• monastery retreat new york
  • spiritual retreat ny
  • spiritual retreats in new york
  • buddhist retreat center
  • dharma drum retreat center
  • Zen center New York
  • spiritual retreats new york
  • how to do meditation

Winter Retreat section 1 – Calming and Contemplation – In Person

Led by Abbot Guo Yuan


Sliding Scale


Begins: Tuesday December 27, 2022
Check-in: 4:00 - 6:00 PM - late arrival not allowed
End Date: Tuesday January 3, 2023
End Time: 10:00 AM

Apply by 3:00 PM Wednesday December 21

Retreat Program

The Annual Winter Retreat is also known as the Snow Retreat which is an intensive meditation practice. The Winter Retreat is offered in three sessions. Practitioners are welcome to attend any one session or multiple sessions.  

The Dharma talks and the meditation methods will be taught using Dharma Talk videos of retreats by Master Sheng-Yen. Abbot Guo Yuan will provide additional short sharing and interviews. 

Unique to this retreat, practitioners can personally determine the length of their own sitting periods within the larger structure of the schedule. This means you can stretch your legs when needed, take a quick break, and then return quietly to your seat and continue sitting. The timekeeper will sound the chime only to end a section of the day; for example, to break for lunch.

The basic concept of meditation is that it is a practice that connects the mind and the body. The purpose of this retreat is to help increase both physical and mental peace and calm, which also helps you to learn how to live more fully in the present. Your deep meditation practice will also connect you to all that is, plugging you into your inner self, DDRC’s beautiful, natural and serene environment and become one with the universe. 

Sample Schedule

04:45 AM  morning Board 
05:15 AM  exercise, sitting meditation, morning service 
07:15 AM  breakfast, work practice & personal time 
09:00 AM  Dharma talk (Master Sheng Yen’s video), sitting & walking meditation, yoga exercise 
12:00 PM  lunch, work practice & personal time 
02:00 PM  sitting & walking meditation, yoga exercise, evening service 
05:40 PM  medicine meal, work practice & personal time 
07:30 PM  Dharma Talk (Master Sheng Yen’s video), sitting & walking meditation, yoga exercise 
09:45 PM  retire 
10:00 PM  lights out 



Requirements for Intensive Retreat

Our intensive retreats follow the traditional Chan monastery schedule, starting early in the morning and making the most efficient use of time in concentrated group practice. There are numerous forty-minute sitting periods throughout the day.

Participants should be mentally and physically prepared for the rigors of such a regimen. Therefore, we carefully screen each applicant to ensure sufficient experience for acceptance on an intensive retreat. The requirements are that the applicant has:

  • already received basic meditation instruction
  • established a daily personal practice
  • previously attended at least one intermediate three-day retreat (e.g. Foundation Retreat)

Sliding Scale

This event is priced on a sliding scale. Please consider paying at the highest rate that you can afford. Your generosity supports Dharma Drum Mountain, staff, your fellow practitioners and our continuous efforts to help people to learn and grow.

When you submit your application, select one of the sliding scale rates below. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. If needed we encourage you to apply for a scholarship , please reach out to apply@dharmadrumretreat.org for more information.

Base: $525
Sustainer: $700
Benefactor: $1050

Any amount paid above the Base rate is a tax deductible donation to DDRC. Your confirmation email is your tax receipt.


Abbot Guo Yuan, a Dharma Heir of Master Sheng Yen

Guo Yuan Fashi, one of Chan Master Sheng Yen’s Dharma heirs, is a Buddhist monk trained in Chan Buddhism. In 1985 he first encountered Master Sheng Yen’s teachings while attending a seven-day retreat in New York. He then decided to become a disciple before finally leaving his job in Toronto, Canada, to become a monk in the Chan tradition. He was ordained in 1987 in Taiwan. For over twenty years, he accompanied and became translator to Master Sheng Yen in various Chan meditation retreats in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, and Mexico.

He studied Theravada Buddhism for a year in Thailand in 1991. Upon returning from Thailand, Guo Yuan Fashi was elected abbot of both the Chan Meditation Center (CMC) in Queens and the Dharma Drum Retreat Center (DDRC) in Pine Bush, New York. His responsibilities included attending interfaith services, teaching meditation, and giving lectures on Buddhism. In 2006 he became the director of the International Chan Retreat Center in Dharma Drum Mountain, Taiwan. In 2016 he returned to Pine Bush to become once again the abbot of DDRC. Fluent in Mandarin, Vietnamese, and English, he leads Chan retreat in many countries around the world.