You’re in the groove of the fall semester, you’re overwhelmed with work, school, family and friends, and a pandemic that just won’t quit…
You want to get out in the world + keep moving forward – but it feels hard to do that right now.
You want to stop worrying about the future + connect with like-minded people.
Hit the reset button this November.
Harvard/Koru Partnership Retreat
A three-day immersion into mindfulness, self-love + deep human connection.
What will I experience on retreat?
• Slow down + quiet your mind
• Gain clarity around who you are, what you want + where you’re going
• Connect with other warm, kind-hearted people
• Learn tools to navigate stress + uncertainty
• Deepen or begin a mindfulness / meditation practice
• Have fun + DANCE at our online party
November 1 at 12pm EST
$50 for Harvard Students & Harvard Koru Instructors • $100-$250 sliding scale for Koru Young Adults & Instructors
3 days, 2 nights
Restorative. Affirming. Comforting. Allowed me to experience a quiet mind. Helped me to connect with others in a unique, more spiritual, holistic way. Allowed me to be introspective without all the thinking.
– iBme young adult
What’s a typical day like?
Each day runs from around 9:30am to 10pm, online via zoom with portions both on and off screen.
The day flows between guided meditation practices, workshops, mindful movement + yoga, small group conversations, wisdom talks + free time.
Explore topics like . . .
- Seated meditation
- Yoga + movement practices
- Mindful walking
- How to navigate difficult emotions
- Mindful communication
- Mindful eating
- Use of technology + social media
- Practices for kindness, compassion + self-awareness
- Applying mindfulness to daily life
Parts of the day are silent; other parts of the day are interactive where talking is allowed.
You’ll have the chance to turn your video camera off and just listen with headphones for parts of the retreat. Other times, you’ll have the video on so you can see + connect with your peers.
I made a lot of close bonds with people, even though I met them online, and I’ve yet to meet them in person.
– iBme online retreat participant
Learn how to . . .
- Be less stressed
- Find spaciousness + become less reactive
- Be present with people you love
- Listen to yourself
- Trust your intuition + feel confident in your path
- Cope with uncertainty
- Recenter yourself when the going gets rocky
I now know that I have this built-in ability to cope whenever I need to, of just sitting down and closing my eyes and taking a few breaths. And giving myself permission to do that.
– Sarah W.
You’re not alone. We’ve got you.
Be part of an awesome online community where . . .
- You can be real about what you’re going through.
- It’s ok to be uncomfortable + express yourself
- You can be deeply heard + seen by others
- You’re held in love.
iBme allows me to explore and express myself in a community where I feel accepted for who I am.
– iBme teen
Is this some weird hippy stuff?
Nope! No flower crowns, no dogma, no weird cult-ish stuff. We’re not trying to convert you.
We teach tools for compassion + self-awareness so you can be free, love yourself + choose how you show up in the world.
Is this retreat for me?
iBme is for you if you…
- Are open-minded + willing to try something new
- Wanna connect deeply with other self-aware people
- Are curious to try mindfulness + meditation practice, or want to deepen your existing practice
It’s NOT for you if you…
- You don’t wanna be here! This is 100% voluntary.
- You’re struggling with serious mental health issues
- You’re doing this instead of going to therapy (Hint: it’s not a replacement).
How can I prepare?
Create a quiet, designated practice space for yourself where you can be uninterrupted during the retreat.
Turn off distractions, close other tabs on your computer + do your best to just focus on the retreat experience while you’re with us.
Let your roommates, family and friends know that you’ll be on retreat + won’t be available! This retreat doesn’t require complete isolation, but we encourage you to separate yourself as much as possible from technology + other distractions.
$50 for Harvard Students • $100-$250 sliding scale for Koru Students & Instructors.
Meet the Retreat Staff
Our team of faculty + mentors are a community of trained professionals, dedicated to empowering teens and young adults in a supportive environment.
iBme teachers and mentors are professionals in the areas of mindfulness, health, and education and bring years of personal mindfulness practice to their roles, modeling authenticity, compassion, and respect. Find out more about the teachers and mentors on this retreat below.
Anthony “T” Maes found mindfulness during college when struggling with addiction, and it saved his life. He has practiced mindfulness meditation since 2003 including many weeklong and monthlong silent retreats. He’s been teaching teens in mindfulness retreats and weekly class formats since 2009 for various organizations including Spirit Rock and IBME. On retreat he enjoys teaching emotional intelligence, diversity and inclusion, relational mindfulness, multi-racial liberation, and acrobalance. He is a teacher and coordinator of the weekly Teen Sangha meditation group at East Bay Meditation Center. He has worked as a wilderness mentor for middle-school boys with Stepping Stones Project and Back To Earth. He is passionate about supporting college-aged young adults, and has founded a leadership program for “aged out” iBme alumni. “T” graduated from UC Berkeley in 2004, completed the yearlong Commit2Dharma program at East Bay Meditation Center in 2011, and is currently part of the Community Dharma Leaders training at Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
Devon Cresci has been practicing mindfulness since 1997. She graduated with her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. Since that time she has worked with teens in many different capacities. Currently she works part time for Mindful Schools as a guiding teacher for their yearlong teacher training program and full time as a Social Worker in a public high school in San Francisco. There, she teaches mindfulness to both students and staff. Devon identifies as a queer woman and is heartfelt about the power of mindfulness practice to increase peace and freedom for all.
iBme welcomes and celebrates human diversity in all forms regardless of race, color, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, ability, personal appearance, or religious/spiritual affiliation.
iBme is committed to accessibility. This retreat welcomes teens from all racial/ethnic groups, sex and gender identities, abilities, and religions. Mindfulness creates a foundation for conversations that support understanding and deepen our connection to one another. We have developed our tuition structure to accommodate a wide range of family income.
