Insight Retreat Center


Residential Retreats Deferred

After much deliberation and consultation with our medical advisors about the spread of the Delta variant of COVID, the IRC Executive Committee has made the difficult decision to cancel the first several residential retreats we had scheduled, and to offer them online instead.

Our goal has been to reopen only when it’s determined to be safe enough to allow retreatants to sit together in the meditation hall without masks. Our planning incorporates a willingness to change direction as needed to protect everyone’s health, based upon guidance from local public health officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

We are deeply appreciative of all the volunteers who help create and support retreats, and those who sit them as retreatants: thank you all for your service and generosity, even in light of this sudden shift.  We hope you’ll join us for future retreats, residential as well as online!

(Posted August 11, 2021)

Space Available in Online Retreats

The August, September and October Retreats have been moved online, and there is still room to register in the following retreats:

(Note that the September 12 to 26, 2021 Online Insight Retreat for Experienced Students with Gil Fronsdal, assisted by Ines Freedman is Full, and the Waitlist is closed.)

Please visit the Online Retreat Schedule page of IRC’s website to register or obtain more details.

(Posted August 11, 2021)

Caretaker/ Facilities Manager Wanted

IRC is looking for a dedicated resident volunteer to take care of the maintenance and basic repairs of the IRC property and to manage larger projects.

A background in any of the following is helpful: construction, handy person  carpentry skills, or perhaps a homeowner who has experience maintaining a home with basic do-it-yourself skills.

Requirement:  A two year commitment.

Please fill out a Resident Volunteer Application to apply and learn more, or email

(Posted June 23, 2021)

IRC Gardening Days

The wild spring and summer growth in the IRC gardens could benefit from volunteer help!

You are invited to join us for Gardening Days; please RSVP to if you’d like to help out:
Sunday, June 27, 9am – 1pm

Sunday, July 11, 9am – 1pm

Sunday, July 18, 9am – 1pm

Sunday, August 1, 9am – 1pm

Sunday, August 8, 9am – 1pm

We’ll gather for snacks and refreshments mid-morning.

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

(Posted June 23, 2021)

Electric Vehicle Donation Request
IRC is seeking a lightly-used, electric car for the use of our Resident Volunteer community.  If you have one to donate, please contact  Liz Powell, our managing director

(Posted May 13, 2021)

Work Days

Our monthly Saturday work days will resume once IRC re-opens for residential retreats.

Work days provide an opportunity to join fellow practitioners for work practice in sangha.  Hosted by the resident volunteers at IRC, work days feature 2 group sits and lunch together, along with morning and afternoon work periods.

The work periods offer an opportunity to practice mindful housekeeping and gardening tasks. For those registered for an upcoming retreat, arriving a day early for a work day can be a beneficial way to offer service as you settle in. There are opportunities to reflect on your practice with other participants and socialize with new and familiar dharma friends.  Future work days will be announced on this page and on IRC’s home page.

Work Day schedule

9:00-9:30 sit

9:30-10:00 Opening Circle, with tea and an informal check in

10:00-12:00 Work Period, with an optional 11:10-11:30 break and social time

11:30-12:00 Lunch is provided

1:00-3:00 Work Period, with an optional 2:10-2:30 break and social time

3:30-4:00 sit

If you have questions, please email


(Posted May 11, 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:

One tap mobile

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Dial by your location (Meeting ID: 922 4359 6194)

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Join by SIP:

Join by H.323 (Meeting ID: 922 4359 6194)

  • (US West)
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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)