I’ve been getting inquiries from folks who are looking for recommendations for a good place to do a meditation retreat this summer. I’m delighted that so many people are considering doing a retreat! Retreats are an invaluable complement to a consistent daily practice. If you haven’t yet established a regular daily sitting practice, work on that first. But once you’ve been sitting daily for a while, consider adding a retreat into the practice mix. One or two multi-day meditation retreats a year will do wonders for your practice. And Williams College students: believe it or not, there are ways to get funding from the College to attend retreats! Both during the summer and during Winter Study. It’s probably too late to get funding for a retreat this summer, but contact me if you’d like some tips on how to get College funding to attend a retreat next Winter Study or the following summer.
But where to go? There are many good places around the country (and around the world) where one can do a retreat, but I don’t feel comfortable recommending a place unless either (1) I have some personal familiarity with the place and the people who teach and practice there or (2) I have heard good things about the place from other practitioners whom I know and trust. Given those criteria, below is a short list of places I feel comfortable recommending. If you know of a place that you think should be added to the list, please let me know.
- Blue Cliff Monastery (Pine Bush, NY)
- Green Gulch Farm Zen Center (Muir Beach, California)
- Insight Meditation Society (Barre, MA)
- Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (various locations)
- Providence Zen Center (Cumberland, RI)
- San Francisco Zen Center (San Francisco, CA)
- Spirit Rock (Woodacre, California)
- Springwater Center (Springwater, NY)
- Tassajara Zen Mountain Center (Carmel Valley, CA)
- Upaya Zen Center (Santa Fe, NM)
- Zen Center of San Diego (San Diego, CA)