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"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


Hemera Foundation — Contemplative Fellowship Program 

In an interconnected world, a contemplative practice creates the space for self-awareness that promotes personal well-being and a compassionate connection to self, community and nature.

With deep thanks to the Hemera Foundation, Spirit Rock has again been awarded a generous grant for 2023 in-person retreats.

The Hemera Contemplative Fellowship Program was created to make the unique benefits of sitting in a contemplative practice in a retreat context more widely available. Fellowships are available to anyone with a commitment of service — a deep desire to devote oneself to serving others through their work. Eligible applicants must be 18 years of age or older and working full-time in their profession.

Examples of Eligible Professions

  • Educators: pre-K through college level, including Master of Education (M.Ed.) students.
  • School administrators and staff: principals, guidance counselors, advisors, nurses, librarians, and school safety officers.
  • Health care professionals: physicians, nurses, orderlies, medical technicians, dentists, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, social workers, chaplains, medical school students, and hospice staff.
  • Artists: full-time visual, performance, writers, multi-displinary artists.
  • First responders: police, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, 911 dispatchers, disaster response teams.
  • Military: active duty, reservists, and veterans.
  • Others:
    • public defenders, legal aid attorneys, victim advocates, human rights advocates;
    • employees working for any 501(3)(c) non-profit organization or private foundation committed to service;
    • employees working in direct human services (government or private). Examples include health and human services, child protective services, workforce development.

Contact us at: registration@spiritrock.org if you have any questions.

Criteria for Fellowship Funding

  • 75% Funding - This funding level is possible for applicants who are new to meditation, have never attended a retreat longer that two nights, AND meet one of the eligible professions above.
  • 50% Funding - This funding level is possible for applicants who have attended only one previous residential meditation retreat, or who have previously received another Hemera fellowship, AND meet one of the eligible professions above.
  • 100% Funding - This funding level is very limited; it is for applicants who are experiencing financial hardship, who are new to meditation and/or a residential retreat experience, AND meet one of the eligible professions above.
  • Financial support is limited to ONE fellowship per individual per calendar year.
  • Fellowships are available on a first-come, first-served basis based on eligibility. Funding is not guaranteed at any of the levels mentioned above.
  • Applicants must apply individually for their own fellowship. No one can apply on behalf of someone else or a group.
  • Funding is a percentage of the Base Rate of the retreat fees.
  • You must agree to share your contact information with Hemera Foundation, during their application process.
  • Fellowship funding is for retreat fees only! Not supported by Fellowship funding - 1) Dana offerings to teachers; 2) Travel expenses for applicants to/from the center; 3) Additional fees for CE Credits; or any other expense outside of the retreat fees. These additional expenses are the sole responsibility of the applicant.

How To Apply?

  • Complete and submit the online 2023 Hemera Contemplative Fellowship application. You will need to create an account at the Hemera SlideRoom link and pay a $5 application fee. IMPORTANT NOTE! These fellowships are for in-person silent meditation residential retreats only.
  • Submit your Hemera application between 2-3 months prior to the retreat. For example, if you are interested in a May 2023 retreat, submit your application around January/February 2023.
  • Award status -- Spirit Rock works in coordination with the Hemera Foundation's application process; we ask for your patience while your application is processed by the Registrars. You will be notified of your status within a week of submitting your Hemera application.
  • If your fellowship is granted, the Registrars will contact you with further registration details and collect any fees. We have a few Hemera spots reserved in each retreat. Please DO NOT register for a retreat through the standard Spirit Rock online registration system, especially if you cannot attend the retreat without a fellowship award.

Retreats Eligible for Hemera Fellowships

Hemera spaces are reserved and limited per retreat. Not all of Spirit Rock's retreats are eligible for Hemera Fellowship support, especially retreats with a prerequisite requirement. Be sure to consider a second choice retreat.

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