Urban Silent Retreat

led by Melissa Berry Appleton, Lena La Foret Del Mar, and Danielle Prins

Silent Retreats provide an opportunity to step back from the demands of modern life and explore the depth of extended practice, dropping deep into silence. Silent Retreats are where students experience a full and lasting impression, amplifying community connection, and supporting daily practice at home. Suitable for both new and experienced students.

ENSO Society has always dreamed of building an Okanagan retreat centre designed specifically for residential silent retreats. We might as well begin with what we have! A beautiful boathouse, cushions for 30, three Zen Rebel Dharma Sisters all living within the Okanagan, and a committed practice community. Thus we begin with a simple silent retreat.

On this weekend retreat, we will transform the boathouse and property into our Zendo and centre of silence incorporating Zazen (meditation), walking, yoga, Oryoki (mindful eating), and art (no experience necessary).

All meditation props will be provided including chairs, benches, and cushions. It is recommended that you have some experience with meditation (through yoga, MBSR, SMART, Gentle Zen Series, or other avenues).

Daily Schedule

Each day will include meditation, walking, simple yoga, eating together, work practice, rest and art. All in silence.

Friday 2:30 – 9:00 PM
Saturday 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM

A full schedule will be sent to attendees four weeks prior to the retreat start date.


Date and time

Friday, 20 April 2018 at 2:30 PM –
Sunday, 22 April 2018 at 5:00 PM PDT


Central Okanagan Sailing Association
4220 Hobson Rd, Kelowna, BC V1W 1Y3


Sliding scale $275 to $400

Any amount paid over $325 will receive a tax-deductible charity receipt



We will provide two dinners, one lunch, tea, apples and pears for a snack.

You will bring one lunch from home.

All meals are gluten-free, dairy and meat free. If you have an extreme allergy, please let us know, otherwise, we are not able to accommodate other food requests for Oryoki practice meals.


Out of Town Attendees

A Facebook page for all registrants will be created for communication. Here you can find opportunities for billeting and shared accommodation. We have several community members who have already offered to billet.


  • Bring your own yoga mat, warm clothes, and work clothes for outdoor work practice on Saturday afternoon
  • Dress in layers for varying temperatures
  • Please wear dark, unpatterned clothing (black, navy, brown, dark grey)
  • Do not wear any scented cream or perfume
  • Leave all electronic devices including phones at home
  • Leave books, journals, and pens at home
  • The COSA kitchen will be closed for use and run by the kitchen Samu (work practice crew). Please leave food in your bags.
Melissa Berry Appleton

Melissa Berry Appleton

Executive Director, Buddhist Practitioner, Meditation & Yoga Teacher

Melissa has been a student of yoga for 18 years and has received extensive yoga and meditation training. She keeps study and practice company with Norman Fischer and is currently enrolled in the Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program at Upaya Zen Centre. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Music Therapy and a post-graduate diploma in Human Resources. Her experience spans work within geriatric cognitive impairments, palliative care, addiction counseling, and raising three children. Melissa has a family, a lover (her husband), a black lab, hikes, makes pottery, and is a bit of a rebel. She deeply loves the Bodhisattva vows, is humbled by the precepts, continues to work with her sometimes anxious breathing, is making friends with her mind and better relationships with all of life.

Lena Laforet Del Mar

Lena Laforet Del Mar

Buddhist Practitioner, Meditation & Yoga Teacher

Lena is a student, teacher and a former owner-director of the vibrant and innovative Moksha Yoga Victoria community. Lena is a student of Eihei Peter Levitt and is ordained in the Soto Zen tradition. A tree hugger to the core, Lena weaves elemental themes into her yoga classes and meditations and sprinkles Spanish into everything. From roots to blossoms, Lena brings traditional yoga teachings to life and embodies her mission of helping others to awaken. Lena and her husband Joel are new residents of the Okanagan. They are living their dream of forest farming and sharing the powerful healing tools of the 8 limbed yoga path through workshops, intensives, and retreats.

Danielle Prins

Danielle Prins

Program Coordinator, Buddhist Practitioner, Yoga Teacher

Danielle is a certified Kripalu yoga teacher and kinesiology graduate from UBC. She worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters leading mindfulness programs in schools where children face some of our community’s greatest barriers. Danielle is also a member of the ENSO Teen Expedition Team. She is ever present, kind, and receptive in a way that teens can truly relate to. She never stops smiling and knows when to bring the silliness out! Danielle attends silent retreat regularly and will be attending a four-month residency program under the direction of Joan Halifax at Upaya Zen Centre at the beginning of 2017. At a very young age, Danielle is leading her generation through the teaching of ‘doing less and being more’.