Are you looking for some peace?
If everyday activities and work responsibilities have exhausted your mind, take a day off. Go get some serenity and solitude for your heart and mind.
Here are 16 meditation retreats and spiritual centers to check out in Upstate New York.
Blue Cliff Monastery
Location: 3 Mindfulness Road, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Activities: Visit for a Day of Mindfulness, themed retreats focusing on a holiday or particular community, or seasonal retreats. Basic practices include sitting meditation, walking meditation, and mindful eating. There’s also The Wake Up retreat which is geared towards young adults (ages 18-35) to come together and practice mindfulness.
Accommodations: Simple dorm-style room with bunk beds. Single rooms are currently not available. Three meals (95 percent vegan) per day are included in your stay. Guests can camp with their own tents and equipment. Shared bathroom and showers are available.
Rates: Based on sliding scales and range from $110-$60 for adults; $80-$40 for campers; $80-$40 for students, unemployed, and seniors; $40-35 for teen’s dorm or tent; and $25-$30 for children’s dorm or tent.
Details: Blue Cliff Monastery is a mindfulness practice center and monastic training center founded by the world–renowned Vietnamese Buddhist monk, author, and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. Nestled on 80 acres of woodland in the southern Catskill region, Blue Cliff offers a space to rest, heal and grow.
Spring Water Center
Location: 7179 Mill St., Springwater, NY 14560
Activities: All-day sittings, talks and discussions, group dialogues, weekend and seven-day retreats, and individual meetings with teachers. Silent retreats are among the main focus.
Accommodations:There are 14 guest rooms, a kitchen and dining area, and a sitting room which accommodates up to 45 people.
Rates: During a retreat cost is $91 per night which includes meals. Outside of retreat, a guest stay is $65 per night.
Details: Located in the Finger Lakes region on more than 200 acres of rolling hills, Spring Water Center is is a 12,000 square-foot retreat center. The building also has a library, solarium, and an outdoor area with lovely views for sitting and eating. All meals are vegetarian. The Center is maintained by a full-time staff.
Location: 13 Sapphire Road, Monroe, NY 10950
Activities: Morning and evening meditations, Yoga-Vedanta studies, yoga and movement classes, Sanskrit classes, music lessons, and Kathak traditional dance classes.
Accommodations: Three guesthouses with 50 beds and dormitories with bunk beds, up to six people per room are available. Semi-private rooms have two beds. Bathrooms are shared. Camping is available and guests can bring their own tent, bedding or small vehicle. Meals served are all lacto-vegetarian and/or vegan. Meal cost for day visitors is $10 for lunch or dinner and $5 for breakfast.
Rates: Overnight for weekday is $100 for semi-private room and $80 for dorm. Weekend/holiday is $115 for semi-private room and $95 for room. Weekly rates start from $485.
Details: Ananda Ashram is a yoga retreat and spiritual-educational center founded in 1964 by Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati (then Ramamurti S. Mishra, M.D.) as the country center of the Yoga Society of New York. Located in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, the Ashram is surrounded by the woods and meadows, and a lake. Ananda Ashram is also the location of the International Schools of East-West Unity (Gurukula) established by the founder in 1992. The workshops and courses cover the various aspects of yoga, the creative arts, and natural health.
Chuang Yen Monastery
Location: 2020, Route 301, Carmel, NY 10512
Activities: Weekly Dharma classes, meditation retreats, and traditional religious rituals.
Accommodations: Due to the limited space, accommodations are currently not available and reserved only for volunteers and staff.
Rates: Donations are suggested for lunch.
Details: The Buddhist Association of the United States (BAUS) was founded in 1964 by a group of Chinese Buddhists living in the greater New York City area. BAUS has two monastic facilities: the Temple of Enlightenment, located in the Bronx, and Chuang Yen Monastery, located on more than 200 scenic acres in Putnam County. Chuang Yen Monastery is home to the largest indoor statue of a Buddha in the western hemisphere. It is 37 feet tall and sits atop an 8-foot-tall pedestal shaped like a lotus leaf.
