Do something different
Take part in your life in a new way. Turn the page, try out new things, meet great people, be you and be accepted. Oh, and have some fun! You’ll go home with practical meditation and relationship tools that can help with school, friends, family, and life — AND a whole lot of love and vision for the year ahead.
Who is this retreat for?
Any teen with an open mind and heart who is willing to try something new and do their best to be themselves and accept everyone else in being themselves. We provide everything you need to make that happen.
You leave the incredible iBme Teen Retreat Experience with mindfulness practices and communication skills that you can practice whenever you want to, to restore inner balance and harmony, create focus and follow-through, or just because it feels good to develop your inner life (you won’t believe how good it feels!).
Learn the fundamentals
Using a variety of formats and teaching frameworks, we impart lessons in self-awareness, compassion, and offer techniques to increase concentration and focus the mind.
Spend time each day with a small group of peers, connecting and deepening authentic relationships with other teens who are experiencing the world in similar and different ways from you.
Being on retreat offers a rare opportunity to experience a life without constant distractions. We create a technology-free environment that flows back and forth between silent and social times.
15 to 19 years
All applications received after then date will be put on a wait list.
Number of participants
Capped at 32
Sliding scale. Learn More.
6 days, 5 nights
Teens of Color East Retreat Staff
Charisse Minerva Spencer
Charisse Minerva Spencer brings to the Mindfulness arena a background in Arts, Science, and Youth Development. She earned a B.S. Degree in Medical Technology from the Medical College of Virginia/VCU. However, her love of the Arts led her to divert her path in order to live her passion for dance and choreography. Later Charisse returned to school to get a Masters in Performance Studies with a concentration in Dance Anthropology from Tisch School of the Arts/New York University. Her eclectic professional experience coupled with more than 30 years of practice in the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist organization led to her interest in Mindfulness. Charisse brings a scientific and artistic approach to the field investigating the existence of contemplative practices, its individual and cultural significance, as well as how these practices can be introduced in ways that are broad-based. She has worked with Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP), Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), is Mindfulness Coordinator at Friends School of Virginia Beach, and has done workshops in schools, festivals, corporate offices, detention & treatment centers.
Sara Shapouri has been practicing meditation since 2008 and participated in numerous retreats at the Insight Meditation Society, including a 3-month silent retreat. Sara also sits on IMS’ Board of Directors. She graduated from the University of Virginia’s School of Law, with a particular interest in human rights and social justice. Her desire to promote the welfare of children has taken her around the globe, including legal reform advocacy for incarcerated children in Bangladesh, analysis of the plight of child soldiers in Sierra Leone, and a published policy paper on child sexual abuse and exploitation in Iran.
Lama Rod Owens (Mdiv) is an author, activist, and authorized Lama (Buddhist Teacher) in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. Lama Rod is the co-founder of Bhumisparsha, a Buddhist tantric practice and study community. Lama Rod is also a teacher with the Daishin Zen Buddhist Temple, the Urban Yoga Foundation, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), a visiting teacher with Natural Dharma Fellowship and the Brooklyn Zen Center. Lama Rod has been a faculty member for the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s professional education program in mindfulness for educators and has served as a guest faculty member for the school’s course Mindfulness for Educators. He holds a Master of Divinity degree in Buddhist Studies from Harvard Divinity School where he focused on the intersection of social change, identity, and spiritual practice. He is a co-author of Radical Dharma, Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, which explores race in the context of American Buddhist communities. Lama Rod is a founding teacher for the Awaken meditation app that offers meditations and contemplations focused on social change. He has been published and featured in several publications including Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Spirit Magazine, and contributed the chapter on working with anger for the recent publication Real World Mindfulness for Beginners. He is a regular guest on SiriusXM’s Urban View hosted by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and publisher Karen Hunter. He has offered talks, retreats, and workshops for many organizations and universities including New York University, Yale University, Harvard University, Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, Tufts University, University of Vermont, and Boston College. Lama Rod facilitates undoing patriarchy workshops for male identified practitioners in Brooklyn and Boston. His current writing projects include patriarchy in spiritual communities, White supremacy in Tibetan Buddhist communities, sexuality and ethics, as well as fatness and spirituality. Lama Rod’s next book will explore transformative anger and love and is due out June 2019. Lama Rod can be reached at www.lamarod.com.
Seven Oaks Retreat Center
Seven Oaks Retreat Center is situated just north of Charlottesville, in Shenandoah National Park. Designed to support mindfulness and healing, it offers beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains — plus 120 acres of woods and open fields. Seven Oaks serves great food, with meals three times a day and an abundance of options and deliciousness. Guest rooms are in little buildings throughout the retreat, with easy access to the program spaces and Dining Room.
Enter your name and email to get more details & reminders for this retreat, and start the application process when you’re ready.
Tuition & Payment Information
Tuition is 1% of annual family income, up to $2,500.
|Family Income||Retreat Cost|
We offer this sliding scale approach to retreat tuition in order to accommodate a wide range of family incomes. The maximum fee reflects what it actually costs per student to run the retreat.
- Tuition includes all retreat costs, including accommodations and meals at the retreat center, and all sessions and activities and supplemental materials.
- iBme retreats feature a low ratio of adult staff per teen, providing high-quality care, expertise, instruction, and mentoring (this is our secret sauce!)
- Tuition does not include travel to and from the retreat location or any incidental/personal purchases.
Please note: A nonrefundable application fee of $35 is required and applied toward your tuition.
Tuition & Payment Information
Scholarships are available for this retreat.
Donations: We rely on tuition fees, supplemented by donations, to cover the costs of our retreats and make it possible for all teens who want to to attend. If you can, we invite you to consider making a donation when and if it feels right. Find out about our annual Commit to Sit fundraiser in the spring and end-of-year Mindfulness Challenge: iBme Fundraising page.
Deposit & Balance
A deposit of 30% of your total payment is required to reserve a space on a retreat. The deposit includes your $35 nonrefundable application fee. The balance of the retreat tuition must be paid two weeks before the retreat start date in order to hold your spot on the retreat.
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 teens are saying
“At this moment I feel I have learned more lessons about myself and others in the past five days than I did in the last year of school.”
Ben, age 17
What parents are saying
“The day after he came home he asked to do yoga with me in our back garden, and we went for a bike ride together…connection I have been yearning for all summer.”
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