The White Lotus Foundation

About This Center

The White Lotus Foundation is a 501c3, nonsectarian spiritual Foundation dedicated to the development of the total human being.  

Our mountain retreat center over looks the city of Santa Barbara, the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands. We are situated in a steep canyon on forty acres in the San Marcos Pass. Through the bottom of the canyon flows the year 'round San Jose creek. This land was once sacred to the Chumash Indians who called it Taklushmon which means the gathering place. 

The teachings of Yoga have traditionally been shared in powerful and natural settings. Living in close communion with the Earth, in the energies of nature, opens us to the beauty and sacredness of life. Here clarity, meditation and understanding flow spontaneously. 

We have an ideal and very special location with pure air, spring water, beautiful sandstone swimming holes, hiking trails and plenty of secluded places for silent reflection. We have indoor accommodations and Yurts, as well as campsites under the bay trees, near the waterfall or on plateaus overlooking the ocean.

The most important purpose of Yoga is to bring about a deep transformation of the individual, an awakening of intelligence that is free of dependencies and romantic beliefs and ready to meet the accelerating challenges of the 21st century.- Ganga White

Venue Highlights

Our other facilities include:
A large Yoga-meeting room,
A kitchen and dining room serving gourmet vegetarian meals,
An underground Hopi style "Kiva" temple
A Library-Media center designed and crafted by Santa Barbara artists.


Yurts: Lovely dome-shaped structures with canvas and lattice wood walls, hardwood floors, skylights, heat and electricity. The yurts are furnished with beautiful balinese daybeads, comfortable bedding, custom lamps, and a short walking distance to bathrooms and showers.

Loft: We have 3 spaces in a loft overlooking the community great room in the main building.

Tents: Peppered around our retreat in the forest and nearthe waterfall are several large tents set up on platforms and furnished with futons and linen. You are also welcome to use your own tent.

Privates: We have a few privates available upon request. Private accommodations are uniquely decorated, have heat and electricity and are a short walking distance to the bathrooms and showers. During weekend retreats they are initially reserved for couples attending, but are often available, first come, first serve, to individuals.

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free


Enjoy renowned, gourmet vegetarian cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meals are predominately organic, vegan, and gluten free.


Directions from the South:

Take Hwy. 101 North, to and through Santa Barbara, to the State Street/Lake Cachuma/Hwy 154 exit.
Go North on Hwy 154, San Marcos Pass, (sign says West) winding up the mountain for 5.8 miles to a yellow "Slow Trucks" sign on the right and our mailbox with the lotus, on the left, numbered 2500.
Turn left onto the small road at the mailboxes.
Go straight and then curve around to the Center.
Please turn around and park facing out in the parking area. You may also park along the entry road, on the right side only.
Please do not park in the driveway or in resident staff area.
Directions from the North:

Take Hwy 101 South, approximately 30 miles past Santa Maria, and take the Hwy 154 exit.
Drive approximately 26 miles, passing Cachuma Lake on the left & then up a long grade to the top of the San Marcos Pass.
From the summit of the Pass, when you start your descent down towards Santa Barbara and the ocean, the small entry road is 2 miles down from the summit, on the right.
Watch for a highway symbol sign that indicates a right turn coming up. Then watch for a group of mailboxes including our large mailbox marked 2500 on the right hand side and turn right onto the small road just before the mailboxes. If you cross the Painted Cave, San Marcos Road intersection, you've gone too far.
Follow the small road and curve right, around to the Center.
Please turn around and park facing out in the small parking area. You may also park along the entry road, but on the right side facing out only.
Please do not park in the driveway or in resident staff area.

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Why Retreat?

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

I'm having a baby in October and want to focus my practice so I can be present and calm! Laine

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.