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Financial Assistance and Scholarship Information

Financial Assistance and Scholarship Information

Dana (the Pali word for generosity) has played an essential role in the 2,600 year-old Buddhist tradition.  In the spirit of this tradition, Spirit Rock Meditation Center is committed to offering financial assistance to those who need it. Spirit Rock does not want cost to be an obstacle for participation in our residential retreats. If you cannot attend a retreat due to cost, we strongly encourage you to apply for financial assistance. Because Spirit Rock highly values diversity, we particularly encourage those who require financial assistance that are in the following groups to apply: people of color, young adults (18-26), elders (65+), and those with life threatening illnesses; however, anyone with financial need is encouraged to apply.

Each financial aid request is assessed in terms of financial need and funds availability. Each individual may be awarded scholarships or young adult rates for two retreats per calendar year.

How to apply:

Scholarship funds are limited by retreat, so apply early to improve your chances of receiving a scholarship. Choose the retreat you are interested in first. If you cannot attend a retreat without scholarship assistance, either call or email us first.

Financial Aid Options

Spirit Rock Meditation Center offers a variety of types of financial support for residential retreats.

  • Mudita Scholarships

    The Mudita Scholarship provides a means for those who require financial assistance to attend a retreat.

  • Karuna Scholarships

    The Karuna Scholarship is specifically for those with serious medical conditions who require financial assistance to attend a retreat.
  • Dr. Marlene Jones People of Color (POC) Scholarships

    The POC Scholarship is specifically for individuals who self-identify as a Person of Color who require financial assistance to attend a retreat.

  • Young Adult Rate

    It is our wish to support the practice needs of meditators in early adulthood. To this end, Spirit Rock extends a special invitation to young adults, age 18-26, who wish to attend a residential retreat. The number of young adult spaces is limited by retreat and offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so apply early.

  • Renunciate Monastics

    Renunciate monastics are invited to attend Spirit Rock retreats without cost. We ask that you register in advance to secure a space in the retreat. Monastic discounts can be extended only to one having taken vows and abiding as a renunciate, living exclusively on donations and having no form of income through work or other sources. Contact the registrar for more information.

Additional Scholarships for Month-Long Retreats

Thanks to the generosity of our community, Spirit Rock is pleased to offer 15 Young Adult rates combined for February and March. In addition, we have more than 20 scholarships in our Dr. Marlene Jones People of Color (POC) Scholarship Fund. These additional funds mean that more than 25% of our retreat population will be on scholarship.

Hemera Foundation Fellowships

The Hemera Foundation offers two fellowship opportunities through Spirit Rock: the Contemplative Fellowships for Educators and the Contemplative Fellowships for Healthcare Professionals. The Contemplative Fellowships for Educators program supports educators’ growth through contemplative practice in a retreat setting, allowing individuals the opportunity to cultivate mindfulness, compassion, personal well-being, and professional efficacy, and, in turn, embody and apply these qualities to promote positive school cultures. The Contemplative Fellowships for Healthcare Professionals program supports health care professionals through the deep contemplative practices taught, developed and strengthened on retreat. Meditation retreats provide a supportive training environment in which individuals can cultivate mindfulness, compassion, and personal well-being, qualities which can extend into their professional lives and improve workplace culture. Find out more here.


If you need to cancel from a retreat, please do so early. This gives us time to open the space up for another applicant. Late Cancellations make it difficult to give someone else the opportunity to attend. Once you have been accepted into the retreat, cancellation fees will apply.

Cancellation Fees:
Date of Cancellation - Non-Refundable Cancellation Fee

8 or more weeks before start of retreat - $100.
4-8 weeks before start of retreat - $175.
4-1 week before the start of the retreat - $225.
1 week to the day before start of reteat - $300.
Cancellations made after 3:00pm on the last business day before the start of the retreat - NO REFUND.

Other Financial Assistance for Residential Retreats

Work Retreatant Positions
Work retreatant positions are available to candidates who have attended a minimum 5-day Vipassana retreat at Spirit Rock, in exchange for retreat tuition. A work retreatant position consists of  5 hours of daily work, either in the kitchen or with the housekeepers. We ask that candidates be able-bodied adults of average physical stamina. Work retreatants are still invited to offer Dana to the retreat teachers and retreat staff at the end of the retreat.

While on a work retreat you will miss some periods of walking and sitting meditation. It is also possible, but unlikely, that you could miss the morning instruction period or a period of movement practice. While on a work retreat, you will be able to attend all Dharma talks.

If you are interested in applying for a work retreatant position, click here

Payment Plan
A minimum deposit is due for all attendees. You can, however, arrange to pay the balance of your retreat fee over time via automatic monthly deductions from your bank account (United States banks only). Only the balance can be paid over time. Your automatic deductions can be set for a maximum of 6 monthly payments starting the month following the end of your retreat and are deducted on the 15th of each month. You will need to fill out a Payment Plan Form once you arrive here, so please bring a voided blank check with you to the retreat, and present it to the Retreat Manager upon check-in. The Payment Plan is also available for Teacher and Staff Dana at the end of a retreat. Please bring an extra voided check if you'd like to set up a payment plan for your teacher and staff dana. You may not have more than two (2) payment plans occurring at the same time. And, all registration fee payment plans need to be paid off prior to registering for another retreat.



© 2014 Spirit Rock - An Insight Meditation Center
PO Box 169 • Woodacre, CA • 94973