You may be surprised at what seclusion with God will do for your mind, body, and soul....Through the portals of silence the healing sun of wisdom and peace will shine upon you.
SRF Retreats and How-to-Live Retreat Programs
Self-Realization Fellowship’s How-to-Live Retreat programs are open to anyone seeking spiritual renewal and who desires to leave behind the pressures of everyday life — if only for a few days — to deepen their awareness of the Divine. The daily Retreat programs provide, in the words of Paramahansa Yogananda, “a dynamo of silence where [you] may go for the exclusive purpose of being recharged by the Infinite.”
Retreat activities include daily group meditations, practice of the SRF Energization Exercises, inspirational classes and programs, and where available, services at nearby SRF temples. There is also ample free time to relax and enjoy God’s presence in the beautiful retreat settings. Self-Realization Fellowship books and recordings are available for private listening and study, and the Retreat chapels are open for meditation.
Two types of How-to-Live Retreat programs are offered:
— General retreats are loosely structured, with classes and inspirational programs, and opportunities for spiritual counseling. Participants join SRF monastics in their morning and evening periods of meditation.
— Conducted weekend retreats, in addition to the above, offer a concentrated program of classes, led by monks and nuns of the SRF monastic order, on the SRF teachings and meditation techniques. Conducted retreats are scheduled at SRF Retreat facilities on many weekends throughout the year — and at various other locations around the world.
To maximize the effects of the retreat experience, guests are expected to participate in the full retreat program and not to engage in other activities during the time of their stay.
SRF Retreat Locations Worldwide
Pacific Palisades, California (Lake Shrine)
Escondido, California (Hidden Valley)
Front Royal, Virginia (Greenfield)
Planning Your First Retreat?
While it is not necessary to be a member of Self-Realization Fellowship to participate in our retreat program, it is important that guests be familiar with meditation and be comfortable spending their time at the retreat in silence. For those new to the SRF teachings or to meditation, a stay of two or three days is usually suggested for a first retreat. A list of books by Paramahansa Yogananda and information about SRF temples, lecture tours, and the printed SRF Lessons are available upon request by contacting Self-Realization Fellowship Headquarters.
Conducted How-to-Live Retreat Programs
On many weekends throughout the year, SRF monastics lead specially prepared How-to-Live Retreat programs, tailored for those who are studying and practicing the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda through the SRF Lessons.
These programs are held at Self-Realization Fellowship Retreat locations (listed below). In addition, How-to-Live Retreat programs are held at various other facilities around the world.
During these weekends, retreatants take part in a more concentrated program that includes, along with the regular activities already mentioned, longer periods of meditation, review and practice of the SRF meditation techniques, and classes on various aspects of the Self-Realization Fellowship teachings.
Conducted weekend retreats begin Friday evening and conclude Sunday afternoon. Because of the number of requests received for participation in conducted retreats, it is important that reservations be made well in advance.
2021 Retreat Schedule
Due to various national and international restrictions set in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are not able at this time to provide a list of confirmed dates for upcoming tours and retreats. As soon as we are again able to provide information about future events, we will post those details here.
While the following general information applies to all Retreat locations, please check with individual Retreat offices since some details may vary.
Lodging and Meals
Retreat participants are provided with comfortably furnished single rooms, and an adjoining bath that is shared either by two retreatants of the same sex, or by a married couple. (There are some exceptions: for instance, some rooms with private bath are available at the Lake Shrine Retreat.)
Three wholesome vegetarian meals are generally served daily in the retreat dining rooms. As there is generally not a choice of menu, if you have dietary restrictions, please discuss this with the retreat registrar when making your reservation.
Clothing should be comfortable and informal. In keeping with the ideals of a spiritual community, we ask that retreatants dress modestly, and that they not wear shorts or similar attire inside the Retreat. Some type of footwear should be worn at all times, preferably soft-soled to help preserve the quiet atmosphere of the Retreat.
Visits to Paramahansa Yogananda’s Living Quarters
At the Encinitas Retreat, on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons (depending on availability), retreatants may visit the Hermitage where Paramahansa Yogananda’s living quarters have been preserved as a shrine. Also, during conducted retreats at SRF Lake Shrine (depending upon availability), retreatants may visit the Houseboat where Paramahansa Yogananda sometimes resided during the establishment of the Lake Shrine.
