The Heart of Mindfulness: A Silent Meditation Retreat

Janet Solyntjes and Gaylon Ferguson

December 1–8, 2023

Tuition $665 + 7 nights

The Heart of Mindfulness Retreat is a 7-day silent meditation retreat that emphasizes the deep understanding and practice of mindfulness in its most universal expression while respecting and acknowledging its contemplative and spiritual roots.

Photo by Karen O’Hern

The retreat is open to all experienced meditators who are looking for an enriching silent retreat experience. It is suitable for mindfulness teachers or aspiring teachers, and fulfills the retreat prerequisite for attending MBSR and most other teacher training programs.

Program Details

The daily schedule will integrate sitting and walking meditation, mindful movement and periods of informal practice, all held within the container of noble silence. The retreat leaders will offer meditation instruction and talks aimed at illuminating the foundational principles of mindfulness, the universality of the human experience, and the cultivation of wisdom and compassion. Participants will have an opportunity to meet with a retreat leader in a small group setting to discuss their experience and ask questions.

Program Goals

  • Provide a safe, nourishing environment for cultivating a deep and grounded mindfulness meditation practice.
  • Foster a rigorous retreat experience, independent of any religious outlook.
  • Offer excellent support and guidance from highly trained, experienced teachers and meditation instructors.
  • Practice noble silence to develop a strong container for deepening meditation practice.

Attendance Requirement

Participants must attend all practice sessions

Attitudes to Cultivate

  • Non-judging
  • Patience
  • Beginner’s mind
  • Trust
  • Non-striving
  • Acceptance
  • Letting go
  • Generosity
  • Gratitude
  • Self-compassion
  • Kindness

Taking Care

Please review the DMC COVID-19 policy before completing registration.

On Silent Group Meditation Retreats: 10 things I’ve learned along the way by Janet Solyntjes


Janet Solyntjes

Janet Solyntjes, MA, is a Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher and has been leading silent meditation retreats in the U.S. and internationally for over 30 years. She provides online study groups and individual mentoring to mindfulness teachers-in-training and has been on the faculty of Naropa University, the Center for Mindfulness, and the Engaged Mindfulness Institute.

Janet facilitates the annual leadership retreat: Do Nothing: Learning to Live Your Life with Genuine Care for entrepreneurs and supports business leaders and teams in the integration of mindfulness into workplace settings.

Gaylon Ferguson

Gaylon Ferguson, PhD, has led mindfulness meditation retreats since 1976.

He has taught at Stanford, the University of Washington, and Naropa University. He is the author of two books: Natural Wakefulness (on the four foundations of mindfulness) and Natural Bravery (on fear and fearlessness). He has written articles for Lion’s Roar and Tricycle magazines.

Program Details

Registration takes place from 2– 5 pm on your program start date. All participants and volunteer staff must check in at our Guest Registration house. Please arrive before 5 pm to check-in and settle into your accommodations. Your program begins with dinner, followed by an orientation. The Guest Registration house closes at 5 pm after which no one is available to provide information or orient you to your accommodations. All programs usually end at 12:30 pm on the program's departure date, followed by lunch. Further specifics regarding your program's schedule will be available upon arrival. If applicable, you will receive an email from the program coordinator in the week prior to your program with any additional information you may need.