top of page
11062b_c0ca2a584f93468990790b45623c50c5_mv2.webp

DON'T OVERTHINK

IMG-20230318-WA00023-1024x768.jpg

Kot Kailash Retreat

MR4R+6C6, Shaukiyathal, old, Jageshwar Dham, Uttarakhand, India

Kyichu Lhakhang In Bhutan.webp

Dilgo Khyentse House

Memorial House, Kyichu
Paro, Bhutan 

Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling 

Tushal-Mahankal Rd,

Kathmandu 44600, Nepal

Zen Garden

Jikoji Zen Center

12100 Skyline Blvd,

Los Gatos, CA 95033

DSC_0074.jpg

City of 10 000 Buddhas

4951 Bodhi Way,

Ukiah, CA 95482

DSC_0834.JPG

Vajrapani Institute

19950 Kings Creek Rd,

Boulder Creek, CA 95006

the-main-facility-in_edited.jpg

Milarepa Center

1344 U.S. Route 5 South

Barnet, VT 05821

Screenshot 2024-02-11 at 1.04.35 PM.png

Drikung Meditation Center

29 Mohawk Street,

Danvers, MA 01923

dharma-building.jpg

Vermont Zen Center

480 Thomas Rd,

Shelburne, VT 05482

Ithaca-Zen-Center-zendo-exterior-1024x576.jpg

Ithaca Zen Center 

56 Lieb Road
Spencer, NY 14883

kyudo-scaled.jpg

Dorje Denma Ling

2280 Balmoral Rd,

The Falls, Nova Scotia B0K 1V0, Canada

1-scaled.jpg

Art Retreat Dharamkot 

Vidhya Ashram, Dharamkot, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh 176219, India

wudang-mountain-788.jpg

Wudang Mountain Daojiao 

Wudang Rd, Danjiangkou, Shiyan, Hubei,

China, 442715

Shechen-Monastery-in-Dege-County-Garze-01.jpg

Shechen Monastery

7V8P+H74, De Ge Xian, Garzê Tibetan Prefecture, Sichuan, China, 627252

Garchen Buddhist Institute

9995 E Blissful Path,

Chino Valley, AZ 86323

www.vajrayana.jpg

Pema Osel Ling

2013 Eureka Canyon Rd,

Watsonville, CA 95076

Cob-Hut-2-1-scaled.jpg

Sky Meadow Retreat

63 Winchester Rd,

Greensboro Bend, VT 05842

pema-osel-logo-fall-web.jpg

Pema Osel Do-ngak Choling

322 Eastman Cross Rd,

Vershire, VT 05079

240bebf6-98cd-4aee-9636-78ce176371c5.jpg

Samye Hermitage New York

412 Glimmerglen Road,

Cooperstown, NY 13326

7arnold-park1920.jpg

Rochester Zen Center

7 Arnold Park,

Rochester, NY 14607

bg17.1.jpg

Dai Tong Lam

690 Chemin de la Rivière Rouge  
Canton D'Harrington,
QC J8G 2S7 Canada

Dunagiri Retreat

Near Mahavatar Babaji's Cave, Block, Chari, Dwarahat, Uttarakhand 263653, India

Thangtong-Dewachen-Nunnery-pic.jpg

Thangthong Dewachen 

Gaden Lam,

Thimphu, Bhutan

452997766.jpg

Bhotekoshi Heli Resort

Opposite of Last Resort, BungeeJump, Araniko Highway, 45304, Nepal

051.jpg

Ananda Dharma Center

3888 Balcom Road,

San Jose CA 95148

DSC_0523.JPG

Land of Medicine Buddha

5800 Prescott Rd,

Soquel, CA 95073

Visit-Karme-Choling-Meditation-Retreat-Center-Vermont.webp

Karmê Chöling

369 Patneaude Ln

Barnet, VT 05821

View-from-back-right-lawn-900x600.jpg

Natural Dharma Fellowship

253 Philbrick Hill Rd,

Springfield, NH 03284

61251387_2938202886220683_3895576551978172416_n.jpg

Palyul Retreat Center

359 Hollow Road
McDonough, NY 13801

c28be2019ba342daad9f4b59d239f91f_-ontario-lanark-county-tay-valley-perth-sati-saraniya-her

 Sati Saraniya Hermitage

1702 McVeigh Road
Perth, ON K7H 3C9 Canada

milarepa 3.webp
machig-labdron-ies
buddhism-anger





Remember: for the most "peaceful deities"
retreats 
avoidmeat, eggs, and garlic.
Wrathful deities" retreat allows meat.