The costs of meals, lodging, and daily upkeep for all SRF Retreats are covered on a donation basis. The suggested donation amounts vary among the various Retreat programs. Please check with individual Retreat offices for specific details.
The kind support of those who can offer more than the suggested donation of each retreat program helps us to continue to offer these spiritual services to all, regardless of ability to contribute financially.
To make a reservation, please contact the retreat of your choice directly.
215 K Street
Encinitas, California 92024-5040 USA
At the Encinitas Retreat and Ashram Center, Paramahansa Yogananda lived for many years and began the first SRF retreat program. It is beautifully situated high above the Pacific Ocean, about 25 miles north of downtown San Diego.
Reservations may be made from one to seven days, depending on availability. Weekends (Friday to Sunday) are usually reserved as a unit, although retreatants may check in prior to the weekend and stay into the following week.
Visitors who wish to remain in the Encinitas area for periods longer than retreat accommodations allow are welcome to attend the meditations and classes at the Retreat while staying at another location.
The Encinitas Retreat is closed for the weeks of Convocation (held each summer in Los Angeles) and Christmas. Reservations for the weeks before and after Convocation are usually limited to just a few days and are reserved for those coming from long distances.
For reservations, please contact the Encinitas Retreat:
Telephone: (760) 753-1811
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific time, Monday through Saturday
FAX: (760) 753-8416 (available 24 hours a day)
Lake Shrine Retreat
17190 Sunset Boulevard
Pacific Palisades, California 90272 USA
Reservations may be made for one to six days, depending upon availability. Check-in time is between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday (the 5:00 check-in on Friday allows time for a light meal before attending the evening meditation at the Lake Shrine Temple). Checkout for weekend retreats is Sunday afternoon. The retreat is closed Mondays.
The Lake Shrine Retreat is closed for the weeks of Convocation (held each summer in Los Angeles) and Christmas. Reservations for the weeks before and after Convocation are usually limited to just a few days and are reserved for those coming from long distances.
For reservations, please contact the Lake Shrine Retreat:
Telephone: (310) 459-4740
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific time, Tuesday through Saturday
FAX: (310) 459-8716 (available 24 hours a day)
2660 John Marshall Hwy.
Front Royal, Virginia 22630 USA
The Greenfield retreat is located in the Shenandoah Valley in northern Virginia, amidst a lush deciduous forest. Three cottages are available for women to enjoy private retreats. During private retreats, women are invited to meditate with the monastics daily and may participate in service activities. For more details, please call our retreat number listed below.
During general retreats (open to both men and women), no lodging or meals are provided. Please call the Retreat for a list of nearby accommodations.
Additional information is available on the Greenfield website.
Telephone: (540) 635-5066
The Bermersbach retreat is located in the Black Forest, one of Germany’s most picturesque locales, amidst mountains, meadows, streams, and forests with readily accessible foot and bike paths. The spacious building and grounds includes a chapel, kitchen and dining room, a comfortable library/living room, and landscaped lawns and meditation areas in the gardens.
Conducted retreats are offered monthly.
For reservations, please contact the Bermersbach Retreat:
Telephone: (07228) 968 969
Retiro de Armação
Avenida Itapocoroi, 1393
Armação - Penha
Santa Catarina, Brazil
Retreats conducted by SRF lay members are offered during the summer and winter months, as well as on special weekends throughout the year. This program includes practice of the Energization Exercises, group meditations and kirtans.
Once or twice a year, Self-Realization Fellowship monastics from the International Headquarters conduct a special retreat (see retreat schedule) which, in addition to the regular program, includes inspirational services and classes on various aspects of the Self-Realization Fellowship teachings.
Individual retreats are available year-round. The chapel is open for individual meditation, and attendees prepare their own meals for this program.
The facility fronts the Atlantic Ocean, and offers guests beach access, peaceful meditation gardens, and expansive ocean vistas.
For reservations, please contact the Armação Retreat:
Telephone: (55) 47-3345-5600