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Dharma Drum Retreat Center (DDRC)

We offer silent meditation retreats, ranging from beginner instruction to more advanced methods such as silent illumination and huatou. We are a community learning and living the Buddha’s teachings through the tradition of the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism, as established by our founder Chan Master Sheng Yen. Master Sheng Yen passed on to us a view of the Dharma (teaching) based on his experience in both the main lineages of Chan – Linji (Rinzai) and Caodong (Soto).

Retreat Structure

Monastic and lay Dharma heirs of Master Sheng Yen lead our retreats. Each teacher lends their own perspective and approach to the teachings. Our retreat style is based on ancient Chinese Chan traditions, modified to be applicable to modern Western practitioners. We also offer the unique “Western Zen” style of the Western Chan Fellowship.

Meditation practice is taught in the context of daily activities, such as sitting, standing, walking, sleeping, working, and eating. Chanting and gentle yoga exercises further harmonize the body, breath, and mind. Retreats include daily lectures, meditation instruction, guided meditation, and personal interviews.


The retreat schedule and the physical environment are carefully designed to support immersion in the practice. The campus is peaceful and secluded. Nestled just south of the beautiful Shawangunk Ridge, the grounds include acres of woodland trails, and a lake fed by mountain streams. Single-occupancy sleeping quarters with shared bath, and three vegetarian meals a day, are included in your retreat fee.

We welcome you to practice Chan meditation together with us amidst all activities of daily life; cultivating mindfulness, wisdom, and compassion. Chan practice will deepen your understanding of yourself, and help you learn to live more harmoniously with others. You will leave rejuvenated, equipped with the methods and concepts to bring the practice back home.

Buddhist Action: Morals, Vision and Justice

Posted on: February 9, 2018

Dharma Drum teacher Rebecca Li addressed a gathering of 200 Buddhists at the Union Theological Seminary on February 3 at a one-day conference, “Buddhist Action: Morals, Vision and Justice,” along with Greg Snyder
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You Are Already Enlightened

Posted on: August 17, 2017

Guo Gu (Dr. Jimmy Yu), a longtime student of the late Master Sheng Yen, will lead a silent illumination intensive retreat at DDRC October 21-29, 2017. In this online article from Lion’s Roar
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