July 6-10, 2024, 5-Day Meditation Retreat – THIS IS IT: The Four Foundations of Mindfulness

Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center in Marriottsville, MD

For thousands of years, the famous Satipatthana Sutra has been used as a powerful and profound spiritual road map. Contained within it are the rich teachings on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, which the Buddha himself called the “direct path to enlightenment.”

In essence, this sutra is the very basis and ground of our entire practice, and diving deep into its teachings is exactly what can lead us out of suffering, and into more freedom, joy, and ease in our lives.

During this 5-day silent meditation retreat, we’ll be exploring each of these four in more depth by spending a full day on each – contemplating the body, feelings, mind states, and dharmas.

Our time together will include daily dharma talks, guided meditation, silent meditation, walking meditation, and q&a sessions about these transformative practices.

Some meditation experience might be helpful, but the practice and its teachings is applicable to all, and all are welcome.

In order to nurture a sense of stillness and deep listening, we have secured exclusive use of the full retreat center, and silence will be maintained throughout the retreat as we experience a variety of dharma talks, silent and guided meditations, and walking meditation on the beautiful grounds. Check-in is from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, and the retreat will end at 2 p.m. Wednesday. *If you don’t prefer to sit on the floor, no worries at all; there are plenty of chairs to use.

TEACHER: Shell Fischer, founder and guiding teacher of Mindful Shenandoah Valley, offers more than 30 years of extensive mindfulness training, practice, and study. She is a Buddhist teacher, trained in the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition at Naropa University – the nation’s leading contemplative university – and in the Theravadan Vipassana (Insight) tradition by Dr. Tara Brach – one of the world’s foremost Insight teachers. She is a graduate of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher-training program led by Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of MBSR and the Stress Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Prior to teaching, Shell wrote about mindfulness and yoga for national magazines.

Shell’s main focus as a teacher is on metta (loving-kindness) practice. Her hope is to guide her students in nurturing even more kindness and compassion for themselves, and for all the situations they find themselves in throughout their lives, through the practice of meditation and mindfulness – which she believes everyone can learn.


Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center in Marriottsville, MD – just minutes from both Baltimore and Washington, D.C. – sits at the highest point of 313 acres of pastures and woodlands adjacent to Patapsco State Park, and commands spectacular views of some of Maryland’s most beautiful countryside.

Describing itself as dedicated to “healing hospitality,” this serene, peaceful retreat center serves the spiritual and personal development of people from all faith traditions, and includes quiet walking trails, open spaces, a Labyrinth, Peace Pond, and Zen Garden.

The comfortable, quiet, private single rooms at Bon Secours include: a queen-sized bed, full private bath, towels and linens, desk and chairs, individually-controlled heat and air-conditioning,  ceiling fans, views of the 313-acre property, card keys, elevator access, and emergency visual alert systems for guests who are deaf or hearing impaired. Six handicapped-equipped bedrooms are also available.

Meals: A full, professional food and beverage staff provides a delicious selection of choices, prepared fresh each day, and served in a bright dining hall. Light refreshments and fruit are available throughout the day. Some accommodations may be made for dietary restrictions upon request.


**THIS RETREAT FILLED ON June 16, but there is still time to join a short waiting list! To be added to the list, please fill out the form below. (*There is a $5 charge for being added to this list.)

Retreat Fee: $1,250 Includes retreat, private single room and full bathroom, and all meals. (*Registration does not include teacher dana

*Dana (generosity) offerings at the end of a Vipassana Insight retreat is an ancient, ongoing tradition that helps support the teacher. You can read more about it here.

A non-refundable 50% deposit is required to save your space. After May 11, full payment is required for registration. We are unable to offer refunds – for any reason, without exception. We are also unable to offer credit or transfers to future retreats.

For more information prior to registering, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.

TO REGISTER, please fill out the form, below

I declare that the information I have given Mindful Shenandoah Valley is true and correct. I have read and agreed to the refund policy. I also recognize that Shell Fischer is not claiming to be a mental health professional, and that it is my responsibility to seek out a professional mental health provider if I am experiencing any emotional difficulties. I knowingly release and hold harmless, for myself and my heirs, Shell Fischer, along with Mindful Shenandoah Valley, from any claim, liability, demand, action and cause of action whatsoever.