Yarne Structure and Schedule

A typical daily schedule includes sitting meditation in the main shrine room interspersed with walking meditation.

Pema Chödrön will teach once per week. Discussion groups are held once per week.

All participants will be assigned a meditation instructor for regular one-on-one meetings.

5:15- 5:30 am  Wake Up
6:00 – 6:40 Morning LiturgiesMain shrine room
6:40 – 7:00 House JobsEveryone is assigned a household job to do every day to maintain the space
7:00 BreakfastServed in the dining room
8:00 – 11:00Morning MeditationMain Shrine room
Alternates with teachings once per week
11:00 – 12:30 Body/Mind TimeOpen personal time – for exercise, laundry, study, etc. 
12:30 LunchMost often served in a contemplative style in the main shrine room
1:30 – 3:00Service PeriodEach person assigned a department job
3:00 – 5:15 Afternoon MeditationMeditation in main shrine room or discussion group one day per week, and study periods some days
5:15 – 5:30Break
5:30 – 6:30Evening ChantsMain shrine room
6:30 – 7:15Medicine MealServed in the dining room
7:15 – 8:00Evening MeditationMain shrine room
10:00 pmLights out


It is a rare and powerful experience to live in silence, and much of the Yarne retreat is silent. From wake up to 12:30 pm is always silent except for class times. Afternoon service periods function with a minimum of talking. We use the guideline of “just enough” for many aspects of monastic living, including functional talking when we work. We return to silence at 3 p.m. for the remainder of the evening.

Each week we have one open day when silence is lifted all day until 8:00 pm. On open days there is only a morning liturgy session at 9:00 – 9:40 am and then the rest of the day is open.


It is an uncommon experience to unplug from digital communications. There is no cell phone coverage at Gampo Abbey and during Yarne there is no internet connection except for once a week on open day. Participants are asked to arrange their lives to be able to sink into this precious experience. We do, however, send out a lot of snail mail letters once a week!

Boundaries of the Retreat

Once you arrive at Gampo Abbey the boundaries of the retreat are closed. This means that except in the case of an emergency you will be required to stay within the boundaries of the retreat until the final day. These boundaries offer plenty of space for good walks and ample room to enjoy the immense sense of space overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence.