General Information and Suggestions for the Garrison Retreat

Arnaud, email hidden; JavaScript is required, will be the contact person during the retreat in case you need any help. Phone: 929-323-8582 (cell phone will be on during the retreat). Retreat offers us the rare opportunity to work on our minds and engage in personal reflection. Sometimes it brings up difficult thoughts or emotions. It is very important to keep an open and loving attitude toward ourselves and take special care to relax. If you start to feel unbalanced or uneasy, please let Arnaud know so that he can ask Ven. Amy for advice.

The following are a few suggestions regarding the retreat:

  • Taking the Eight Mahayana Precepts:

If you plan to take the Eight Mahayana Precepts, please email Arnaud: email hidden; JavaScript is required by Friday, April 14 and indicate “Taking Precepts” in the subject line. As a friendly reminder, the precepts for Saturday will involve not having breakfast nor dinner. If you would like to know more about the Eight Mahayana Precepts before deciding whether to take them (which involves waking up quite early and only eating one meal on Saturday), you can read a short explanation by Ven. Thubten Chodron or this teaching by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

  • What to bring:

We will be using FPMT’s Essential Buddhist Prayers, Vol. I (the gold prayer book). If you have a copy, please bring it with you.

There are many deer in the Hudson Valley and with deer come deer ticks (Lama Zopa Rinpoche would probably call them dear ticks). The Hudson Valley area does have deer ticks. If you plan to walk outside, please bring some insect repellent (that would not kill the insects), clothes that cover your entire body, and check your body regularly. The CDC advises that risk of Lyme disease is extremely small if a deer tick is attached to one’s skin for less than 24 hours.

A lot in retreat has to do with being mindful. Among the things we’ll try to be mindful of is taking care of Dharma books. During the retreat we ask that you bring a cloth so as to not lay the books directly on the floor. We’ll bring some cloths for the prayer books.

Ven. Amy has suggested to bring a favorite Dharma book to read and/or a journal to write in during the breaks.

  • Food:

The food served at Garrison is very good and accommodates different needs. If you have dietary restrictions, please feel free to bring supplemental snacks.

  • Transportation:

We suggest catching the 3:48pm Metro North Railroad train to Garrison in order to have ample time to relax before dinner at 6:00pm. As a friendly reminder, registration starts at 3:00pm.

  • Cell phones and other electronic devices:

To make the most of this retreat, Ven. Amy highly recommends that we finish our business before the retreat and refrain from using technology (cell phones, computers, etc.) for the entire retreat. Cell phones should be silent or turned off during the teachings and meditations.