Insight Retreat Center

Online BIPOC Insight Retreat

Announcing a new 5 day Online BIPOC Insight Retreat

with bruni dávila and Tuere Sala
April 8 to 12, 2021

Suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners who self-identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). This is an opportunity to come together in community and provide safety for each other, to meditate and explore the Buddha’s teachings of liberation in the light of our own experience.

Visit our Online Retreat Schedule for more details and to apply online for the retreat.

Online Work Practice in Sangha

Join fellow practitioners for a new offering: Online work practice in sangha.  Hosted by the resident volunteers at IRC, online work practice half-days feature time for 2 unguided sits with one another, along with a work period for “yogi jobs” between them.  The work period offers time to practice mindfulness while caring for our living spaces, gardening, cooking, or working on whatever project each practitioner chooses to do. (For those registered for the retreat that begins in the day(s) following a work day, this may include preparing your space for your week of formal practice.) There are also opportunities to reflect on your practice with other participants and socialize with new and familiar dharma friends.

Upcoming online work days will be held on the following Saturdays: Feb. 27, March 27, April 24, and May 15 from 9:00 until noon.  If you would like to join us, please RSVP here. We will send you the Zoom link the Friday before the Online Work Day.

Online Work Day schedule

9:00-9:30 sit

9:30-10:00 Opening Circle, with an opportunity for everyone to check in

10:00-11:30 Work Period, with an optional 11:10-11:30 social time

11:30-12:00 sit

12:00-12:30 retreat check-in for those registered for the retreat (no need to RSVP for the check-in portion of the day)


If you have questions, please email

January 16 Daylong

A Day of Quiet Practice with Matthew Brensilver

9:30am – 4:30pm       Saturday January 16th 2021

In practicing mindfulness, we cultivate a sense of refuge. The sense of refuge fosters the ease and stability such that we can allow more and more of the world to rush into our heart. Please join us in this day of quiet practice as we sit in the protection afforded by a 2600-year legacy of wisdom and compassion.

The day will include sitting and walking meditation, guided practice, and conclude with a dharma talk. You are kindly asked to participate in the full day – or as much of the day as you are able.

Zoom Link and Schedule

Yearend Letter from Gil

Dear Friends

IMC seems to expand in ten-year leaps and bounds. I became the guiding teacher in 1990. We found our Redwood City meditation center in 2000. By 2010 we discovered IRC, our retreat center. Unexpectedly, in 2020, we created our “Online Retreat Center” with twenty online retreats for the year.

We’ve added new teachers at a growing pace. In 1990, I was the only teacher. Andrea Fella started teaching in 2005, Ines Freedman in 2011, Max Erdstein and Nikki Mirghafori in 2016, and Andrea Castillo, bruni dávila, and Diana Clark in 2019 (the same year that Ying Chen started her teacher training).

The number of people listening to our teachings has increased dramatically. In 1990, it was 12–15 people a week in a small church library. Now, through Audio Dharma and YouTube, tens of thousands of people have access to IMC programs and teachings each week.

All this is beyond anything we imagined in 1990.

It has been inspiring and heartwarming to know of all the people who benefit from what IMC offers. It motivates us to do even more, aiming to change the whole world for the better.

We are very grateful for all the support we receive from volunteers, donors, practitioners, and listeners. Thank you all!

If you like to offer an end-of-year donation to support our activities and continued growth, please click here or go to the donate button on IMC’s website.


Gil Fronsdal


Progress on Renewables Project

During the first two weeks of November, IRC’s resident volunteers teamed with SunWork, a non-profit dedicated to helping homeowners and small organizations adopt solar power, to install solar panels on the roof at IRC.  The solar panel installation was preceded by an extensive rewiring project. The rewiring, a major upgrade, prepared the facility for the installation of a replacement generator in October as well as the solar panels.  The new system and the cost savings from generating our own power will contribute to IRC’s financial well-being for decades to come.  Many thanks to our resident volunteers, donors, and finance team for achieving IRC’s goal of converting to renewable energy!


As 2020 draws to a close, there is much to be grateful for at IRC.  The center is fortunate to have had strong support from volunteers, retreatants and teachers during the time IRC has had to be closed to residential retreats.  Neither the COVID pandemic nor the biggest set of wildfires in California history have dampened the ability of our dedicated community to practice the dharma and offer numerous acts of generosity towards one another.  May all beings benefit from this year of practice at IRC as the dharma of kindness radiates from each of you to others in your lives.

New Online Retreat Section

Visit our Online Retreat Schedule for details

During the past months of pandemic, in order to protect everyone’s health, a number of retreats have been offered online in lieu of cancelled residential retreats.  IRC will continue to offer online retreats even after the time comes when we can safely reopen for residential retreats.
Registration open for:
July 16-19
4 day Online Insight Retreat
Teachers: Gil Fronsdal, Andrea Castillo, Diana Clark, bruni dávila, and Neesha Patel
Gil will provide teachings and instructions; Andrea, Diana, bruni, and Neessha will provide practice discussion,

Registration opens June 3 for:

August 27-30, 2020
4 day Online Insight Retreat
Teachers: with Gil Fronsdal, assisted by Diana Clark, Shelley Gault and others


Registration opens June 11 for:

September 4-7, 2020
4 day Online Insight Retreat
Teachers: with Max Erdstein and Diana Clark

Registration opens July 1 for:
October 1-4, 2020
4 day Online Insight Retreat
Teachers: with Max Erdstein and JoAnna Hardy

Registration opens June 11 for:
October 11-18, 2020
1 week Online Insight Retreat
Teachers: with Max Erdstein and Matthew Brensilver

Visit our Online Retreat Schedule for details


Invitation to IRC Mini-Retreats

On Wednesday mornings, starting May 27, IRC is hosting live stream, online mini-retreats providing a small taste of being on retreat at IRC.  An IRC retreat teacher will lead each mini-retreat with guided meditation and a Dharmette (a fifteen-minute Dharma talk). These Dharmette’s will focus on topics of personal meditation practice that are relevant practice both on retreat and at home.  The schedule for the mini-retreat is

9:50 a.m.   Welcome and Orientation with an IRC Resident Volunteer
10:00 a.m.  Guided Meditation
10:30 a.m.  Walking Meditation
10:50 a.m.  Lightly guided meditation
11:30 am.   Dharma talk with some reference to retreat practice
11:45 a.m.  Q and A
12:00 p.m.  End

The retreat will be offered through “Insight Retreat Center” Youtube Channel found HERE

To donate to the Mini-retreat teacher or IRC, please go here on the IMC website.

The retreat will begin with a ten-minute live stream Welcome and Orientation offered by one of IRC’s resident volunteers. They will introduce you to a part of our retreat center. Over time, participants will have a chance to see our meditation hall, walking hall, dining room, kitchen, yogi rooms, outdoor walking areas, garden, forest, and a bit of the life of the resident volunteers.


Online Retreats through July

To support efforts to prevent or slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we have cancelled residential retreats for now, and are closely following the development of this situation, taking the measures needed to protect our communities.

IRC is offering online retreats in lieu of most retreats through the end of July. Check the Retreat Schedule web page for retreats that are re-opened or newly opened for applications.  Please know that lotteries for future retreats will be on hold until we are certain we can offer a retreat.

We will continue to consider with care whether future retreats planned at IRC can be offered on a residential basis or online, based upon public health officials’ advice about public gatherings.  If you are registered for future retreats, please check your email regularly.

Thank you for practicing compassion towards yourselves and your community in these matters.

Garden Days



Volunteers are invited to help out in the garden at various times during each month.

To get monthly email announcements, Join our Garden email list.