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Meditation Retreat in USA

In Discovering the Dharma I, H.E. Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche sets the foundation for Buddhist study. He discusses how and why to observe the mind, let go of attachments, and develop compassion, all over five days of engaged learning and guided practice. He also explains the importance of establishing a regular practice—and how to achieve it. You will have full access to the recordings after the program.

Meet the instructors

Trungram Gyalwa
Read more

Highlights

  • Shamatha and guided meditations
  • Tsa-Tue yoga practice
  • Interactive sessions with question and answer periods
  • Delicious all-vegetarian meals with locally sourced ingredients
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • Extensive library of dharma books
  • Expansive wooded grounds with beautiful walking paths, flora, and fauna

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

5 days with instruction
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
15:00

Facilities

  • Air-conditioned public areas
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Fireplace
  • Kitchen
  • Lobby
  • Lounge
  • Smoke-free property
  • Terrace
  • Yoga studio
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Library

Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing's two residence halls offer a simple, peaceful environment that supports your retreat experience. To maintain an atmosphere of calm, the rooms do not have televisions, telephones, or internet access.

Private rooms

These pleasant rooms have a double bed and ample room for practice. In addition to the bed and desk, each room has a meditation table, cushion and zabaton; there is a tea station on each hall. Bathrooms are shared between two or three rooms (for use by one person at a time). Rates include three gourmet vegetarian meals a day, organic and locally sourced when possible, as well as linens and housekeeping. Rooms may be shared by couples in a committed relationship.

Junior Suite

With a double bed, private bath, private terrace, a refrigerator and ample room for practice, our spacious Junior Suites are a haven from the outside world. In addition to the bed and desk, each room has a meditation table, cushion and zabaton. Rates include three gourmet vegetarian meals a day, organic and locally sourced when possible, as well as linens, towels and housekeeping. Rooms may be shared by couples in a committed relationship.

Meditation hall

A light-drenched meditation hall is the primary venue for programs of all kinds - from pujas to teachings to yoga classes. Its soaring ceilings and clean aesthetic evoke a sense of wonder and tranquility.

Library

This cozy library- filled with texts on a range of spiritual topics - is the perfect space to relax between sessions, sit in front of the fire, or chat with a friend. It also has free Wi-Fi, a communal computer, and a comfortable desk.

Dining room

Savor healthy, seasonal, locally sourced vegetarian meals in a sun-filled dining hall or on the adjacent outdoor patio. Coffee and tea are always available here, and many guests find it a convivial spot to gather.

Reception hall

The reception hall is the welcome center - the place where you will always find a warm greeting, a cup of tea, a spot to relax. In addition to the dining room, the building also houses their store and offices.

Outdoor spaces

There are many spaces where guests gather outdoors - both during programs and when seeking solitude. Besides the fire pit, they relax on the dining patio, on the private terraces and balconies, outside Milarepa Hall and overlooking the broad expanse of field in front of the Reception Hall.

Program

Event highlights

  • Intimate setting with personal access to Rinpoche
  • Interactive sessions with question and answer periods
  • Optional Refuge ceremony
  • Shamatha and guided meditations
  • Tsa-Tue yoga practice
  • Delicious all-vegetarian meals with locally sourced ingredients
  • Option to extend stay on Personal Retreat
  • Extensive library of dharma books
  • Expansive wooded grounds with beautiful walking paths, flora and fauna

Program description

The Mind: Cultivate Positive Energy

Observe the mind and how it affects Your world. Learn to transform harmful thoughts to create a positive and helpful attitude. This helps you cultivate a positive relationship with all your experiences.

How to Meditate: Enhance Concentration and Calm Your Mind

Learn the purpose of meditation and experience first-hand the various techniques of calming meditation, known as Shamata. You will learn how to deal with obstacles to successful meditation as well as the physical and psychological preparation necessary for meditation.

Compassion and Bodhicitta: Cultivate and Integrate These Essential Qualities

Discover practices that develop your innate qualities of compassion. Learn to apply these techniques to generate the mind of bodhicitta.

Mental Purification: Uncover Attachments and Learn to Let Go

Learn how to let go of the attachments that lead to unhappiness. YOU all have the potential to cause suffering—for Yourselves and others. Engage in a critical assessment of how attachment acts as an obstacle to happiness, and engage in profound meditation practices, such as “exchanging self with others,” that transform the energy of attachment into the root of happiness.

Daily Practice: Establish Consistency and the Skills to be Successful

Assemble the tools you need to develop a successful daily practice and receive the elements necessary to open the mind and develop wisdom through insight. Get some tips for making every action meaningful.

