Self-Directed and Long-Term Retreats
Given our busy lifestyles and obligations, taking even a day for ourselves—much less a longer period—can seem like an unreasonable luxury. But the time can offer inspiration and value that will enrich the relationships to which you return, and drastically alter the ways in which you perceive the world. It can build your confidence, increase you sense of stability in an unstable world, and bolster your ability and skillfulness in addressing the issues of life.
Design Your Own Retreat Program
Entering into a self-directed or long-term retreat allows you to design a program that best meets your needs and schedule. This could be an intensive silent meditation retreat, or it could be a more gentle meditation program that incorporates reading and study, yoga and other body work, fasting, journaling, or other practices that nourish your spirit. You can choose to hold your retreat wholly in silence, or to mindfully engage with the residential community and other retreatants.
While you’re here, you’ll have access to our resident teachers for personal guidance, and you’ll have the option to attend our weekly programs, including Dharma talks, Qigong, and evening meditation. If there are teacher-led group retreats being held while you’re here, you’ll have the option to register for them as part of the cost of your stay.
Self-directed retreats can be as short as a few days, to pause and refresh your practice, or can be long-term retreats of a month or more, providing an opportunity to go much deeper into the Dharma.
Rooms for self-directed retreatants are single, private, rooms, with a private bathroom.
You can practice in your room, or in one of our meditation halls. Our grounds and walking paths are available for walking meditation, and you can also walk around nearby Lake Osceola. If you have access to a car, there are many beautiful hikes in the local area. We have an on-site laundry facility, a library, and a comfortable community room, with plenty of couches for reading or conversation. You can view our accommodations here.
For both short- and long-term self-directed retreats, retreatants have a great deal of flexibility with their meals so that they can eat when it best suits their schedule. Retreatants prepare breakfast on their own from food that Heartwood provides. Lunch, which is the main meal of the day, is cooked by members of the community and offered at 1:00 p.m. on weekdays in the residents’ kitchen. The meals are primarily vegetarian. On weekends, lunch is self-serve. On both weekdays and weekends, dinner is self-serve from what has been previously prepared. Food is not allowed in your room, but you’re welcome to bring any special food, teas, or coffee you wish to have. These can be labeled with your name and kept in the kitchen for your personal use.
Retreatants are responsible for keeping their room and bathroom clean, and for cleaning up after themselves in the kitchen. Retreatants also offer about ten hours per week of light work to the community.
$89 per night, for stays less than one month (up to $1500)
$1,500 for 30 days
$1,200 for the second consecutive month
$900 for the third consecutive month and any additional months thereafter.
The lodging cost for your self-directed retreat does not include dana to the teachers. You are encouraged to offer dana at the end of your retreat. You can read more about this ancient practice here.
Please fill out our application form, which is required for stays of any length. For stays of 2 weeks or longer, you will be asked to fill out an additional questionnaire and have a short phone interview with one of our spiritual directors before being approved for a self-directed retreat.