Winter Meditation Retreat: Resting in Beginner’s Mind

Dec 23 to 30, at Dharmadhara, with Padmatara and Prasadachitta

Thursday, December 23, 2021 - 4:00pm to Thursday, December 30, 2021 - 12:00pm

This retreat is now full.

Our winter meditation retreat is a perfect opportunity to spend a week away from our normal conditions, in silence, supporting each other to go deeper with meditation, and being supported by the surrounding natural beauty.

The theme this year is Resting in Beginner's Mind. Beginner's mind is an open, curious, luminous state of mind and heart, where we can learn to rest. Sometimes it arises naturally - in nature or when we're learning something new, or we can also cultivate and encourage it by providing the right conditions. Relaxing into this state of mind - free of judgment, prejudice and limiting views, we can experience the joy and wonder of a child, with the benefits of wisdom and confidence that come from practice.

The Gift of Silence

The retreat will be mostly silent except for teachings, meditation reviews and mindful communication. It's a rare chance to take a break from making conversation and to see what happens when we let ourselves be.

Health and Safety

We will require everyone to be fully vaccinated, to take a PCR test for COVID-19 within 3 days of the start date, and to take reasonable precautions to protect against infection in the days leading up to the retreat. Other requirements will be similar to those we have in place for all our in-person events.

If you consider yourself at increased risk you should not attend.

If you are planning to travel by plane or other public transport please be sure you have somewhere to stay in case of illness, cancelation or while awaiting test results.

Food and Work Periods 

All food is vegan, with eggs and dairy options on the side. To simplify cooking and cleaning in silence we have a cook to organize lunch and dinner, and everyone on the retreat chooses a task that they can do every day - either preparing breakfast, chopping vegetables, or cleaning dishes. If you have a preference please let us know in advance. There is also a clean up session that we all share at the end of the retreat. 

Free Time

There will be plenty of free time to hike or stroll around the area or relax. 

Meditation Experience 

There will be periods of instruction towards the beginning of the retreat, but the early morning meditation sessions will not be led, and as the retreat deepens there will be less input. If have not taken one of our meditation courses and don't have much experience  please contact us for more information. 


Is a rustic residence with a very beautiful shrine room, located  in Lake County – about 2.5 to 3 hours North of San Francisco. The main building has a kitchen, dining room, sitting room with wood burning stove, 7 small dorms, some with 2 beds, some with 3 beds, 3 indoor toilets and 2 showers. There are no private rooms. If you do not feel comfortable sharing a room with others we may be able to find space in the living room or shrine room, depending on numbers attending, so please get in touch about this before you register.  There is also the option to camp, although it will be cold, and possibly raining or snowing. 

Travel and Carpooling

If you need help organizing a ride please let us know and we will do our best to get you there. If you are driving and can offer rides, please also let us know. Thank you! 

I'm sorry that we cannot arrange airport or train station pickups. (See health and safety above.)

Registration and Payment

To register enter the amount you wish to donate in the Event Donation box and click add to cart. You can pay in full now ($500 to $700), or reserve your place with a $200 deposit.  In the event that we need to cancel we will refund all payments. 

Please pay the highest amount you are able within the range of $500 to $700. This helps us to cover the cost of the retreat leader, the cook, and others needing help with costs.  

If you need to request a rate lower than $500  please email us at

When you get to the checkout you will have the choice to pay now through paypal/credit card, or pay later.  (If you click pay now and don't actually pay now, your registration won't go through - contact us if you have any problems.)  Checks are payable to San Francisco Buddhist Center - Triratna.

Weekend option

If you cannot stay for the full week there may be the option to leave on Saturday 25, depending on numbers.  Send us an email for more information or to be on the waiting list.  It's likely to be quite cold but if you are prepared to camp and/or can drive please let us know in your email as that  may make a difference to whether we can accommodate you. 

Booking Deadline Date: 
Monday, November 22, 2021
Event Type: 

This event is no longer open for bookings