Deep Meditation Immersion

8-Night Deep Practice Retreat with Sally Kempton
and Special Guest Elizabeth Rossa

Thursday, May 24 – Friday, June 1, 2018
Mount Madonna Retreat Center, Watsonville, CA


This Spring Retreat offers a deep dive into guided meditation practice and non-dual meditation philosophy. Open to students and practitioners who want to immerse themselves in retreat practice.

The retreat will include periods of silence, on-going self-inquiry, personal and group discussion on what it means to deepen meditation, mutual meditation practices with a partner, active and meditation-focused asana practice, and several short and long (45 minutes to one hour) sessions of meditation each day. Elizabeth Rossa will also be providing dynamic and contemplative Hatha Yoga.

Sally will present a wealth of material, including an in-depth overview of meditation as a practice and as a way of life. Together you will:

  • explore with complete openness what a long-term meditation practice entails, as well looking deeply into how different styles and types of meditation impact us;
  • discover how to do self-inquiry into your practice, and determine which forms of meditation to be practicing at particular times;
  • look at what it takes to develop personal intuition around meditation, and how your intuition can be applied to those we teach or work with.

In addition, we’ll challenge some of the myths around meditation. We will practice intensely and deeply, exploring and examining several powerful approaches to meditation, including Eastern and Western heart-based practice, Vedantic and Tantric Awareness practices, body-based meditations, visual and subtle body practice (including deity practice and devotional practices), active meditation, and of course, mantra practice.

Along with a lot of deep practice of different types of meditation (including active, moving meditation, and meditation for insight and creativity), we will emphasize three things.

First, deeply exploring the stages and processes of meditation itself, through experiential practices as well as lectures and discussions that unpack the in-depth philosophical and methodological overview of both eastern and western approaches.

Second, satsang—that is, communicating your own experiences and issues in meditation in small groups, and giving instruction to others in a way that is authentic to your inner experience and the level of the people with whom you are communicating.

Third, in-depth discussion of what it takes to sustain a meditation practice without getting stagnant. We will share insights and methods for committing to a practice that is sustainable for you, and which also allows your own intuitive creativity in navigating the inner world.

During the retreat, we will individually and together explore our own commitment to practice. For those of you who choose, we’ll create support groups designed to create sustainability for each of us over a period of time.

Sally is excited about this retreat. She believes that it will create a foundation for each of you to not only to go deeper in your personal practice, but to deepen your capacity to guide others, whether you are a yoga teacher, a therapist, a professional meditation instructor, a high school or college teacher, or simply a practitioner wanting to share your practice with others in your life.


Cost & Accommodations

The cost of the retreat*, which also includes three meals a day, is based on the level of accommodations you choose. Early registration is recommended for your choice of accommodations, especially if you prefer a private room and bath. All accommodations are on a first come/first serve basis.

  • $2750 per person for a single-occupancy room with private bath
  • $2500 per person for a single-occupancy room/cabin with shared bath
  • $2435 per person for a double-occupancy room with private bath
  • $2235 per person for a double-occupancy room with shared bath
  • $2110 per person for a triple-occupancy room with shared bath
  • $2035 per person for dormitory room with shared bath
  • $1800 per person for own van/tent camping
  • $1650 per person for commuters

*Prices are per person and do not include airfare or transportation.

Payment Policy: A $300 deposit per person is required to reserve your space. The remaining payment balance is due April 24, 2018.

If you cancel before April 24 we will refund all but $150 of your deposit or balance paid in full. If you cancel after April 24 AND after paying the balance in full, and we can fill your place, we will refund everything minus $150. If we cannot fill your spot, we cannot refund any monies due to our obligations to Mt. Madonna Center. Cancellation must be received in writing.


Registration/Check-in begins at 4pm on Thursday, May 24. Check-out by 1:00pm on Friday, June 1.

About Mount Madonna Conference Center

Mount Madonna is a beautiful, well-supported, and spiritually powerful center in the coastal mountains near Santa Cruz, California, overlooking Monterey Bay.  Offering vegetarian meals, walking trails, spa treatments, an Ayurvedic center, and several types of accommodations, it is a perfect backdrop for a  deep retreat experience. You can check out their site at

All meals are strictly vegetarian, with non-dairy and non-gluten alternatives. Their kitchen staff provides the highest quality, delicious, fresh, lovingly prepared and presented foods.

Mount Madonna is about two hours drive time south of San Francisco, in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Central California coast overlooking Monterey Bay. The closest commercial airport is San Jose International and San Fransisco International the next closest. You can find info on getting to Mount Madonna here. We will set up a discussion list for the group to connect and share rides.

Housing is available in both rooms and in cabins. All accommodations are on a first-come/first-serve basis.

Rooms are in hotel-style buildings (no phones or TVs in rooms). Some rooms include a private bathroom with shower. Others have access to nearby shared (but private while in use) bathrooms and showers.

Cabins are in a lovely grove of oak trees and have electricity and heat, but no plumbing. A separate restroom with flush toilets and private shower rooms is nearby. The cabins are a 12-minute walk up the hill above the lake.

All beds are twin size.

