Downtown Meditation Eight-Day Insight Meditation Retreat

Information About the Retreat

We ask that you carefully read this section.  It includes important information about the Eight-Day Retreat and the silent retreat process.  Since Downtown Meditation has limited resources in putting on these kinds of retreats, it is especially important that retreatants consider each of the items discussed here.

Please note that the material in this section, as well as the Retreat Application, have been adopted from the website for the Insight Meditation Society Forest Refuge Retreat Center.

Application Requirements

The Eight-Day is structured for meditators with an established and long-term commitment to meditation practice, including long-term retreat experience. We recommend that retreatants have practiced Insight Meditation for at least two years.  You should have participated in a New Students course and attend Downtown Meditation classes on a regular basis.  It is strongly suggested that retreatants who are new to this kind of intensive silent practice have attended a weekend residential retreat or a minimum of three daylong retreats with Downtown Meditation.

Please note that each retreat application is carefully reviewed. Downtown Meditation teachers may exercise their discretion in accepting or declining applications.

Intensive Silent Retreat Practice

At an intensive silent meditation retreat, the practice can be strenuous and requires stability of physical and psychological health.  If you have recently experienced considerable trauma, significant depression or anxiety, or are currently experiencing strong PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or other severe or debilitating mental health issues, a silent personal retreat may not be appropriate for you at this time in your life. To help you decide whether this kind of retreat is suitable, we urge you to discuss your situation with a Downtown Meditation teacher and/or therapist. Please be in touch with a Downtown Meditation teacher if you have any questions or concerns.


During the retreat, participants are in silence at all times throughout the buildings and grounds, apart from the kitchen and some other areas where they are fulfilling their yogi jobs.

Your cell phone should be off for the duration of your retreat. We also request that you leave behind your laptop and other communication devices so that you can commit wholeheartedly to your retreat time. This includes refraining from sending or receiving emails or texts.

Please take care of all personal and business obligations prior to the start of your retreat, so that communication with the outside world can be kept to an absolute minimum.

Any personal business that requires time away from your practice or from the Powell House grounds should be discussed first with the retreat teacher.

Medical Issues

All retreat participants must be mentally stable and physically able to care for themselves. Everyone needs to have health insurance or be able to cover her/his own expenses in case of illness or medical emergencies. Any special needs must be discussed and agreed to in advance with a Downtown Meditation teacher.

In the event of a medical emergency, we will call 911.  If an illness is acute, you will need to leave Powell House to recuperate.

Emergency Contact Person

Every retreatant must provide the name and contact details of an emergency contact person in order to attend the retreat.  We will make every effort to communicate with this person in the event of an emergency.  This person should be someone who can either collect you from Powell House or help to make transportation arrangements if you need to leave the retreat early.


download application / registration form.

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