What other folks are saying about iBme retreats. . .
I greatly appreciate this retreat: the simplicity, peacefulness, non-prescriptiveness, and kindness of the warm atmosphere created openness to questions.
– iBme young adult
I learned love, connection, softness. How to look deep inside me, and find the authentic self.
There was such an overwhelming sense of community on this retreat. I have been on one other retreat in which my practice may have been more intensive; however this time around, the support from the instructors and my fellow meditators was absolutely palpable, making the experience undeniably joyful.
I learned to not lose the present by focusing on the future.
There was a deep sense of warmth and community.
– Owen H.
What happens on retreat? What's the schedule?
The daily retreat schedule includes periods of guided sitting and walking meditation, mindful movement such as yoga or qigong, small group activities, workshops and free time for socializing or resting. We move into and out of periods of silence throughout the day. You should be prepared to attend all of the activities each day. We also serve three tasty meals a day and a late night snack to keep you going.
How much meditation and yoga will I be doing?
You can plan on about 4-6 hours of silent meditation spread throughout each day (2-3 hours in the morning, and 2-3 hours in the afternoon/evening). Don’t worry though, you won’t be expected to meditate for two hours straight! Each meditation session is about 20-30 minutes. The meditation time includes a mix of sitting meditation, walking meditation, and other mindful movement.Some form of mindful movement, such as yoga or qigong, is offered on a daily basis, usually for about an hour at a time. If you are excited to practice more meditation or more yoga there are often workshops during the week that allow you to deepen your practice.
Are cell phones allowed?
This is a common concern for a lot of participants. We want to give you the chance to really be present on the retreat. Therefore, cell phones and other electronics such as iPods, tablets, e-readers, and laptops are collected at the beginning of the retreat by iBme staff and returned at the end. Emergency contact information will be provided to your parents/guardians in advance of the retreat so that your family can get a hold of you if they need to. A lot of participants find that by the end of the retreat they haven’t missed their phone as much as they thought they would and are happy to have had a break from the digital world.
How many people will I be sharing a room with?
The number of teens sharing a room varies depending on the retreat center. Room sizes vary from 2 people per room to 20 people in a dormitory style room. If you are a light sleeper you might want to bring earplugs and an eye mask.
Is the whole retreat silent?
No, definitely not! While there are periods of silence during the retreat there’s a lot of time to connect and talk with other participants such as during your small group meetings, over meals, during workshops and free time.
I am a competitive athlete/training for a race/etc. Will I have time to train for my sport?
While our retreat schedule is fairly structured, there is some free time built in. There is usually about an hour of free time following each meal. If you don’t have a mindful clean-up job scheduled during that time you are welcome to exercise, go for a hike, etc. There will be some guidelines around going for hikes and runs depending on the specific retreat location but we are usually able to accommodate these kinds of needs.
Can I come on retreat with a friend, sibling, or family member?
Yes, provided they meet the age requirements of the retreat, friends, siblings, cousins, etc. are welcome to come on retreat together. There will be lots of time to talk, connect, and hang out with each other – during meals, free time, workshops, etc. Please be prepared, however, as friends or siblings may be assigned to different dorm rooms and different small groups. We encourage all participants to “stretch outside their comfort zones” by interacting with new people and not just hanging out with a friend or sibling for the whole retreat.
My mind is always racing. I think I have too many thoughts to meditate. Is this for me?
This is a really common concern! A lot of people say, “I think too much. There’s no way I can still my mind. Meditation might work for other people but it’s not for me.” If you think this you are not alone! The objective of meditation is not to “space out” or clear our minds until they are completely of thoughts. With practice, you may find that when you are meditating your thoughts and emotions are still present but you won’t be so consumed by them. Meditation and mindfulness are about practicing awareness and acceptance towards ourselves, our thoughts, and strong emotions – not making them go away!
Can iBme retreats accommodate individuals with physical differences such as limited mobility, vision impairment, etc.?
iBme strives to be as inclusive as we can. We want our retreats to be accessible to anyone who wants to attend. If you have a physical difference such as limited mobility, need for a wheelchair, impaired vision, impaired hearing, etc. please let us know in your application. We may schedule a follow-up conversation with you or a parent/guardian to get more information. We will do our best to accommodate you.
Why do people come on retreat? Are iBme retreats fun?
Sometimes people hear “meditation” and “mindfulness” and they think, “It sounds like this retreat is going to be serious and silent. Why would I want to spend a week of my summer doing that??” Good news–our teen participants consistently share that the retreat is one of the most powerful, connected—and fun—weeks of the year. While we do meditate and learn the skills of mindfulness and compassion throughout the day, there’s also lots of time to connect with new friends, explore new sides of ourselves through creative and interesting workshops, go for hikes, and just hang out together. A big part of our retreats is “relational mindfulness” with small groups at the center of the experience. During small groups you will get the chance to play goofy games, hear other people’s stories, and be part of a community. We have retreat “alumni” who keep coming back every year because the people they meet on retreat become their closest friends.
What kind of person comes on retreat?
There is no “typical” iBme participant. Our participants are a diverse group in many ways. Some are not religious, others are Buddhists, while others may identify Christian or Jewish or Muslim. Some are musicians, others are artists and theater fans, some are athletes, others are outdoorsy types. About 1 in 3 of our participants identify as LGBTQIA. About 1 in 4 of our participants identifies as being a person of color, biracial, or multiracial. The thing tying all of our participants together is that they are all humans looking to de-stress, connect more with themselves, and create community with like-minded peers.
What is the age range for iBme teen & young adult retreats?
The age range for teen & young adult retreats is 15–25.