Neurodharma: A 10-Day Vipassana Retreat

A 10-Day, Silent, Vipassana Retreat Based On A Progression of Brain-savvy Perspectives and Practices with Dr. Rick Hanson

June 8-17, 2018

Modern brain science is beginning to shed light on the underlying neuropsychological basis of deep experiences of present moment awareness, integrated wholeness of mind, and the sense of interdependent connection with nature and physical reality.

Join New York Times bestselling author Rick Hanson, Ph.D. and discover how to use new findings in brain science to relax the contracted sense of self, and to rest increasingly in resilient well-being at the front edge of now.

This 10-day silent vipassana style retreat will include meditation, insightful talks, and guided practices based on a progression of brain-savvy perspectives and practices. After laying a foundation of methods that promote steadiness of mind and a warm heart, we’ll move through practices in four stages, using Buddhist teachings and cutting edge neuroscience to experience and stabilize a sense of Nowness . . . Wholeness . . . Allness . . . Oneness.

As this is a serious, experientially intense retreat, all participants must have previous participation in a 7+ day meditation retreat. Additionally, this retreat is not appropriate for those who are vulnerable to psychotic or dissociative experiences.

Scholarships are full for this retreat. Any new applicants will be placed on a waitlist.

Dr. Rick Hanson

Lead Teacher

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author. His books are available in 26 languages and include Resilient, Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture. He edits the Wise Brain Bulletin and has numerous audio programs. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, he’s been an invited speaker at NASA, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and other major universities, and taught in meditation centers worldwide.

Dr. Hanson has been a trustee of Saybrook University, served on the board of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and was President of the Board of FamilyWorks, a community agency. He began meditating in 1974, trained in several traditions, and leads a weekly meditation gathering in San Rafael, California. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, and NPR, and he offers the free Just One Thing newsletter with over 120,000 subscribers, plus the online Foundations of Well-Being program in positive neuroplasticity that anyone with financial need can do for free.

Leslie Booker


Booker brings her heart, wisdom, and compassion to the intersection of social justice, yoga, and mindfulness. She has shared these practices with vulnerable populations in New York City since 2006, working in juvenile detention centers, residential treatment centers, and on Rikers Island. She travels nationally utilizing the foundation of Dharma and embodied wisdom practices to support the sustainability of front line Changemakers.

Booker is on faculty with the Prison Mindfulness Institute and Off the Mat Into the World, and teaches at Insight Meditation centers across the country. She is a co-founder of the Yoga Service Council at Omega Institute, the Meditation Working Group of Occupy Wall Street and Urban Sangha Project in NYC. Booker is a co-author of Best Practices for Yoga in a Criminal Justice Setting, a contributor to Georgetown Law report Gender & Trauma, and Sharon Salzberg’s book Happiness at Work. She is a graduate of both Spirit Rock’s Mindful Yoga & Meditation and Community Dharma Leaders trainings, and is currently in their 4 year Dharma Retreat Teacher training.

Tara Mulay


Tara Mulay combines a deep love of classical Theravada teachings with a focus on bringing the practice alive in modern daily life. She co-founded the San Francisco People of Color Insight Meditation Group in 2015 and has been a leader of Mission Dharma since 2010. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leaders Program and a current participant in the 2017-2021 Insight Meditation Society Teacher Training Program. Tara has undertaken intensive practice periods in both the United States and Myanmar. Her dharma offerings have been heavily influenced by Burmese styles of insight meditation, which emphasize a continuity of non-conceptual moment-to-moment awareness, as well as by her over 20 years of practicing criminal defense law.

Dr. Peter Grossenbacher


Peter Grossenbacher, PhD, teaches at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where he serves as Professor and Department Chair in Contemplative Psychology. A Mind & Life Fellow, he offers integrative scientific perspectives on meditation and contemplative education. Peter started meditating in 1980, and teaches meditation in Shambhala and other settings.

After graduating with honors from U.C. Berkeley, he worked at Stanford Medical School in brain imaging research. He trained in cognitive neuroscience and earned his doctorate in experimental psychology at the University of Oregon. His book, Finding Consciousness in the Brain, offers insights into the brain’s involvement in conscious experience. After researching attention and synesthesia at the University of Cambridge and the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Grossenbacher joined the Naropa faculty in 2000. Since founding the Consciousness Laboratory, he directs research on meditative development the teaching of meditation. His work has been covered by the New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, and Discover Magazine, as well as numerous radio interviews and newspaper articles.


$450 + 9 nights

Sample Lodging Options

All lodging includes 3 meals each day.

More lodging options available on the registration page.

Lodge Dorm $117 per night
Lodge Double $158 per night
Lodge Single $219 per night
Subsidized Rate $65 per night

*Price for Lodge Double is per person.

Limited Scholarships Available

Ten scholarships are available to cover the cost of tuition, lodging fees still apply. Click here to apply.

Guests with Disabilities

If you are a guest with mobility, visual or hearing disabilities and would like to request accommodations or offer suggestions on how to make Shambhala Mountain Center more accessible, please contact our Guest Services at 1-888-788-7221 or

Recordings of this Retreat

Rick’s talks, guided meditations, and perhaps additional teachings will be videotaped as quietly and discreetly as possible. The voices and images of retreat participants will not be included in the recordings, which will be edited into an online program that participants will receive at no charge in 2019. This program will be offered for sale, and given freely to anyone with financial need.

About Shambhala Mountain Center

Nestled high in the Colorado Rockies 2 hours north of Denver, Shambhala Mountain Center is a six-hundred-acre mountain valley retreat surrounded by native forests, gentle meadows and rocky peaks. Tamed by decades of use as a contemplative refuge, we provide a safe and supportive container for exploring paths of deepened awareness, personal wellbeing and societal transformation.

Click here to see our location in Google Maps.

Click here to review our retreat participant guide.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel your reservation more than 14 days prior to arrival, you will receive a full refund less a credit card processing fee of 5% of payment. If you cancel between 2 to 14 days prior to arrival, we will credit your payment towards another program at Shambhala Mountain Center to be used within 2 years. No refunds or credits are issued for cancellations received fewer than 48-hours prior to arrival.

Click here to learn more about cancellations, rates, and payments.

Children Policy

Shambhala Mountain Center welcomes children of parents/guardians who are participating in our scheduled programs, or who are simply engaging in a personal retreat. However, we do not provide childcare. Parents are encouraged to also bring a caretaker for their children, so that the parents can fully participate in their program.

Click here to learn more about bringing your child to SMC.

Arrival 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 5:30 pm after which no one is available to provide information or orient you to your accommodations.  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.