Retreats & Practice Intensive

Leaving behind our homes, family and friends, and our duties and responsibilities can be a powerful support for deepening insight. In a quiet setting, with a simple schedule of sitting and walking meditation, practicing noble silence, the mind naturally begins to quiet down. A quiet, serene mind is capable of seeing clearly in a way that is often not available during our busy lives. Clear seeing or insight uproots the confusion behind the cycles of stress and suffering.

There are many opportunities for retreat practice, through Common Ground and through other organizations. It often takes a fair amount of forethought and planning to schedule retreats into our lives, so we’re offering this comprehensive listing of retreat opportunities so that you can plan ahead.

Please visit our calendar to register for half-day and daylong retreats. All Common Ground programs are offered freely in the spirit of generosity. To learn more about supporting the center and our teachers, click here.

Half-Day Retreats

Usually scheduled for the first Saturday of the month.

• Saturday, January 7, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
• Saturday, February 4, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m
• Saturday, March 4, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m
• Saturday, April 1, 1:00 – 5:00

Daylong Retreats (Please bring a bag lunch.)

Usually scheduled for the fourth Saturday of the Month.

• Saturday, January 28, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
• Saturday, February 25, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
•*Saturday, March 11, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. with Shelly Graf and Gabe Keller
• Saturday, March 25, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
• Saturday, April 29, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

*This retreat is for young adults ages 16 – 30 something.

Twelve Step Recovery and Mindfulness Meditation Retreat

These four hours without distractions provide a unique opportunity for self-discovery and seeing, through mindfulness meditation, how we contribute to our own suffering. We will have periods of sitting meditation, gentle stretching, group discussions, a short talk, and a mid-day break for tea and walking outdoors. The environment will be informal and the instructions simple. This will be a unique experience for many of us that will provide a more in-depth 11th step practice. If you have a yoga mat, please bring it for the gentle stretching exercises. No previous meditation retreat experience necessary.
Sunday, April 2, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Register

Spring Practice Period at Prairie Farm

Wednesday, March 1st through Friday, March 31st. These seasonal practice periods are open to both experienced and beginning practitioners and provide an opportunity for independent retreat practice with the support of an experienced practice leader and a small group of other retreatants. During these multi-week periods, community members can register for the days that best fit their schedule. First priority is given to those able to stay at least 3 nights. Minimum stay is 2 nights. Maximum stay is 7 nights. Please see the Prairie Farm Retreats page for details.

There is also the option for experienced leaders to organize individual or group retreats outside of these scheduled practice periods. Email if you’re interested.

Common Ground Residential Retreats

To register or for more information about Common Ground’s residential retreats, go to the retreats website.

We offer four retreats each year at Holy Spirit Retreat Center with Mark NunbergThis year:

February 11-15 (over President’s Day)

April 21-24

August 27-September 5 (over Labor Day)

November 3-6

TCVC Residential Retreats

Friday, June 16th – Sunday, June 25th with Steve Armstrong
Visit for more information.

Madison Insight Meditation Group

is offering the following retreats this year:

*Ayya Medhanandi, May 21-25, 2017,  Pine Lake Camp, Westfield, WI (residential)

*DaRa Williams, October 5-8, 2017,  Pine Lake Camp, Westfield, WI (residential)

Arrow River Forest Hermitage

near Thunder Bay, Canada is a great place to do an individual retreat, with daily meetings with Ajahn Punadhammo.

There are many opportunities for long and short retreats at the big insight meditation centers around the country:

Insight Meditation Society

in Barre, MA offers retreats at their Retreat Center and self-retreats at the Forest Refuge. They sometimes have special scholarships for people of color and young people (16-32).

Spirit Rock Meditation Center

in Woodacre, CA.

Cloud Mountain Retreat Center

in Castle Rock, WA.