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Shhh! Close your eyes and feel the breeze of the air embracing you, smell the fragrance of the flowers and trees surrounding you, and hear the music of silence whispering in your ears. Allow yourself to completely focus as you go back and discover your true self on this silent yet meaningful meditation yoga retreat with New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care.
Facilities include a variety of spacious meeting and breakout rooms, an inspirational non-denominational meditation hall with a capacity of 300 people, a wood-paneled dining hall holding 175 persons at one seating, library, theater, high-speed Internet access, and state-of-the-art audio and visual resources. The Garrison Institute currently offers accommodations for 165 overnight guests, in single, double, and dorm-style rooms.
Accommodations in the institute are simple and quiet, yet it has enough space to breathe, rest, and meditate. The tranquil park-like setting, the gardens, the gazebo on a bluff by the river, and the many walking paths create a natural setting for contemplation. The Garrison Institute property is connected to the Hudson River trail system and the Appalachian Trail, which can make you calm.
Sesshin, a core of Zen practice, is an opportunity to touch your essential nature as it brings your heart and mind together. The Platform Sutra, attributed to Hui Neng, is the seminal text exploring Buddha nature. Come deepen your vows to care for yourself and the world at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. weekend silent retreat.
In this silent yoga retreat, you will practice Zen’s seated meditation called zazen, together with the guidance of the core teachers of New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. The dharma talks will explore ways to cultivate fearlessness, courage, and joy. Each day consists of both sitting and walking meditation, yoga, dharma talks, and one-on-one meetings with the teachers.
Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell
Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell co-founded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. The organization delivers contemplative approaches to care through education, direct service, and meditation practice. In order to bring the work to a broader audience, he co-developed the Foundations in Contemplative Care Training Program. Chodo's public programs have introduced thousands to the practices of mindful and compassionate care of the living and dying. His passion lies in bereavement counseling and advocating for change in the way healthcare institutions work.
Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison
Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, MFA, LMSW, DMIN, cofounded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, the first Zen organization to offer fully accredited ACPE clinical chaplaincy training in America, delivering contemplative approaches through education, direct service, and meditation practice. He is currently on the faculty of the University of Arizona Medical School’s Center for integrative medicine’s integrative medicine fellowship, and he is a visiting professor at the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics, of the University of Texas Health Science Center of Houston Medical School.
Sensei Dorothy Dai En Friedman
Sensei Dai-en’s spiritual journey began in the 60's when she was forced to seek help for a back injury. This event proved to be a wonderful preparation for her eventual immersion 20 years later in Buddhist Vipassana practice at Insight Meditation Center. After she established her Vipassana practice, she then began her journey into Zen practice. Dai-en is now a sensei at Ocean Zendo, located on Eastern Long Island. She is honored to be invited teach with Koshin and Chodo in the wonderful work at NYZCCC, for the benefit of all beings, as we live and die.
The Garrison Institute is located in Garrison, New York, in a former Capuchin monastery overlooking the Hudson River. It is situated on the beautiful 95-acre Glenclyffe property, formerly the estate of Hamilton Fish, governor of New York and later secretary of state under President Grant. It offers elegant accommodations, stunning meditation halls, and excellent vegetarian meals.
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All of Garrison’s Institute delicious foods are provided by a catering company, Fresh Company, led by executive chef Shelley Boris. The institute makes sure that they serve foods that are vegetarian, healthy, tasty, and prepared with care. Most of the ingredients come from farms and producers in the Hudson Valley. Not only does local seasonal produce support to the commitment to sustainability, but it also tastes fantastic.
If you have special dietary needs, the institute encourages you to bring the supplemental items you may need. There are refrigerator and storage space, along with a microwave oven and toaster that you may use in the service kitchen located at the end of the dining hall. Non-gluten options are available at every meal, and ingredients are listed at the serving tables. Also, meat is available for an additional charge.
Food is not permitted in the bedrooms. There are water, tea, and coffee stations in the dining room and the lounges on the second and third floors that are available 24 hours a day. Drinks may be brought to bedrooms, but cups and glasses should be returned to the service kitchen after use. Food is not allowed in the meditation hall, and only drinks with lids can be brought there.
Please book your flight to arrive at Stewart International Airport (SWF). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request.
Garrison is just over an hour from Grand Central Station in New York. Take the Metro North Railroad to the Garrison Train Station via the Hudson Line. Train times vary but generally arrive and depart approximately every hour. A no-cost, no-reservation-required shuttle service is available from the Garrison Train Depot (one mile away) to the Garrison Institute during registration hours (approximately 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.), and immediately after lunch on the closing day of an event.
For travelers in the Albany area, AMTRAK service is available to Poughkeepsie, New York, which is approximately an hour train ride. Then connect with a Metro-North commuter train to Garrison for a ride of 30 minutes.
The Shortline Bus Service is available into the Poughkeepsie, New York, station. Approximately, it is 30 minutes going to Garrison. Upon arrival at the station, a local taxi service is available.