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Holiday Retreat

December 29, 2023 January 2, 2024 PST

Dear Friends,

It is late September and we have cooling weather and a fast-approaching retreat next week along with 140 monastics. We know many of you love and value the annual Holiday Retreat and this brings us much joy. We are also aware that our capacity is not able to accommodate all those who wish to attend. Therefore, in order to offer a fair and stress-free registration experience we will be holding a lottery for the available spots.

Here are the important dates:

  • October 12: Lottery Opens at 8:00am PDT (on this page)
  • October 16: Lottery Closes
  • October 17: Waiting List Opens (for those who missed the lottery)
  • October 18: Confirmation notifications begin. You will have 1-week to pay upon being notified.
  • November 1: All first round confirmations completed
  • November 9: Any remaining accommodations will be offered to any remaining lottery submissions followed by those on the waitlist

We do hope that everyone is able to attend and we appreciate your understanding this process.

Details of the retreat itself will be posted later this fall.

~ Registration Team

Holiday Retreat Cost Per Individual:

  • Bring Your Own Tent – Adult $340 | Teen $272 | Child $180
  • 6 Bed Dorm Space – Adult $440 | Teen $352 | Child $220
  • 3 Bed Dorm Space – Adult $600 | Teen $420 | Child $272

For cancellations made prior to arrival day, partial refunds will be available with a cancellation fee of $10 per night for adults, and $5 per night for teens and children 6 years and older. Cancellations made on or after the retreat arrival day do not qualify for a refund. Registration is non-transferable.

$180 – $600 See chart above.
2499 Melru Lane
Escondido, CA 92026 United States
+ Google Map

63 responses to “Holiday Retreat”

  1. Dear organizer! I would like to know this retreat from December 29 to January 2 and have kid program too? I have a daughter 11 year old I would like to bring her with me. Thank you.
    Thu Nguyen

  2. Dear Organizer,

    I am so excited to be apart of this experience. My question is around language accommodation. Will there be spanish translation available?

    Thank you,

    • Thank you for the question. I hope that we can find someone who could do that translation, but there is nothing planned at this time. I will bring it to the organizers and see what might be possible.

  3. Hello sister or brother, can a family of 3 with a 3-year-old toddler join this retreat? Thank you! A lotus for you!

    • Yes, that is possible. However, there is no program for a 3-year old so they will be 100% the parents responsibility.

  4. Hello Brother Joy,
    I would like to second a request for Spanish translation, if possible. I can also volunteer to help in translation if necessary. Thank you.

    • If nothing happens before, then, please check in with me when you arrive, and we are happy to set up the translation system for Spanish. The only real issue is the translator 🙂

  5. Hi Brother Joy,
    I have done many retreats including Holiday Retreat last year.
    This year getting spots for retreat is quite different from the year before.
    This year I am going to invite an out-of-town friend to the retreat. She’s from Massachusetts. The confirmation will be sent out on October 18, I am afraid she might not have enough time to get a ticket due to holidays traveling to everyone in the nation.
    In order to buy the airline ticket earlier and secure the retreat spot, I’d like to seek for your advice.

    Will it be a lot of people sign up this year, that is why the lottery will be happening??

    Thanks for your time.

    • Hello Jenny,
      Yes, all our recent retreats have been filling quickly. Especially the Family Retreat and the Holiday Retreat. Last year we had registration in October, so that is the same as last year. The main difference is the lottery process and ee have the intention to notify everyone by November 1st; thus being almost 8-weeks before the retreat. We hope that’s sufficient time to buy a plane ticket. Alternatively, you could buy one earlier but be sure to get a refundable ticket.

      I hope this helps.
      Br. Joy

  6. Hello ,
    I am interested in coming for the holiday retreat & I am from East coast. Since it will be a lottery program for the retreat, I am a little concern in term of getting ready, specially having air tickets . Please advise?
    Anh Hoang

    • We have the intention to notify everyone by November 1st; thus being almost 8-weeks before the retreat. We hope that’s sufficient time to buy a plane ticket. Alternatively, you could buy one earlier but be sure to get a refundable ticket.

  7. Hello Brother Joy,

    Can I register for our family of 3 with 1 lottery ticket? Or I have to register for each individual person? Cause we want to join the retreat together as a family. Hope more information about the process.

  8. hello family. I am going to take public transit and am wondering what time is check out for the final day?
    thank you for your time.
    – alex

  9. Dear Brother, Is there a better chance of getting in by registering for a tent space, instead of a dorm? And is a tent the only way a heterosexual couple can stay together? Thank you! With metta, Nancy

    • Tent space is always more plentiful and increases your likelihood of getting a spot. If it’s just the two of you, then you’d likely be split into two rooms if in the dorms.

