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May 23, 2020

“Waking Up Fabulous: Taking Refuge in The Time of Corona” – A Half-Day LGBTQIA+ Community Retreat

In the midst of this global pandemic, taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha has never felt more important for our community and this world. As LGBTQIA+ people, in these challenging and difficult times, we recollect the power of community to know that we are not alone; that together we can begin the healing of centuries of oppression and trauma within a deep knowing of our interconnectedness and interdependence. We learn to trust the unfolding of this life and act for the benefit of all beings.

This virtual retreat is an opportunity to come together and care for ourselves: to remember who we really are and to reconnect with our innate goodness. We will explore ways of sustaining a clear and open mind, a kind heart, and a strong body. And we will engage with the ancient teachings and practices offered by the Buddha that cultivate wisdom, kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity, and skillful actions.

This virtual retreat is for all those who identify as LGBTQIA+. The program will include guided awareness and heart practices, Dharma talks, small and large group sharing, and gentle yoga.

This Virtual Retreat will be conducted on Zoom from 12:30pm – 4:30pm EST on Saturday, May 23. The virtual retreat link will be emailed to participants within twenty-four hours of your registration. Registration for this live webinar closes at 11:30am EST on May 23.

In keeping with the tradition of offering these teachings by dana, there are no fees associated with this retreat, it is by donation only. We invite you to consider making a tax-deductible contribution during the registration process. Suggested donation levels are listed, but if you would like to contribute more, please select the Participant option and type in your desired donation amount. We appreciate your support.

Registration for this retreat is now closed. Please contact events@garrisoninstitute.org with any questions.



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 LGBTIQ 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. Learn more at www.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.



Lama Rod Owens is considered one of the emerging leaders of his generation of Buddhist teachers. An author, activist, and formally authorized Buddhist teacher in the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism, he is the co-founder of Bhumisparsha, a Buddhist tantric practice community as well as a visiting teacher with several Buddhist centers including the Natural Dharma Fellowship and the Brooklyn Zen Center. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Lama Rod has also been a guest faculty member at the Harvard School of Education’s program Mindfulness for Educators. He has been a regular guest on SiriusXM’s Urban Viewhosted by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Karen Hunter. He is also a co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation and his next book project “Love & Rage” exploring transformative anger and rage is due out June 2020. Lama Rod can be reached at www.lamarod.com.

Jacoby Ballard has been teaching yoga for 20 years and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with his partner and child. His work sits at the intersection of spiritual practice and social change and has led him to consult with Insight Meditation Society, the Yoga Alliance, Lululemon, and speaking on college campuses. His current foray into study and taking the role of student is through his enrollment with the Community Dharma Leaders program at Spirit Rock. His teaching style is playful and profound, integrating the teachings of the dharma into how we move and breath on our mats and with each other. More at www.jacobyballard.net.


Isabel Adon, LCSW, FOT, IFOT is a Bilingual Psychotherapist with an Office in Midtown, NYC. Isabel Adon is an Aboriginal Focusing Oriented Therapist and Trainer. She has over 20 years of experience in the mental health and presently works with children and families in an outpatient psychiatric setting in the Bronx. Isabel has been a volunteer rape crisis and domestic violence advocate for over nine years responding to crisis at six different NYC emergency rooms as a volunteer for the Mount Sinai SAVI program. She has extensive training in diversity work and for the past 15 years has been a practitioner of Vipassana and Ascension meditation.

Registration Options

1 - Participant
2 - Friend (Donation)
3 - Contributor (Donation)
4 - Supporter (Donation)
5 - Patron (Donation)
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