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Welcome to
Banyan Grove

Banyan Grove is a physical space designed to cultivate inner transformation and build deeper ties that foster compassionate acts in the world.

The Pollination Project has recently taken over the stewardship responsibilities of Banyan Grove and we couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity.

Up until now, the Banyan Grove retreat space has hosted various evening circles, Transformation dialogues, day-long gatherings, silent meditation retreats and multi-day organizational retreats.

This special space has also housed various short-term and long-term residents.

Banyan Grove is 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.

FAQs

Can I host a retreat or event with my group or organization at Banyan Grove?

Banyan Grove is a volunteer-driven, labor-of-love physical space hosted by volunteers from The Pollination Project. Our intention is to cultivate inner transformation and build deeper ties that foster compassionate acts in the world. We have limited availability for kindred groups to host retreats at the center. 

To explore the possibility of hosting a group retreat at Banyan Grove, submit a request form.

What's the cost for hosting my retreat at Banyan Grove?

Banyan Grove, as a volunteer-run labor-of-love project, has been offered by those who came before you. It is our wish that groups that utilize the space, in the spirit of the gift spectrum, similarly pay forward what has been offered to them so the chain of generosity may continue. Your contributions will be used towards the upkeep of the place, mortgage/taxes, utilities, supplies, landscaping, and to directly serve other group retreats in the future. Financial contributions can be made here.

To explore the possibility of hosting a group retreat at Banyan Grove, submit a request form.

How many bedrooms are available, and what's the overnight capacity?

Banyan Grove has enough beds (mostly bunk beds) to sleep 14-17 people. In addition, we have 5 folding twin mattresses that can be setup on the floor, if additional (flexible) accommodations are needed.

Here’s the Bedroom Breakdown:

  • X-Small room: sleeps 1-2 people 
    • 1 queen bed
  • Small Room: sleeps 3 people 
    • 1 twin bunk bed
    • 1 lofted twin bed
  • Medium Room: sleeps 4-8 
    • 2 queen bunk beds
  • Large Room: sleeps 6-8 people 
    • 1 twin bunk bed
    • 2 bunk beds (where bottom is queen futon, top is twin)
  • Downstairs Room(s): sleeps 3+ people
    • 1 queen bed
    • 1 twin day bed
    • 1 queen couch pull-out
    • 2-3 floor mattresses

6 Folding Twin Mattresses are available on site if needed.

What kind of meeting rooms and amenities can my group use onsite?

Here are some photos of the space. Generally speaking, these rooms are available for group use:

Main House:

Campus:

Possibly Available For Group Use:

  • 2 Meditation Huts (each hut fits 1-2 people in floor mattresses)

Not Available For Group Use:

  • 1 Cottage – pictured right (This is where the campus anchor resides. The anchor will be on campus during your retreat, and available to show you around and support with questions about space logistics.)

IMPORTANT – IN YOUR APPLICATION, PLEASE SPECIFY THE SPACE YOU’D LIKE TO UTILIZE. OUR INTENTION IS TO MAXIMIZE THE USE OF THE SPACE, SO IF YOUR USE OF SPACE IS PARTIAL, WE MAY HAVE CONCURRENT BOOKINGS ON SITE.

For more visuals of the campus, you can view these albums: 

Banyan Grove Photos (ongoing general photos)

How many bathrooms are there?

Banyan Grove currently has 3 bathrooms — all of which are located in the main house. 

There are also 2 incinerator toilets located near the zendo, and an outdoor hay bale urinal.  There are also 3 outdoor showers – 2 adjacent to the main house, and 1 between the meditation huts.

Do we need to bring our own sheets, towels and toiletries?

Yes, any guest (including retreat participants) staying overnight at Banyan Grove will need to bring the following: 

  • 2 sheets (1 for the mattress + 1 for between the blanket)
  • 1 pillowcase
  • 1 towel
  • biodegradable toiletries (e.g. shampoo/conditioner, body wash, toothpaste). This is provided, if needed. PLEASE DO NOT USE NON-BIODEGRADABLE PRODUCTS ON SITE

Bringing your own sheets/towels supports our sensitive septic system as well as post-retreat cleanup. For those who come from a distance, we do have sheets & towels you can borrow onsite, with the understanding that your group will clean (via the laundry machine on site) and return them where found before your group departs. Bathrooms are equipped with basics, such as hand soap and toilet paper.

What cleaning responsibilities do retreat groups have?

Since Banyan Grove is a volunteer-run labor-of-love offering, we ask that individuals and groups who use the space are able to clean and leave it in the same condition it was found. There are cleaning supplies on campus that can be used for this, and if you have any questions, you can ask the campus anchor (who is based in the Cottage.)

Can our group use the kitchen?

Your group is welcome to use the kitchen to prepare vegan meals and snacks for your retreat. There is ample kitchenware that you may borrow for cooking and serving (including pots of varied sizes and about 70 sets of mugs, plates, bowls, and silverware). You may store perishable food in the refrigerator, as well. Banyan Grove is a vegan center, so all food prepared and consumed on site must be vegan. 

In addition, please note that any food or ingredients in the pantry is reserved for private events or Banyan Grove resident volunteers.

Are there residential guidelines that we need to follow?

Yes, Banyan Grove has these residential guidelines that anyone staying on the premises are required to maintain:

  • To maintain an environment conducive to personal and collective practice, I agree to uphold shared values of the space while on site, including these 5 precepts, no alcohol, smoking, or drugs
  • I understand that Banyan Grove is a vegan center. I can align with a vegan diet whenever I am on the premises
  • To be mindful of neighbors, I can ensure our group parks inside or by the gate (i.e. not on the street) and be quiet after 9:30/10PM.
  • My group will be responsible for leaving the site how we found it, which includes post-event clean-up.
  • If I have any questions, I can ask the onsite campus anchor and/or email The Pollination Project.
Who can we contact if w have any facilities problems or emergencies while on site?

Our campus anchor resides in the Banyan Grove cottage, and will be available to show you around the property as well as assist with any facilities needs. Please be advised, the campus anchor is not a site manager – there is availability for true emergencies, but otherwise your group is expected to self-manage your gatherings.  Email can be used for other issues/comments.

Who manages the house?

Banyan Grove is stewarded by The Pollination Project and the on-site caretaking and coordination are managed by Wendy and Eddie Loven.

Ways you can get involved

1) Join an upcoming event

To stay informed, sign up for our mailing list below.

2) Volunteer with us!

We’re all volunteers, and would welcome your involvement.

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Host a circle

If you have ideas, drop us an email.

Host a retreat

To propose a multi-day retreat, please complete the retreat form.

Become a resident

Periodically, we invite volunteers for short-term stays and longer residencies.

Tells us your ideas!

We’d love to hear from you!

Donate

Your generous support helps The Pollination Project keep this space well-kept and available.

Host Your Event at Banyan Grove

To request usage of Banyan Grove’s Space, please click the link below.

Reservation Request Form

Questions about Banyan Grove?
Would you like to get involved?
Let us know!

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