We hope you will be able to join us next year at our monastic led Spring Retreat at the beautiful Jesuit Retreat Center in Applegate, CA, which takes place in the month of May each year. The retreat is located about 45 minutes from Sacramento in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
If you have never attended a Self-Realization Fellowship retreat, the following information will let you know what to expect:
What is the purpose of the retreat?
The purpose of a Self-Realization Fellowship retreat is to provide spiritual seekers with an opportunity to withdraw from their usual environment and routine activities in a beautiful natural setting where God’s presence can be more easily experienced.
Why are the retreats conducted in silence?
They are conducted in silence to facilitate inner communion. Silence helps retreatants stay internalized – ready to receive and feel.
What is the format of the retreat?
The retreats are led by visiting Self-Realization Fellowship monks or nuns (ministers). The program is structured, and it includes periods of minister-led group meditation and inspirational talks. Some of the talks, called satsangas, are in a question and answer format where the ministers answer spiritual questions previously submitted in writing by retreat attendees.
Group meditations include periods of devotional chanting alternating with periods of silence where retreatants practice meditation techniques (Hong Sau, the Aum Technique, and Kriya) taught in the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons. The practice of these techniques is followed by sitting in the silence and devotion.
The program also includes group practice of the Energization Exercises. These are a series of exercises, performed standing, where you tense and relax all of the body parts. The exercises are done as a preparation for meditation.
Weather permitting, a Fire Circle is offered for those who wish to participate. This is an evening event by a campfire where retreatants meditate with the ministers who sometimes tell inspiring stories.
There is ample free time that can be used for spiritual reading, hikes on wooded trails, private meditation, or resting.
What about meals and accommodations?
Retreat attendees can stay on site or commute. For those who might prefer to stay offsite overnight and attend as day retreatants, we have an alternate lodging list. Meals served for breakfast, lunch and dinner are lacto-ovo vegetarian and vegan.