Liberation Park logo Kevala Retreat (Liberation Park) Midwestern Dhamma Refuge
grounded in contemplative practice
for a peaceful, just, & sustainable society

Liberation Park logo Kevala Retreat (Liberation Park) Contemplative Refuge

Retreating at Liberation Park

Please familiarize yourself with all the information on this and linked pages before contacting us about retreats here.

Lodging for retreatants now includes the hermitage in the back valley, two canvas cabins, a guest room in the Guest House, and a small "garden hermitage" near the Guest House. The latter two are primarily for those with mobility limitations or other needs to be close to central facilities. The other dwellings (details) require walking up and down our hills and are more intimate with the valley's nature. Guest House facilities include kitchen, bathrooms & showers, laundry, library, meeting room, and porches.


There is no specific charge for retreats here. However, Liberation Park subsists on donations and volunteer labor. Generosity is an important aspect of Dhamma practice. Please consider a generous contribution that is respectful both of what you have received and of your current means.

Retreat overview & guidelines

Offering space, support, and guidance for personal retreat is important in Liberation Park's long-term vision. Our infrastructure is geared more for solo retreats than group retreats. We try to keep things simple, yet safe and adequate. Sufficient amenities are now on-site. You are responsible for your own food. The shared kitchen in the Guest House is available for food storage and cooking. You will be directed where to put food when you arrive. You may be navigating one or more other retreatants during your retreat. If you can bring some pre-prepared foods that just need to be heated up it makes the shared kitchen experience easier. We ask that a vegetarian diet be observed while visiting Liberation Park.

We encourage intelligence & creativity in designing a retreat to meet your own needs & circumstances. It can include meditation, movement practices (e.g. qigong), study, journaling, chores & work, and walks in the woods. Or, it might be primarily all-day meditation. Regular consultations with Santikaro or Jo Marie are encouraged. We endeavor to support you in mindfully, skillfully cultivating a well-rounded path through immersion in Dhamma. (We do not encourage outside excursions during your retreat.)

Quiet & silence
Simplicity & solitude
Settling into meditation
Deeper Dhamma study
Intimacy with Nature

We offer retreatants these resources & supports

What to Bring & Not Bring

You are responsible for supplying

  1. Your own food.
  2. Towel.
  3. A sleeping bag and pillow if staying in a canvas cabin or woodland hermitage (we have loaner sleeping bags if needed, then bring a sheet).
  4. Personal toiletries, including insect repellent (non-toxic/non-insecticide recommended). All soaps and shampoos must be non-detergent based as they go directly into the ground water (castille, olive oil, or other natural products are acceptable.)
  5. Outdoor clothing appropriate for the season, including rugged shoes and rain gear.
  6. Flashlight, batteries, and alarm clock if needed.
  7. Water bottle

Please do not bring

  1. Drugs, alcohol, or tobacco products
  2. Companion animals (unless special arrangements are made - under certain special circumstances dogs, horses, or other companion animals may accompany their human on retreat)
  3. Radios.
  4. Computers, ipads, and the like.

Planning your retreat

Recommend daily schedule of practice

Orientation Booklet (essential reading)

If you are interested in a retreat here, please email us.

If you would like to attend a group retreat with Santikaro, please go to the retreat page.

Long-Term Practice

There is potential for long-term retreats and residency. For both, the starting point is for you and us to develop familiarity with one another. Long stays will depend on a mutual understandings of Buddha-Dhamma, practice, and the lifestyle at Liberation Park. We will ask you to come for a visit or personal retreat as the first step, along with email and phone communications.