mela a meditation retreat for innovators

/ pronounced MAY'-la /

a Sanskrit word meaning 'gathering'

Meditation for Clarity

Guided by Master Teachers Sharon Salzberg & Will Kabat-Zinn

Welcome to your retreat.

Feb 27 - March 1, 2020
Ojai Valley Inn


Join us for a weekend retreat to clear your mind, meditate with world-renowned instructors, and form lasting relationships with peers. This is professional and personal development at its best. Please email to request an invite or apply below to join us.


Practice with the masters. 

Whether you are new to meditation or experienced, this is your chance to learn from two of the top mindfulness teachers in the world, Sharon Salzberg and Will Kabat-Zinn. Together they will lead group meditations, offer Buddhist wisdom and answer your questions about how to bring mindfulness into your life.

Amazing teachers, beautiful location, kind insightful people, wonderfully planned.. not a detail unturned. I left grounded, recharged, and inspired.
— Kerry Docherty, President at Faherty Brand

Build lasting relationships. 

When you meditate you go within. You become more authentic and more you. To do this on retreat, away from the stress of daily life, is profound. You become more open to connecting with people on a deep level. People who met at the February 2019 Mela have already traveled overseas together, invested in each other’s companies and become close confidants. Why? When you go on retreat with global leaders, enjoying meditation, activities and long-table outdoor meals, you meet people who will change your life.

The collective MADE the retreat. Unbelievably high caliber of smart, successful, open-hearted and open-minded people. Lasting friendships - I even ended up going on vacation with one of the other retreaters! I left with an incredibly full heart and clearer mind.
— Noi Noimany, Tilden Park Capital Management (hedge fund)

Return refreshed.

For three days you'll wake up to meditation and martial arts, then close each day with gourmet dinners under the stars. In addition to the peacefulness from Sharon and Will's guided meditations, you'll enjoy outdoor activities, share in authentic conversations and emerge with a calm mind, rejuvenated spirit and awesome new friends.

I flew out to Sedona angry at myself for even daring to take time off work, and left feeling so joyful at the wisdom and connections I was leaving with. Really, truly transformative.
— Megan Kingery, Broadway Producer

Welcome to Ojai.

For Mela 3, we’ve moved to the warm welcome of California. Your home, the historic AAA Five Diamond Ojai Valley Inn, is an award-winning luxurious resort surrounded by the natural beauty of the Topa Topa mountains.

Ojai Drone.jpg


Ojai Valley Inn, Ojai, CA (Airports: SBA, LAX, BUR)
February 27 - March 1, 2020

  • Maximum of 75 participants

  • Perfect for new and experienced meditators

  • Sitting and walking meditation, yoga or martial arts and more.

  • Registration fee covers all meditations, activities and meals.

  • Travel and accommodation are not included; however, a negotiated rate of $339/night (plus taxes, etc.) is offered to all guests.

REFUND/CANCELLATION POLICY: Cancel before October 15th for a full refund. Cancel before November 15th for a 50% refund. After that, no cancellations or refunds.


“A TED-like event for meditators to help people become conscious leaders.”


"In between meditation sessions, the group is treated to luxuriously thoughtful experiences, reminiscent of an expensive destination wedding, but where every guest you might be seated next to is a fascinating conversation partner and a kindred spirit." 

Participating at Mela this year literally changed my life.
— Leon Ford, Author, Speaker

Meet your Mela community.

Mela brings together an accomplished and conscious group of entrepreneurs, investors, business and non-profit leaders and creatives – with a shared desire to become the best versions of themselves.


A partial list of past Mela guests (2018 & 2019) includes: 

  • Ibrahim Ajami, Head of Mubadala Ventures, a UAE sovereign wealth fund with over $220B in assets under mgmt.

  • Christopher Arnold, Apple engineering manager.

  • Natalya (Brikner) Bailey, Aerospace engineer and co-founder/CEO of Accion Systems, working to make space accessible via a new ion engine technology. "35 Innovators Under 35", MIT Tech Review.

  • Jason Bordainick, Founder/CEO, Hudson Valley Property Group, over $1b invested to buy and convert buildings into affordable housing. Frmr Founder/CEO of the largest online marketplace for student housing (just sold).

  • Tim Chang, Partner, Mayfield Fund, named to the Forbes Magazine’s Midas list for tech’s top investors 3x.

