Insight Retreat Center

Offsite Retreats

Offsite Retreat Schedule

  • Indoor Retreats & Nature Retreats: Some of the retreats listed below will be held indoors; others may be nature retreats and be held outdoors.  Please read retreat descriptions carefully. 
  • Cost: Retreats are offered freely at no cost to anyone who participates. Most of the financial support for IRC comes from donations participants offer at the end of retreats. Their generosity is what allows others to participate in future retreats.
  • Deposit: A refundable deposit via credit card is required to reserve a space in the retreat. Your card will only be charged if: (1) you are accepted into the retreat and cancel after the cancellation deadline, (three weeks before the start of the retreat), or (2) you are accepted into the retreat and do not attend.
  • For more information, contact the person whose email is provided in the individual retreat listing.
Offsite Retreats

5 day Coming Home: A Meditation Backpacking Pilgrimage with Kirsten Rudestam (meditation teacher) and Kuan Luo (wilderness guide). A Sky Mind and IRC collaboration.
July 23 to 27, 2024  -  Hours: Tuesday check-in is from 9:00 am to 11:00 am  End time: Saturday 2:00 pm

Those in spiritual and contemplative traditions have long participated in rituals of pilgrimage to demonstrate reverence for life and to remember the larger ground of belonging. In this retreat we join in this tradition, becoming intimate with the nature of our own minds alongside the wider natural world of which we are part. A significant part of the retreat will be held in silence, interspersed with periods of shared exploration through dialogue, community inquiry, and nature based ceremony. We will also have the opportunity to spend a day and night of solitary time on the land. We will offer meditation instructions, group guidance, and wilderness/backpacking skills. All are welcome. Backpacking experience is not required.

This retreat takes place in the Gifford Pinchot Wilderness, lands long stewarded by the Cayuse, Yakama, Umatilla, Walla Walla peoples and many others. The trailhead is approximately 1.5 hours from Portland Oregon.

This retreat is offered in the spirit of generosity. It is free of cost and participants will have an opportunity to support the teachers and IRC at the end of the retreat. Retreatants will need to bring their own food and camping supplies. More information will be provided upon registration

Registration will be on a first come, first served basis. Registration ends June 26th and participants should reserve 7:00 PM PST June 28th for an orientation call.


5 day BIPOC Nature Dharma and Insight Retreat with bruni dávila, Ram Appalaraju and Kuan Luo. This is an Insight Retreat Center offering at Big Springs Retreat Center in Sierra City, CA
August 6 to 10, 2024  -  Hours: Tuesday check-in is from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm  End time: Saturday 1:00 pm

This nature retreat for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) offers a variety of contemplative practices in the northern Sierra Mountains in a rural retreat center. Each day will include meditation, earth-based practices, deep discussions on our relationship to the natural world, and guided exploration of forested lands of the 170-acre retreat center. 

In the beauty and harmony of nature, and having no access to internet and cell phones, we will have the opportunity to slow down, unplug and settle into the refuge that Mother Earth offers to us. Activities will occur outdoors or in the large meditation hall, depending on the weather.

Big Springs retreat center is located in the Sierra Mountains; about 1 hr 45 mins from Reno NV Airport, 2 Hrs 30 mins from Sacramento Airport, or 4.5 hours from San Francisco Airport and San Jose -- Big Springs Map

Accommodations will be either in single rooms in resident halls or, for those who bring their own tent and sleeping gear, on tent platforms among the trees near a bath house with toilets, shower, and sauna.

Photos: Big Springs Area -- Big Springs Woods -- Big Springs Meditation Hall


RETREAT FULL - to be put on the WAITING LIST.   - or Register for Carpooling

  • Requirements: Having an established meditation practice and participated in one silent meditation retreat.
  • Your application and $100 deposit must be received by 7/7/24 to be entered in the lottery. Applicants will be notified about 2 weeks later if they have been Accepted or are on the Waiting List. Subsequent applications will be added to the Waiting List. Your deposit will only be charged if you are accepted to the retreat and cancel after 7/21/24.
  • Questions: Contact the Registrar: Prerana,   prerana@insightretreatcenter.org

6 day Insight Retreat with Dawn Neal and Kim Allen.
August 11 to 16, 2024  -  Hours: Sunday check-in is from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm  End time: Friday 11:30 am

A silent mindfulness retreat with alternating sitting and walking meditation, instruction, dharma talks, work meditation, and practice discussion with the teachers. This rustic retreat center is surrounded by the deep forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and includes a beautiful walk uphill to the meditation hall. Suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners. This retreat is offered freely, as gifts to those who attend—there is no cost. Donations by those who attend make it possible to pass this gift forward to others who want to attend these freely offered retreats.

The Quaker Center is located approximately 45 minutes north of Santa Cruz, California, and approximately an hour southwest of San Jose International Airport.

Accommodations will either be in double rooms or in your own tent at a campsite (approximately five campsites are available). All guests at Quaker Center are required to bring their own sheets, pillowcases, towels, and toiletries (blankets and some pillows are provided). Campers should plan to bring their own tent and sleeping gear.

APPLY ONLINE. Registration closes May 21.

Requirements: Having an established meditation practice, including mindfulness meditation.

Your application and credit card deposit must be received by May 21, 2024 to be entered in the lottery. Applicants will be notified by 5/23/2024 if they have been accepted or are on the waiting list. Subsequent applications will be added to the waiting list. Your credit card will only be charged the $200 deposit if you are accepted into the retreat and cancel after 7/25/2024.

