Located in the ancient Umbrian hills of central Italy, the medieval city of Assisi, with its history as the home of St. Francis, provides us with an environment for inspiration and reflection. In true pilgrimage fashion, we will immerse ourselves in the various sacred sites that collectively recount the stories of St. Francis’s deep compassion for all beings.


The leader of the Footsteps retreat is Sylvia Bercovici, Ph.D., an anthropologist, psychotherapist and longtime Buddhist practitioner. Formerly a student of the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, she currently studies with the  Ven. Thrangu Rinpoche.  She has conducted Buddhist workshops and retreats and has taught Buddhist psychology at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Sylvia is currently the coordinator of Los Angeles Vajra Vidya, a Buddhist practice and study group.​

Please note that this is a “dana” retreat. Dana means the practice of generosity. The teachings of the Buddha are given freely because they are considered priceless. So the Footsteps Retreat fees have been set to cover only the operating costs and the travel and accommodation of the teacher, who will receive no additional remuneration. A portion of the proceeds from this retreat will be donated to the Himalayan Children’s Fund, a nonprofit philanthropic organization; and to the Vajra Vidya Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado.  To inquire about participating in the retreat, contact Sylvia, click HERE.



June 23 - 30, 2019

Presented by

Sylvia Bercovici​


This weeklong retreat in the homeland of St. Francis of Assisi provides meditation practitioners with an opportunity to contemplate and to develop the heart of the bodhisattva. We consider the spirit of the bodhisattva to be universal, transcending time and culture. With this view, we can find individuals from all traditions who can teach and inspire us in the genuine experience of compassion.This retreat is based on the teachings and examples of both the Indian Buddhist sage, Shantideva, and the Italian saint, Francis of Assisi. Their words will provide the basis for our meditations and contemplations. The program will consist of short talks, sitting and walking meditation, contemplation practices and discussion. A film on the life of St. Francis made by Roberto Rossellini will also be shown. The practice part of the retreat will be held in noble silence.