The Garrison Institute applies the transformative power of contemplation to today's pressing social and environmental concerns, helping build a more compassionate, resilient future.
The Garrison Institute provides a place of refuge, reflection, and restoration for thousands of people from all walks of life. Informed by the values of simplicity, hospitality and universal welcome, we provide a home for a diverse array of spiritual teachers, students, organizations, and communities of practice from around the country and the world.
We see ourselves as stewards, in this generation, of something timeless – maintaining a place for serious spiritual inquiry, encounter, and transformation. The foundation of all our work is our commitment to deepening and nurturing the spiritual life to cultivate an unfolding, understanding, and appreciation of what is truly important.
The Institute was also founded with an intention to address more timely concerns – to be a “monastery for the 21st century” – a place not just of retreat, but of deep and ongoing engagement with the pressing issues of our day. We believe this integration of timeless and timely approaches is central to fostering a more just, loving, and sustainable world, and it informs everything we do.
The Institute brings together an unusual mix of constituents: contemplative and spiritual teachers, credentialed academic scientists, and those working on new forms of social and environmental engagement. Together, we seek to develop new pathways, rooted in a mix of both spiritual and secular understanding, that lead to deep and lasting transformations.
Holding this hybrid perspective, we work to incubate new fields, networks, and programs that alleviate suffering, foster greater contemplation and compassion, and encourage the spiritual reinvigoration of society.
In each case, we use our core skills – mapping, convening, network weaving, spiritual engagement, collaboration, and storytelling – to bring forth the guiding idea(s) for each new effort, to foster a body of common practice; to articulate a common language, and to shape a community of stakeholders with a sense of shared identity and purpose. Using these skills, over the years we have played a quiet but generative role in the formation of many successful programs, in domains ranging from social action and education to criminal justice and climate change.
All of our efforts are intended to encourage a shift in consciousness – the fertile soil from which new approaches to the world’s most difficult challenges, and indeed, the transformation of society itself, might emerge. We approach this larger task with great humility – we are still growing in our understanding both of what it means and how to achieve it.