Why a Retreat?

Retreats provide a way to deeply cultivate, explore, and strengthen the experiences of sustained mindfulness practice. Held in silence and relative simplicity, a retreat can open a space for you to connect with and learn from your inner life. Emphasizing mindfulness meditation in its most universal expression, all of the  retreat programs listed here, are led by MBSR teachers.

For those interested in training to teach MBSR, a retreat is a required prerequisite to begin the MBSR teacher training program. While we hope you can attend one of our retreats, we also know that scheduling and locations can present challenges; thus it is possible that retreats from other centers and teachers may fulfill this prerequisite if those retreats offer similar retreat conditions of silence, practice instruction, and safety protocols by qualified and experienced meditation teachers.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mindfulness Center at Brown is allowing online retreats that meet the following requirements that attempt to, as best as possible, replicate the in person experience. 

These are some of the specifications:

  • Each day includes a minimum of 12 hours of retreat time
  • During the 12-hour day there is a minimum of 8 practice hours that alternate sitting and movement
  • Breaks are limited to no more than 2 hours at any one time
  • There are group or individual practice discussions so that participants have a minimum of two opportunities to talk with a teacher

Silence is emphasized, and at the same time, we recognize that engaging in retreat practice while at home may be challenging if there are family members who you’ll need to interact with. Teachers will offer guidelines for maintaining as much silence as possible, while meeting one’s home needs as they arise. Practitioners have found home retreats to offer a valuable –albeit different—perspective on one’s life and practice.