Serenity Ridge Retreat Center

From a hilltop in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Serenity Ridge welcomes you. To the West are views of the Blue Ridge, and to the East are the hills and valleys of Nelson County. The surrounding natural beauty and wildlife are great supports for meditation, reflection, contemplation, sparking creativity and personal transformation. Serenity Ridge has been supporting visitors from all around the world in their spiritual practice since 1998.

We have over 90 acres of wooded property, much in a conservation easement, protecting it for future generations. A swimming pool is available in the summer and our rooftop meditation deck is open all year long, weather permitting. The beautiful Rockfish River is only a short walk away.

Come experience Serenity Ridge for yourself!

Serenity Ridge welcomes visitors who call in advance to arrange an appointment. In addition to in-person attendance at Serenity Ridge, our four seasonal retreats with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche will continue to be offered online. Join us for the retreats using the links below.

 

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From a hilltop in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Serenity Ridge welcomes you. To the West are views of the Blue Ridge, and to the East are the hills and valleys of Nelson County. The surrounding natural beauty and wildlife are great supports for meditation, reflection, contemplation, sparking creativity and personal transformation. Serenity Ridge has been supporting visitors from all around the world in their spiritual practice since 1998.

We have over 90 acres of wooded property, much in a conservation easement, protecting it for future generations. A swimming pool is available in the summer and our rooftop meditation deck is open all year long, weather permitting. The beautiful Rockfish River is only a short walk away.

Come experience Serenity Ridge for yourself!

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Events

16FebAll Day19FeaturedRetreat—Sherap Chamma: Mother of Wisdom and Lovewith Marcy VaughnSerenity Ridge Retreat Center & Online

16FebAll Day19Personal Practice RetreatSerenity Ridge Retreat Center, 560 Drumheller Ln, Shipman, VA 22971, USA

16FebAll Day19Practice Retreat—Abiding in Presencewith Gabriel RoccoSerenity Ridge Retreat Center & Online

13Apr(Apr 13)1:00 am16(Apr 16)1:00 amRetreat—Annual Spring Retreat: Heart Drops of Kuntu Zangpowith Geshe Tenzin Wangyal RinpocheSerenity Ridge Retreat Center, 560 Drumheller Ln, Shipman, VA 22971, USA

24JunAll Day08JulRetreat—Tummo, Part 3with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and honored guest H.H. the 34th Menri TrizinSerenity Ridge Retreat Center, 560 Drumheller Ln, Shipman, VA 22971, USA

For Your visit

Our Covid Policy

Safety remains our #1 concern. Serenity Ridge continues to follow both CDC and Virginia state guidelines.  We ask that guests adhere to the following:

  • While proof of COVID-19 vaccinations is no longer required, all guests must provide a negative test result conducted within 24 hours of arrival at Serenity Ridge. Guests can take a picture at home and present it at the time of check-in or bring a test to be self-administered onsite.
  • For retreats lasting longer than 4 days, guests are asked to bring a second test to take on the morning of the 3rd day of the retreat. 
  • Mask wearing is encouraged.  Please consider wearing them during social situations, such as dining, in teachings and practices, and anywhere indoors.

      

  • Air purification has been introduced into all the HVAC systems in Garuda House dormitory building, as well as Kunzang Khang, our community building and dining hall,  to ensure clean, virus-free air circulating both day and night.

  • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed in areas where guests could need them for social contact.
  • If a guest staying onsite does contract COVID-19 while on campus, they are welcome to stay in Garuda House in a designated room. Guests will still be able to participate in the retreat online through a Serenity Ridge laptop or their digital device. We will even bring meals to them and whatever else we can to keep them part of the retreat experience without risking infection to others.

     

  • Visitors are still not permitted without permission of Serenity Ridge staff.
Our Hours and Location

Serenity Ridge is generally open from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and during all scheduled events and retreats. To visit or for a tour, please contact the office in advance by email or by calling 434-263-6304. During retreats, registrants may arrive between 4–6:45 p.m. for check-in and registration. Retreat participants are welcome to arrive early or extend their stay, with advance arrangements with the registrar. If you cannot arrive during our check-in time, please make alternative arrangements in advance by contacting the office.

Our address is:
560 Drumheller Lane
Shipman, VA 22971

Registration / Lodging Options

Private room with Queen + Twin, 2nd Floor, ensuite bathroomRegister for events at Serenity Ridge directly on our website. Registration includes both tuition and all meals. A variety of accommodations, including camping, are available. Our nightly rates for accommodations are:  

  • Camping $10
  • Double room with 2 twin beds, 1st & 2nd Floors, shared bathroom $80
  • Double with 2 twin beds, 3rd Floor , with shared bathroom $90
  • Single, 1st & 2nd Floors, with shared bathroom $60
  • Single, 3rd Floor, with shared bath $70
  • Private room with Queen + Twin, 2nd Floor, with ensuite bathroom $140
  • Private room with Queen + Queen, 2nd Floor, with ensuite bathroom $160
  • Private room with Queen + Twin, 3rd Floor, with ensuite bathroom $175

     

Pre-registration is required for all reterats, as events can sell out. If you have physical challendes or need special accommodations,  please email our registrar.

