Setu Half-Week Online Retreat

Find meaning and depth in your later years

This retreat is based on Easwaran’s concept of setu (Sanskrit for “bridge”). Death is not the end of life but the closing of a chapter, and what comes next is shaped by how we think and live today. Setu retreats are for people who are 65 and older, or for anyone facing a life-threatening illness (see the prerequisites tab below).

Senior Online
Onlineretreat

4 days

The theme of this retreat is “Transcending Troubled Times With Spiritual Resilience.” The aspirations in our “Essence of Setu” worksheet are the foundations of the Setu lifestyle we are building together.

Retreat Content

Your online Zoom sessions will include time for silent study followed by workshops that balance:

  • contemplative immersion in Easwaran’s writings and talks
  • extended mantram practice and absorption in passages
  • interactive opportunities to absorb Easwaran’s teachings on the purpose of the second half of life; spiritually preparing to meet death; and transforming this last part of our lives into pure forgiveness, compassion, and peace. 

In your offline practicum time at home, you will be able to directly apply what Easwaran is saying to you in the retreat to create your own “Setu House,” enriching your home life and infusing it with your highest spiritual ideals. 

Your retreat will be facilitated by BMCM presenters who have dedicated their lives to this practice, completed a five-year training program, and have many years of experience with the Setu Program.

This retreat consists of four half day Zoom sessions ( Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) with recommended offline practicum activities to work on at home. All times below are Pacific Standard Time.

  • 9:00     Silent study offline (in-home, optional)
  • 9:30     Zoom-based workshops (with break)
  • 12:00   Zoom call ends, meditation begins, followed by self-selected spiritual enrichment activities

Note** We also ask that you attend a one-hour retreat orientation a week before the retreat.

There will also be a Special Programs Update session on the Tuesday after the retreat from 10 a.m.–11:15 a.m. We will share some of the unique ways that Easwaran designed his BMCM programs to help you transcend troubled times with spiritual resilience. 

It’s hard to know if you are really ready for a Setu retreat, but it’s worth some honest personal reflection to figure it out. While the topic of “end of life” can be intellectually intriguing, that kind of interest won’t take you far in this retreat. Folks who get a lot out of Setu are people who have somehow faced the reality that everything they have pursued externally is starting to fail them. This has often come through increasing debility or a severe loss. They know they must start letting go of their external pursuits to find an inner reality.

This kind of turning inward can be pretty uncomfortable, so you need to really want it. Also it helps to have a sense that you are ready to wrap up your worldly responsibilities and ambitions, and seek to be of service in ways that are in the background or even invisible.

A Setu retreat will be quiet and contemplative – you will spend a lot of time with your practice and become more comfortable with your passages and mantram as your constant companions. 

If you are still very active and engaged in many good activities, you may gain more from a weeklong online retreat, because it is really a retreat for those who want and need to engage their practice through action in family, work, and community.

If you reflect on this distinction between Setu and weeklong retreat in a humble way, we think you will be able to inwardly determine the best approach for you at this time. Many Setu practitioners actually rotate between attending Setu retreats and weeklongs – a nice balance between extending your spiritual schedule and honing your eight-point program skills.

If you are aged 65 or over, we ask that

  • You have systematically practiced the eight points for 3–5 years and
  • You have a solid spiritual schedule which includes turning to Easwaran’s talks or writings daily and
  • You are using a mantram from Easwaran’s recommended list of mantrams and
  • You have attended a BMCM Weeklong in-person or online retreat or Setu retreat in the last year and
  • You are actively participating in BMCM Satsang Live, or one of the BMCM Satsangs listed here, or the BMCM eSatsang.

If you have a life-threatening illness or progressively debilitating condition, at any age, we ask that

  • You have been meditating daily using passage meditation for the past six months, and 
  • You are using a mantram from Easwaran’s list of mantrams and
  • In the past year you have attended a BMCM weekend or weeklong in-person or online meditation retreat, and
  • You are actively participating in BMCM Satsang Live, or one of the BMCM Satsangs listed here, or the BMCM eSatsang.

Fee

The standard fee is $200. The sliding scale is $100–$300.

The maximum enrollment for this retreat is 20. Enrollment requests over 20 will be put on a waiting list. The minimum enrollment to hold this retreat is 8.

Explanation of Sliding Scale

  • Our sliding scale means that you can choose the price that's right for you. If you can pay the standard fee, that will cover the cost of your retreat.
  • Please choose a lower fee if the standard fee is too much for you to afford.
  • If you add a donation to the standard fee, that will help others to attend – thank you!

The BMCM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. All of our work is made possible by donations. While income from books and retreats covers a portion of our costs, everything we do depends on the generosity of those who benefit from Easwaran’s teachings.

Each dollar paid over the standard fee is a tax-deductible contribution. We keep all donations and fee payments confidential.

Financial Aid

You're welcome to attend this program with a scholarship if you need to pay less than the lowest end of the sliding scale. Our scholarship fund is created out of donations from generous friends to help more people attend programs.

We also offer payment plans, so you can pay your fee in installments.                                           

For either a scholarship or payment plan, please don’t register online, and instead write to financial.aid@easwaran.org or call us at 800.475.2369. We’ll get back to you within three days.

Refund

If you need to cancel your retreat, please let us know as soon as possible and we’ll refund your full fee.