Questions: Contact the Registrar, Denise: registrar@insightsantacruz.org


or Register for Carpooling

6 day Touching the Earth: A Nature Dharma Retreat with Kirsten Rudestam and Rupert Marquis. A Sky Mind and IRC collaboration.
August 22 to 27, 2024  -  Hours: Thursday check-in is from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm  End time: Tuesday 11:00 am

To live attentively is to embrace the truth of our fundamental connection with all beings, including our collective joys and losses. In this retreat we explore how opening to each other and to nature can be a pathway to maturation and a deepening intimacy with this precious life. Through periods of silent meditation, council practice, and dialogue with our human and nonhuman sangha we are invited to know our interdependence as a way of uncovering a greater resilience, appreciation and tenderness in being a conscious part of this animate Earth.

A nature-based primarily silent mindfulness retreat with alternating sitting and walking meditation, instruction, dharma talks, council practice, work meditation, and practice discussion with the teachers. This is a nature-based retreat center. Facilities include two showers, two toilets, meditation and camping platforms, outdoor kitchen and seating area, yurt for gathering and indoor space. It is surrounded by 100s of acres of wilderness, walks to nearby river and creek. Suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners.

This retreat is offered in the spirit of generosity. It is free of cost and participants will have an opportunity to support the teachers and IRC at the end of the retreat. It takes place at Forest Camp of Atlan; White Salmon WA Link to Forest Camp of Atlan


- Registration opened May 9, 2024 - or Register for Carpooling

5 day Dharma Dharma: The Unfolding of Nature with LC Tran. An Insight Retreat Center & Big Bear Retreat Center Collaboration
September 4 to 8, 2024  -  Hours: Wednesday check-in is from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm  End time: Sunday 12:00 pm

Dharma means nature. The Dharma-Dharma retreat is a unique format, which invites yogis to experience and learn about our own nature (body and mind) while immersed in the nature all around us.

In this retreat, we will utilize the ancient technique of living simply with noble silence and staying within body and mind, while learning through observing the unfolding of nature. By being in a community where everyone is oriented toward mindfulness and wisdom, the mind will learn to relate to other beings and to itself in a more sacred and loved way. Walking under the sky, sitting under the trees, sleeping in tents, and gathering in a circle for Dharma discussion…our modern, conditioned systems will be reset and refreshed for a better way of living.

Registration and more information at Big Bear Registration


3 day Weekend Non-Residential Retreat with Diana Clark and Tanya Wiser at Hidden Villa, Los Altos, CA (Map) .
October 25 to 27, 2024  -  Hours: Friday check-in is from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm  End time: Sunday 2:30 pm

Sat Oct 12, 7:00 - 8:00pm -- required pre-retreat meeting on Zoom

Fri Oct 25, 3:00pm - 8:00pm

Sat Oct 26, 8:00am - 8:00pm

Sun Oct 27, 8:00am - 2:30pm

Non-residential retreats provide a unique opportunity for intensive meditation practice, in-person with others, while also allowing one to stay in their own bedroom at night. For some, a non-residential retreat allows them to become familiar with residential retreats before signing up for one. For others, a non-residential retreat allows them to practice intensely, while also being available in the evenings for other responsibilities they may have. Whatever the reason for attending a non-residential retreat, it is a wonderful opportunity to deepen one’s practice and practice in-person with others.

This retreat, offered on a late Friday afternoon and evening, all day on Saturday and much of the day on Sunday, will provide a similar experience to a weekend residential retreat. The retreat, at Hidden Villa Dana Center, in Los Altos, CA, will be a silent mindfulness retreat with alternating sitting and walking meditation, instruction, dharma talks, work meditation, and practice discussions with the teachers. It will be oriented toward those who have less retreat experience, but is suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners.

This retreat is offered freely, in the spirit of generosity, at no cost to anyone who participates. We are entirely supported by a community of teachers, practitioners, volunteers and donors whose generosity is the foundation for our retreat offerings. With no paid staff, our retreats express the integration of practice, service, and goodwill of all who participate. Most of the financial support for these retreats comes from donations participants offer at the end of retreats. Their generosity is what allows others to participate in future retreats.


Registration opens August 1, 2024 - please check back then

5 day Natural Awareness Retreat with Marjolein Janssen and Ari Crellin-Quick at Hidden Villa, Los Altos, CA (Map) .
January 7 to 11, 2025  -  Hours: Tuesday check-in is from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm  End time: Saturday 1:00 pm

Please join us for a 5-day silent retreat focusing on the cultivation of natural awareness, relaxation and skillful understanding of our moment-to-moment experience. This retreat will be offered in the teaching style of meditation master Sayadaw U Tejaniya, who emphasizes approaching meditation with relaxed interest and allowing experience to be known in a simple way as it unfolds naturally. There will be alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation. There will be daily instructions, reflections and group practice discussions, offered by the teachers.

Simple vegetarian meals will be provided. The accommodations include rustic yet cozy dormitory-style cabins, with the option to set up your own tent on a platform for those who prefer to camp. Full shared bathrooms are in a separate building. The property is set in a wooded area adjacent to a community garden and petting zoo, with nearby hiking trails. There is also the option to commute to this retreat; if you’d like to make use of this option, please indicate this on the registration form.

This retreat is offered freely, as a gift to those who attend—there is no cost. Donations by those who attend make it possible to pass this gift forward to others who attend IRC off-site retreats.

For more information, or to sign up to receive an email when registration opens, please email retreats@brightdharma.nl


APPLY ONLINE - Registration opens August 1, 2024 - please check back then


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