BAUS is a non-denominational organization and does not represent any particular school of Buddhism, nor affiliated with any other Buddhist organization. Instead, it adopts a broad perspective on Buddha’s teachings, and hosts programs by qualified teachers from all genuine Buddhist traditions, both Theravada and Mahayana. Chuang Yen Monastery welcomes visitors from all faith and backgrounds.
Location: 506 Main St., Andes, NY 13731
Activities: A variety of yoga style classes are offered for both beginners and advanced students. Styles include Hatha and Ashtanga yoga, group meditation. There is a hiking excursion to the Andes Rail Trail. Donations are appreciated for all classes. Residential retreats are available. Retreats include meals, yoga classes, meditation sessions, lecture, hiking excursion to Andes Rail Trail.
Accommodations: Streamside’s on-site Airbnb apartments at Willow Drey Farm include Streamside 1 and Streamside 2, Grapevine 1 and Grapevine 2 apartments. Each is designed and decorated by artist Sean Scherer. Housing is available for up to 23 guests.
Rates: The price for retreats for more than three days start at $550 per night and includes unlimited use of the yoga studio at all hours with exception of Sunday from 10 a.m.to 11:30 a.m.
Details: Streamside Yoga is a 40′ by 40′ studio with an 18′ by 30′ deck overlooking a sylvan stream in the mountain village of Andes in the western Catskill Mountains. The beautiful landscape helps guests to stay present in nature. Guests can come for relaxation, deep connection and renewal.
Dharma Drum Retreat Center
Location: 184 Quannacut Road, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Activities: Retreats include Beginner’s Mind, Day of Stillness, Foundation, Weekend Relaxation Retreat, Western Zen Retreat and more. Retreats are conducted in Noble Silence, which means refraining from conversation, no reading, writing, texting, email, phone calls, music playing devices, or internet. The retreat leaders will speak when they need to direct you. When communication is necessary, short handwritten notes are allowed.
Accommodations: The retreat fee includes a single-occupancy bedroom. Dormitories are segregated by gender. Bed is twin-size and includes a pillow. Guests must bring their own sheets and blankets. Bathrooms are communal-style with multiple showers and restrooms. Bring your own towel and toiletries. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in retreats. Meals are vegetarian and follow monastic dietary rules of no eggs, garlic, or onions.
Rate: Varies but sample 7-day retreat is $250.
Details: Dharma Drum Retreat Center (DDRC) was founded by the renowned scholar and teacher of Chan Buddhism, Chan Master Sheng Yen. The center lies below the Shawangunk Ridge amid 125 acres of woods and meadowland. The center is maintained by staff members and volunteers who, together with our strong faculty of lay and monastic teachers, aim to provide a home of Buddhist practice and learning for everyone. Whether for a few hours or a few weeks, we offer a range of activities to suit your interests and needs.
Location: 14 Mary’s Way, Route 9D, Garrison, NY 10524
Activities: The Garrison Institute’s mission is to apply the transformative power of contemplation to today’s pressing social and environmental concerns, helping to build a more compassionate, resilient future. Retreats and programs are sometimes described as a “monastery for the 21st century” or a “think and action tank,” where leaders and practitioners across diverse fields can meet, connect and collaborate. Previous themed retreats include “Exploring Race and Racism through a Buddhist Lens,” “Preparing the Heart and Soul for Passover,” or “Mindfulness & Meditation in Clinical Practice.”
Accommodations: There are 90 bedrooms that can accommodate up to 165 people. Single, double, limited number of triple and quad rooms are available. All rooms are provided with sheets, a pillow, blanket, bedspread and bath towel for each guest. Guests share communal bathrooms. Vegetarian meals are served through an in-house caterer, Fresh Company, led by executive chef Shelley Boris. Most of the ingredients come from farms and producers in the Hudson Valley.
Rates: Rooms range from $290 to $330 with partial scholarships available.
Details: The home of the Garrison Institute is a former Capuchin Franciscan monastery of 77,000 square feet that was restored and renovated in 2002. Originally built in 1932, the Institute overlooks the Hudson River and sits across from West Point. It’s located on 95 acres of Glenclyffe property, formerly the estate of Hamilton Fish, New York governor and President Grant’s secretary of state. It’s a tranquil, park-like setting with the gardens and the gazebo on a bluff by the river with many walking paths to create a natural setting for contemplation.