Lotsawa House

Most of the time, people begin to study and practice Dharma in the West,

or outside or their family culture, because of this: Death and beyond.

DEATH & REBIRTH
Cave Explorer

The Dangers of SublimalSelf ~ Programming

While in retreat I realised many people can experience many negative emotions & reaction. Bluntly to say, people can go crazy from the Wrong Self-Programming, especially alone. I think many problems with mind recovery & mind altering practices can lead to the wrong path, if people entering retreat without proper knowledge. How it really works on psycho scientific level.  How does this work? 

When we are first born we don't talk, or comprehend either visual or verbal terminology. We are taught all of these by other people: parent's siblings, relatives, friends

& enemies. Through all of our lives, if you think about this.

 

You can not know anything unless somebody else will

teach you. How you see the world will depend on your surroundings & people in it. But we also do the same for them. We teach them back. How to take care of us, how

to raise us, how to stay patient, etc. Life is a constant process of verbal & visual interactions.

 

Our brain responses primarily depend on these interactions. This is how we gain & grow our intellect.

So, when a person or a child gets traumatised, for one reason or another, physically or emotionally, he has to

re-program himself. Sometimes coping mechanisms force us into silence, and sometimes, into excessive outer self-expression. Both can be emotional & physical. People can get violent or silent.

 

So, when in retreat they use alternative methods, sometime in the foreign language, in order to rewire

their brain for more positive response to trauma & recovery. However, beginning to read ANY text requires comprehension of what you are reading. Not necessary why, but definitely what. This is where it gets tricky.

Mind has a tendency to get stuck, on both the positives

& negatives, & , sometimes, this prevents the further progress, by creating very dangerous alternative reality

for the person. It's like feeling of orgasm, you are trying

to repeat, but keep getting wrong partner to try it with.

 

People can get addicted to feeling calm & completely detached from everyday reality. It can simply affect their formal private lives in a negative ways, as well. 

 

iStock-684548414_wide.jpg

Eat light diet

When you are in retreat fast or eat less fat diet.

Try being vegetarian for 2 weeks and see how you feel. You do not absolutely have to do it, but most retreats avoid meat dishes.  TRY THESE DISHES as an alternative for your regular meat cravings.

Camping in Mountains .webp

Safety First: location, location, location

The best way to get the most of your retreat is to find

the suitable & safe location. Of cause you can just do retreat by camping, but when you doing it in the organized community it is much safer. Make sure you

feel comfortable staying in this location for the whole time. Otherwise, what they call, "cabin fever" may set

in and you can "snap off the handle".

If this is a drupchen type retreat when you are not allow

to break the mantra count or when you have to chant 24/7 you have to make sure you get enough rest between your session if you don't do it 24/7. I lasted 96 hours without any breaks, after than, I needed to sleep.

I chose the night session next and slept through the day. It is ok to stop when you feel you are falling off your feet. This is not the point of the drupchen, to dies prematurely. Use common sense above anything.

Make sure you like the setting you are retreating in.

Hotels & resorts can be a great setting to retreat, if

you can, of cause, afford it. Walking along & across

the Central Park, for example, can be simple, cheap & fantastic way to relax  & enjoy nature in the busy city setting. 

20220324_131939-2.jpg

Amulets & Accessories for Retreat

Some people use traditional items while others prefer personal spiritual tools. If you follow specific tradition I

am sure you know where to get these things. 

 

These are many online places, were you can buy an affordable traditional tibetan amulets & accessories.

 I have a list of the most authentic or beautiful HERE.

Romantic Tent.webp

Make sure you are Ready

Do not go into retreat because it is popular or "your friend just went." Retreat is not a fashion statement.

It is a heavy mental work. On yourself. Make sure you

are ready & doing it for the right reasons.

