Financial Assistance and Scholarship Information
Dana (the Pali word for generosity) has played an essential role in the 2,600 year-old Buddhist tradition. In the spirit of this tradition, Spirit Rock Meditation Center is committed to offering financial assistance to those who need it. Spirit Rock does not want cost to be an obstacle for participation in our residential retreats. If you cannot attend a retreat due to cost, we strongly encourage you to apply for financial assistance. Because Spirit Rock highly values diversity, we particularly encourage those who require financial assistance that are in the following groups to apply: people of color, young adults (18-26), elders (65+), and those with life threatening illnesses; however, anyone with financial need is encouraged to apply.
Each financial assistance request is assessed in terms of financial need and funds availability. Each individual may be awarded scholarships or young adult rates for a maximum of two retreats per calendar year.
How to apply for assistance
Scholarship funds are budgetted on a per retreat basis; this means that funding is limited per retreat. If funds are not available for one retreat, it does not mean funds are not available for another retreat. You should select a few retreat options. We recommend candidates apply as early as possible to improve your chances of receiving a scholarship (except for lottery retreats - these retreats have a slightly different system of allocations).
How to apply: 1) Choose the retreat you are interested in; 2) Go to the online registration link on the calendar webpage and locate the retreat. If scholarship funding is available, there should be options listed. If the scholarship option you are looking for is not visible or no scholarship options are listed, we are likely sold out. You may want to select another retreat that may still having funding available; 3) If you can only attend a particular retreat due to scheduling and you need scholarship funding, we can put you on a scholarship waiting list. Contact us if you have any questions about this or if you cannot attend a retreat without scholarship assistance, either call: 415-488-0164 ext. 252 or ext. 247 or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE OPTIONS
Spirit Rock Meditation Center offers a variety of types of financial support for residential retreats.
The Mudita Scholarship provides a means for any individual who requires financial assistance to attend a retreat.
The Karuna Scholarship is specifically for individuals with serious medical conditions who require financial assistance to attend a retreat.
Dr. Marlene Jones People of Color (POC) Scholarships
The POC Scholarship is specifically for individuals who self-identify as a Person of Color who require financial assistance to attend a retreat.
Young Adult Rate
It is our wish to support the practice needs of meditators in early adulthood. To this end, Spirit Rock extends a special invitation to young adults, age 18-26 years, who wish to attend a residential retreat. The number of young adult spaces available is limited per retreat and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Please apply as early as possible.
Renunciate monastics are invited to attend Spirit Rock retreats without cost. We ask that you register in advance to secure a space in the retreat. Monastic discounts can be extended only to one having taken vows and abiding as a renunciate, living exclusively on donations and having no form of income through work or other sources. Contact the registrar for more information.
Scholarships for Month-Long Retreats
Thanks to the generosity of our community, Spirit Rock is pleased to offer additional funding for 15 Young Adult spaces (combined for February and March). In addition, we have more than 20 scholarships in our Dr. Marlene Jones People of Color (POC) Scholarship Fund. These additional funds mean that more than 25% of our retreat population will be on scholarship.
Hemera Foundation Fellowships
The Hemera Foundation offers three fellowship opportunities through Spirit Rock: the Contemplative Fellowships for Educators, the Contemplative Fellowships for Healthcare Professionals, and the Tending Space Fellowships for Artists. The Contemplative Fellowships for Educators program supports educators’ growth through contemplative practice in a retreat setting, allowing individuals the opportunity to cultivate mindfulness, compassion, personal well-being, and professional efficacy, and, in turn, embody and apply these qualities to promote positive school cultures. The Contemplative Fellowships for Healthcare Professionals program supports health care professionals through the deep contemplative practices taught, developed and strengthened on retreat. Meditation retreats provide a supportive training environment in which individuals can cultivate mindfulness, compassion, and personal well-being, qualities which can extend into their professional lives and improve workplace culture. The aim of the Tending Space Fellowships for Artists program is to nurture the creative practice of seeing things as they are, to cultivate awareness, and to live and create from this insight. Find out more here.
Work Retreatant Positions
The work retreatant (WR) position can be another means of financial assistance and a unique kind of work retreat. Because of this unique experience, it does require some retreat experience. This WR position is only available to candidates who have attended, at the minimum, a 5-day Vipassana retreat at Spirit Rock, prior to applying. In exchange for retreat fees, WRs serve approximately five (5) non-consecutive hours per day in either the kitchen or housekeeping departments. We ask that candidates be able-bodied adults of average physical stamina. Work retreatants are encouraged to still offer Dana (donation) to the retreat teachers and retreat staff (retreat managers and cooks) at the end of the retreat.
While serving in this capacity, a WR may miss some periods of walking and sitting meditation, or a period of movement practice (yoga, qigong, etc.); but will be able to attend all daily Dharma talks.
Interested in applying for a work retreatant position? Follow this link.
If you are not in need of scholarship assistance but it would be financially helpful to pay for your retreat over a period of time, we do offer installment plans to ease the burden of paying a retreat fee all at once. A minimum deposit is due for all attendees and only the balance can be paid over time. You can arrange to pay the balance of your retreat fee over time via automatic monthly deductions from your checking account (United States banks only); payment plans cannot be set up on credit cards. Your automatic deductions can be set for a maximum of 6 monthly installments starting the month following the end of your retreat and are deducted on the 15th of each month. Please fill out a Payment Plan Form at check-in on opening day. You will need to bring a voided blank check with you that will be attached to the form. Present this form to the Retreat Managers.
The Payment Plan is also available for Teacher and Staff Dana at the end of a retreat. Please bring an second voided check if you'd like to set up a payment plan for your teacher and staff dana. You may not have more than two (2) payment plans occurring at the same time. And, all registration fee payment plans need to be paid off prior to registering for another retreat.