FAQs for Shift Retreats Held at IONS EarthRise


You'll find answers below to the most frequently asked questions about Shift Retreats that are held at IONS EarthRise retreat center in Petaluma, California, USA. If you have additional questions, our Retreat Coordinator will be happy to assist you further.



IONS EarthRise, is a beautiful, semi-rural, conscious-living center located within the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) campus, located just 35 minutes north of San Francisco, at the border of beautiful Marin and Sonoma Counties, just off of Highway 101 and approx. 20 minutes from downtown Petaluma. It is easily accessible from the East Bay and North Bay, as well as from San Francisco. The address is 101 San Antonio Rd., Petaluma, CA, 94952

Enjoy being amid 194 acres of rolling hills, where hiking trails meander through pristine native live oak woodlands and the surrounding open space offers panoramic vistas of the California landscape. A beautiful meditative labyrinth made of river stones lies high on the hill overlooking the valley below.

Other special features include a beautiful permaculture garden that provides fruits and vegetables for the kitchen, a meditation hut nestled in a peaceful oak grove, a sweat lodge, a fire circle, multiple sitting areas for quiet contemplation, and a large outdoor hot tub to enjoy under the stars at night. (Note that swim suits are required in the hot tub. No alcohol or glass is allowed in the that area. The hot tub is accessible for people with mobility challenges via a lift. The deck around the hot tub is a lovely location for individual yoga practice.)

Wildlife abounds, and includes deer, rabbits, an occasional bobcat, wild turkeys, hawks, and songbirds. As stewards of the 194 acre campus, EarthRise staff are ever mindful of the delicate balance between all of the organisms that inhabit this sacred land be it for a day or a lifetime. This is home to a very diverse and abundant population of plants, animals, amphibians, birds, reptiles, insects, and mollusks – all caught up in the beautiful dance of life.

You'll also find a community center building complete with Bookstore & Gift Shop. The Gift Shop is generally open Tuesday through Saturday 11am - 7pm, and stocks a variety of personal items, books, sweets, and gifts. Wine is also available for purchase in our gift shop


If you plan to fly, the San Francisco and the Oakland airports are both within a 60 to 90 minute drive from EarthRise, depending on traffic. There are two shuttle services that provide door-to-door ground transportation between the airports and EarthRise:

Western Eagle Shuttle
Advanced reservations required
Phone: +1.415.342.6444
Mention “EarthRise @ IONS” to receive $5 off when booking

Advanced reservations required
Online Reservations Available
Phone: 1-800-258-3826

If you are driving to EarthRise, detailed instructions and maps are available on the IONS EarthRise website:

Please review carefully and print the detailed directions and take them with you. GPS systems are not always accurate in this area, and at best they will get you to the IONS sign on San Antonio Rd. From there, you'll be on a long driveway (flat) until you turn left onto a long, winding and steeply uphill drive to get to the EarthRise facility. Please drive very cautiously as there are often deer and other wildlife, people and other vehicles on this road.

When you get to the top of the hill where you'll see a parking area, lodging is to the right. After loading or unloading, please move your vehicle back to the Retreat Parking parking area as quickly as possible. Parking in the cul-de-sac area by the dormitories or on the grass is not permitted. Parking on the roads or in the fire lanes is not permitted. Speed limit is 5 miles per hour on the property.

If you wish to carpool there will be a link sent out as we get closer to the trip for guests to connect with each other about carpooling.


When you arrive, there will be signs indicating check-in locations and parking. At the beginning of your stay, our group will receive a welcome orientation by the EarthRise staff to relay important information about the site. This will include an outline of emergency procedures and waivers for each individual.


You have the option of securing a single or shared room at the price specified on the registration form. If you have chosen a shared room, and wish to upgrade, our Retreat Coordinator will assist you in making those arrangements if space allows.

We offer a meals only Commuter Rate for participants staying off property. If you have chosen the Commuter Rate and wish to upgrade to a full room & board package, our Retreat Coordinator will assist you if space allows.

We do not offer a "no-meals" plan because the IONS EarthRise campus is too far from any other dining establishments to facilitate off-site dining.

Camping of any kind is not allowed at Earthrise.


EarthRise at IONS accommodates 100+ overnight guests in eight buildings. All housing accommodations are situated near to one another, and are located next to the West Room. Housing is very modest and simple. Single and shared rooms are available; most rooms have two twin beds, some have one full/queen bed. The bathrooms in each building are located in the hallway and shared with other guests. Bedding, linens and towels are provided, as well as Shampoo, Conditioner and Shower Gel by EO®, a family owned and operated, Certified Organic Manufacturer of personal care products using the highest grade natural and certified organic ingredients.

In the lodging area is a common outdoor deck area with tables and chairs. An equipped kitchen in one of the buildings (Chalet 2) is accessible to all guests for tea and coffee and includes a full-size refrigerator for guest use.

Check-in time is 4PM and check-out time is 9AM, unless otherwise arranged and noted. On the last day, you are welcome to leave your luggage in the dormitory hallway until the conclusion of your retreat.

