How to Prepare
Considering every participant’s safety, you will have to do one COVID antigen test at home before your arrival. You don’t have to report to us if you are negative. However, if you are positives, please contact us for cancellation and refund. If you attend a retreat more than three days, you have to bring one more COVID antigen testing kit with you. You will then take the second test on the third day of the retreat.
Arrival and Departure
- Plan to arrive on time and to complete the entire retreat.
- Starting and ending times vary, please check the specific event for exact details.
- If you encounter unexpected travel delays, please call 845-744-8114 to let us know.
What to Wear
- Modest, loose and comfortable clothing in dark or muted colors suitable for meditation.
- Elastic-waist pants are most suitable (jeans can constrict the waist and chafe the thighs when sitting for long periods in meditation).
- Plan to layer clothing, as temperatures can vary greatly throughout the day.
- Winters are cold here, so bring a warm coat, hat, socks and gloves.
- Bring shoes suitable for walking on our woods trails where we do outdoor walking meditation.
- You may want to bring shoes that are easy to slip on and off, since all buildings are shoes-off.
What Not to Wear
- Form-fitting yoga pants, unless modestly covered with a long tunic.
- T-shirts with eye-catching graphics.
- Brightly-colored clothing.
- Tank tops or shorts.
- Cosmetics, perfumes or colognes.
- Clothing that makes a lot of noise, such as nylon ski-pants.
Essential Items to Pack
- Sufficient clothing for the duration of the retreat (there are no laundry machines nor facilities for hand washing in the dormitories).
- Toiletry items (e.g. hair dryer, razor, shaving cream, shower cap, toothbrush, toothpaste, bath towels, unscented soap, shampoo, and lotion).
Personal medications, vitamins, supplements, etc.
- Your health insurance card since participants are responsible for any medical expenses incurred while on retreat.
- Twin-size bed sheets, pillow case and blanket. Even Summer evenings can be cool, so warm bedding is important. For guests traveling with weight restrictions, we have a limited supply of bedding we can lend you for a fee of $15.
- Cushions for sitting meditation are provided in the Chan Hall. You are welcome to bring your personal cushion or meditation bench if you prefer.
What Not to bring
- No outside food, beverage, alcohol, or illegal drugs is allowed.
- Do not bring reading materials, diaries, tablets, laptop, voice recorders, musical instruments etc.
- Do not bring an alarm clock.
- Do not bring pets or animals.
ATTENTION: Those who neglect these guidelines in a way which is disruptive to the retreat will be given a warning. Those who cause serious disruption to the retreat will be asked to leave without refund.
Online Retreat & Program
Things to think about and make ready before the retreat starts:
Your family and housemates
Have a discussion with them about your retreat day. Let them know this is a silent retreat, so even if you are moving around your home, you will not be speaking to them at all during the day and need to keep interactions to a minimum. You may want to share a copy of your retreat schedule and plan, to help them support you and alleviate any anxiety they might have about disturbing you.
Think about where you want to have your retreat. Set up your cushion or chair. Have a space nearby where you can do moving mediation in place.
You will need access to Zoom meetings for the whole day. Make sure every space you plan to use has Internet access. Think about what device or devices will be best for you to accomplish this. It’s probably not a good idea to wear headphones all day, but you may want to use them during the Dharma talks. If so, have them ready.
If you plan to use the speaker of your laptop computer, check to see if it is loud enough, especially if you plan to maintain some distance between yourself and the laptop. You may find it useful to connect to an external speaker, if you have one.
If you plan to use your phone, have a way to prop it up so you can see it easily and do not have to hold it. This will also help maintain stability for your picture on the screen, so you do not disturb your fellow practitioners.
During the retreat, close all applications, including e-mail and your web browser, to optimize your connection on Zoom and to minimize distractions.
A retreat day is a day to be unplugged. Turn off all ringers, sounds and notifications on your phone, and on all other devices you plan to use. If you won’t be using your phone for Zoom, you may want to consider shutting it off and keeping it in a drawer or somewhere out of sight.
Have a plan for your lunch. Think about whether you’d like to cook something then, or prepare something in advance. Either way, shop and prep in advance so you have what you need. Consider eating a vegetarian meal for lunch.
Things you might do during break/work period
- Go for a walk
- Do some cleaning
- Do the laundry
- Organize drawers or cabinets
- Other household chores
- Stretch or exercise
- Have a cup of tea
Things you should avoid during break/work periods
- Talk to family members
- Watch TV
- Listen to music
- Listen to podcasts
- Use your phone
- Use social media
- Job-related work