There is something very moving and powerful about being at the Garrison Institute for a silent retreat. It is a place of building community, and experiencing a deep rest, insulated from outside influences. Being in silence for seven days—especially in the midst of our non-stop world—can be life-changing and inspiring.
This is what a two-time attendee of the annual seven-day Dzogchen Center’s silent retreat experienced when he came to the Garrison Institute. After the retreat, he approached the Institute saying that he loved the place and wanted to help out. He offered to donate money to the Institute in order to help fix up some of our old, historic buildings that needed some repairs.
We assessed the structures on our property and decided that the best use of his donation would be to help fix up our garden shed, which would help us better serve our grounds, retreatants, and our bees. Our garden provides vegetables and herbs for out in-house catering company, Fresh Company. We also grow many varieties of flowers which we use to decorate our halls during the spring and summer months. Using the donor’s funds, we were able to build a new roof for our garden shed.
The shed will provide storage for gardening tools, and a small place to repair tools and flower beds. This area will probably be used to help develop an intern gardening program. We are making strides within the Institute to be more mindful stewards of our land, buildings, and the earth, and we know that this donation will allow us to further our mission right in our backyard.
The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, said of the Garrison Institute:
“I journeyed with Lama Surya Das to Shangri-La, I mean the Garrison Institute, a truly magical place.”