Columbia Retreat Policies

The following policies have been created to ensure a fun, meaningful and safe trip for all. Please take the time to read them and feel free to let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


The INsightful Self Retreat Code of Conduct is here to protect and ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time at our event.

 All The INsightful Self Retreat Attendees, Volunteers and Staff:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age.
  • The INsightful Self Retreat welcomes all people. Please be respectful to all attendees, no matter what their gender, race, ethnicity, or sexuality is.
  • Must provide a valid government issued photo ID (driver license, state ID card) or Passport which provides a recognizable photo of you and clearly states your date of birth. For our International guests, please provide your ID and your Passport. If there is any doubt in determining your date of birth or age – we may refuse your entry to the event. Attendees must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Understand that The INsightful Self Registration is not transferable.
  • You are entirely responsible and liable for all activities conducted by you.

Below are some, though not all, violations that may result in the refusal of your registration and/or removal from the retreat by Michael Hockstein/The INsightful Self/Retreat Staff, or agents acting on their behalf.  By submitting your application/registration to The INsightful Self, you agree to the following rules of conduct.

 You agree to the following:

  • Will conduct yourself in a reasonable manner in all public areas including, but not limited to, dining areas, restaurants, shared spaces, etc.
  • Will respect the natural environments we visit by practicing Leave No Trace practices. 
  • Will not possess, use, sell, barter, gift or bring any controlled/illegal/illicit drugs or drug paraphernalia to any The INsightful Self retreat, activity, hotel, bar or other facility. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Hotels will press charges and evict you from the premises without warning or reimbursement of fees. Violation of this item will result in permanent ban from attending The INsightful Self or any Michael Hockstein event for life. 
  • Sexual acts in event spaces, restrooms, and other common areas of the hotel property will not be tolerated by event staff or hotel employees.  Violation of this rule will result in eviction from the event and hotel without warning or reimbursement of fees. 
  • No solicitation for sex for payment, money, barter or favors (also known as prostitution, escorting, etc…) 
  • No unwelcome sexual advances to attendees or employees of hosting facilities. 
  • No public urinating or defecating unless in a urinal or toilet. 
  • Keep public displays of affection respectable. 
  • Be responsible. There is no alcohol on the retreat premisses, but if you drink while exploring towns control your drinking of alcoholic beverages (public intoxication is illegal and is a misdemeanor offense punishable by arrest) 
  • Resolve situations without the use of abusive verbal and physical confrontations. We are in a space to practice safe self-expression. Come bearing this intention and we can work through any confrontations that arise together. 
  • Will act in a way that does not embarrass, or tarnish the reputation of, Michael Hockstein, The INsightful Self, the Hotel & its staff, or any other members/agencies associated with the event. 
  • Agree that physical and/or disruptive verbal altercations with any guest, customer, member, staff, or anyone on the property can lead to dismissal from the event.  Any such disruption that results in law enforcement’s involvement will be grounds for immediate dismissal from the event and hotel – without refund – and permanent banning for future The INsightful Self events. 

(1) Agree not to hold Michael Hockstein or The INsightful Self, its officers, membership, guests, sponsors, volunteers, or any commercial establishment or its staff used in conjunction with this event responsible for any loss or injury either to their property or their person while participating in this event. 

(2) Are fully responsible for any damages they may cause to the hotel property or commercial establishments used during this event. 

(3) No guests are allowed into the hotel or retreat properties. If  a guest is brought to the retreat property, you are responsible for them including any damages caused to the property, until such person(s) leave(s) the property. 

(4) Will not indulge in actions that could be considered discriminatory or racist. 

(5) It is further understood that this is a public event  – and that Michael Hockstein, The INsightful Self nor anyone cannot control people from making pictures public. Attendees should use good judgment, discretion and respect people’s privacy before posting, tagging or sharing pictures with other people or on social media sites. If you do not want your picture taken – immediately inform the photographer (if a photographer is present).  If you see a photo on social media, please inform the person immediately and ask the photo(s) to be removed. 

(6) Understand that the failure to follow any one of these guidelines is grounds for being escorted away from and/or being asked to leave the event without a refund of registration or hotel room fees. Continued failure to comply may additionally result in being banned from future events.


Michael Hockstein and The INsightful Self, gives notice that services provided in connection with these itineraries are rendered by suppliers who are not agents or employees of Michael Hockstein and The INsightful Self. All the accommodations, meals, tours, transportation and/or related travel services have been made by Michael Hockstein and The INsightful Self only as an agent for the individual tour member. 

