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Women's Metta Meditation Retreat

Join Us For Our 3rd Annual....

April 14-16, 2017
Vernonia, Oregon

Click the video above to play so you can hear all about the retreat.


  • Learn how to fall even more in love with meditation so you'll want to practice regularly.
  • Discover how to meditate in a way that works for your body.
  • Increase your capacity for self-compassion & empathy.
  • Decrease the criticism, shame & judgment that arises in all that mind chatter.
  • Learn to respond instead of react to inner and outer challenges.

This Retreat is For You If...

  • You've been wanting to learn mindfulness or deepen your mindfulness practice.
  • You feel drawn towards incorporating more Metta (Loving-Kindness or unconditional friendliness) practices into your life.
  • You are female-identified: folks from all sexual orientations, abilities, ethnicities & beliefs are welcome.
  • You are at any level of meditation: new and experienced meditators alike will find depth and nourishment in these practices.


  • During the retreat we will come home to our hearts, settle our minds and create more compassionate relationships with our bodies, hearts and minds.  
  • Weaving traditional Buddhist meditation silent retreat practice with gentle reflective time for enjoying the beautiful land and river, resting, moving and mindfully connecting with others.
  • Yoga will be offered daily for all abilities and bodies by the lovely Jenni Peskin.
Participants in no way need to consider themselves Buddhist to attend or benefit from these teachings. These mindfulness and heart-based practices can benefit folks from all cultures and traditions.
The retreat is held in a peaceful country atmosphere with nature trails, healthy meals and a spacious, quiet & slow feel. Accommodations are simple and comfortable.

Fierce Heart is about the act of courage, presence and vulnerability that is needed in order to fully love oneself and each other.  This retreat will offer teachings and practice around how to come into the present moment fully and completely with a compassionate heart and calm mind.

We will create a space together where we can tap into our FIERCE HEARTS.  So many of us long to be kind and compassionate towards ourself and others yet we feel so far away from it.  We know that it’s a part of us but because of our conditioning and past events, so many of us have learned to cover our hearts.  We get stuck in habitual patterns that get in the way of our fullest aliveness.  Do you find yourself with the desire to rest and put down the inward and outward armor?  Longing to trust your own heart and mind and sink into your true self? It’s closer than you think.  No matter how covered your heart feels, or how judgmental you think you are, we will gently explore, together, the ability to be kind, compassionate and present with ourselves no matter what our pasts are and no matter what our current situations are.

The weekend will include silent sitting and movement meditation practices and are appropriate for beginning and advanced meditators alike.  It is unique in that there are elements of traditional Theravada intensive meditation retreat practice as well as less structured restorative time for reflective journaling, resting and wandering the beautiful land.  The retreat is mostly silent, however, there will be some time for connecting mindfully if you choose to.

These practices are based on my years of experience practicing and sharing Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist practices, Mindfulness, Body-Based Trauma Treatment (Sensorimotor Psychotherapy), Neuroscience and the beautiful work of Brené Brown around shame resiliency.

Shelby Leigh has been instructing meditation to adults and teens since 2005 and working with individuals through coaching or counseling since 2007. Introduced to Buddhist Vipassana practice very early in her 20’s, she took refuge in the teachings whole-heartedly. Her primary places of practice include Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Against The Stream Meditation Society.

Shelby leads a passionate life. She has fiercely moved through love, loss and the in between. She guides her students from a place of knowing struggle and also knowing the capacity for change. Life can be challenging, disappointing and uncertain. It can also be joyful, energizing and alive. Shelby teaches practices that honor the spectrum of these human experiences.

Jenni Peskin is a mama, yoga and singing teacher, activist and music maker seeking to heal the world one breath at a time. For the last five years, she has been working with organizations and businesses to develop custom programs focused on mindfulness and yoga. She has experience working with diverse communities, including people living with chronic pain, clients in drug and alcohol recovery programs, adolescents and adults. She is also a singing teacher, helping people heal past trauma through music. Using yoga, mindfulness, singing and chanting, it is Jenni's mission to help people open their hearts and minds to lead a more fulfilling life.

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See What Participants Have To Say...

“As a former women's retreat participant, I highly recommend it to both beginning and experienced meditators alike. Shelby's teachings were clear, accessible, full of gentle compassionate wisdom, and helped me to greet myself in the present moment with kind awareness. I came away from the retreat feeling refreshed, inspired not only by Shelby's teachings but by the other women who shared the retreat with me, and with a strengthened desire to commit to my practice and the continued cultivation of a fierce heart."
-Carrie Williams, Portland, Oregon. April 2016 Retreat Participant.

"I returned from retreat with a refreshing ability to not only cope with the pace and challenges of my daily life, but thrive! Shelby’s teaching is kind yet determined: holding space in a way that helped me see into the depth of my own experience and release into forgiveness, kindness and self love.”
-Aleta Adams, RN, RYT, Owner of The Yoga Lab in Bend, Oregon. April 2015 Retreat Participant.

"There is so much I could tell you about my experience. The women, the place, the shared experiences.  I am so grateful for the invitation to do sitting, walking, then sitting meditation over and over again.  Whether I was with the breath or saying the Metta (Loving-Kindness), or centering or whatever it was, it was the same process.  And doing it over and over again without the distractions of daily life made it simply easier to sit, and to want to sit. It helped me build confidence in my practice...

I'm back home now and the daily distractions are upon me once more.  But I feel different, at least today.  One of the surprising differences is that I now have an intensified desire to meditate and practice mindfulness.  And, I want to practice with these same distractions.  To do that, I'm wanting to use one suggestion I learned this weekend: that is to offer the Metta (Loving-Kindness Phrases) to one's own resistance or grasping.  Of course, yes!  What a great idea!"
-Denise Torres, Center for Compassionate Living, Bend, Oregon

    Earlier Event: April 3
    Metta PDX Weekly Meditation Group
    Later Event: April 15
    Metta: Fierce Heart Women's Daylong