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"When one thought ends, right before the next thought begins,
there is a tiny gap called 'now.' Over time we learn to expand that gap."

– Spring Washam


Hemera Foundation — Contemplative Fellowship Program 

In an interconnected world, a contemplative practice creates the space for self-awareness that promotes personal well-being and a compassionate connection to self, community and nature.

With deep thanks to the Hemera Foundation, Spirit Rock has again been awarded a generous grant for 2024 in-person retreats.

The Hemera Contemplative Fellowship Program was created to make the unique benefits of sitting in a contemplative practice in a retreat context more widely available. Fellowships are available to anyone with a commitment of service — a deep desire to devote oneself to serving others through their work. Eligible applicants must be 18 years of age or older and working full-time in their profession. If you are a young adult between 18-25 years old and are not working, you too are eligible - see below.

Examples of Eligible Professions or Categories

  • Educators: pre-K through college level, including Master of Education (M.Ed.) students.
  • School administrators and staff: principals, guidance counselors, advisors, nurses, librarians, and school safety officers.
  • Health care professionals: physicians, nurses, orderlies, medical technicians, dentists, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, social workers, chaplains, medical school students, and hospice staff.
  • Artists: full-time visual, performance, writers, multi-displinary artists.
  • First responders: police, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, 911 dispatchers, disaster response teams.
  • Military: active duty, reservists, and veterans.
  • Other Professions:
    • public defenders, legal aid attorneys, victim advocates, human rights advocates;
    • employees working for any 501(3)(c) non-profit organization or private foundation committed to service;
    • employees working in direct human services (government or private). Examples include health and human services, child protective services, workforce development.
  • Young adults (18-25 yrs) - no matter your profession, or whether you are working or not, if you are between the age of 18-25 years, and you have not been on a silent, weeklong meditation retreat and need financial assistance, you may also apply.

Contact us at: registration@spiritrock.org if you have any questions.

Criteria for Fellowship Funding

  • 75% Funding - This funding level is possible for applicants who are new to meditation, have never attended a retreat longer than two nights, AND meet one of the eligible categories above.
  • 50% Funding - This funding level is possible for applicants who have attended only one previous residential meditation retreat, or who have previously received another Hemera Fellowship, AND meet one of the eligible categories above.
  • Funding greater than 75% - This funding level is very limited. It is for applicants who are experiencing extreme financial hardship, who are new to meditation and/or a residential retreat experience, AND meet one of the eligible categories above.
  • Financial support is limited to ONE fellowship per individual per calendar year.
  • Fellowships are available on a first-come, first-served basis based on eligibility; however, higher priority is given to those who have never attended a weeklong retreat and are first-time Hemera applicants. Funding is not guaranteed at any of the levels mentioned above.
  • Applicants must apply individually for their own fellowship. No one can apply on behalf of someone else or a group.
  • Funding is a percentage of the Sustainer Rate of the standard retreat fees. This is the baseline cost of the retreat.
  • You must agree to share your contact information with Hemera Foundation, during their application process.
  • Fellowship funding is for retreat fees only! Not supported by Fellowship funding - 1) Dana offerings to teachers; 2) Travel expenses for applicants to/from the center; 3) Additional fees for CE Credits; or any other expense outside of the retreat fees. These additional expenses are the sole responsibility of the applicant.

How To Apply?

  • Hemera Fellowship spaces are now SOLD OUT for all 2024 retreats.
  • Complete and submit the online Hemera Contemplative Fellowship application. You will need to create an account at the Hemera SlideRoom link and pay a $5 application fee.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE! These fellowships are for in-person silent meditation residential retreats only. Any retreat with a prerequisite, is NOT eligible. Not all Spirit Rock retreats will have Hemera spaces reserved.
  • Award status -- Spirit Rock works in coordination with the Hemera Foundation's application process; we ask for your patience while your application is processed by the Registrars. You will be notified of your status within a week of submitting your Hemera application.
  • If your fellowship is granted, the Registrars will contact you with further registration details and collect any fees.
  • If you cannot afford to attend the retreat without a Hemera Fellowship award, please wait and do not register yourself in the retreat.

Retreats Eligible for Hemera Fellowships - All 2024 Hemera spaces are sold out

A small number of Hemera spaces are reserved on selected retreats. If Hemera spaces are available, there will be a link to the Hemera application. Not all of Spirit Rock's retreats are eligible for Hemera Fellowship support, particularly retreats with a prerequisite requirement (these are for experienced practitioners) or lottery retreats. Be sure to list a second choice on your Hemera application.

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