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April 5, 2018—April 8, 2018

Waking Up Fabulous: Taking Refuge in Every Moment, Every Day, for the Benefit of All

In challenging times, taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha can help us meet the hardships of life.  Never has this felt more important for LGBTIQ folks and our world! During this silent retreat, we will explore and practice the blessing of each of these Refuges.

Taking refuge in the Buddha
, we reflect on the inspiration of the Buddha’s life, turning towards our own innate goodness as well as that of others. We align our lives with the possibility of alleviating suffering and cultivating true happiness. We commit ourselves to Awakening, the remembrance of our true and beautiful nature. 

Taking refuge in the Dharma, we reflect on the Buddha’s teachings and practices that cultivate wisdom, compassion and skillful action; our spiritual endeavors are dedicated to the liberation of all beings from suffering that we might all live lives of understanding, kindness and love.  We walk the path of awakening in life, resolving to live in accordance with what is true. 

Taking refuge in the Sangha, we reflect on the power of community to remember that we are not alone; that together we begin the healing of centuries of oppression and trauma within a deep knowing of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all beings and all things.

Taking refuge, we learn to trust the unfolding of our lives and act for the benefit of all beings. We discover that our happiness, sorrow and awakening are interconnected with others.

On this retreat, as LGBTIQ people, we come together in practice and Refuge, turning towards that which truly matters in our lives, for the highest good of all. Hope you can join us.

This retreat will be held in silence.

Please Note
: Many of our sleeping accommodations and restrooms are communal, and we wish to create the safest, most welcoming environment we can for everyone who attends this retreat. If you have any needs, questions, or special requests when it comes to boarding with others at this retreat for any reason, please reach out to Carling Devin, our registrar, at (845) 424-4800 (ex 106),  who will be happy to accommodate you. You may also state your need in the comment section of the registration on the checkout page. 


Madeline Klyne has loved the dharma since 1986. She is a co-founder and teacher of South Shore Insight Meditation Center (SSIMC), a core teacher at Cambridge Insight Meditation Center (CIMC), and a visiting teacher at Insight Meditation Society. Madeline teaches programs and retreats for LGBTQ communities. Part of Madeline’s spiritual path was to come out at the age of 5. Madeline delights in exploring practice in daily life with all who are interested. Visit her on southshoreinsight.org .

La Sarmiento has been practicing Vipassana meditation since 1998, is a teacher and senior retreat/event manager for the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, and has been the guiding teacher of the IMCW LGBTQ and People of Color Sanghas since 2006. A 2012 graduate of the Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leaders Training Program, they also lead mindfulness retreats for teenagers with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education and retreats for Young Adults at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center. This will be La’s 5th retreat at Garrison for the LGBTIQ community. La has been a bodyworker in private practice since 1992 and a Reiki Teacher since 2004 in Washington, DC, where they reside with their life partner Wendy and their two Cairn Terriers, Annabel and MacGregor. 

Gavin Harrison is a Dharma teacher of 25 years, a former monk, devotional poet and HIV/AIDS activist. He is a recipient of the “Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award,” presented to him by His Holiness the Dalai Lama for “ kindness and quiet dedication to others.” He is the author of Petals and Blood: Stories, Dharma and Poems of Ecstasy, Awakening and Annihilation, and In the Lap of the Buddha. He is a USA fundraiser for The Woza Moya Project and The Group of Hope supporting AIDS orphans in KwaZulu, South Africa. Gavin lives and teaches in Hawaii, South Africa and is currently on sabbatical in Mount Shasta, CA and India for an extended and open-ended immersion in the non-dual teachings of Ramana Maharishi and the ecstatic devotional path of Ramakrishna.  Visit him on gavinharrison.net

Jacoby Ballard is a genderqueer transman, justice worker, yoga teacher and dharma fiend. He strives to influence mindfulness practice to be the foundation of profound social change, and to support and uplift the the transformative leaders of marginalized communities.

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