"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 for the fifth time been awarded a generous grant for 2019 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.
  • 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: if you have any questions.

Criteria for Fellowship Funding

  • Applicants who meet one of the eligible professions above AND are new to meditation, have never attended a retreat longer that two nights, or are new to this center are eligible for 75% support of the base retreat fee.
  • Applicants who meet one of the eligible professions above AND have previous meditation retreat experience are eligible for 50% support of the base retreat fee. Funding is not guaranteed.
  • Applicants who meet one of the eligible professions above AND have a deep financial need may be eligible for 100% support of the base retreat fee. Funding is not guaranteed.
  • 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.
  • Applicants must apply individually for their own fellowship. No one can apply on behalf of someone else or a group.
  • Not all Spirit Rock retreats are available for the Fellowship funding; a list is provided below.
  • Awards cover only the base retreat fees.
  • Dana offerings to teachers and retreat staff are not covered by fellowship funds. The applicant is solely responsible for these donations.
  • Travel expenses or CEC fees for the applicant are not covered by fellowship funds. These additional expenses are the sole responsibility of the applicant.

How To Apply?

  • Complete and submit the online Hemera Contemplative Fellowship application. You will need to create an account at the Hemera SlideRoom link and pay a $5 application fee.
  • Please do not submit your Hemera application any earlier than 4 - 5 months prior to the first day of the retreat. For example, if you are interested in a September 2019 retreat, submit your application around April 2019.
  • Award status -- patiently wait for your award status from the Spirit Rock Registrars. You will be notified within two weeks, or sooner, of submitting your application, whether your application has been accepted.
  • If your fellowship is granted, the registrars will contact you with further registration details and collect any fees. You do not need to register for the retreat prior to the fellowship notification. Please DO NOT register for a retreat through the standard Spirit Rock online registration system if you cannot attend the retreat without a fellowship award.
  • By applying for the Hemera Contemplative Fellowship, you agree to share your contact information with Hemera Foundation.

2020 Spring-Summer Retreats Eligible for Hemera Fellowships -- SOLD OUT

Hemera spaces are limited per retreat; not all of Spirit Rock's retreats are eligible for Hemera Fellowships support. Please review the retreat description on the Spirit Rock Residential Retreat Calendar and check your personal calendar before applying.

Hemera applications are reviewed up to 5 months prior to the retreat. 2020 Fall-Winter Retreats eligible for Hemera Fellowships will be posted later this Spring.

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