Register as a “Commuter” if you are not staying onsite.

We do not offer partial attendance at our retreats. We understand that emergencies can occur, however, and we will do our best to work with you in such case.

Should Serenity Ridge accommodations be sold out, there are many local inns and bed and breakfasts for you to choose from within a 20-minute drive. Visit the Nelson County Tourism website for the most up-to-date information: http://nelsoncounty.com/stay/bed-breakfasts-inns/.

Food/Dining Options

We provide healthy vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dining options. Please indicate with your registration which type of meals you prefer. Those with other special dietary needs may wish to bring supplemental food. Refrigerators are available for your use in a kitchenette adjacent to the serving area, along with a microwave and toaster. We try to accommodate special dietary needs, when possible. Please contact us to learn more.

Generally, our dining schedule is:

Breakfast       8–8:45 a.m.
Lunch            1–2 p.m.
Dinner           6–7 p.m

Water, hot beverages and fruit are available in the dining area at all times.

Work Exchange

A Work Exchange Program is available at all Serenity Ridge retreats. Participants work two to three hours each day of retreat, plus an additional two to three hours either immediately before or after the retreat. Participants are credited $12 per hour for each hour of service work performed, to be applied toward the cost of registration for that retreat.

Most people will work two hours per day; however, in rare cases, and especially for those coming to Serenity Ridge from far away, a three-hour program may be available. Work exchange at this higher level means that the participant will have little free time, and it is not recommended for most individuals.

Email or call 434-263-6304 us to ask about work exchange availability and criteria.

Children and Minors

Families are welcome at Serenity Ridge! Children may attend retreats with a parent or guardian. The responsible parent or guardian must contact the registrar to inquire about bringing a child to determine current room availability and pricing. The cost for children ages 15 and under to attend a retreat is $20 per day; cost for children ages 15–17 is $30 per day, plus accommodations.

Guests under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult 25 years or older, who also must sign our parent/guardian waiver. Children are not to be left alone while their parent/guardian is attending the teachings or practice sessions. Minors using our swimming pool must be under adult supervision at all times.

Maintaining quiet in the gompa (teaching hall) during teachings and practices is important to support a contemplative, distraction-free environment for practitioners, as well as to ensure clear audio recordings of the teachings and practices. Therefore, children are welcome at practices or teachings if they are able to maintain quiet, are well-behaved and are under their parent’s or guardian’s supervision at all times. We ask that children unable to remain silent and seated not be in the meditation hall during teachings and practices.

For accommodations, families may select any of the large rooms (two beds) with ensuite bathrooms). These rooms are charged per room, not per person. Families also may book double rooms, which will be charged as double occupancy. Bunk rooms may be reserved by families, and camping is available with two people allowed per tent pad. Children and minors must stay with an adult family member.

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What to bring

For the teachings and practice

Cushions and chairs are provided in the meditation hall (gompa), but you are welcome to bring your own, as well as anything else to ensure your comfort. The temperature in the gompa can run from rather cool to quite warm, so dressing in layers or bringing a shawl or blanket can be helpful. Don’t forget a notebook, pens and anything else you may need to support your practice. Water bottles are permitted, but only if they have a fully closing lid or cap. Many visitors bring a yoga mat for outdoor morning practices.

Seasonal dress and supplies

Serenity Ridge has a swimming pool, open seasonally, so bring a bathing suit and a towel if you wish to swim during the late spring and summer months.

Air-conditioning is provided in warmer weather and heating in cooler months. An outdoor walkways connects the meditation hall and lodging in the Garuda House. A raincoat is advisable. During the winter ice is also common. Check the forecast and be prepared!

Insect repellent is available in the common bathrooms, but you may wish to bring your own.

Rooms in Garuda House

Sheets and towels are provided, but please bring your own towel for the pool.

Camping

If you are camping, bring a tent and anything else you might need (flashlights, insect repellent, bedding, towels, toiletries, rain gear, etc.). We only provide tent platforms.

Wi-Fi is available in the main community building, Kunzang Khang (the House of All Goodness), where meals are served. Because of our rural location, wireless access may not always be available.

CANCELLATION POLICY

At Serenity Ridge, we want all our sangha to come and enjoy the teachings and practices that our retreats offer, but we do know that there are occasions when plans suddenly change.  Effective December 12, 2022, we have adopted the following policy and rates for cancellations:

ONLINE CANCELLATION:
A $25 processing fee will be charged for all cancellations.

ONSITE CANCELLATION:
For  Retreat Registration:
A $35 processing fee for cancellations 14 days or more prior to the retreat.
A $100 processing fee for 13 or fewer days prior to the retreat.
 
Penalty fees may be waived if for a medical emergency.  Verification through documentation from a medical professional may be requested.
Getting Here

The closest city to Serenity Ridge is Charlottesville, VA, which is about 40 miles to the north. You can drive to Charlottesville, or arrive by plane, train, or bus, and then use a car, rideshare or taxi to get to Serenity Ridge.

