Visit our Retreat Calendar for upcoming retreats.
Retreats create optimal conditions for the deepening of concentration and insight. They provide the ideal opportunity to set aside the business and pressures of daily routines, and focus intensively on developing the mind, clarifying perception, and opening the heart.
The themes, meditation practices, and schedules may vary from retreat to retreat, however, a common schedule runs from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm with sitting and walking meditations throughout the day, morning meditation instructions, evening dharma talks, group or individual meetings with the teachers, and three nutritious meals per day. Walking and gentle stretching is encouraged.
Our Retreat Calendar lists retreats sponsored by IMSB and Bodhi-Retreats in California, along with other retreats taught by Shaila Catherine that are organized by different sanghas and held at locations worldwide.
- Most Insight Meditation retreats are appropriate for any level of practitioner—beginners and advanced meditators. It will be clearly stated in the description if a retreat is specifically geared for a particular level of practitioner or if pre-requisites are required.
- Shaila periodically offers retreats that emphasize the development of deep concentration and the absorptive states of jhana. Please read the Concentration and Jhana FAQ page if you are seeking a jhana retreat.
- Retreats are generally conducted in silence. Participants speak with the teachers about their meditative experience, but do not engage in social conversation with each other. All electronic forms of communication should be turned off during the course of a retreat.
- Advanced registration is required for all retreats.
- See Frequently Asked Questions, or contact retreats for more information.
Listen to a talk by Shaila Catherine about intensive retreat practice.
“At the spring retreat, I experienced joy and contentment that was beyond words—better than an all you can eat chocolate buffet! I got a taste of happiness beyond sensual pleasure. It has inspired my practice at home.”
“While this work is challenging, I find the sweetest feeling of support and benevolence in the community of other meditators. It is such a rare and sublime experience to actually feel that I can rest and lean into the silence that is so beautifully held by the others.”
“Stress at work dissipates easily now. I feel more refreshed through a long day and I don’t feel ‘put upon’ or in a struggle just to keep up. The more hectic life gets, in fact, the more I am drawn to the places I discover in deep meditation as my ‘real’ life.”
“I feel as if Shaila jump-started my long time Insight Meditation practice, which had plateaued for a while”
“I came to Shaila’s retreat with a couple of burning questions. While I could see the enormous benefit of practice, it wasn’t clear to me how one actually uproots habitual patterns. My understanding was pretty much just intellectual, but the way this teaching was presented enabled me
—Gwyn, New Mexico
“I could not help but notice that I am not the same person that entered that retreat. Something has shifted. What I experienced at the retreat has become quite a dominant vantage point looking out to my world. My commitment to practice has skyrocketed. The feeling of being on the path is fresh and clear. A sense of purpose has appeared.”
“I have been practicing vipassana meditation for many years and this concentration retreat with Shaila was a breakthrough to a deep meditation practice I have never known. Shaila makes the teachings readily accesible, intimate, and clear.”
“I recently attended a ten day retreat with Shaila and Ann Dillon. Their teachings were quite clear and relevant to our contemporary lives while accurately reflecting and honoring the deep and profound teachings of Early Buddhism and the Theravāda Buddhist tradition. They were both extraordinarily generous
“Shaila has both an encyclopedic knowledge of the Suttas and profound skill in giving very clear and specific, doable instruction on how to apply the Buddha’s teaching to personal practice. I have been practicing mindfulness meditation for years and I had several really significant breakthroughs during my last retreat with Shaila.”
“During an 11-day retreat with Shaila, I really learned a lot. The hindrances subsided and I got more concentrated than I had ever before during 20 years of practice. My awareness both in the retreat and after the return to everyday life was much stronger, and I’ve been maintaining the concentration
“Nothing that will amp up your practice quite like being in retreat. Put away cell phones; let go of all distractions. It is blissful to be in silence with others who share the goal of deepening their practice.”