Retreat in California | Concentration & the Jhanas

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Cultivating Concentration, Jhana Factors, and Jhana States
a 10-night Meditation Retreat in California
led by Shaila Catherine

Tuesday, May 6, 2025 – Friday, May 16, 2025

This retreat will follow the approach to deepening concentration and attaining the absorption states of jhāna as described in Shaila Catherine’s first book, Focused and Fearless, recently republished under the new title, The Jhanas. Instructions will use the breath as the primary meditation object and will encourage the development of meditative skills that lead to deep concentration (samādhi) and clear insight (vipassanā). Daily group instructions will guide participants to efficiently overcome hindrances, cultivate the jhāna factors, develop skill in the meditation object, apply balanced effort, and learn how to enter, emerge, and master the jhāna attainments.

Meetings with the teacher in small groups and one-on-one dialogs will tailor the practices to meet the needs and interests of individual students. Participants who have previously attained the four jhānas on retreat with Shaila may further develop their samādhi with jhāna practices based on the body, the kasinas, and formless perceptions.

This retreat offers a special opportunity to train in concentration and jhāna practices with personal guidance from Shaila Catherine. It is one of the very few retreats each year in which Shaila systematically guides students to establish the four jhānas. See our Concentration and Jhana FAQ page for more information about developing concentration and the absorption states of jhana.

This silent retreat is structured with alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation, dhamma teachings, and teacher consultations. It is intended for meditators who are already familiar with mindfulness based practice, and have previously attended at least one week long silent residential insight meditation retreat.

Prior to the retreat, please read the first half of The Jhanas by Shaila Catherine (previously published under the title Focused and Fearless).

SITE FEATURES: This retreat will be held at Redwood Glen, a lovely retreat center nestled in a redwood forest between La Honda and Pescadero. It’s about a 15-minute drive from Pescadero State Beach, and about a 1-hour drive from either the San Francisco Airport or the San Jose Airport. This retreat center is convenient to reach, and yet offers a secluded and intimate environment for deep meditation practice. You will enjoy the benefits of natural beauty, a spacious meditation hall, comfortable accommodations, delicious meals, and access to walking trails. The center is nestled in a majestic redwood forest, adjacent to county parks and open space preserves. Just a few minutes’ walk from the meditation hall you will find yourself strolling along creek side paths, surrounded by the powerful serenity of the redwood forest.

COVID PRECAUTIONS: Participants will be required to take a rapid-antigen test prior to arriving, and depart if symptoms of illness arise.

Register now! Space is limited.

The retreat begins with registration at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, May 6; it ends with an optional noon lunch on Friday, May 16. Participants who are traveling from afar might need to check flight times carefully, and possibly arrange to stay in a hotel the night before the retreat. Early-arrival accommodations are not available at this retreat center, and we must depart shortly after lunch on the closing day.

TO REGISTER: Please use the online form at the link below to submit your registration and waiver forms.

  • Registration Form: Coming soon! You may email the registrar to request a notification when the form is ready and registration officially opens. 

This form will take approximately 20 minutes to fill out. Upon completion of the form you will receive an email with details for completing your payment. You have the option of paying the non-refundable deposit of $250 or the full retreat payment either by mailing a check to the registrar or by making a Zelle bank transfer. The address and account information for making this payment will be included in the registration confirmation email.

Details of our cancellation policy are on the registration form.

The retreat facility is somewhat handicapped accessible. Accommodations include comfortable hotel-style rooms with ensuite baths, and a few dorm-style cabins. Tent camping and RV camping with hook ups are available. See the application form for accommodation details.

COST: 10 nights (includes accommodation and meals), plus a donation to the teachers at the end of retreat.

  • Full retreat for single occupancy: 10 nights is $3,200 – $2,550 sliding scale (estimated actual cost for single is $2750)
  • Double occupancy sliding scale: $2700 – $2300 (estimated actual cost for double occupancy is $2500)
  • Camping in personal tent or RV sliding scale: $2300 – $1800 (estimated actual cost for camping is $2000)

Fee covers only accommodations, food, and basic administrative expenses. There will be an opportunity at the end of the retreat to make a donation to the teacher.

The estimated actual per-person cost if we had used a fixed rate is $2750 for a single room, $2500 for a shared room, and $2000 for camping. By selecting an amount above the estimated actual cost, your generosity supports those who need to select a lower rate to attend the retreat. Selecting an amount below the estimated actual cost is equivalent to receiving a partial scholarship.

The sliding scale will allow most scholarship needs to be self-managed. If you need additional scholarship support to attend, consider applying for a scholarship through, or contact our registrar for assistance through IMSB/Bodhi-Retreats.

PARTIAL ATTENDANCE may be arranged for a stay of at least 3 nights, but must begin on the first day of retreat, and priority is given to full retreat participants. We strongly encourage attendance at the full retreat. Applicants for partial attendance will be placed on a wait list which will be reviewed approximately 2 months prior to the retreat. Partial attendees will likely be housed in double occupancy rooms unless single rooms remain available 1 month prior to the retreat. You may contact the registrar to determine if single rooms for partial attendance are available.

The rates for partial attendance below are listed as single occupancy. Take 15% off the single rate for double accommodations, and take 20% off for camping.

  • 3 nights (Tuesday–Friday) is $1275
  • 4 nights (Tuesday–Saturday) is $1,600
  • 5 nights (Tuesday–Sunday) is $1925
  • 6 nights (Tuesday–Monday) is $2250
  • 7-9 nights is same as full retreat: single $3200 – $2550 sliding scale

DANA: Compensation for the teacher is not included in the registration price. There will be an opportunity to offer donations to the teacher at the end of the retreat.

QUESTIONS?: meditation2bodhicourses

Co-Sponsored by Bodhi Retreats and Insight Meditation South Bay

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