Retreats

Discover a Deeper Way of Living Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center offers a retreat for almost everyone. Our schedule carries a...
  • Casita Supporting Rate – $1,885.00
  • Casita Actual Rate – $1,690.00
  • Casita Base Rate – $1,495.00
  • Yurt Supporting Rate – $1,885.00
  • Yurt Actual Rate – $1,690.00
  • Yurt Base Rate – $1,495.00
  • Hermitage – $2,665.00

Date & Time Details: Check-in is from 3:00-5:00 on the first day of the retreat. The retreat will close mid-morning on the last day of the retreat. (Learn more)

PRICE: We offer a sliding scale structure. Scholarships are available, see below. Prices for this retreat range from $1,495-$2,665 (not including dana). (Learn more)

DANA: This is a dana based retreat. (Learn more)

SHUTTLE SERVICE: Shuttle Service is available for this retreat. (Learn more)

NOBLE SILENCE: This retreat will be held in noble silence. (Learn more)

SCHOLARSHIP / FELLOWSHIP AVAILABILITY: Scholarships are available on a limited basis for Hemera, BIPOC, and Needs Based. (Learn more)

SAFETY: We are committed to providing a safe environment for gathering. We have created multiple precautions to hold our time together. (Learn more)

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Program is fully booked

Affectionate Awareness as a Path to Liberation

With Michele McDonald, Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey and Darine Monroy (Assistant)

August 1 - 14, 2022

Program is fully booked

During this intensive silent retreat, participants will learn to develop their heart’s capacity for liberatory clarity and pervasive tenderness with a unique integration of Vipassana (insight) and Metta (lovingkindness) practices. Michele and Jesse are enthusiastic about supporting yogis with a depth of both technical rigor and spacious ease.

Yogis will be supported by daily instruction periods with time for questions and answers, individual interviews with both teachers, nightly dhamma talks, a vigorous schedule of sitting and walking meditation, as well as free time in the afternoons to silently explore the beauty of the landscape on their own.

Come experience the richness of quietude in the beautiful Vallecitos wilderness while cultivating the wisdom of Vipassana and the tenderness of the four Brahma Viharas: Unconditional Love, Compassion, Appreciative Joy, and Equanimity.

Prerequisite:  Practitioners must have done at least 3 separate 9 day retreats of silent Vipassana meditation to be eligible. If you do not meet this criteria, we would be happy to help you find another Vallecitos retreat.

We require all people who visit the land to be fully vaccinated. We will require a copy of your vaccination card prior to arrival. Vallecitos reserves the right to modify, cancel or close at any time.

Teachers

Michele McDonald
Michele McDonald has taught Insight meditation since 1982 and teaches extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Burma, and various locations around the world. Michele has been a quiet pioneer having being the first woman to teach a formal retreat in Burma, side-by-side with a senior monastic figure, Sayadaw U Lakkhana, Abbot of Kyaswa Monastery. Having worked with a wide range of Asian and Western teachers, Michele is most inspired by her practice with Dipa Ma and Sayadaw U Pandita and more recently in Burma with the Mya Taung Sayadaw. She appreciates teaching at many levels of practice and has enjoyed…
Learn more about Michele McDonald
Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey
Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey’s teaching aims to inspire the skills, determination, and faith necessary to realize the deepest human freedom. He is a student of Michele McDonald and his approach is rooted in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. As a teacher of Vipassana (insight) meditation within the broader context of Theravada Buddhism his teaching encourages an exploration of the relationship between ethics, insight, and action. Perpetually intrigued by the dynamics between inner and outer change, Jesse is a writer of numerous essays and author of Insurgent Heart: A Vipassana Manual for the Guerrilla Yogi. Links to his writing can be…
Learn more about Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey
Darine Monroy (Assistant)
Darine Monroy has been a student of Michele McDonald and Steven Smith since 2011. She has taught for Mindful Schools, has completed the Hakomi Comprehensive Training, and is studying herbal medicine. Darine was born and raised in Mexico, and meditation retreats have been among the most meaningful experiences of her life.
Learn more about Darine Monroy (Assistant)