Library, Meditation Room, and Men’s Retreat

Retreat

In a place helpful to the mind and pleasing to the eyes, in a hidden retreat, let the aspirant cultivate spirituality.

Svetasvatara Upanishad

Visiting the Vedanta Retreat

Day Visits:

Sincere spiritual seekers are welcome for the purpose of meditation and contemplation from 10 AM- 6 PM. All day visitors are welcome in the Meditation Room and Library of the Men’s Retreat House. The Women’s Retreat House is not open for day visits. We ask that you be vaccinated and be masked indoors. When you arrive, please park your car in the parking lot near the monastery (green barn), and ring the bell so that we may orient you to the property.

Overnight Stays:

We are happy to announce that both the Men’s and Women’s Retreat Houses will reopen on November 1, 2022.  The reservation desk will be open Mondays and Fridays from 2-4 beginning in October.  Interviews for new retreatants will not be given at this time.  Hopefully we will be open to new retreatants in the new year if reopening goes smoothly.

Since Covid19 is still part of life the retreat houses will open in a manner that we hope will keep everyone as safe as possible.  This will entail some differences in scheduling as well as a number of safeguards.  We will only operate at half capacity or less. The Men’s House will be open only Friday-Monday. This will allow us to ensure everyone’s safety and proper cleaning between retreats. We will loosen these restrictions as conditions allow.

We don’t like to impose restrictions on you or on ourselves but we feel the following parameters are necessary for now.

Vaccination: you will be required to show your vaccination card at the door confirming that you are fully vaccinated and boosted.

COVID test. You will be asked to take a covid test on your day of arrival and again after 3 days if your retreat is longer than that.  We prefer that you take the test at home and bring us a photo of the results.  If this isn’t possible we will test you upon arrival.

Masking will be required in the house whenever you are out of your room, except when you are eating.  This includes all common spaces.  Masking will be optional in the meditation room.  You must have a surgical, N95, KN95, or KF94 mask.  No cloth masks.

We will try to keep the house well ventilated.

Kitchen and Dining Areas. Rather than scheduling meal times we request that you respect social distancing in the kitchen and dining room.  Please bring prepared food so that cooking and kitchen time can be minimized as much as possible.

To a great extent the house is kept clean by retreatants signing up for chores on our cleaning list.  Since there will be fewer retreatants in the house to accomplish this, we request that you sign up for one chore each full day that you are there.

Thank you for your cooperation.  It is our hope that keeping the environment as safe as possible will enable each retreatant to relax and settle in to an uplifting and beneficial stay.  We very much look forward to your return!

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.

Spirituality

In a place helpful to the mind and pleasing to the eyes, in a hidden retreat, let the aspirant cultivate spirituality.

– SVETASVATARA UPANISHAD

History

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.

Location

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
415-663-1258

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.”

Saturday Programs

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.

Annual Youth Program

A youth forum on spiritual values is held at the Vedanta Retreat, Olema, west Marin County, every year on a weekend in spring, usually in April. Begun in 1999, the forum is devoted to spiritual practice, including guided meditations, forest walks, works of service, and discussion of spiritual ideas. Young people, eleven to nineteen years of age, who are interested in spiritual values, are invited to participate.

For further information:

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