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September 1, 2022—September 5, 2022

In Person: Finding Refuge in the Triple Gem

To attend a retreat or event: all guests, teachers, and staff are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 including any eligible boosters. If this is not an option, a medical exemption with documentation from a doctor is required,  a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours AND a personal quarantine for 72 hours before arriving on site. 
We will continue to follow any COVID-19 guidelines set forth by our local officials, NYS and the CDC.

Please register with Space2Meditate before registering for room and board below.

Early Buddhist scriptures are full of wonderful stories of the Buddha’s encounters with beings from all walks of life — from sweepers to royals, warriors to widows, wandering ascetics to criminals on the run, as well as mad elephants! Many of them are reported to have had transformational experiences following their conversations with the Buddha. The traditional heart response to this transformation was to devotionally ask to take Refuge in the Triple Gem. The “Triple Gem” is a poetic rendering of what is known as the Three Refuges: the Buddha (the historical Buddhist but also the potential in each one of us to awaken), the Dharma (the teachings or the way things truly are) and the Sangha (the spiritual community).

What does this mean to us now? Can we turn to the potentiality of the Buddha within each one of us? Can we fully realize his teachings in today’s collapsing world? Can we pick up the thread of the historical Sangha and receive the support of ancestors? Can we embrace the perfectly imperfect community that we are? Join us for four days in a supportive environment to contemplate these questions and to engage in practices which liberate the heart, body and mind.

The retreat will include:
• A spacious schedule, including time for naps, walks and just being in nature.
• A range of meditation practices rooted in the Buddhist tradition and designed to train the mind and cultivate the heart.
• Dharma talks exploring the themes of the retreat.
• Mindful movement sessions
• Meditation interviews with the teachers
• Mindful Listening circles (council practice)
• Opportunities for Buddhist chanting and ritual
• Mindful social time at the start and at the end of the retreat to get to know each other in other ways than on Zoom! Otherwise, the retreat will be held in noble silence, so we can taste the deep nourishment that this can provide, especially communally.

This retreat is suitable for those newer to practice, as well as for those with extensive “time on the cushion” and knowledge of the teachings. We will explore the themes in ways that are meaningful for all, whether anchored in the Buddhist tradition, in other traditions, or none.

Registration happens in 3 steps:
1. Start your registration with Space2Meditate: let us know you are coming!
2. Complete your registration with the Garrison Institute: select room & board options (on this page).
3. Please consider offering Teacher Support: teachers are unpaid and depend on generosity.

About Jon Aaron: Jon’s Dharma home is the New York Insight Meditation Center, where he teaches courses in Buddhism and MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction). His own training has mainly been grounded in the Theravada tradition, complemented by non-dual and Mahayana approaches. His teacher of many years was Matthew Flickstein and more recently he has been studying with Kittisaro and Thanissara, having been invited to join their Dharmapala (Guardians of the Dharma) program in 2018. Jon also studied contemplative care at the Zen Center for Contemplative Care and completed the Integrated Study and Practice program at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. He is a Certified MBSR Teacher and Teacher Trainer with Brown University, and a Somatic Experience Practitioner®, as well as a founding board member of the Global Mindfulness Collaborative (GMC). He leads retreats and Teacher Training programs in the US and Europe. Recently, he has brought mindfulness and trauma programs to the New York Police Department. Jon has a deep love of the natural world, of poetry and of spontaneity in practice. Currently, he is co-leading a year-long program dedicated to “Embracing Climate Change as a Spiritual Practice” at NYIMC with Lin Gordon.

About Dharmacharini Upayadhi: Upayadhi began her journey in the Buddhadharma in 2004 at the London Buddhist Center in Bethnal Green. Over the years and her travels she has trained in a range of Buddhist contexts and traditions, but remains firmly rooted in the Triratna Buddhist Order, to which she was ordained in 2018. Professionally, her background is in leadership development, executive education and coaching. Following the wake-up call of the 2016 elections, Upayadhi entered Union Theological Seminary in New York, where as a seminarian she studied Buddhism and Interreligious Engagement. Her scholarship has focused on the 20th century Dalit leader Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and his radical Buddhist imagination, which she places in conversation with Womanist and Black liberation theologies. She co-founded (white) Awareness is Revolutionary, a collective of white Buddhists committing to cultivating Beloved Community and accelerating racial literacy within a Dharmic framework. Upayadhi has also worked as chaplain in community and healthcare settings, training with the Zen Center for Contemplative Care, the Jewish Theological Seminary and NewYork Presbyterian Hospital. Her approach to practice balances meditation, study, devotion and compassion in action.

In March of 2020, Jon and Upayadhi brought Space2Meditate on-line, as a support during the pandemic, offering daily meditation on Zoom six days a week. Two years later, daily meditations are still going strong and a community of practice has flourished. This retreat is one of the first opportunities for the Space2Meditate community to practice in person. Returning members of Space2Meditate and those newer to us are also warmly welcomed.

A message from Jon and Upayadhi on Teacher Support (Dana): In the tradition of passing on the BuddhaDharma freely, our teaching is offered freely and is not integrated into the Registration fees for room and board, which go entirely to the Garrison Institute. The time that we are taking to organize and administer the retreat is also unpaid, in addition to our teaching. We depend on the generosity of the sangha as a right livelihood and a means by which we can continue to teach, as well as create contexts for practice where no one is turned away for lack of funds. We also support our own teachers, as well as a number of charitable causes, so your generosity gets passed on. Please consider a level of support to our teaching which takes in account your financial circumstances. Although personal circumstances vary widely, people often ask us for a suggested range. For four-night retreat contributions typically range from $150 to $500. It is helpful if you can make your contribution prior to the retreat.

The health and safety of our guests and staff is a top priority for the Garrison Institute. We continue to follow the health and safety guidelines pertaining to COVID-19 as set forth by our local officials, New York State and the Center for Disease Control. Please visit this page for more information about the new safety protocols in place as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

Registration Options

Commuter Rate (no bedroom)
Dorm Room
Double Room
Single Room
These costs include room and board only. Please be in touch with the group regarding any additional program fees.
NOTE: Dorm rooms are for groups of 3 or 4. Roommate(s) may be specified when registering.