What are some high-end meditation retreats in California?
Hi there! Thank you for your question regarding high-end meditation retreats in California. The short version is that, after an extensive search through many summer retreats in California that offer or specialize in meditation, I have found 10 retreats offered by the San Francisco Zen Center/Tassajara that appear to meet your requirements. Specifically, all of these retreats include meditation, and there are private accommodations with private bathrooms available. Although I found many retreats that focused exclusively on meditation, their accommodations did not meet your requirements, and thus I did not include them. Below is a deep dive into my research and methodology.
To answer your question, I used Wonder's resources database and Google as my primary research tools. Through Wonder's resources, I found an exhaustive listing of summer retreats at the San Francisco Zen Center/Tassajara. Through Google, I found the websites Sunset.com and RetreatsOnline.com, both of which have listings of meditation retreats in California. In addition to these websites, I found the following retreat centers in California that also offer meditation retreats:
- Anubhuti Meditation & Retreat Center
- Esalen Institute
- Silent Stay Retreat Center
- Spirit Rock Insight Meditation Center
However, as mentioned in the introduction, the accommodations of these retreats do not appear to meet your requirements, and some of them included yoga as a part of their meditation retreat program. In the end, I returned to the San Francisco Zen Center/Tassajara's summer retreats. Most of these retreats combine meditation, discussions, and creative writing. Also, the duration of these retreats are from 3 to 6 days and occur over weekends. Below are the 10 retreats that best match your requirements -- I have also created a spreadsheet for your convenience.
- Regarding the number of participants and detailed schedules, I contacted the Center to find out this information, but the person with whom I spoke did not know. Furthermore, Christopher Gallagher, the Events Coordinator, was unavailable when I called. Phone: 415.863.3136
- Regarding accommodations, there are private cabins available, and the double occupancy costs range from $251 to $446, depending on cabin chosen and days of stay.
SPREADSHEET: Meditation Retreats in California
MEDITATION RETREATS IN CALIFORNIA ( S.F. ZEN CENTER/TASSAJARA)
1. Words Under the Words
Date: June 4-9, 2017 (Sunday - Friday)
Details: This retreat combines creative writing with daily meditation, walks, and deep listening.
Leaders: Naomi Shibab Nye, Poet, and Ryushin Paul Haller, former City Center Abbot
2. Facing the Flames: Exploring Sitting and Writing and Home
Date: June 9-12, 2017 (Friday - Monday)
Details: This retreat focuses on storytelling, meditation, and creative writing while learning about Buddha's life.
Leaders: Pico Iyer, Author, and Furyu Nancy Schroeder, Abiding Abbess at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center
3. The Path to Wholeness
Date: June 23-26, 2017 (Friday - Monday)
Details: This retreat focuses on spiritual inquiry and learning compassion and courage, using meditation, writing, and stories.
Leader: Ryushin Paul Haller, former City Center Abbot
4. Know Yourself, Forget Yourself: The Mindful Leader
Date: July 6-9, 2017 (Thursday - Sunday)
Details: This retreat focuses on Zen teachings, meditation, mindfulness practices, and learning compassionate leadership.
Leader: Marc Lesser, CEO of Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute
5. Presenting Suzuki Roshi's Teachings
Date: July 14-16, 2017 (Friday - Sunday)
Details: This retreat focuses on learning the fundamentals of Shunryu Suzuki's Zen Way.
Leader: Sojun Mel Weitsman, Abbot of Berkeley Zen Center, and former Abbot of San Francisco Zen Center
6. Mindful Self-Compassion
Date: July 20-24, 2017 (Thursday - Monday)
Details: This retreat focuses on learning self-compassion through meditation, writing, and reflective exercises.
Leaders: Michelle Becker, MFT, MA, and Nomon Tim Burnett, Soto Zen Priest and Guiding Teacher of Red Cedar Zen Community
7. The Spirit of Practice: Christian and Zen
Date: July 26-31, 2017 (Wednesday - Monday)
Details: This retreat focuses on examining the similarities and differences between Zen and Christianity, using meditation and prayer.
Leader: Ryushin Paul Haller, former City Center Abbot
8. About Nothing: Buddhist and Jewish Conceptions of Ultimate Truth
Date: August 13-18, 2017 (Sunday - Friday)
Details: This retreat focuses on exploring the concept of nothingness in Buddhism and Judaism through discussion and meditation.
Leaders: Daniel Matt, Teacher of Kabbalah, and Zoketsu Norman Fischer, Founder and Teacher of the Everyday Zen Foundation, and a former Abbot of San Francisco Zen Center
9. Body and Mind Moving in Harmony: Zen and Qigong
Date: August 23-27, 2017 (Wednesday - Sunday)
Details: This retreat focuses on practicing sitting meditation in zazen and learning qigong movement.
Leaders: Teja Fudo Myoo Bell, Aikido, Qigong, and Healing Arts Instructor, and Edward Brown, Zen Priest
10. The Writer's Journey: Crafting Personal Stories that are Vivid, Compelling, and True
Date: August 27-31, 2017 (Sunday - Thursday)
Details: This retreat focuses on writing, meditation, and deep listening.
Leaders: Laura Davis, Author, and Jisan Tova Green, Zen Priest
To wrap it up, although the primary focus of some of the above retreats is not meditation, all of these retreats include meditation as an integral part of the experience. There are other retreats offerings that focus exclusively on meditation. However, many of these retreats do not offer the type of accommodation that you require (many are dormitory-styled or have shared bathrooms), or they include yoga as a part of their meditation program. Hence, I have focused on the retreats offered by the San Francisco Zen Center. Above and in the Resources, I have provided links to these additional retreats, in case you would like to review their offerings.
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