While every effort is made to make travel arrangements with reputable suppliers, a tour member expressly agrees that Michael Hockstein and The INsightful Self, shall not be liable for any delay, mishap, inconvenience, expense, irregularity, bodily injury or death to person, or damage to property occasioned through the negligence, wrongful or intentional acts, or default of any company or individual engaged in providing these arranged services. Each passenger conveyance, tour company, hotel accommodation, restaurant, etc. is subject to the laws of the state or country where the service is provided.

Michael Hockstein and The INsightful Self, shall not be liable, directly or indirectly, for bodily injury or property damage for any reason whatsoever, including, but not limited to the following causes: acts of God, pandemics, epidemics, detention, annoyance, weather, quarantines, strikes, civil disturbance, theft, negligence including negligence of Michael Hockstein and The INsightful Self , default, changes in government regulations, terrorism, war or failure of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled.

Michael Hockstein and The INsightful Self, reserves the right to substitute hotels and group leaders and to alter the itinerary when deemed necessary or advisable. The right is also reserved to cancel any trip prior to departure. Michael Hockstein and The INsightful Self is released from any and all liability for cancellation of any trip, or portion thereof, except for payment of a land cost as set forth in the section on “Cancellation and Refunds.”

Michael Hockstein and The INsightful Self, reserves the right to decline to accept or retain any person whose actions, physical health, mental condition or general deportment impede trip operation or rights, welfare or enjoyment of other trip members. A refund based on the cost of unused land services is the limit of Michael Hockstein and The INsightful Self, responsibility.

Michael Hockstein and The INsightful Self, is not responsible for any refunds should a presenter advertised as attending or leading a tour or conference cancel for any reason. However, should Michael Hockstein and The INsightful Self, choose to cancel his/her participation in this journey for any reason, every effort will be made to refund your deposit and payments made which have not been previously sent to foreign and air travel suppliers as outlined above. 

Michael Hockstein and The INsightful Self, is not responsible for any physical, mental, emotional, or any other reaction, trauma, or ailment during the trip or occurring afterwards, that participants may experience at the sites or from any leaders, workshops, or sessions of any kind, including private sessions with facilitators or presenters. Attendance on the trip indicates acceptance of this and all other provisions of this responsibility clause. 

Michael Hockstein and The INsightful Self, has recommended the purchase of appropriate travel accident insurance, baggage insurance, tour operation carrier default protection insurance, and trip cancellation insurance, and has made available explanatory information and policies, and the travel program member has the opportunity to purchase such insurance as protection against certain risks of travel to the planned destination. Travel program members are advised that travel insurance covers only what is included as stated in the travel insurance brochure.

The airlines or transportation companies concerned are not held responsible for any acts, omissions or events during the time passengers are not on board their planes or conveyances. The passenger contract in use by the carriers concerned, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the airlines or transportation companies and the purchase of this travel program and/or passengers.


Trip members have the responsibility to select a trip appropriate to their abilities and interests. Trip members are held responsible for being in sufficient good health to undertake the trip. Trip members are responsible for preparing for this trip by studying the itinerary and pre-departure information sent by Michael Hockstein and The INsightful Self, and for discussing this itinerary with their personal physician. Trip members agree to accept and abide by all the terms and conditions outlined in the “Terms and Conditions” document for this journey. 

Trip members are responsible to obtain any required travel documents and visas if necessary and to make sure all documents are current and up to date. Trip members are responsible for complying with any health requirements and vaccinations of any countries visited on this journey. Trip members are also responsible for bringing the appropriate clothing, medicines, supplies and equipment as advised in the pre-departure information. Trip members are participants in group travel and are expected to hold each other in a compassionate regard, and to interact with each other with respect. 



I acknowledge that I have voluntarily applied to participate on the trip designated on this application.  I am voluntarily participating on the tour or expedition with knowledge that travel to foreign countries and/or the remote areas visited by this trip involves numerous risks and dangers including, but not limited to, a risk of illness, injury or death, which may be caused by: forces of nature, civil unrest, terrorism, road conditions, injuries inflicted by animals, insects, reptiles or plants, trails, hotels, vehicles, boats or other means of conveyance which are not operated nor maintained to standards common in the United States OR Mexico, high altitude accident, accident or illness without access to means of rapid evacuation or the availability of medical supplies; the lack of adequacy of medical attention once provided, and negligence on the part of Michael Hockstein & The INsightful Self, their affiliated organizations and their employees, teachers, volunteers or other agencies.​

I acknowledge that the enjoyment and excitement of foreign travel/adventure travel is derived in part from the inherent risks incurred by travel and activity beyond the accepted safety of life at home or work, and that these inherent risks and the corresponding enjoyment and excitement contribute to the reason for my voluntary participation on this trip. 


