What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is moment-to-moment non-judgmental awareness, an innate capacity within all of us and at the heart of all programs we offer at Copper Beech Institute. 

What is meditation? 

Meditation is one particular way of cultivating mindfulness. While there are many modes of meditation and yoga that are explored in our programs, mindful breathing and mindful walking as taught by Thich Nhat Hanh and Jon Kabat-Zinn form the heart of our practice.

What other types of meditation are practiced at Copper Beech Institute?

Copper Beech Institute is committed to providing a space for meditation and contemplative practices from varied traditions, including zazen, yoga, centering prayer, lectio divina, insight meditation (vipassana) and loving-kindness (metta) meditation.

What is contemplative practice?

Contemplative practices are practical and transformative, developing the capacities for deep concentration and quieting the mind in the midst of the action and distraction that fills everyday life. Contemplative practices can help develop greater empathy and communication skills, improve focus and attention, reduce stress and enhance creativity, supporting a loving and compassionate approach to life. 

Are there regular meditation groups at Copper Beech Institute?

Yes. Our meditation groups include weekly Candlelight Meditation and Breath-by-Breath Meditation, offered twice monthly. All are welcome to join our meditation groups.

Can I join the Candlelight or Breath-by-Breath Meditation Groups if I have never meditated before? 

If you are new to meditation, before joining either group, please take our Introduction to Meditation  to learn about the benefits of meditation and how we practice at Copper Beech.

What programs do you recommend for beginners?

To view our programs designed specifically for beginners, filter the programs listed on the Upcoming Programs page by experience level.

If you are new to mindfulness and meditation, programs of particular interest include a day- or weekend-long Introduction to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or the eight-week MBSR programs. If you are new to meditation and wish to try our one of our local meditation groups, our Introduction to Meditation program is a prerequisite.

Is Copper Beech Institute a religious organization?

No. Copper Beech Institute is a secular organization that welcomes all people to experience the transformative and healing dimensions of mindfulness practice regardless of their ethnic, racial, gender, or religious background. We recognize the important role both sacred and secular contemplative traditions play in creating a more compassionate sustainable world and therefore offer contemplative programs drawing from the wisdom of diverse traditions. 

What is the relationship between Copper Beech Institute and Holy Family Retreat Center?

Copper Beech Institute is an independent, secular 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization located on the grounds of Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center. Copper Beech Institute occupies a renovated wing of the Holy Family facility and operates independently from it. 

What are the accommodations and food like, and what should I bring?

You’ll find answers to these questions on the Planning Your Visit page.

Are scholarships available?

Yes. We offer both scholarships and fellowships to our programs and retreats through the generosity of our donors and supporting foundations. Funds are limited and not every request can be granted.

What is the process for applying for a scholarship?

Please submit your scholarship or fellowship application before registering for the program you wish to attend, noting your retreat of interest on the application form. You will hear from us within four weeks of your application date. Once your scholarship or fellowship is granted, you will receive an email with instructions on registering for your program.

For more information, refer to the page for the scholarship or fellowship you are interested in. 

How do I enter a discount when registering for a program?

When registering online, enter the code provided to you in the discount code field. 

Can children and teens attend a retreat at Copper Beech?

Unless indicated in the program description, overnight guests and day workshops attendees at Copper Beech must be at least 18 years of age. Teens 16-17 may attend programs while accompanied by parents at all times. Children under the age of 16 may not attend a retreat at Copper Beech without approval from the program presenter and Copper Beech staff.

Who can I contact with a question?

You can direct any question to our office staff here.

What is your cancellation policy?

View the cancellation and refund policy here.