Taking Refuge: Give Yourself the Gift of Commitment to Practice

Learn what it means to take refuge in the Three Jewels and the benefits that flow from this. Understand how taking refuge helps to magnify your personal intention to achieve enlightenment.

Open to all

There are no prerequisites for this program; it is appropriate for meditators at all levels and those simply interested in exploring the teachings. Although it is part of the Discovering the Dharma series, the first three programs may be taken in any order.

Schedule (subject to change)

Friday, August 30

  • 15:00 Check in begins (reception hall)
  • 18:00 Dinner (dining room)
  • 19:30 Welcome (Milarepa Hall)
  • 19:45 Rinpoche: Introduction to meditation (Milarepa Hall)
  • 22:00 Lights out

Saturday, August 31; Sunday, Sept 1; Monday, Sept 2; Tuesday, Sept 3

  • 06:00 Wake up and prepare
  • 06:30 Walking meditation (courtyard)
  • 07:00 Breakfast (dining hall)
  • 08:00 Rinpoche teaching and Q&A (Milarepa Hall)
  • 10:00 Yoga (Milarepa Hall)
  • 10:30 Guided meditation (Milarepa Hall)
  • 11:15 Group discussion
  • 12:00 Lunch (dining hall)
  • 13:00 Free time
  • 14:00 Personal meditation: Calm-abiding meditation (Milarepa Hall or pavilion)
  • 15:00 Walking meditation (courtyard)
  • 16:00 Personal meditation: Analytical meditation (Milarepa Hall or pavilion)
  • 18:00 Dinner (dining room)
  • 19:00 Rinpoche teaching and Q & A (Milarepa Hall)
  • 21:00 Yoga (Milarepa Hall)
  • 21:30 Guided meditation (Milarepa Hall)
  • 22:00 Lights out

Wednesday, September 4

  • 06:00 Wake up and prepare
  • 06:30 Walking meditation (Courtyard)
  • 07:00 Breakfast (dining hall)
  • 08:00 Rinpoche teaching and Q&A (Milarepa Hall)
  • 10:00 Refuge, gratitude mandala offering (Milarepa Hall)
  • 12:00 Lunch (dining hall)
  • 13:00 Checkout (reception hall)

Instructors

Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche

Location

Perched on a beautifully wooded hillside in the village of Cragsmoor, New York, Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing's 90-acre campus is a world apart, a place to shed the intensity of modern life, a place to find yourself. The design is intimate, elegant, and simple, with outdoor spaces for walking meditation and two terraces with lovely views of the woods.

Distance

  • New York City - 2 hours
  • Philadelphia - 3 hours
  • Boston - 4 hours
  • Washington DC - 5.5 hours

Food

The package includes delicious all-vegetarian meals with organic, local ingredients. Nourish the body with wholesome food, complementing the nurturing of the mind and spirit.

Ancient wisdom describes food as a source of prana, or life force. The Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing was founded on the premise that nourishing food is integral to well-being. Their chefs are passionate about creating meals that are both flavorful and healthy. They use the freshest, most nutritious, least processed foods available. When possible, their ingredients are organic and locally sourced.

To promote good health, they serve delicious, varied, nutritious vegetarian and vegan meals. Their menus do often include rennet-free cheese and non-fertilized eggs. They also use onions, garlic, and other alliums.

Meal times

Although meal times may change according to events and programs the schedule is generally:

  • Breakfast is served from 7:00 am to 8:00 am. Oatmeal or granola, eggs, yogurt, fruit, bread, milk, jam, and butter are generally available
  • Lunch is served at approximately 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
  • Dinner is served from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Hot water and a selection of black and herbal teas (as well as a selection of dairy and plant-based milks and sweeteners) are available in the dining hall, and the teas stations in Birch and Oak Houses throughout the day. Please return your used cups to the residence hall tea stations when you are finished. There is always a bowl of fruit available in the dining hall. Sometimes there are cookies, too.

They ask at registration about dietary concerns and are careful to list ingredients next to each dish. Please read the labels to identify any potential food allergens. Although they strive to include options for those with the most common food sensitivities - including dairy and gluten - many dishes include eggs, dairy, onions, nightshades, glutens, or nuts.

Their kitchen staff are trained in safe food handling, including the prevention of cross-contamination. However, they do not have the facilities or resources to ensure that trace amounts of allergens are not present in your food.