AS LAWFUL CONSIDERATION for being permitted by Michael Hockstein/The INsightfulful Self, to participate on such trips and activities, I hereby agree that I, my heirs, legal representatives or any member of my family will not make a claim against or sue Michael Hockstein, The INsightful Self, or any of their affiliated agents, employees, teachers or volunteers, for bodily injury, death, emotional trauma or property damage resulting from my participation in the tour or expedition. ​

I therefore release and discharge Michael Hockstein/The INsightful Self , and their agents, employees, teachers and volunteers from and against any and all liability arising from my participation in the tour or expedition even though that liability may arise out of negligence or carelessness on the part of Michael Hockstein/The INsightful Self, or their affiliate agents, employees, teachers or volunteers.​

If any portion of this agreement is unenforceable, the remaining portions shall remain in full force and effect.  Under no circumstances shall Michael Hockstein/The INsightful Self  be liable to any tour participant for more than the land cost of the trip applied for on this document.​

I waive any charge-back rights and, in the event of dispute, requests for a refund will be made using the procedures described under “Cancellation and Refunds” as stated in the Terms and Conditions for this trip. All applications are subject to acceptance by Michael Hockstein/The INsightful Self. Upon acceptance of my application, this agreement shall be deemed to have been entered into at Philadelphia, PA and shall be construed according to the laws of the State of Pennsylvania. ​

In the unlikely event a legal dispute should arise involving any subject matter whatsoever, I agree that the exclusive venue for any legal action shall be Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.​


I have carefully read and fully understand the contents of this agreement as well as all the conditions as stated under the heading “Terms and Conditions” (see attached pages) including those conditions regarding responsibility borne by trip participants and conditions regarding cancellations and refunds.  I am aware that this is a release of liability and a legally binding and enforceable contract between myself and Michael Hockstein/The INsightful Self, and I sign it of my own free will.


For Participants on retreat with Michael Hockstein/The INsightful Self: 

  • If cancellation occurs 120 or more days before departure, there will be no loss of funds paid.
  • Any cancellation made between 90-119 days will result in a 25% total loss of your funds paid. 
  • Any cancellation received in writing from 60-89 days will result in a loss of 50% of the funds paid.
  • Any cancellation between 59 days and the retreat departure will result in a total loss of funds. 

We reserve the right to cancel the retreat if it is not meeting the retreat minimum (if we do so your deposit is refunded). Trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended if there is a possibility that you might have to cancel your participation in the retreat. All cancellations must be made to Michael Hockstein in writing and any refund requests must be made in writing to Michael Hockstein within 30 days of the return date. Please send written requests to: Michael Hockstein, 14 School Road, Horsham, PA, 19044 

Michael Hockstein/The INsightful Self reserves the right to cancel any retreat prior to departure for any reason whatsoever, including an insufficient number of participants or logistical problems (e.g. acts of God, war, strikes, etc.), which may impede retreat operations.  The refund of all payments as described in the paragraph below shall release Michael Hockstein/The INsightful Self from any further liability.  A retreat trip cancellation due to insufficient numbers would normally occur at least a month prior to departure, unless acts of God, war, strikes or other events impede our departure causing large numbers of participants to opt to cancel participation on the journey in the last days before departure. 

Michael Hockstein/The INsightful Self must make substantial payments to suppliers (including providers of land travel) far in advance of the scheduled date on the retreat.  If the retreat is canceled due to forces beyond our control (acts of God, war, labor strikes, earthquake, flooding, etc.), Michael Hockstein/The INsightful Self will promptly refund the portion of the retreat cost not advanced to suppliers.  Michael Hockstein/The INsightful Self will use its best efforts to recover advance payments as promptly as possible, and will refund to you the amount recovered, if any.  However, Michael Hockstein/The INsightful Self does not guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made.  This policy applies to retreat cancellation by client choice following any necessary increase in retreat costs.


Until Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, attendees *may* be required to wear a mask & socially distance at indoor functions.

I hereby release, waive and forever discharge any and all liability, claims, and demands of whatever kind or nature against the Michael Hockstein/The INsightful Self, your accommodations venue, and their affiliated partners and sponsors, including in each case, without limitation, their directors, officers, employees, volunteers, and agents (the “released parties”), either in law or in equity, to the fullest extent permissible by law, including but not limited to damages or losses caused by the negligence, fault or conduct of any kind on the part of the released parties, including but not limited to death, bodily injury, illness, economic loss or out-of-pocket expenses, or loss or damage to property, which I, my heirs, assignees, next of kin and/or legally appointed or designated representatives, may have or which may hereinafter accrue on my behalf, which arise or may hereafter arise from my participation with the activity.

By digitally signing the waiver, you are digitally signing your agreement to this liability waiver, and will be admitted to the event. If you do not signify your agreement with this waiver, you will not be allowed to attend our event.