Before You Come to Retreat


Learn the Meditation

We recommend that you practice Surya Ram Meditation twice daily for at least 2 weeks before attending a course. If you are new to Surya Meditation, it is preferable to practice Surya Ram Meditation for a month, and then learn Surya Ram Meditation with Advanced Technique.

For Your Safety

If you have a history of mental or emotional breakdown or are on a drug regimen that is intended to reduce breaks from reality, we require a letter from your prescribing physician stating that you are mentally and emotionally stable enough to participate in meditation and group living situations.

Recreational drugs/alcohol are strictly prohibited at any Mount Soma course. We highly recommend that you discontinue any use of recreational drugs or alcohol two weeks before attending a course at Mount Soma.


Lodging is available in the Mount Soma Student Union Building. Basic accommodations room up to four people in a bunkroom. All Lodging in the Student Union has shared bathrooms. If available, private and semi-private rooms with shared bathroom may be reserved for an extra fee. We make every effort to accommodate personal requests, such as rooming with friends, though our first priority is creating a comfortable space for the entire group.

Daily Schedule

As so much depends upon the state of the group, we hesitate to map out a strict schedule. Meals, temple events and meditation schedule will usually be as scheduled. Michael Mamas’ talks will be scheduled when he deems it appropriate.


Mount Soma serves three delicious vegetarian meals daily. As part of the program, everyone (except for Classic Option attendees) participates in daily duties such as cooking and cleaning. These activities provide an excellent opportunity to deepen friendships and are essential to integrate the enlivened depth with daily life.

Please know that we will try our best to accommodate your food sensitivities and special dietary needs. It may be best to bring your own gluten-free bread if you require that type of food. After your registration you will have the opportunity to list your special food needs or allergies.

What to Bring

In order to gain maximum benefit from the course, all retreat attendees are required to stay at Mount Soma. When lodging at the Student Union Building, you will be provided with clean linens, towels and basic shower needs (soap and shampoo). If you are particular or sensitive to certain products you may wish to bring your own pillow, linens, soap, shampoo, etc.

Meditation & Other Gear

You will need to bring your own meditation gear. We ask you not to bring pillows or blankets from the Student Union bedrooms into the Mediation Hall.

The following items will increase your personal comfort while meditating.

  • A blanket and/or meditation shawl.
  • Padding for the floor. Many people also bring pillows.
  • Back support, such as a backjack. If you need a backjack, we have a few extras on hand (first come, first serve). They are also sold on Amazon and other online stores. Regular chairs are available as well.


  • Loose-fitting clothing works best for meditation.
  • Extra sweater or sweatshirt (even in the summer, nights can be cool, and the Meditation Hall can also be cool).
  • Temple activities require modest dress and no leather. (For more information, see Temple Etiquette).
  • For winter retreats: warm outdoor gear (winter coat, winter shoes or boots, hat, scarf, gloves and warm socks). Some bring ice cleats. Winters on the mountain are cold and windy and snow is possible.
  • For winter retreats: two pairs of indoor shoes or slippers to keep and wear at the Student Union and the Visitor Center. Outside boots & shoes are kept at the entrance to keep the floors clean.