About Banyan Grove

Can you tell me more about the physical space?

It's a 1.3 acre property with a 3000 square feet home (with a separate cottage), room for tenting, a small meditation hall, ample areas for gardening (including a greenhouse), a fish pond and space for family-friendly events. Lined with redwood trees, the quiet, natureful campus is located in the town of Forest Knolls, near natural parks like Point Reyes National Seashore, Samuel P. Taylor State Park, and monastic centers like Spirit Rock and Olema Vedanta Center. It's about a 1.5 hour drive from SFO, 1 hour from Berkeley, and about 2 hours from the South Bay, as well as accessible via bus. Some photos here, from our opening blessing ceremony.

The campus is aligned with 5 basic precepts to preserve an ambiance that is conducive to meditation. Being a labor-of-love space, it is strictly non-commercial and will maintain a vegan lifestyle that honors all life.

What are the intended uses of the campus?

In August 2017, ServiceSpace was gifted the use of this space -- as a ripple of the Gandhi 3.0 retreat. It is slated to be a 3-5+ year experiment.

In the first six months, we intend to host various short-term "Laddership Residents" and convene day-long conversations (like +Tranformation circles).

In the subsequent six months, we intend to expand into multi-day retreats around various themes (e.g. Moved by Love retreats) and at the same time, provide space for silent self-retreats (e.g. 10-day meditation). We also hope to do some farming experiments on the campus.

Beyond that, we hope to tune into emergence. :) In alignment with ServiceSpace values, everything will be offered as a gift, with an invitation to pay-it-forward with multiple forms of capital.

What's the capacity at Banyan Grove?

Initially we can host 60+ people for partial day events, 35-40 people for full day events, and up to 15 people for overnight events. We are working toward improving a section of the property that will be reserved for longer personal silent retreats but do not yet know the number of people this area will accommodate. We anticipate capacities will increase over time as further improvements are made.

Who is the steering committee?

A six person steering committee has been working behind-the-scenes to get this project started. It consists of Ari Nessel, Guri Mehta, Pancho Ramos Stierle, Audrey Lin, Nipun Mehta, and Birju Pandya.

What is the timeline for the next six months?

  • September: Build the physical infrastructure.
  • October: Host a Blessing Ceremony with Rev. Heng Sure and friends!
  • Nov-Feb: Invite Month-Long Laddership Residents
  • March: Initiate phase 2, with a visit from Jayesh Patel from Gandhi Ashram.

To Get Involved ...

  • Join an upcoming event. To stay informed, sign up for our mailing list below.
  • Host a circle. If you have ideas, drop us an email.
  • Become a Laddership Resident. Learn more about our month-long residencies.
  • Tells us your ideas! We'd love to hear from you!

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