  • Claire Curley, Head of Kids & Animation, Hello Sunshine. Frmr Emmy-award winning kids media executive at Nickelodeon, credits including Blue’s Clues, Team Umizoomi, The Electric Company, and the Nick App.

  • Michael Clark, Managing Partner, GHC Companies, one of the leading affordable housing firms in the country. Teaches private equity at Columbia. Boards: Impact Network, ALL WAYS UP, Futurism.

  • Cheryl Einhorn, Author, Problem Solved, a systematic approach to solving problems. Speaker, adjunct prof, Columbia Business School. Frmr investigative journalist, writing for Barron’s, The New York Times, Foreign Policy.

  • Kerry Faherty, President at Faherty Brand, American casual clothes for life’s great moments.

  • Ben Feder, Senior executive at Tencent, the Chinese internet conglomerate. Author of Take Off Your Shoes: Once Man's Journey from the Boardroom to Bali and Back.

  • Keith Ferrazzi, Entrepreneur, speaker, author, New York Times bestselling books Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back?

  • Mark Feuerstein, Actor, Sex & the City, The West Wing, Prison Break.

  • Leon Ford, Activist, Author, social entrepreneur.

  • Lindsay Goffman, Film & TV Producer (Dumbstruck, The Good Doctor).

  • Charlie Hartwell, Operating Partner, BridgeBuilders Collaborative, investing in mind-training & consciousness.

  • Daniel Hoffer, Managing Director, Autotech Ventures.

  • Jessica Iclisoy, Founder/CEO, California Baby, 90+ organic products for babies and kids. Launched with $2,000, 2017 sales were $96mm, making her one of "America's most successful women entrepreneurs" (Forbes, 2018).

  • Deborah Jackson, Founder/CEO, Plum Alley. Entrepreneur, early stage investor, Fast Company "League of Extraordinary Women" (60 women named).

  • Peter Kellner, Founder/Chair/CEO, Richmond Global Compass, global macro fund integrating sustainability. Co-founder, Founding Chair, Endeavor, the leading global non-profit identifying and supporting high-impact entrepreneurs around the world (extraordinary organization).

  • Megan Kingery, Broadway Producer, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1912, Fun Home. Creative Producer of Blue Man Group's first book, Blue Man World.

  • Dana Klein, supervising producer/writer, Friends. Writer, Becker. Creator, Friends with Better Lives.

  • Brigette Lau, Partner, Social Capital. Founder/ Partner, Hello Warrior Ventures, investing in entrepreneurs improving education. Board, CodeNow.

  • Michael Levit, Managing Partner, Dragonfly Partners. Boards: SNAP Interactive, Say Media.

  • Mark Lundstrom, Founder/CEO, Radia (building a ‘Climate Air Force’). Serial big-tech entrepreneur (CEO BioScale, Ripcord). Frmr ski racer and pilot.

  • Patrick McKenna, Co-founder & Chair, Facet Wealth. Managing Partner, High Ridge Venture Partners. Board: Disqus.

  • Christopher Michel, Founder, and Affinity Labs, both sold to Monster, now manages Nautilus Ventures and professional worldly photographer.

  • Matt Mullenweg, co-founder, WordPress. CEO, Automattic.

  • Michael Preysman, Founder/CEO, Everlane.

  • Nanea Reeves, Co-founder/CEO, Tripp, mood-altering experiences in VR.

  • Annie Roney, Founder/CEO, ro*co Films (distributes award-winning documentaries, including 18 Oscar-nominated films).

  • Tami Sagher, Writer, 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother. Writer/Producer, Mad TV. Actor, Inside Amy Schumer, Girls & more. Once studied mathematics (then joined Second City).

  • Aaron Schiff, Recent co-founder/CEO, Matic (just sold). Frmr founder/CEO, Adrenalads (sold). Investor. Founding new company.

  • D Sharma, Co-founder/CEO, Investor in start-ups and funds.

  • Rene Stewart, Principal, Vista Equity Partners, co-head of $560m growth fund focused on software. Boards: Dispatch, Gather, Kazoo, RADAR + more.

  • Alan Strozenberg, Entrepreneur + investor in the creative industry. Founded + developed Z+, a top advertising agency in Brazil (acquired by Havas). Founder, Z515 (advertising), Zeit (e-learning).