Don't allow yourself to lose control of reality & mistaken

the enemies for a friend. Just because someone is

smiling does not meat he lost his knife. Sometimes people express their aggression in a "very joking way",  but this aggression unfortunately does not vanish, &

will, one day, manifest as a "fist on the face, rather then back." Sometimes people lose their minds in retreat & "assume they have a special abilities, like "transferring their minds into the cats & lay on the laps of their female partners" (end of quote);  "have been a Queen Marie Antoinette ... in the past life" (end of quote) or "have

been ran by HH Dalai Lama by the car in India near his home" (end of quote). It is always good to check your

own sanity state. Stay aware. My personal experience was only weird dream and daytime hearing issues: I heard mantra I never heard before during my recitation,

I asked one of the retreat elders what it means  and he said it was strange form of "21 Taras speech". Later the same day I saw the dream, of cutting someone else's head off, with light sword. Woman's head I cut off, turned into light and multiple snakes came out crawling on the ground from her neck. White light blinded me after that. This was my esoteric experience  during and after this retreat. Then I woke up in my tent, from the mosquito bite. Just a weird dream. This was a 10 days Cittamani Tara retreat. In the Summer of 2012. No esoteric awakening and no special abilities, a lot of mantra recitations and service in retreat. People who expect some special events are looking for a wrong thing.

I grew up with couple of strong family phrases that stick around and influence subconscious, but they helped me

in life more that anything else:

  • "Keep your friends close, but your enemies, closer"

  •  "Friends ~ are the time thieves"

  • " When I eat ~ I am deaf & silent"

  • "My home ~ is my  Fortress"

  •  "Quality vs. Quantity"

When you meditate on your past traumas the most important thing is to never concentrate on the "Why?" Rather think how to act different, considering how you

feel now, what emotions you feel when you are in the same setting, how & what you feel in the current situation in your life. Otherwise, if you constantly keep going back to "why" ~ you will go crazy. It will make you re-traumatised daily. Worst possible path to recovery. Best balance is:

don't dwell too much on the past, but don't go too far into the fantasy of future. The world did not change, but you did. 

 

 

Rotating Cloud.webp

Prepare for the unexpected: weather changes

Make sure you plan ahead for possible weather changes.

Get supplies you need for an Emergency, including extra battery, shut off cell phone & compass with light & heat.

It does not matter if you retreat in a tent or a dorm, this

will never hurt to have. As long as you are capable of not touching cell phone, unless it is an Emergency.

 

Get a set of clothes for all seasons.  I thought Arizona does not have a snow. I was wrong. It snowed & got below 30, in Chino Valley, AZ in November, 2013. 

I was in the "15 Days Vajrakilaya Drupchen" when it happened.  Not the best weather for a summer tent. 

Be prepared for unexpected. I developed hypothermia one night, because I did not expect either winter wind

or snow in a desert Arizona...

Sunset.webp

After you Finish Finale

After you come back from the retreat, depending on

your faith you should continue to practice, at least a little, in your every day reality. Listen to the spiritual music

that makes you elevated, avoid too much stress or connections with things or people, that cause you emotional distress, that lead you to retreat on the first pace. Do not be afraid to cut all ties & start fresh, without looking back. Otherwise you will never truly recover. Keep your mind free of past mistakes gutter & move on.

 

Your pride is nothing but uncured trauma. Once you realize what happen to you, pride will no longer be needed. So, do not dwell on what the book had told you to do, if this does not fit your reality. You do not need a building with monks or nuns to have a faith.  Most likely after the long retreat, 1 year or more, you will not want to engage in too much talking with people. I spent almost 4 years in silent retreat. By "silent" I mean people around me talked, but I didn't. I learn how to simply pay attention and listen.  Even when you fully come back to the society you will not want to engage in "bar talks". Ever. Your general perception of reality will change.

Final & The Most Important thing to remember, no matter what level abuse you had to encounter, no matter what emotional struggles you overcame ~ the most Important fact: Your Mind is the Light that Illuminates this Reality. It is All Up to You. 

THESE ARE DHARMA RETREATS
West to East cost.


They are not all monasteries,
arrangements need to be made prior to arrival. ​

But these are all great places to heal.
Some offer Karma Yoga practice, as part of housing payment.

List of major American monasteries is HERE.
List of major non-buddhist retreats is
HERE.

bottom of page