Spirit Rock

About us

Set among 411 acres of serene oak woodlands in the secluded hills of West Marin County, California, Spirit Rock Meditation Center is a refuge from everyday life where it's truly possible to quiet the mind, soften the heart and see life in a new way.

People come to Spirit Rock for many reasons, but they all amount to essentially the same thing — wanting a more easeful relationship with life. The spaciousness and stillness of Spirit Rock and the caring teachers, staff and volunteers, create a supportive environment for turning inward and letting go of the struggles that get in the way of experiencing the freedom and joy that are inherent in every moment of life.

The teachings of the Buddha (Dharma) and the practices of Insight Meditation (Vipassana) and loving-kindness meditation (metta) are at the heart of all the programs we offer at Spirit Rock. Practicing Insight Meditation develops mindfulness, the capacity to pay attention to each moment of life and to see clearly the truth of our experience. Studying the Dharma provides insights into the conditions that define and limit our experience of life. And cultivating an attitude of loving-kindness allows us to stay present to what's true and what's difficult in our lives with compassion for ourselves and others. Ultimately, our relationship to life is transformed as we learn to live more wisely and kindly. 

Spirit Rock offers a breadth of programs in a variety of formats to fit anyone's schedule, needs and meditation experience — from two-hour, drop-in classes and daylong events to silent residential retreats lasting from three-days to two months and advanced practitioner programs spanning a year or more. We also offer classes online. With some exceptions, all programs are suitable for beginners and experienced students alike. To find out more about the different programs we offer, visit the Programs section of this website, or go directly to the Calendar section to search for programs by date. 

Whatever your starting point is, we hope to see you soon at Spirit Rock. In the words of the Buddha, we invite you to "Come and see for yourself" how these practices and teachings can lead to greater contentment and peace of mind.

"If you do not turn inward, you will never know reality." Ajahn Chah

Venue Highlights

Spirit Rock's residential retreat accommodations offer comfort and simplicity. Located on 411 acres in rural west Marin, 30 miles north of San Francisco, we invite you to experience an ideal natural setting for reflection and contemplative practice, surrounded by gentle hills and expansive views.

Residential retreats are held in the upper area of the Spirit Rock campus with separate buildings for dining, meeting and sleeping. Most retreats are conducted in silence—and silence is honored by all in these buildings during a retreat. Although the buildings are a short walk from each other, there is a slope from the dining room to the residences and to the meditation hall. We have personal scooters available if the steep hill is a challenge.

Spirit Rock offers housing for 96 retreatants, teachers and the staff who support our retreats. No camping is allowed on the campus. Sleeping accommodations are housed in four, two-story residence halls, named for the Four Brahmaviharas (or Divine Abodes)—Metta, Karuna, Mudita and Upekkha. These simple, comfortable buildings house both single and double rooms. Room dividers are available for double rooms to allow for more privacy if desired. Each room has its own sink and mirror, electrical outlets, shelving and hangers for belongings, a nightstand, reading light and folding chair. Most rooms offer a pleasant view of the surrounding hills or forest.

Accommodations

The weather in northern California is temperate during most of the year, allowing for comfortable sleeping and meditation. During the winter, the residential housing is comfortably heated.

A pillow, blanket and bedspread are provided. You may bring a sleeping bag or your own bed linens for a twin-sized bed, a pillow case, and towel set, if convenient. For those travelling from afar or by airplane, linens (sheets and towel sets) are available onsite for you to borrrow during the retreat at no charge.

Bathroom facilities—including toilets and showers—are shared on each floor. There are individual stalls for privacy. Spirit Rock does not provide rooms with private bathrooms, although a private bathtub is available on the 1st floor of each building for those with special needs.

Directions

Getting Here Via Public Transportation
You would first need to get to the San Rafael Transit Center. From central San Rafael, take the West Marin Stage Coach to Woodacre in the San Geronimo Valley. Visit Marin Transit for their schedule or call 415-526-3239.

Getting Here from the Airports
Spirit Rock is accessible from both the Oakland and San Francisco International Airports. Please allow at least 2 hours to get from either airport to Spirit Rock. Please call the bus or taxi companies for up-to-date scheduling and price information.

Shuttle/Taxi option:
From the San Francisco airport (SFO), take the Marin Airporter. From the Oakland airport (OAK), take the Sonoma County Airport Express. Get off at the San Rafael Transit Center (3rd and Hetherton). From the San Rafael Transit Center, it is a 20- to 25-minute taxi ride to Spirit Rock (approx $25 - $30). The driver of the Airporter will often call a taxi for you during the drive. There are usually taxis waiting at the Transit Center (except between 7:30-9 am and 1:30-3 pm on weekdays).

For door-to-door service to Spirit Rock from either airport, you can try any of the following:
Marin Door to Door - (415) 457-2717

Western Eagle Shuttle - (415) 342-6444

North Bay Taxi - (415) 258-2800

Marin Green Cab - (415) 258-9980

Tags: meditation wellness

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Let your mind wander in the pure and simple. Be one with the infinite. Let all things take their course. Chuang Tzu

Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

Practice, learn, share, relax. Karin
 

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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