They are sorry that at this time they can’t accommodate special diets or individual food likes and dislikes. Please remember their chef is preparing meals for a crowd. Further, due to government restrictions, they cannot allow retreatants to bring their own food to cook, or to keep in the kitchen or in their rooms.

They have a well-honed system for food preparation and clean-up. Please help them keep it humming by not entering the kitchen, even if you have worked in it before. Only those assigned to help with a specific meal should be in the kitchen at any time. Thank you.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Organic
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Program
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • 3 meals per day
  • Use of all campus facilities

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Transportation to the venue

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by car

When you arrive at the center, drive up the hill to drop your luggage at the Reception Hall. Follow a staff member back down the hill to the lower parking lot. They will shuttle you back up to the Reception Hall where you’ll check in.

Arrival by taxi

These services offer transportation from Stewart Airport, the Middletown, NY train station, or the bus stop in Ellenville, NY. Please check with individual companies for rates and restrictions. You may wish to book a taxi a day in advance.

  • Uber
  • Lyft
  • Beacon: Economy Taxi Service
  • Ellenville: Ellenville Taxi Service
  • New Paltz: Green Taxi
  • Middletown: Robin's Taxi

Arrival by airplane

Newark, La Guardia, JFK, Albany, and Stewart Airports all offer convenient service to the center, with Stewart being the closest. From JFK or LaGuardia, please go to New York Penn Station to complete your trip by train. From Newark, you can take the train. From Stewart, you may rent a car or take a car service.

Arrival by bus

There are two choices for bus travel from the New York Port Authority to the Cragsmoor area. From either, you can continue to the center via one of the car services listed above.

  • The Shortline Bus stops in Ellenville, New York, approximately a 15-minute drive from the center. This is the closer option, but offers fewer travel times
  • The Trailways Bus stops in New Paltz, New York, approximately 40 minutes from the center. There are more than 20 buses scheduled most days

Arrival by train

From New York Grand Central Station, take Metro North's Hudson Line (the green line) from Grand Central Station or Harlem's 125th Street Station to Beacon, New York. The train journey is approximately 90 minutes, and the station is approximately a one-hour drive from the center. From the Beacon train station, please take one of the car services or rent a car.

From New York Penn Station, take New Jersey Transit into Middletown, New York, approximately a 30-minute drive from the center. Buy a ticket to Middletown, NY (not Middletown, NJ). Find the New Jersey Transit (NJT) trains and use the self-service ticket machines. The ticket costs a little under 20 USD and the journey takes around 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Take a train from Penn Station to Secaucus Junction. This is just one stop towards your destination, Middletown, NY. Many trains from Penn Station go through Secaucus without stopping, so ask an attendant which of the listed trains will stop there.

Then, take a train from Secaucus Junction to Middletown, NY. Transfer to the Main / Bergen / Port Jervis Line (on the map it is the Yellow Main Line) to Middletown, NY. This is a large station; please find an attendant that can point you in the right direction. From the Middletown train station, please take one of the car services or rent a car.

From Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), take New Jersey Transit into Middletown, New York, approximately a 30-minute drive from the center. Buy a ticket to Middletown, NY (not Middletown, NJ). Look for AirTrain signs. Before getting on the AirTrain, buy a ticket (about 25 USD) at a NJ Transit ticket vending machine.

Choose the option for New Jersey Transit NJT Train. Choose the option for Middletown, NY - make sure it says NY - not Middletown, New Jersey. This one ticket is used for the AirTrain and other trains on your route. Make sure to keep your ticket. The train attendants might not see you are going all the way to Middletown, NY and keep it unwittingly.

Take the AirTrain to RailLink station (Newark International Train Station). The signs will say: "Next AirTrain Arriving in, etc." Your stop will be marked: RailLink station, not Newark International Train Station. Take a train to Secaucus Junction. At RailLink station (Newark International Train Station) get on the next available train heading to NY-Penn Station. Please confirm that you have the right train; this can be confusing.

Don't go all the way to the Penn NY station. Get off the train at the second stop, Secaucus Junction. Take a train from Secaucus Junction to Middletown, NY. At Secaucus Junction, transfer to the Main / Bergen / Port Jervis Line (On the map it is the Yellow Main Line.) to Middletown, NY.

Be prepared to use your ticket again to enter the station. This is a large station and you will travel a distance to the track for your second train. Again, please find an attendant who can point you in the right direction.

From the Middletown train station, please take one of the car services or rent a car.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
6 days / 5 nights
from --

Availability

Arrival: Friday August 30, 2024
Departure: Wednesday September 4, 2024

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