Financial Aid Options

Serenity Ridge Retreat Center is pleased to offer several financial aid options for those who need assistance. There are two main categories of aid: Work Exchange or Service Retreats. If you have any questions about the information below, please email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
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Work Exchange

A Work Exchange Program takes place during all Serenity Ridge retreats. Participants who work 2 hours each day of the retreat, plus an additional 2 hours either before the retreat begins or immediately after its conclusion, will receive a 30 percent discount off the registration price. In rare cases, and especially for those coming to Serenity Ridge from far away, we also may be able to provide a 50 percent discount in exchange for 3 hours of work per day, plus an additional 3 hours either before the retreat begins or immediately after its conclusion. A work exchange at this higher level will mean that the participant will have little free time once teachings, practices and work are taken into account. Please email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 434-263-6304 to ask about availability before registering for a regular retreat.

Service Retreats

Each year, Serenity Ridge offers three regularly scheduled service retreats linked to our Spring, Summer and Fall retreats. The length of each service retreat varies according to the length of the retreat to which it is attached. For example, our Summer Service Retreat is 6 days long, corresponding to one week of Summer Retreat. Spring and fall service retreats are shorter, in line with our shorter spring and fall retreats. Participation in a service retreat qualifies for a 50 percent reduction in the registration price of that retreat. (The Summer Service Retreat discount applies to one week of the two-week Summer Retreat.)

If you cannot attend a complete service retreat, our operations manager will be happy to try to tailor an Individual Service Retreat to meet your needs. (See below.)

In most cases, service retreats will begin each day with a guided meditation by Resident Lama Geshe Tenzin Yangton. After breakfast, there will be 6 hours of service – primarily in the areas of housekeeping, painting and gardening – with a long lunch break in the middle of the day. Lunch will be served, while food ingredients will be provided to cook your own breakfasts and dinners in the main kitchen. Dorm room accommodations will also be provided for the duration of the service retreat. There will be ample time for your own practice, as well as for walks to the Rockfish River or swimming in our pool (when it is open).

Individual Service Retreats

The timing and focus of an Individual Service Retreat will depend on a person’s availability and talents, as well as the needs of Serenity Ridge Retreat Center. For each 6-hour day worked, the participant will earn a 50 percent discount toward the cost of one day for any Serenity Ridge retreat held within the following 12 months. Individuals will receive a dorm room and food ingredients at no charge during the Individual Service Retreat.