  10. I have never attended this type of retreat and would very much like to attend with my husband. Based on previous comments I see a spanish translator may be available but not guaranteed. During the retreat are couples able to stay together at all times? My husband is not very fluent with the English language.

    • Our activities are together so you can always remain together as a couple. And we hope for translation for the talks at least. As for lodging, staying in a tent will guarantee staying together overnight.

  11. Greetings, my 2 children and I are hoping to join in either a 6-person or 3-person dorm. Unfortunately I cannot manage a tent this year. Will there be any way to indicate in the lottery system that we are open to pay/stay in either option (6 or 3 person dorm). If not, will we have a better chance in the lottery by requesting a 6-person (shared) dorm situation? Thank you kindly.

  12. Hello,
    I have a 3 and 5 year old. I understand that the 3 year old will be our responsibility but will a 5 year old be allowed in the children’s program?

    • Typically the children’s program is 6+ but the team hasn’t met yet so we won’t know for certain.

      • Thank you for the response. If he could be included that would be greatly appreciated he would almost be 5 1/2 if that matters. Either way let us know 🙂

  13. Hello, are we supposed to receive confirmation of our lottery entry? I did not receive one

    Thank you for any information you can provide 🙏🏻🪷

  14. Hello. My husband registered and got a confirmation and thought I did but did not receive one. Also there wasn’t a way to register both of us together or did we miss that? Thank you

  15. Dear Brother Joy,
    I’m hoping to register for my whole family for the retreat. I saw an answer early on that I would enter the lottery 1 ticket for the whole family, but I don’t see anywhere I can indicate that.
    Our family has 3 seniors older than 77 that I would hope to register for them to be in a dorm of 3 or in a dorm of 6 with other seniors, because going to the bathroom at night would be a problem for them. For the other 4 of us, we are flexible with any option that would give us a chance to go.
    We can only go if all of us get in, so please advise how I can enroll our family to the lottery.
    Deep bow,
    Quynh Nguyen.

  16. Hello! My name is akiko.
    I applied for the holiday retreat lottery before October 16th.

    It says above that the confirmation notification begins on October 18th and you have a week to pay the fee.

    Today is the 27th, so If I have not heard anything such as receiving an email, does that mean I didn’t win the lottery and I should join the waiting list?

    Thank you so much!

    • Hello Akiko, You will have one week to pay if you are confirmed for a spot. Confirmations notifications are still being sent and should be done by next Wednesday.

      • Hi brother joy!
        Thank you for your response.

        It is Thursday today, and I still have not received a confirmation email.
        Does this mean I did not get a spot for the holiday retreat?
        ( Perhaps only those who won a spot get an email? )

        Also, If I did not win, is it possible to join the waiting list?

        Please let me know.
        Thank you so much.

  17. Dear Brother Joy,

    I just received an email of acceptance. I am wondering if scholarships are available this year (Hemera Fellowship listed on the website is for 2022-23). If I wish to apply for a partial scholarship, how can I still hold my spot? If I pay the full fee now, will I be able to be reimbursed if I successfully apply for a scholarship?


  18. Dear Brother Joy,

    I still have not received the email of confirmation yet although I registered on October 12. How can I check if my reservation is confirmed?

    Thank you,
    Hieu Tran

  19. Dear Brother,
    How can I pay for the registration? It says to use the Paypal button but I cannot find one.
    Thank you,
    Hieu Tran

  20. Hello! My name is Marisa. I applied for the lottery and don’t believe I was accepted for the first round. Is it possible to change my lodging preference to “tent space” to increase my likelihood of getting a spot? Thank you kindly.

  21. Dear Brother Joy I have not received notification whether my lottery entry for Holiday Retreat has been selected or not. Lotus for you 🪷 Ms. Ngocnhung Tran (Dharma Name: Nguyên Ân)

  22. Dear Deer Park Monastery Please inform when retreats for calendar year 2024 will be posted. Lotus for you 🪷 Ms. Ngocnhung Tran (Dharma Name: Nguyên Ân)

      • Dear Sarah When will retreats for calendar year 2024 be posted on Deer Park Monastery website? How do I subscribe to Coyote Tracks newsletter? Lotus for you 🪷 Ms. Ngocnhung Tran (Dharma Name: Nguyên Ân)

  23. Dear brother joy. If there are any cancellations I am very interested in participating to the the Holiday retreat. Any type of lodging that comes I will be grateful. Thank you!
    Happy holidays 🙏🏻

  24. Hi. I entered the lottery for this retreat. I’m assuming if I did not receive a notification I did not get into the retreat?