Insight Retreat Center


Work Day July 9
Join us at IRC for a Work Day July 9th

Work days provide an opportunity to join fellow practitioners for work practice in sangha.  Hosted by the resident volunteers at IRC, work days feature two group sits and lunch together, along with morning and afternoon work periods. Each month IRC hosts a work day to support the care of the center and our precious lands. You can help with either indoor or garden tasks.


Join the Work Day Email List to get notifications

Work Day Schedule:

9:00 – 9:30 Check-in and Meditation

9:30 – 9:50 Coffee and Tea Social in Dining Room (Optional Tour for First Time Volunteers)

9:50 – 10:00 Opening Circle in Community Room

10:00 – 12:00 Work Period

12:00 – 12:45 Vegetarian Lunch

12:45 – 2:00 Work Period

2:00 – 2:30 Meditation and Dedication of Merit in Meditation Hall

(Posted June 21, 2022)

New! Monthly Online Daylong Retreats

Daylong retreats are important opportunities to “retreat” from one’s daily life in order to cultivate greater mindfulness, concentration, tranquility and insight, and also supporting our practice by practicing in community.  

The retreats are held mostly in silence and include periods of sitting and walking meditation, instructions,  a dharma talk, and an opportunity to ask questions of the teacher.  They are suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners.  

IRC is offering an online daylong retreat most months on a Saturday beginning July 9th.   They will take place in our Zoom virtual Meditation Hall.  You will be sent the link when you register.

Questions?  Contact Sandra Sanabria

Register for Daylong Online Retreats here

(Posted May 8, 2022)

Vehicle Donation Request
IRC is seeking a lightly-used vehicle (passenger car, SUV, van or truck) for the use of our Resident Volunteers in hauling supplies for landscaping, facilities, and our retreat kitchen.
It will be helpful there is plenty of trunk space, or if the back seats can be folded down for additional trunk space.  If the vehicle has at least half its useful life ahead of it (rather than being at its end stage when lots of repairs are being required), it will be most practical for IRC.
If you have a vehicle you’d like to donate, please contact  Liz Powell, our managing director

(Posted May 3, 2022)

Space Available in Online Retreats

IRC has upcoming online retreats in which there is room for more retreatants.  When retreats are marked “FULL,” there is often still an opportunity to apply to be put on the waitlist, from which you may be accepted into the retreat as cancellations occur. Apply today on IRC’s Online Retreat Schedule web page for the opportunity to practice with helpful teachings in a supportive community.

2 week Online Webcast via Zoom Experienced Student Insight Retreat with Gil Fronsdal Andrea Fella, and Online Practice Discussions with Ines Freedman
May 8 to  21, 2022

1 week Online Webcast via Zoom Insight Retreat with Gil Fronsdal and Diana Clark, and Online Practice Discussions with Liz Powell
June 5 to 12, 2022

6 day Online Insight Retreat with Matthew Brensilver and Ines Freedman
June 18 to 23, 2022

(Posted April 24, 2022)

IRC Gardening Days Feb. 6, 13 & 20

You are invited to join us for Gardening Days; please RSVP to if you’d like to help out:
Sunday, February 6, 9am – 1pm

Saturday, February 13, 9am – 1pm

Saturday, February 20, 9am – 1pm

Please bring a brown bag lunch if you’d like to have lunch together outdoors. Volunteers must be fully vaccinated and have received a booster (or their vaccination) within the past 6 months.  Bring and wear an N-95, KN-95 or KF-94 mask when with others, as well as practicing social distancing.

If you’d like to volunteer in the garden on other week days, click here to receive notices for weekday garden days

(Posted January 22, 2022)

New Online Retreats Posted

November 28 to December 5
1 week Online Webcast via Zoom Insight Retreat with Gil FronsdalAndrea Fella, and Online Practice Discussions with Ines Freedman
A Webcast via Zoom of a live silent mindfulness retreat with Gil Fronsdal and Andrea Fella, and Online Practice Discussions with Ines Freedman, the Online Teacher.

December 13 to 19
1 week Online Insight Santa Cruz Retreat with Bob StahlMary Grace Orr, and JD Doyle and yoga with Yasmina Porter
A silent mindfulness retreat with alternating sitting and walking meditation, instruction, dharma talks, work meditation, and practice discussion with the teacher. Suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners.

Register on the Online Retreat Schedule page

(Posted October 5, 2021)

Residential Retreat Plans

IRC is delighted to announce tentative plans for resuming residential retreats beginning in September.  Hosting them as residential retreats will be contingent upon Santa Cruz County health officials and the CDC declaring such gatherings to be safe. Upon acceptance, retreatants will be asked to submit a copy of their vaccination card.  If changes in COVID make it necessary, the retreats will be held online instead.  Watch our Residential Retreat schedule page for the dates that retreat registrations will open.  We look forward to welcoming you as we gradually return to our wonderful center!

(Posted April 12, 2021)

Saturday April 17th Daylong Retreat with Matthew Brensilver

A Day of Quiet Practice with Matthew Brensilver

Saturday,  April 17, 2021  ~   9:30am – 4:30pm (Pacific Time)   

The past year has been mercilessly offering us opportunities to learn, but it’s difficult to take in the lessons. Overwhelmed or exhausted, it can be challenging to find new ways of responding to perennial pains. To learn from experience, we cultivate a sense of refuge. The direct experience 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.


  • 9:30 – 10:15                 Welcome, Practice Instructions & Sit
  • 10:15 – 12:30               Morning practice period
  • 12:30 – 1:30                 Lunch
  • 1:30 – 3:30                   Afternoon practice period
  • 3:30 – 3:45                   Stretch / Walk
  • 3:45 – 4:30                   Dharma Talk / Closing

Zoom Link:

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(Posted April 5, 2021)

IRC Winter – Spring 2021 Newsletter

The Winter – Spring 2021 Newsletter is available now.

(Posted February 4, 2021)

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.

(Posted January 19, 2021)