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  • The Cenacle Retreat and Conference Center 513 West Fullerton Parkway Chicago, IL, 60614 United States (map)

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4-Day Meditation Retreat with Santikaro in Chicago, October 4-7, 2018

Our species has developed a vast array of meditation and contemplative approaches. Buddhism, especially, is rich in such practices and teachings that support them. As we encounter types of meditation beyond what we started with, a key questions looms: What is the purpose of any practice or approach that we try or hear about? What needs does each practice or approach meet and how does each do so?

Having an overview of the meditative terrain, with all its diversity and at times competitions, will be helpful in assessing one’s true needs and choosing approaches that suit those needs. In a 4-day retreat we will survey the main categories of meditation, as found in early Buddhist teachings, and practice an example of each. Thus, this retreat offers the opportunity to try out and practice a range of meditative styles, rather than sticking with only one or two. Among those we sample, you can choose which you want to explore the most.

Our emphasis will be pragmatic, with enough “theory” to provide background and context. Please bring curiosity and flexibility. You may find a few surprises.

Retreat Location:

The Cenacle Retreat and Conference Center in Chicago, IL. The Cenacle provides spacious and peaceful surroundings both inside and outside on their lovely grounds for sitting, walking, and reflection.

Retreat Description:

The retreat will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 4, 2018, and end at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 7, 2018. The retreat will be held in Noble Silence. This retreat is suitable for beginners and experienced meditators alike. Santikaro will provide meditation instructions and talks exploring the theme of the retreat, and participants will have the opportunity to meet in small groups with Santikaro concerning practice questions.

Retreat guided by Santikaro:

Santikaro has been a devoted student of Ajahn Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, a Thai Theravada master. Santikaro lived, trained, and translated for Ajahn Buddhadasa at Suan Mokkh in Southern Thailand for many years. Santikaro's training continues here in the Midwest, where he is co-founder along with his wife Jo Marie of Kevala Retreat, a modern expression of Buddhist practice, study, and social responsibility, located in rural southwestern Wisconsin. He has been teaching in the Chicago area since his return "home" in 2000 and is active teaching around the Midwest and further afield. Life's vicissitudes have given him some acquaintance with cancer, trauma, addictions, deforestation, joy, and other challenges that he explores regularly.


Costs include room (unless commuting) and meals (lunch and dinner on Thursday, 3 meals per day on Friday-Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday) at Cenacle Retreat Center. The cost per person for the retreat is as follows: Single: $395 Double: $330 Non-Residential / Commuter: $195


All meals will be standard vegetarian with vegan and gluten-free options available by request. If you have any dietary restrictions or requests please email

Teacher Dana:

The teachings are offered freely by Santikaro. The registration cost for the retreat covers food, rooms, and meeting space. Donations (dana) to support Santikaro and his work at Kevala Retreat will be gratefully accepted. There will be an opportunity to offer dana at the end of the retreat.


Upon completion of your registration, you should immediately receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite. If registration becomes full, a waiting list will be opened. A week before the retreat you will receive an email with further information about the retreat center, what to expect, and what to bring to the retreat.

Cancellation and Refund Policy:

Attendees may request refunds up to 30 days before the retreat start date.

Other fee structures or scholarships may be available and will pertain to the commuting option only; please contact the retreat registrar for details.


Please contact the retreat registrar for more information.