Insight Retreat Center

Online Work Days

Join fellow practitioners for a new offering: Saturday online work days.  Hosted by the resident volunteers at IRC, online work 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 the Sunday 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: Dec. 5, Jan. 23, and Feb. 27, from 9:00 until noon.  If you would like to join us, please register 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


If you have questions, please email

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.

IRC & the Wildfires


Thank you to members of the IRC and IMC communities who have reached out to check in on IRC, and had us in your thoughts.

The wildfires in the Santa Cruz area have necessitated the evacuation of a large number of people from nearby communities.  IRC is not currently in an evacuation zone.  However, our resident volunteers (RVs) have made good use of our emergency procedures to prepare IRC as much as possible to mitigate against potential harm from fire.  We are staying informed of local emergency alerts and the RVs are safe.

We will have to wait to see how the wildfires, hot weather and predicted storms affect us in the coming week(s), and will share significant updates as we have information.

Meanwhile our hearts are with everyone affected by these and the many other current challenges facing us all.  May all beings be free from harm.

August 22, 2020

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.


Update on 2020 IRC Retreats From Gil


Since sheltering-in-place started in mid-March IRC retreats have either been converted to online retreats or cancelled.  One of the inspiring surprises is how well the online retreats work.  While they are certainly different than our usual residential retreats, they have the benefit of placing the practice in the middle of many people’s home life. It has infused many people’s everyday life with a much greater integration with the practice.  Many of us now realize online, home retreats led by teachers has been a missing piece of the practice opportunities we offer at IMC and IRC.  We plan to continue offering online retreats once shelter-in-place is over.

Starting May 27, IRC is also hosting regular, Wednesday morning “mini-retreats” with our retreat teachers. For about two hours, you can have a tiny bit of a taste of what retreats are at IRC.

We do not know when we will be able to reopen IRC for residential retreats.  Our plan is to be conservative about when we open. We are seriously considering not restarting our residential retreats until there is a vaccine, an effective treatment for COVID-19, or some other unexpected development related to the Corona virus.

In the meantime, we continue with the maintenance and upgrading of our IRC facility. We are replacing our old generator, so we have more reliable backup electricity, redoing the electrical wiring so it is ready for our solar panels, and, as funds come in, placing solar panels on the roof. We will also be improving the building in ways that will minimize the spread of colds and flus during retreats.

Finally, our wonderful resident volunteers are sheltered at IRC caretaking the innumerable tasks of keeping the building ready to open again. They have also provided the backbone of support for our online retreats. The RVs are keeping the momentum going of the generosity and goodwill which is central to IRC’s success.  When we open again for residential retreats, we will be ready!



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.

Fall/Winter 2020 Newsletter

Please click for the Fall/Winter 2020 Newsletter


Video: Gil in a Hard Hat 2012

June 1st marks the one-year anniversary of taking possession of IRC’s new home!
We’re two months into the renovation and things are progressing well.

Following is a brief informal video fo Gil as he visited IRC last week:  Video of Gil.

Please click here to DONATE NOW.