"When one thought ends, right before the next thought begins,
there is a tiny gap called 'now.' Over time we learn to expand that gap."

– Spring Washam

Multi-Day Non-Residential Retreats — FAQs

What should I bring?
•    Please bring a lunch for yourself that does not need to be refrigerated.
•    Hot water, tea and filtered water are available. 
•    Bring a water bottle, as well as a mug for tea and whatever utensils you need for lunch. Bringing these items from home helps reduce our trash output and our impact on the land.
•    You will be asked to remove your shoes prior to entering the meditation hall. We recommend you wear or bring socks.
•    Wear layered clothing as the hall temperature can vary.
•    Bring a notepad and pen. Notebooks are also available in our bookstore.

What should I not bring?
•    We encourage you to lock your car and keep valuables with you. As our hall space is limited, you might also consider simply not bringing anything you won’t need for the day.
•    Please leave your pets at home. If you have a trained therapy dog who assists you with a physical challenge, please let our event staff (415) 488-0164 x 238 know you plan to bring your dog so we can accommodate you.
•    In consideration of all participants, do not wear scented personal care products to Spirit Rock (including "natural" products).

Where do I go when I arrive?
Here is a map of our campus including the Community Meditation Center where most non-residential programs occur. Most days of the year residential retreats are in session in the upper retreat area. Please do not pass the wooden gate, unless staff let you know that there is not a retreat that day.

What seating options are available?
We have both chairs and zafus/zabutons (meditation cushions) available. For programs with larger attendance, seating is mostly or all chairs to accommodate everyone who signs up for the program. If you have your own meditation cushion or bench that you prefer to use, bring it with you. For larger programs we may not be able to accommodate personal seating preferences.  Contact event staff at (415) 488-0164 x 238 in advance if you need a special seat due to a medical condition.

Is your facility wheelchair accessible?
Yes.  Please let our Event Staff know if you will arrive in a wheelchair so we can save an easily accessible space for you in the hall. Contact event staff at (415) 488-0164 x 238.

Registering for a Multi-Day Non-Residential Retreat

How do I know what non-residential retreats you offer?
Our website is the most up-to-date source of program information. In addition, we publish a print newsletter three times a year that lists all of our programs, and we send out weekly email newsletters with information about upcoming events. To receive the email newsletter, sign up here. View an electronic version of the print newsletter here. To be added or taken off our print or electronic mailing lists, contact our Front Office Coordinator at (415) 488-0164 x 234 or

When should I register?
Programs typically open for registration three months in advance.

How can I register?
Online registration is encouraged. You can register online and pay with a Visa or Mastercard.  We do not accept American Express. Registration can also be made by mail. Send a check made payable to "SRMC" to Spirit Rock, PO Box 169, Woodacre, CA, 94973. Please include the program code on your check and on the outside of your envelope along with your daytime telephone number and email address. Upon receipt of payment, we will send you a confirmation email. You can also call our registrar at (415) 488-0164 x 266 and register by phone Monday to Friday until 3 pm. Pre-registration for weekend programs closes at noon on Friday.

What can you tell me about program fees?
Spirit Rock’s intention is to make the teachings accessible to everyone, thus fees for programs are kept as low as possible. Program fees are a major source of income for Spirit Rock; without them we could not operate.

Can you explain the sliding scale fee structure?
The sliding scale fee structure allows you to choose a level of support that works for your financial situation. Many people pay at the lowest end of the sliding scale. Those who are able to offer more allow others who are not able to do so to attend programs through our scholarship program. Note: Any fee amount paid above the low-end of the sliding scale may be claimed as a tax-deductible donation to a nonprofit organization to the extent allowed by law. Your confirmation email is your receipt, please keep it for your records.

The lowest end of the sliding scale does not work for me. What other options exist?
We have a volunteer program that allows qualified individuals to volunteer at the program they wish to attend or volunteer in another department at Spirit Rock and accrue hours towards attending classes. About 700 people volunteer their time and talents to Spirit Rock each year. We could not operate as we currently do without this support. To find out more contact our Volunteer Coordinator at (415) 488-0164 x 224 or 

Volunteering sounds nice, but I don’t have the time. Is there another way to attend?
Yes. Unless the program is designated as a “benefit,” we do not turn anyone away for lack of funds. We offer scholarships up to the full amount of the program for most types of non-residential programs. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator at (415) 488-0164 x 224 or to register in advance. Space may be available at the door, but if you know you’d like to attend something, please call to register in advance.

I can’t come to the event I signed up for, what should I do?
There is a non-refundable cancellation fee that varies depending upon when you cancel and can be found in your non-residential retreat confirmation email. Cancellation fees are calculated as follows:
> 12 weeks         $50 Flat Rate
4-12 weeks         $25/retreat day
1-4 weeks           $35/retreat day
< week                 no refund
For example, if a non-residential retreat is four-days long, then the cancellation fee schedule would be as follows:
> 12 weeks         $50 Flat Rate
4-12 weeks         $100 ($25x4)
1-4 weeks           $140 ($35x4)
< week                 no refund


How do I get to Spirit Rock?
Directions and our physical address are listed here.

How far are you from a town?
We are approximately 12 minutes from the town of Fairfax, in the town of Woodacre, CA.

Can I get to Spirit Rock via public transportation?
Yes, but the bus schedule here is limited. Visit Marin Transit for more information. As an alternative, we recommend ridesharing. Visit our ridesharing bulletin board to offer or ask for a ride.

What can you tell me about your parking?
We have limited parking and encourage ridesharing as a way of reducing traffic in the San Geronimo Valley area. 

It is a good idea to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the retreat to give yourself time to park, register and choose a seat.


Can I spend the night at Spirit Rock?
Only as part of a residential retreat.

Can you recommend a place to stay in the area?
Although Spirit Rock staff have not personally viewed or vetted them, as a courtesy to our out-of-town guests, we suggest you check out these nearby accommodations.

Where can I smoke?
Smoking at Spirit Rock is discouraged but not banned. Please be respectful of others who may be practicing walking meditation on the trails or paved area. You may smoke in your car or in the gravel parking lot. While on retreat there is a smoking hut, but it is in the residential retreat area and only accessible to yogis on retreat.

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