  • Jason Tan, Co-founder/CEO, Sift, fighting fraud with machine learning. Frmr CTO, BuzzLabs.

  • Karen Timpone, Marriott Chief Global Marketing Officer.

  • Lawrence Trilling, Producer/director/writer, Goliath, Parenthood, Alias, Scrubs, Roswell, Felicity, Pushing Daisies and many other TV shows (had produced more than 100 hours of television).

  • Laurel Warbrick, Director, HBO.

  • Brad Wolfe, Founder, Reimagine | End of Life, a non-profit that seeks to transform our experience of dying and through it, living. Frmr: IDEO.

  • Peter Yared, CEO, InCountry, founded & sold 6 enterprise software companies, including Sapho. Frmr CTO/CIO, CBS Interactive.

  • Jennifer Yen, Founder/CEO, Purlisse (skin care). Founder/CEO, YENSA, the Superfood Cosmetic. Frmr actress (Power Rangers).

  • Amy Ziering, Emmy and Academy Award-nominated documentary film producer and director, The Invisible World, The Memory Thief, Outrage, The Hunting Ground.

    * Know someone who would be a fit for Mela? Nominate them by clicking here.

This was without question THE MOST kind, fun, inspiring and curious group of people I have ever had the honor of attending an event with... Many of the people I met, I hope will be lifelong friends and mentors. This is my tribe.
— Laurel Warbrick, Director of Alternate Versions and Remastering, HBO

More from Mela 1 and 2 participants…

Mela 1 | June 2018 | Sedona, Arizona

Mela 1 | June 2018 | Sedona, Arizona

I loved every moment of it! Mela introduced the practice of meditation to my life and I now use it throughout my day, in ways I didn’t even expect. Sometimes at my desk - when things get really challenging - I stop everything, push back my chair and meditate for just 5 minutes - it allows me to step away from the chaos of my brain and find calm and clarity. I know I have made better decisions because of the practice, and more importantly Mela provided me with a long-term practice of healthy, sustainable living that honors my experience and is both reflective and empowering. It’s been amazing!
— Annie Roney, Founder/CEO ro*co films, distributing 18+ Oscar-nominated films
I was thoroughly impressed by the EQ of the guests (as well as IQ and credentials). I felt that all of us shed our exteriors over the weekend and felt genuinely connected.
— Evan Mendelsohn, co-founder, Tipsy Elves (among 15 biggest Shark Tank success stories of all time)
I feel so connected to our Mela 2 crew. I feel full of love, wisdom, compassion and a longing to see all of them again. There was a special bond that organically grew and it’s a beautiful thing.
— Stefanie Felser, designer
This weekend was emotional, deep, difficult, inspiring and exhilarating. It’s like something shifted and I’m floating in its wake.
— Van Hutcherson, Managing Director, Jones Trading
I’ve been meditating for almost 20 years and in business contexts, I have tended to downplay that part of me. This felt like a powerful way of integrating the two and also realizing the wealth of knowledge and experience I bring to the table. It inspires me to not hide those parts as much in my own company and also in the world at large.
— Shane Metcalf, co-founder, 15Five
I do feel different. I wanted some clarity on some big decisions in my life and feel like I found that clarity. I acted upon those decisions very recently and feel a big weight off my shoulders.
— Jenny Lee, Citadel

About Your Teachers


Sharon Salzberg is a world-renowned meditation instructor and New York Times bestselling author. Many credit her with bringing loving-kindness meditation from India to the West, and she literally wrote the book on Lovingkindness. Sharon is co-founder of Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA and author of the NYT bestseller Real Happiness. Her most recent book is Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection.


Will Kabat-Zinn has practiced Vipassana meditation in the U.S. and Burma for more than ten years and teaches entrepreneurs and others at SF Insight, Spirit Rock and meditation centers across the country.


About The Path

The Path is meditation for the modern mind. We've hosted weekly meditations since 2014 and taught thousands of people to meditate in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, at SXSW, Sundance, Flow Japan and events around the world. We run a certificate Teacher Training Program, a certificate Mindful Leadership course and book launches for major teachers and authors including Matthieu Ricard, Robert Thurman, Shinzen Young and Culadasa.

We believe meditation can be accessible and taught in beautiful, fun environments. Mela is our next step.

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Thank You To Our Mela Partners