Quiet hours are 10:00PM to 8:00AM. Please be considerate of other retreat participants at all times. Some groups may be on silent meditation retreats.

IONS EarthRise is primarily a smoke-free campus. However, there are two designated outdoor smoking areas, one on each side of the campus (in front of the West Room on the west campus and behind the main kitchen on the east side of campus). Please use the smoking bins provided and do not litter butts.

If you have mobility needs, please let our Retreat Coordinator know so she can arrange for suitable lodging.

No pets are allowed on campus, other than certified companion animals and guide dogs for the disabled.


Check-in time is 4PM and check-out time is 9AM, unless otherwise arranged and noted.

Registration is held the first day from 4:00pm-5:45pm with dinner to follow at 6pm and the first workshop begins at 7:00pm. Travel should be booked to arrive in time for this registration window. I you arrive a bit before this time your can enjoy the property until registration is open.

The Shift Network's retreats begin on Sundays and end on Fridays. Plan to arrive at the retreat center by 4:00pm Pacific on Sunday to check in and get settled before dinner. On Friday, plan to depart from the retreat center after lunch and by 3:00pm Pacific on Friday.

On Friday, plan to pack your bags before breakfast and either place your luggage in the dormitory hallway until you are ready to take the shuttle to the airport, or if you drive yourself, place your belongings in your vehicle, so that the EarthRise staff can prepare the sleeping rooms for arriving guests.


WiFi is available to all guests and is password protected. Certain locations on campus, such as the community building, provide stronger connectivity than do the sleeping areas. There is also a desktop computer and printer in the community building from which you may check your email and print your boarding pass.

All cellular telephone carriers receive coverage on campus. We ask that you turn your ring setting to vibrate or silent while on campus to not disturb other guests.

There is a telephone in Chalet #2 across from the guest kitchen for making local phone and emergency calls only. For making a long distance call you will need to use your phone/credit card. There is an office phone at reception for emergencies only. If you must receive calls at the office, EarthRise staff will take a message and deliver it to your group leader. The emergency phone number is 707-364-2554.


The dining hall at EarthRise provides indoor seating for groups of up to 90, with additional outdoor seating expanding the total meal capacity to 120 guests most of the year. Local ingredients are the inspiration for their cooking and include luscious organic fruits and vegetables, free range poultry, hormone-free meat and dairy products, and extraordinary cheeses. They also use organic produce from local farmers and from their own permaculture garden whenever possible. The chef draws upon flavors and techniques from around the world to create a diverse cuisine with alluring flavors.

Meals are served buffet style. Lunches are typically vegetarian and dinners include fish or chicken as well as a vegetarian option.

Complimentary tea and coffee are available in the community building from 7:00AM – 7:00PM daily. Coffee and tea supplies are also available in the guest kitchen in Chalet #2 and can be made by guests anytime.

EarthRise kitchen staff are very accommodating of special dietary needs, (vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, etc.) if informed in advance. Make sure to tell us about your dietary concerns when you register.


Weather in Northern California varies throughout the year: a hot summer day can be followed by a cool foggy night, so layers are recommended. The campus lies on 194 acres of very hilly terrain. There is a road and walking trail between the dormitories and the community building where meals are served. The road is lit at night for safe passage. It is a 5-10 minute walk to and from the dormitories and community building.

Packing List
► Swimsuit for the hot tub
► Flashlight or headlamp for walking at night
► Layered clothing—the temperature drops quickly in the evenings
► Rain gear is recommended from October to May
► Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat
► Water bottle—filtered water is available from dispensers throughout the campus
► Hot beverage travel cup for coffee/tea
► Toiletries and medications
► Earplugs/Eye Mask for sleeping/meditation
► Map/driving directions to EarthRise Center
► No Perfumes & Scents: Due to many guests' allergies and sensitivities to scents, please leave your perfumes, scented body oils and incense at home.

Additional information about EarthRise is available on the IONS EarthRise website:


The Refund Policy for each specific retreat offered by The Shift Network is listed on the registration & information page for that retreat. We generally offer full refunds less a $200 processing fee if you request a refund before the 4th month prior to the start date, then 50% refunds less a $200 processing fee until two months prior to the retreat. At that point, due to the hard costs and commitments to EarthRise, there are no refunds available.

If you have questions about the specific refund deadline dates for the retreat that you are registered for, please let us know.


We highly recommend that you investigate purchasing travel insurance to cover your costs in the event that you have a qualifying event, such as a medical situation, that prevents you from attending. You can search online for insurance options at sites such as this one:


For additional information about IONS Earthrise, please Click Here.


Our Retreat Coordinator, Sara Stein, will be happy to assist you with any further questions. Submit a Help Request with your questions and concerns.

You may also phone our Support Team at: (415) 223-7565 if you have an urgent question.

Thank you and we hope you have a truly fulfilling, inspiring and transformational retreat experience!











Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request


Article is closed for comments.