Mindfulness Retreat Opportunities

A retreat can offer the valuable experience of doing sitting and walking meditation for longer periods of time, in silence, and with others. This can have the effect of deepening your practice. Retreats listed here are from a half day, to one or two days and up to 10 days or more. Retreats usually offer talks by teachers, break times, and meal and work periods, along with sitting and walking meditation. Check the following organizations and web sites to find which retreat might suit your needs.

Victoria and British Columbia:

1. Victoria Shambhala Meditation Centre, Victoria, BC – Offers weekly Saturday morning sitting and walking meditation sessions free (or by donation) to anyone who wants to attend. They also offer longer Tibetan Buddhist retreats at practice centres throughout North America.

2. Victoria Insight Meditation Society, Victoria, BC – Offers regular 2 Day non-residential meditation retreats in Victoria, which are led by various visiting Buddhist teachers from different parts of North America. If you make a request to be on their newsletter mailing list, they will send you regular notices about upcoming retreats. (Participants can attend for one day only upon request.)

3. Vipassana Meditation Centre of BC – Offers 10 day meditation retreats in Merritt, BC

4. Bodhichitta Buddhist Centre, Victoria, BC – Offers weekend or longer Buddhist meditation retreats in Victoria, BC and Metchosin BC

5. Victoria Zen Centre, Sooke, BC – Offers meditation and Zen training. Practice opportunities that are free (or by donation) to anyone who wants to attend include weekly Tuesday night Zen open house at the University of Victoria, weekly audio podcast, videos, and an online orientation to Zen practice. Zenwest also provides courses on meditation and Buddhist practice, residential personalized retreats in a hermitage in Sooke, and additional training opportunities for members including 1-90 day residential retreats.

6. Vancouver Island Zen Sangha, Victoria, BC – Offers information about Zen retreats in Washington and California in the Soto Zen tradition of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives.

7. Salt Spring Island Vipassana Community – Offers three day to ten day meditation retreats on Salt Spring Island.

8. The Hermitage on Denman Island – Offers 5 and 10 day meditation retreats in the Tibetan Buddhist Kagyu tradition.

9. The Bethlehem Retreat and Study Centre, Nanaimo, BC – The Centre is in the Catholic tradition, but welcomes all spiritual seekers. Offers primarily individual retreats.

10. Hollyhock, Cortes Island, BC – Offers a once per year 6 day Buddhist meditation retreat with Robert Beatty.

11. Yasodhara Ashram, Kootenay Bay, BC – Offers a “Stilling The Mind Retreat” several times per year for two to seven days.

12. Mountain Waters, Nelson, BC – Offers a 12 day Mindfulness Meditation retreat each year.

13. Johnson’s Landing Retreat Centre, Kaslo, BC – Offers a yearly six day mindfulness meditation retreat.

14. Sea-To-Sky Retreat Centre, Whistler, BC – Offers summer meditation programs. The centre is under the direction of Tibetan Meditation teacher, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.

15. Westcoast Dharma Society – Vancouver-based organization that organizes residential and non-residential retreats in Vancouver, Whistler, and on the Gulf Islands – www.westcoastdharma.org/


1. Gampo Abbey, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – Offers retreats and study in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.


1. Spirit Rock Meditation Centre, Woodacre, California – Offers reteats in the Vipassana (Insight Meditation) tradition. www.spiritrock.org

2. Deer Park Monastery, Escondido, California – Offers retreats in the Zen tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. www.deerparkmonastery.org

3. Contemplative Outreach, Butler, NJ, USA – Offers programs in the Christian tradition (Contemplative or Centering Prayer)

4. Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Centre, Falls Village CT, USA

5. Also check the following websites for general information about retreats worldwide:
www.freemeditationinfo.com and www.buddhanet.info/wbd