Teen Testimonials

Quick thoughts…

“This experience forever changed my life. It restored my faith in humanity and gave me a sense of peace with myself and others that I have never had before.”

— Jessamine, age 18

“I am surprised by the person I was and the person that I became on such a short retreat.”

— Sean, age 18

“I opened up and was happy with myself and I haven’t seen myself like that since I was a little kid.”

— Kevin, age 17

“It amazed me how loving everyone was, no matter your background, skin color, sex, or anything else.”

— Teen, age 15

“I was surprised by the instant love. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot all I felt was love.”

— Samantha, age 17

What did teens learn on retreat?

“The most important thing I learned was that when it feels like I can’t trust anything in my life, I can always trust my body. That feels really reassuring.”

— Teen, Kentucky/Ohio Summer Retreat 2019

“I learned that I actually have self-esteem.”

— Abigail, Virginia New Years Retreat 2018-19

“What I learned is that it is possible to create a positive community full of kind and compassionate people that truly care for each other.”

— Teen, Northeast New Years Retreat 2018-19

“Self-love and self-care are important.”

— Teen, Michigan Summer Retreat 2019

“I’m taking home the ability to be grounded even in a time when everything seems unstable or scary.”

— Teen, Colorado Summer Retreat 2019

“I realized that I have control of the decisions I make and I can ALWAYS make time to meditate.”

— Nya, Colorado Summer Retreat 2019

“There’s so much I learned, but I would have to say the most important thing I learned is that our thoughts and our personalities are fluid and changeable. There’s a gap between stimulus and action and that is what gives us choice.”

— Jeremaya, Southern California Summer Retreat 2019

“The last night, four other people and I were all having a hard time and we went and sat in a circle under the stars and shared our stories and listened and supported each other and it was incredibly relieving and meaningful.”

— Teen, Northern California Summer Retreat 2019

“The most important thing I learned is that we all have our own strengths and it’s important to hold space for everyone to share their story; so really, how to take compassion and use it in the real world.”

— Teen, Toronto Summer Retreat 2019

“I understand now that every single person has unique struggles of their own and spreading pure love and kindness can leave such a huge impact on others lives.”

— Opal, Michigan Summer Retreat 2019

Alumni voices…

“Inward Bound Mindfulness helped me focus more in school and strengthen my relationships with my family. Becoming more mindful has allowed me to have control over my actions and emotions. I even wrote my college essay on my experiences at Inward Bound and how it helped me become a more empathetic person. If everyone in the world could meditate the world would be a happier place. I live a happier and more productive life today than I did before Inward Bound and I am forever grateful for my experiences at the retreat.”

— Lillian, attended Virginia Teen Retreat

“Inward Bound changed my life. Before I went to Inward Bound, I struggled with severe anxiety. Every time I went somewhere out of my house, I would immediately get very anxious over nothing. I’ve had it for a year, and I thought that it would never go away. Then that’s when we remembered that my older brother used to have anxiety and when he went to Inward Bound, he was 100% better. When I went to Inward Bound, it was one of the best times I had. I loved the meditation, I loved the yoga, and I loved everyone at Inward Bound. After the retreat, my anxiety has gotten 90% better. I’m also taking yoga classes a couple times a week, along with meditation every day! I am definitely returning next year!”

— Andrew, attended Massachusetts Teen Retreat

“When I was a teen struggling with the lonely and tumultuous experience of adolescence, meditation retreats were a refuge. For a week at a time, I found a sense of belonging, acceptance, and safety I so rarely felt in my everyday life. I learned how to hold myself with kindness and to give myself space to feel challenging emotions. I connected with like-minded teens, and came to understand the universality of human suffering. I also received guidance and support from staff members who served as role models as I questioned my identity and my path. These social and emotional skills built up my resilience to trudge on during those difficult years.

After graduating college and starting full time work at an eating disorder treatment center for teens, I find a renewed and transformed gratitude for my time on Inward Bound retreats. Every day at work, as I encourage teens to sit with uncomfortable emotions, as I guide them to ground themselves in their bodies, and as I ask questions and hold whatever suffering is expressed in the responses, I think “Inward Bounde was the best education I’ve ever gotten.” Those tools I gained from my teen years at Inward Bound now serve far beyond my own well-being, and have a tangible impact on the work I do. I feel, in a way, that I am continuing a cycle. Years ago, Inward Bound helped me navigate the unique suffering of adolescence. Now, I am honored to apply what I have learned to support the next generation of teens.”

— Hannah C, attended Colorado and Northern California Teen Retreats

Inward Bound Retreats Online

Teen Retreats

The unique Inward Bound Mindfulness retreat model allows participants to gain a level of compassionate insight into their own experience. Attendees achieve authentic connection with themselves and their peers.

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