The Society maintains a retreat in west Marin County, about an hour’s drive from San Francisco in the town of Olema, where spiritual seekers may meditate and study away from the disturbances of urban life. The purpose of the retreat is to provide spiritually-minded people, of any faith or spiritual path, a supportive environment for spiritual practice.
In a place helpful to the mind and pleasing to the eyes, in a hidden retreat, let the aspirant cultivate spirituality.
– SVETASVATARA UPANISHAD
The Vedanta Society purchased the property, previously a ranch, in 1946. It became the site of a small monastic community shortly thereafter. Throughout the years many dedicated Vedantins, both lay and monastic, have been actively involved in establishing the retreat on a firm footing, upholding in practice the ideal of service to God in all. Since 1973, when retreat accommodations became available, the retreat has been welcoming people of all faiths.
The retreat occupies over 2000 acres on the Point Reyes Peninsula—a sparsely settled, still largely pristine area on the coast of northern California.
Vedanta Society Retreat
9799 California 1
Olema, CA 94950
Annual Special Program
On Memorial Day, an all-day spiritual program is held at the retreat, open to all without charge. Each year a speaker from a different spiritual tradition and a swami of the Ramakrishna Order speak on a spiritual theme, and their talks are followed by questions from the audience. Complimentary meals are served after the program.
There is also a bookshop tent with a large selection of publications on the world’s religions.
Over the years, spending Memorial Day at the Olema retreat has become a tradition with many people from all over the Bay Area and beyond. In a story on this annual program, one of the local newspapers wrote: “The ambiance was wonderful ― expansive, accepting, lightly humored, nonjudgmental, and hopeful.”
On most Saturdays there is a “Spiritual Discussion with a Swami” program at the Men’s Retreat House from 10–11:30 a.m. which is open to all. Spiritual readings, a question-and-answer session on spiritual topics, and meditation comprise the program. Please call 415-663-1258 or e-mail [email protected] to confirm that a meeting will be held and for further information. All are cordially welcome.