Retreat FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions - Emotion-Focused Mindfulness Retreat

Please note this page will be updated periodically with new FAQs. Please click ‘refresh’ on your browser to ensure you are viewing the latest list.

Registration FAQ

How do I pay for the retreat fees?

We have simplified the registration process into a single step! Registration and payment can now be completed through Eventbrite at this link:

The registration process contains information about the retreat, asks you questions about your needs and preferences for a well supported retreat experience, and accepts payment by VISA, MasterCard, or American Express. Once your payment has been processed, you should receive an email containing your registration confirmation, your receipt for payment, and a message from the pre-retreat manager, Justina, letting you know the next steps.

If you have any questions or difficulties with the registration or payment process, please contact

What is included in the retreat fees?

The retreat cost includes your room, meals, and the teacher’s fees. Our retreat centre is located in the beautiful area of Hockley Valley near Mono, Ontario, which is known for its forested rolling hills and many streams and creeks. The retreat includes delicious organic and locally sourced meals and exclusive access to all retreat amenities such as a pool for swimming, labyrinth for walking meditation, open fields and fruit trees, beautiful hiking trails and the Bruce trail, and nightly campfire circles. The sound of trickling water from streams and ponds can be heard throughout our retreat centre including from several bedrooms and our meditation hall.

Bill Gayner will give retreat talks and lead whole group discussions. Other opportunities to deepen your meditation practice include sharing and exploring your meditation experience in small groups led by Bill and other emotion-focused mindfulness teachers and an individual interview with Bill or one of the other teachers.

Retreatants have the option to attend daily yoga classes taught by a certified yoga teacher.

Our retreat organization team provides a warm and personalized approach throughout the retreat registration process right up to and including your on-site meditation retreat experience. We will work with the chef to meet your food restriction and allergy needs and arrange transportation and other supports for you to ensure the most beneficial meditation experience for our retreatants.

How many people are in a shared room?

There will be a two-person maximum in each shared room.

Do you have a refund policy?


Retreat Centre Facilities FAQ

I have allergies or food sensitivities, can the retreat centre accomodate me?

If you have any environmental allergies or food sensitivies please email Justina with the details or include this information when you fill out the registration form and we will coordinate with the retreat centre. Persons with food allergies and special diets will have different options at meal time.

Is the retreat centre accessible?

There are some accessibility considerations in place at the retreat centre including wheelchair ramps. It is a good idea to email our pre-retreat managers with details about your needs so they can coordinate with the retreat centre staff to clarify specifics for you.

What is the best driving route to the Retreat Centre?

Please use the links and maps provided here to help you plan your best driving route to the Ecology Retreat Centre.

Retreat Format and Schedule FAQ

Will there be any talking during this silent retreat?

Yes, there will be two meditation talks with discussion and Q&A periods each day. You will also have the opportunity to attend small group meetings in which retreatants share and explore their meditation experience with Bill or one of the other meditation teachers. You can arrange to meet individually with Bill, one of the other teachers, or the onsite retreat manager if you have any questions or anything you would like to discuss.

I have not been to a meditation retreat before, what if I can’t do all the sittings?

Emotion-focused mindfulness is a gentle and open practice and this retreat is meant to support you in your practice wherever you are. We encourage you to come to those meditation sittings that feel comfortable to you and know that its okay to rest and take a break when you need it. Some of the sittings will start with a meditation talk and you might find it beneficial to listen to the talk and then you can choose afterwards if you would like to sit. We also encourage you to talk to Bill about your experience at the retreat while you are there. Bill is available for one-on-one meetings to discuss your practice or any questions that might arise during the retreat experience.

I don’t practice emotion-focused mindfulness but I would like to attend your retreat, will I fit in?

Yes, we think you will. We encourage meditators to practice the meditation practice that is comfortable for them. We also support meditators to follow their curiosity and interests in meditation and that might include the experience of thoughts or feelings. We will talk more about this at the retreat, but if you would like to talk in advance of the retreat or before you register, we welcome the opportunity to speak with you and encourage you to email Bill. If you would like to read more about emotion-focused mindfulness we invite you to visit our Home page.

Packing and Preparing for a Meditation Retreat FAQ

I have not attended a meditation retreat before, what do I bring with me?

Details on both your personal packing list and a meditation supply packing list can be found here:

Please bring: Please plan to bring with you a combination of clothes and personal hygiene products as you would for a short trip away from home. For your meditation purposes please bring a meditation pillow or mat or back support and writing supplies such as a book or paper and pens and pencils. For the retreat centre facilities you may want to bring a bathing suit for the outdoor pool, hiking boots for the trails and bug spray for walks and nighttime fire circles.

What is supplied by the retreat centre and you do NOT need to bring: bath towel for the shower, bed linens, pillows, bed sheets, pillow covers and blankets.

Can I bring books and art supplies and other things to work on while I'm on retreat?

Yes, please bring what ever you feel will support you while you are on this meditation retreat. If you bring electronic devices please also bring a pair of headphones so that we can support the silent format of the retreat, and please put all your devices on silent (please choose ‘silent’ and not ‘vibrate’) so as to support your fellow retreatants in their meditation process.

Art supplies, journals, writing, knitting, yoga can all be helpful and beneficial to supporting your retreat experience.

I need to bring my cellphone, is that okay?

Yes, certainly. Our only request is that you do not talk on your cell phone within ear shot of the other retreatants so as to support their meditation process. This means we would respectfully ask that you take a walk a distance from all the buildings, common areas, or frequently used pathways on the property to use your cell phone and also not use it in your bedroom at any time. The walls are thin and we will be in a peaceful natural environment where voice conversations can travel easily.

Otherwise, you are welcome to use digital devices for texting, taking notes and journalling, as long as all sound including vibrating is turned off and the sound of the keyboarding does not disturb others. Journalling is done in silence. If you are going to use a laptop to journal, and your keyboarding makes sounds, it might be helpful to step outside the hall so that the sound does not disturb others.