2018 Winter Retreat

Profound rest
Time to reconnect
Renewing intentions
Returning to source
Deepen your practice

Here, monks, a monk resorts to a secluded resting place: the forest, the root of a tree, a mountain, a ravine, a hillside cave, a charnel ground, a jungle thicket, an open space, a heap of straw. (MN 39.12)

Ok, we’ll have nice yurts, a warm, well-stocked kitchen, and a hot tub under the stars, but it’s still retreat. From the very first Buddhist and yoga practitioners, meditating and gathering together in the woods was considered one of the most conducive situations for deep practice.

Join me and an intimate group of dedicated seekers for a week of slow, heartfelt practice. We will share the practices of meditation, yoga, and open movement, held within the healing framework of Organic Intelligence (OI), the power of spiritual community, and the sublime environment of the deep woods.

This 7-night silent meditation and yoga retreat is for practitioners with at least 2 years experience in yoga and meditation. We will work with practices that weave between the Buddhist and Hindu streams of energetic cultivation and embodied inquiry, including:

  • meditation & mindfulness based in the Theravāda Buddhist tradition
  • intuitive āsana, learning to follow the path of subtle impulse
  • prānāyāma and bandha, the heart of Classical Haṭha Yoga
  • movement inquiry, transforming postures into meditative process (“The Subtle Dance”)
  • mindfulness of nervous system states & working with energy

To support the skillful unfolding of these practices, all participants will receive individual sessions based in Buddhist retreat practice and Organic Intelligence with Sean Feit Oakes (OI Faculty) and Sara Oakes (OI Mentor).

The format of the retreat is based in the Insight Meditation style, with silence and continuity of practice as the foundations for deepening in concentration and inquiry, but with substantial changes based on our experience over years of retreat practice. In particular, the āsana and prānāyāma practice is more substantial and integrated, and the afternoon is unstructured practice time rather than timed sittings, and each practitioner will be guided in developing and deepening in their own flow of sitting, walking, rest, and open exploration. For more on the new style, and reflections on skillful retreat practice, see this post: A new meditation and yoga retreat format.



January 3-10, 2018

Wednesday, Jan 3: Arrive between 3-5pm for check-in and orientation. Dinner is served at 5:30.

Wednesday, Jan 10: Retreat ends after lunch. After cleaning and packing, participants are free to stay on the land till 5pm.


Double Bear Retreat
Boulder Creek, CA
map link
Directions to Double Bear

Accommodations are communal, with participants sharing two sleeping yurts. Participants can bring personal tents for camping (though it may be rainy/cold).

One private cabin (a woodstove-heated yurt up the hill from the main spaces) is available for an extra cost. The walk up to the cabin is medium steep.


The retreat is priced on a sliding scale based on self-assessment of your income and ability to offer your resources in a way that supports others with lesser resources to attend. Please offer highest level you can on the sliding scale. If you need additional options, please contact sean here. We would love to not turn anyone away for lack of resources, both for this retreat and future retreats, and your generosity makes that possible.

Patron (support a scholarship): $1200
Full rate (keeps us sustainable): $1000
Scholarship (at cost, limited availability): $800
Scholarship (under cost, limited availability): $650

If you are interested in the private cabin, please contact us.

$50 deposit due with registration.

Cancellation by Dec 10: full refund including deposit.
Cancellation after Dec 11: refund minus deposit.

Register for the retreat here.