Our address is 560 Drumheller Lane, Shipman, VA 22971

Detailed information on options of getting to Charlottesville can be found at: www.visitcharlottesville.org/plan/getting-around

Airports

  • Charlottesville airport (CHO) is 45 min. north (33 miles); Use rental car, rideshare or taxi to Serenity Ridge.

  • Richmond airport (RIC) is 1 hr 50 min. east (105 miles). Bus, train or rental car to Cville. Use car, taxi or rideshare to Serenity Ridge. 

Note: Greyhound bus and Amtrak trains from Richmond to Charlottesville leave from central Richmond stations, not airport, so a taxi to these stations would be required.

  • Dulles airport (IAD) is 2 and 1/2 hours north (130 miles). Bus or rental car to Cville. Use car, taxi or rideshare to Serenity Ridge.

Car rentals are available at all three airports.

Bus –

  • Megabus (www.us-megabus.com/virginia-breeze) offers once- daily service from Dulles airport to Arlington Blvd in Charlottesville (next to Barracks Road) and once daily service from Charlottesville to Dulles airport. Currently $35 each way, departing approx. 10:50, arriving 1:15 each way, with several stops.

  • Greyhound bus lines (www.greyhound.com/en) services downtown Charlottesville at 310 W Main St. Call 214-849-8966 or visit website for schedule and destinations.

Train –

Taxi –

  • Taxi’s serving Charlottesville’s airport and surrounding areas can be found at: www.gocho.com

 

Ride services –

  • WeDrive4U is a collection of independent drivers, often also Uber and Lyft drivers, that services all of Charlottesville, Serenity Ridge and beyond. Call or text Mario Halkyer at 434-401-7793 to schedule. Email: ghostdriversk@gmail.com. Rates to and from Serenity Ridge depend upon destination, size of car, number of persons, amount of luggage, and whether round trip. Many of our retreatants have used this service and been very pleased. Prices may be less than Uber or Lyft.

  • Uber and Lyft are available through their respective apps. Note: Rides from Charlottesville to Serenity Ridge are available, but usually not from Serenity Ridge back to Charlottesville.

Directions by car

Travel on US 29 South for about 30 minutes. Continue down US 29 past VA Route 6, then turn left at the second exit, Route 617. Travel on Route 617 along the Rockfish River for approximately four miles, then turn right at the third bridge onto Drumheller Lane. Follow Drumheller to the very top of the hill until you get to Serenity Ridge. You will see a red brick entrance gate with a Serenity Ridge nameplate at the entrance.

 

We maintain a rideshare board at the center for those looking to carpool from Serenity Ridge to other locations.

Ligmincha'S Shop

The Ligmincha International Bookstore & Tibet Shop is open daily during most retreats and also accessible online here. The shop stocks a comprehensive selection of books, malas, thangkas and many other practice supports.

Governance

Serenity Ridge Retreat Center in Nelson County, Virginia, is the headquarters of Ligmincha International, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is run by the Ligmincha International Board of Directors, a group of dedicated volunteer leaders and a small administrative staff. Many of the activities and projects that are continually under way at Serenity Ridge are managed and implemented by these volunteers, who are vital to the success of the organization.

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Retreats

We offer retreats in the Bön tradition throughout the year. See our events calendar above to learn more about specific retreats. 

Daytime Visit

You are welcome to visit us Monday through Friday. Please call several days beforehand to ensure that we do not have an event taking place and that one of our staff can meet your and show you around. To schedule your visit email us or call 434-263-6304.

Service Retreats

Serenity Ridge holds several service retreats throughout the year. Participate in group service projects and practice, and earn credit toward a future retreat. All service retreats are listed in our schedule of events.

Individual Service 

Stay at Serenity Ridge for a week or longer to work on specific projects. Use your unique skills and talents to serve the greater community and earn credit toward future retreats. Email us or call 434-263-6304.

Job Openings

Serenity Ridge currently has job openings for the position of Kitchen Staff during our retreats.

 

Residency Program

Residents live, work and practice at Serenity Ridge for 30–90 days. Deepen your practice while also providing 15–20 hours of service work per week.

Serenity Ridge News

Ligmincha News

Ligmincha News

Winter Retreat Continues Experiential Transmission Dzogchen Series

Winter Retreat Continues Experiential Transmission Dzogchen Series

The Experiential Transmission of Zhang Zhung is the centerpiece of Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche’s dzogchen teachings held every December at Serenity Ridge. This year, Rinpoche continues the third year of this five-year cycle. Attendance is possible both in person at Serenity Ridge and online via Zoom. The retreat begins on December 26 at 7 p.m. New York time and concludes around 2 p.m. on January 1, 2023.

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Donations to the Serenity Ridge Development Fund

If you would like to donate specifically to this fund, please click on the donate button below.

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Donations to the Serenity Ridge Development Fund

If you would like to donate specifically to this fund, please click on the donate button below.

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