choose the Green “Special Donation” section.

Questions or Gifts of Stock: please email or call  (831) 440-8858

Fall 2014 IRC E-Newsletter

Please click below for either the Online Version or Printable PDF of our Fall 2014 Newsletter.


Property next door for sale!


Recently, the property next door went up for sale.  Thanks to a generous supporter we have been given the unexpected opportunity to create a better and stronger foundation for IRC. He has purchased the house in order to provide us time to raise the money to buy it from him for the $750,000 he paid. This is an opportunity that won’t come our way again – please help ensure we don’t let the opportunity slip away.  And the sooner we can buy it the sooner we can use it and benefit from it.

Owning it helps IRC as it:

  • Preserves the quiet and ambience of our retreat center
  • Incorporates more nature within IRC
  • Provides room for a larger community of resident volunteers for the smooth running of the center
  • Creates more supportive housing for IRC teachers
  • Provides an additional well for greater water security
  • Gives space to built a community room for disciplines such as yoga, qi gong, and others.

We are delighted and grateful for the opportunity our supporter has given us. We hope many people will participate in this opportunity to donate toward improving IRC!

DONATIONS: If you are inspired by what IRC is doing and have the means to help, please contact us:

  • By check:  please write in the MEMO: Friends of IRC  and mail to:

Insight Retreat Center
108 Birch St.
Redwood City, CA 94062

  • Donate online:  Click here:  DONATE ONLINE  and choose the Green “Special Donation” section.

Donate a Car – Support IRC

green vw IRC has set up a Vehicle Donation program with CARS. You can make a tax-deductible donation of a vehicle you no longer want, working or not.

 CARS will handle pick-up and all paperwork needed, and IRC will get 75% of the sale price. Make sure you tell them you want to donate to the Insight Retreat Center.  FAQ

To donate a vehicle, please Fill out this Form or call 855-500-RIDE and a helpful representative will schedule your pick-up appointment and guide you through the process or answer any questions.

You can also access this information on the IRC Donations page as well as see other various ways to support IRC.

February 2014 IRC E-Newsletter Available

Our February 2014 online newsletter is now available here.
You can also download a printable PDF version if you prefer.

Letter from Gil Fronsdal and Andrea Fella

November 2013

Dear Friend,

Among the important teachings presented at Insight Meditation Center (IMC) and our new Insight Retreat Center (IRC) are values conveyed in the very way our centers are run.  Both centers operate on the remarkable power of generosity, volunteerism, and kind-heartedness.

What some said was not possible has been possible: we can run two centers where programs are offered freely at no cost and operations are run entirely by volunteers.

With this end-of-the-year fundraising letter we offer you a chance to contribute to sustaining and strengthening our two centers and our many programs.

At IMC, we have programs most evenings and most days, sometimes throughout the day. We hope to continue expanding our IMC programs as well as improving the facilities that house them.  We would like to upgrade the meditation hall by replacing our large wall of colored glass windows with seismically safe windows.  We would also like to replace the hard chairs in our meditation hall with ones more comfortable for meditation.

During Insight Retreat Center’s first year, we successfully offered fourteen residential retreats. The demand for IRC retreats is very high, and we plan to expand the number of retreats we offer next year. We would like to upgrade the facility by replacing the ageing decks that surround the building. In addition, we are fundraising for a solar water heater that would reduce our environmental impact and our costs.

We are very grateful for all donations we receive. Every donation we receive contributes to our ability to benefit innumerable people. We are inspired by these contributions that allow us to continue offering what we do.

Many thanks,


Gil Fronsdal              Andrea Fella