Various spots are available for your van, camper, or other vehicle. Some have access to electricity, but no other hookups. Showers and restrooms are available in campgrounds and Center buildings.

Schedule (TENTATIVE)

Quiet Hours: 9pm to Breakfast

May 24:
Arrival and Registration: 4-5pm
Dinner: 5-6pm
Gathering, Orientation, and Opening Meditation: 7-8:30pm

May 25-May 31:
Yoga: 6:45-8am
Breakfast: 8:15-9am
Morning Session: 9:30am-12:30pm
Lunch: 12:30-1:30pm
Break: 1:30-3:00pm
Afternoon Session: 3:00-5:00 pm
Dinner: 5-6 pm
Evening Session: 7:30 -8:30 pm

June 1:
Yoga: 6:45-8am
Breakfast: 8:15-9am
Morning Session: 9:30am-11:30am
Depart by 1pm

About Sally & Elizabeth

Sally Kempton is one of today’s most authentic spiritual teachers. She teaches devotional contemplative tantra—an approach to practice that creates a fusion of knowing and loving. Known for her ability to transmit inner experience through transformative practices and contemplation, Sally has been practicing and teaching for forty years.

A disciple of the great Indian guru Swami Muktananda, she spent twenty years as a teaching swami (monk) in the Saraswati order of Indian monks. In her guru’s ashram, she received a traditional training in yoga philosophy and practice, and became a popular teacher, deeply versed in the teachings and practices of Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism.

Since 2002, Sally has offered heart-to-heart transmission in meditation and life practice through her Awakened Heart Tantra workshops, teleclasses, retreats, and trainings in applied spiritual philosophy. Her workshops and teleconference courses integrate the wisdom of traditional yoga tantra with the insights of contemporary evolutionary spirituality and cutting-edge psychology. She is on the faculty of Kripalu and Esalen, and appears regularly at conferences.

Sally is the author of two best-selling books, both published by Sounds True. Meditation for the Love of It,  is an on-the-mat guide to deep, adventurous, and heart-centered meditation practice. Hailed as “the meditation book your heart wants you to read” (Spirituality and Health magazine) and by yoga teacher Rod Stryker as “an inspired, beautiful, and thoroughly sage-like book.” Her most recent book, Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga is a powerful and practical guide to practicing with the energies of the sacred feminine. Written in Sally’s highly personal and insightful style, the book is replete with stories, contemporary examples, and meditations for bringing the goddess energies alive in your life. It has been described by author Andrew Harvey as “a magnificent contribution to the essential movement of our time: the return of the divine feminine in all her passionate glory.”

She recently released an audio meditation course called Doorways to the Infinite, based on the transformative 7th-century tantric meditation text, the Vijnana Bhairava.

Elizabeth Rossa is the founder/director of SHRIYOGA, once upon a time known as the much-celebrated studio voted “Best Next Generation of Yoga” by New York Magazine and now known as the petit underground laboratory of genuine yoga, meditation, and self-inquiry practices.

Originally certified to teach hatha yoga almost 12 years ago by notable master teachers, Erich Schiffman and Max Strom, Elizabeth remains as dedicated to her on-going studies as she is to teaching. Her principal teachers are the incomparable meditation and tantric philosophy master, Sally Kempton and the wildly brilliant yoga master Richard Freeman. Elizabeth credits Sally Kempton as her primary influence and mentor of the last 8 years, and honors Sally’s teachings, along with Richard Freeman’s, as the foundation of what she offers in her classes. She respectfully acknowledges each of them, along with teacher, Mary Taylor (one of the yoga world’s genuine gems) for giving her the model of what it means to teach with the highest of integrity in the modern spiritual world. Further training and certification credentials include Richard Freeman’s month-along 200 hour Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training at his Yoga Workshop and subsequent advanced intensives world-wide; Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan at Yoga West, LA; Reiki Mastership through Wendy Miner of Memorial Sloane-Kettering’s Integrative Medicine Center; and extensive silent retreat experience and Self-inquiry practice with Adyashanti.

With immense gratitude, she bows to Ram Dass as the teacher who opened the gates to an ever-unfolding devotional love. His teachings of his direct experience with Neem Karoli Baba intimately shifted Elizabeth’s perspective on what it is “to be here now” and more acutely to be “still here.”

As a contemporary teacher of yoga, meditation and Self-inquiry practices, Elizabeth holds space for clarity and freedom. She offers a fresh perspective which allows the ancient and esoteric to become modern and real. Students are encouraged to cultivate curiosity as they pause and breathe, deeply listening for the internal cues of Life. Primarily committed to Shriyoga’s NYC laboratory classes, Elizabeth also teaches retreats and workshops worldwide, is on the faculty of the Open Center in NYC and is a guest presenter at Kripalu.

Philanthropically, she helped to spearhead a successful Give Your Yoga benefit for Women For Women International at Urban Zen in 2010. Personally inspired by WFW founder, Zainab Salbi’s mission, Elizabeth has also sponsored two “sisters” in Rwanda, a third in Nigeria, and hopes to bring more awareness to this powerful organization which recognizes an inherent unity amongst us all.