December 18, 2008

Sivananda Ashram & other spiritual retreats in Upstate New York, via NYTIMES.

I’ve spent nearly a fourth of my life at spiritual retreat centers—I lived and practiced and studied at Karme Choling while at high school in Vermont, and for a year after, and for many summers…and I’ve spent 10 summers and a few years working for Shambhala Mountain Center, in Colorado. And I did a little time at Denma Ling. But beyond my limited experience—Shambhala Buddhist retreats—there’s hundreds of other such institutions, a few of which are profiled in the below recent New York Times article. All offer spiritual practice and study, work, community and a respite from mental and physical ADHD culture.

Click here for article with slideshow, with thanks for tip to Marc Matheson, who wrote:


Today’s New York Times features a visit to contemplative communities located in upstate New York state, USA, including Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, located in Woodstock and the seat of His Holiness Orgyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa.
Other centers profiled include Zen Mountain Monastery, Vivekananda Retreat, Dai Bosatsu Zendo, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, Blue Cliff Monastery, and Ananda Ashram. Missing is Sky Lake Lodge.

…The three dozen participants started out with two half-hour Buddhist meditation sessions before dawn. They then spent the next two hours doing what’s called work practice, which consisted of scrubbing toilets and raking leaves, all in silence. An afternoon of instruction on the essentials of Buddhism led to more meditation, cleaning the dinner dishes, and sleeping in dorm-style accommodations. Sunday was an abbreviated version of the day before.

Perhaps what was the most unusual aspect of this austere weekend at Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, N.Y…



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