In-House Retreats

Gampo Abbey In-House Retreats 2021

Led by the Gampo Abbey Community

Saturday, October 23rd to Saturday, October 30th

Saturday, October 30th to Saturday, November 6th


Our In-House Retreat is an opportunity to live, practice, and work alongside Abbey monastics for one or two weeks. Participants in this retreat will join the monastics and lay residents in all aspects of the schedule, which includes four hours of practice per day, as well as service to the community and time for reflection. We strongly recommend that applicants already have an established meditation practice.

Applications are received on a rolling basis. We will update this page when the retreats are at capacity. To access the application, please click here: 2021 In-House Retreat Application

Please be advised that we are only accepting applicants who have received 2 COVID vaccinations.

In-house retreatants will be asked to support the community by helping in the kitchen, working in the garden, tending the grounds, or assisting with housekeeping tasks as their service. Each retreatant will be assigned a meditation instructor. The Abbey also has an outstanding library of Buddhist and other literature and an extensive digital library of dharma talks, particularly by Gampo Abbey’s principal teacher, Bhikshuni Pema Chödrön. The Abbey is located near Cape Breton’s scenic Cabot Trail, with many walks and trails accessible virtually from our front door.

PLEASE NOTE: Pema Chödrön is not in residence during the period of the In-House Retreats.

We practice silence daily from wake-up until lunch and again after evening chants. Saturdays are open days (no schedule). Each Sunday is an intensive practice day in silence.

This is the daily schedule Sunday to Friday:

6:00-6:40 am Morning chants and sitting meditation
6:40-7:00 House jobs
7:00 Breakfast
8:00-11:00 Sitting meditation/practice period
11:00-12:30 pm Mind/body period
12:30 Lunch (silence ends)
1:30-5:15 Service (work) period
5:30-6:30 Sitting meditation and evening chants
6:30 Dinner
8:00 Silence begins

All guests and residents at Gampo Abbey follow the five precepts, which are:

  • Refraining from taking life
  • Refraining from stealing (not taking what is not offered)
  • Refraining from sexual activity
  • Refraining from lying
  • Refraining from drinking alcohol or taking intoxicating drugs

These vows are taken for the duration of your time at the Abbey. This means that if you leave the Abbey grounds during your stay, you are expected to maintain your vows.

The Basic fee is $600 CAD per week, which includes three vegetarian meals per day and onsite accommodations.

The Patron fee of $700 CAD per week is for those who are able to provide additional support, so that we are able to hold some spaces at the Generosity fee level (which may be requested in your application).

Once your application has been approved, a deposit of $250 (per week) is required in order to finalize your booking. Deposits are non-refundable if you cancel less than 30 days before your retreat. The balance owing for your retreat is due upon your arrival at the Abbey.

Please send your completed application to [email protected]If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out.