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May 13, 2024—May 17, 2024

Being in the Now, Healing & Transforming Ourselves: A Retreat for BIPOC


A Retreat for BIPOC

With Dharma Teachers
Dr. Marisela Gomez, Kaira Jewel Lingo and Joe Reilly

In a time of increasing disruption and loss of cohesion, it is more important than ever before to have a place of refuge that is stable, especially for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities. This is possible. There is a home inside of us that no one can take away, that cannot be destroyed. It is our true home. And it is a collective home we can cultivate in our communities. Learning and practicing to be in the now helps us to return to and dwell in this true home inside of each of us. Every moment offers us the possibility of coming home to the now, where healing and transformation can happen. This inner transformation provides the bridge to collective transformation and liberation from oppression and injustice.

In this retreat, mindfulness will be at the heart of all we do. In addition to daily dharma teachings, we will practice daily mindful walking, or moving, sitting (or stationary) meditation, mindful eating, singing, dharma writing, and dharma sharing. We will also learn InterPlay–a powerful practice of unlocking the wisdom of the body through voice, storytelling, movement and stillness, and explore nature practices that help us cultivate true presence in the beautiful Hudson valley.




All scholarships have been issued for this retreat.

Thank you for your interest.




a person in a black suitMarisela Gomez MD PHD is a mindfulness practitioner in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing, public health scholar activist, preventive/alternative medicine physician. Of Afro-Latina ancestry, she lives in Baltimore involved in social justice activism and community building/research and co-facilitates mindfulness gatherings with Baltimore and Beyond Mindfulness Community for BIPOC and Social Activists. She is the author of Race, Class, Power and Organizing in East Baltimore, Healing our Way Home, and numerous book chapters in popular and scholarly publications. She has blogged at Huff Post and mariselgomez.com on the intersection of wisdom justice and mindfulness. Dr. Gomez is also a co-founder of the non-profit Village of Love and Resistance whose mission is to organize for community land control in historically marginalized communities in Baltimore MD.


a person in a black suitKaira Jewel Lingo is a Dharma teacher of Black and biracial heritage with a lifelong interest in spirituality and social justice. Her work continues the Engaged Buddhism developed by Thich Nhat Hanh, and she draws inspiration from her parents’ lives of service and her dad’s work with Martin Luther King, Jr. After living as an ordained nun for 15 years in Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastic community, Kaira Jewel now teaches internationally in the Zen lineage and the Vipassana tradition, as well as in secular mindfulness, at the intersection of racial, climate and social justice with a focus on activists, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, artists, educators, families, and youth. Based in New York, she offers spiritual mentoring to groups and is author of We Were Made for These Times: Ten Lessons in Moving through Change, Loss and Disruption and co-author of Healing Our Way Home: Black Buddhist Teachings on Ancestors, Joy and Liberation from Parallax Press. Her teachings and writings can be found at www.kairajewel.com.


a person in a black suitJoe Reilly (he, him) is a singer, songwriter, social worker, and ordained Dharma Teacher in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. Joe was raised Catholic and currently studies and practices progressive Catholicism, Native American spirituality, and engaged Buddhism. Joe has been a student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh since 2004 and is often found singing and writing songs on spiritual retreats. He currently lives in Waawiyatanong/Detroit, where he co-leads the Building Beloved Community Sangha. He is of Cherokee, Choctaw, Italian, and Irish descent and identifies as Native American. Joe has released 9 albums of original songs, including 4 children’s albums. Find his music on your favorite streaming platform or on his website: www.joereilly.org.




The health and safety of our guests and staff is a top priority for the Garrison Institute. To attend a retreat or event all guests, teachers, and staff are required to self-test (at home antigen test is acceptable) within the 48-hour window prior to arriving for a retreat on site, and to bring a 2nd self-test kit when coming on site. We encourage everyone to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and other illnesses before your visit. If you experience symptoms or have a positive diagnosis, please notify us immediately at events@garrisoninstitute.org We will continue to follow any COVID-19 guidelines set forth by our local officials, New York State and the CDC.