What to Bring on Retreat

There are several items you can bring that will help you create a comfortable retreat for yourself and others.

  • Loose, comfortable, casual, layered clothing
  • Walking shoes/indoor shoes that can easily be slipped off and on, and/or shoes for walking the trails and grounds if available
  • Fragrance-free toiletries and sunscreen. Out of respect for fellow yogis who experience allergies and chemical sensitivities, please bring and use only fragrance-free toiletry products. Fragrance-free products are available at Whole Foods and most health food stores. For residential retreats, we’ll also have limited quantities of fragrance-free shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and lotion available. For more information please see the Fragrance-Free Requirements page.
  • A blanket/shawl if you get cold and would like extra warmth in the meditation hall. It is often difficult to regulate the temperature for everyone's different comfort range.
  • Your zafu, bench, blankets, and/or cushions if you want to sit on the floor. Chairs will also be available. (*If the retreat is at the Pearlstone Retreat Center, there are a limited number of meditation cushions available. If you live locally or are traveling by car, please bring your own sitting gear so that these cushions can be used for those without a way to transport them.)
  • Rain gear and flashlight.
  • Yoga mat and blanket. (*If the retreat is at Pearlstone, extra yoga mats are available at the retreat center.)
  • Checks/cash/credit card to cover your registration balance if required, IMCW and teacher donations, and any books/CDs that might be for sale at the end of the retreat.

For Pearlstone retreats

Campers: You must bring your own tent and sleeping gear (sleeping bag, pad, and pillow). Towels will be provided.

Those staying in the single, double, and multi-occupancy rooms: linens, pillows and towels are provided.

To help you get the most out of your silent retreat, we ask that you refrain from using your cell phone, tablets, computers, etc., as well as reading or writing, with the exception of the dharma talks, where it’s permissible to take notes. If you feel you need to do any of these things, please respect others by doing so where others can’t see you.

What if I forget to bring something to the retreat?

The managers will have a box of extra toiletries and fragrance-free products if you need them. Otherwise, we ask that you not to leave retreat to go out to purchase things. In an emergency, the managers may be able to get what you need if you leave them a note on the bulletin board. 

It is the mission of IMCW/The Insight Meditation Community of Washington is to support the awakening of hearts and minds through the direct experience of the Buddhist path, and the integration and manifestation of wisdom and compassion in all aspects of life, for the benefit of all beings.

P.O. Box 3
Cabin John, MD 20818

Phone: 202.986.2922