Location: 375 Pantherkill Road, P.O. Box 70 Phoenicia, NY 12464
Activities: Many weekend and week-long group retreats focus on Buddhism, yoga, holistic health and wellness, the sacred feminine, shamanism, conscious dying, addiction recovery, and much more. In addition to classes with world-renowned teachers, guests can enjoy ancient restorative therapies of Tibet at Dewa Spa, one of the few places in the West where you can experience the Tibetan KuNye massage. Dewa offers a wide range of Eastern and Western spa treatments.
Accommodations: Deluxe rooms and suites include private and shared ones. Standard rooms include private, shared, dorms, cabins and camping.
Rates: Depends on the retreat, can range from $100 to $3,000.
Details: A project of Tibet House US, spearheaded by Robert and Nena Thurman, Menla is a non-profit retreat center and health spa located in the Catskill Forest Preserve. Menla is committed to bringing authentic Tibetan mind-body healing arts and sciences to the West. Its vision is to draw from Tibetan wisdom sciences to reinforce the new wave of holistic integrative medicine now emerging in Western societies.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch
Location: 500 Budd Rd, Woodbourne, NY 12788
Activities: Silent meditation, kirtan/chanting, yoga, vegetarian cooking lessons, retreats, and yoga teacher’s training course.
Accommodations: Rooms range from single, double and shared to tents. The accommodation rates include daily Satsangs, organic vegetarian meals, Hatha Yoga classes and access to ashram facilities.
Rates: From $60 to $130
Details: Nestled in the Catskill Mountains, the Sivananda Yoga Ranch is a peaceful haven where people of all walks of life come together to practice Yoga, meditation, and get in touch with their True, Divine SelF. Founded in 1974, the Yoga Ranch provides a peaceful retreat structured around a full immersion into Yogic living. The International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers is a not-for-profit organization named after Swami Sivananda – an influential spiritual teacher of the 20th century. It was established in 1957 by Swami Vishnudevananda, a close disciple of Swami Sivananda.
Kadampa Meditation Center NY
Location: 47 Sweeney Rd, Glen Spey, NY 12737
Activities: Meditation workshops, prayers for world peace, finding peace retreats, silent retreats, and free public talks.
Accommodations: Single, deluxe, double, twin, shared room, dormitory, camping, and cabin.
Rates: Ranges from $15 to $110
Details: Kadampa Meditation Center NY provides in-depth courses and retreats on its 82-acre of grounds and nature trails. Its modern Buddhist Temple was designed by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso as part of the International Temples Project and built largely through the help of volunteers over five years. The Temple’s unique design is based on the celestial palace of Heruka, the Buddha of Compassion. The design also represents all the stages of the spiritual path.
Location: 150 Lake Drive, Rhinebeck, NY 12572
Activities: Mindfulness workshops, retreats, community engagement, yoga, and hope and healing to veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress. There is also the Omega Center for Sustainable Living, an environmental education center and natural water reclamation facility.
Accommodations: Single, double, deluxe, shared, dorm, tent cabins, and camping.
Rates: Weekend rates range from $246 to $702
Details: Omega is a nonprofit, mission-driven, and donor-supported educational organization. For more than 40 years, it has been at the forefront of holistic studies – helping people and organizations integrate personal growth and social change. Each year, more than 23,000 people attend Omega’s 350-plus programs in-person.
Location: 54 O’Hara Road, Haines Falls, New York 12436
Activities: Residential retreats, workshops, and classes in spiritual awareness, meditation, and the practical application of spirituality.
Accommodations: Rooms with private baths.
Rates: Donations are welcome.
Details: Since 1999, Peace Village has been serving thousands of people based on the principle of heartfelt volunteerism. It is housed in six buildings on 300 acres of woods and streams in the Catskill Mountains. The facilities and the spiritual atmosphere of Peace Village are sustained by the residents and by the volunteer servers, experienced yogis, who come in from all over the world to support retreat guests.
Brahma Baba is the founder. Brahma Kumaris is a worldwide spiritual movement dedicated to personal transformation and world renewal. Founded in India in 1937, Brahma Kumaris’ commitment is to help individuals transform their perspective of the world from material to spiritual.
Zen Mountain Monastery
Location: 871 Plank Rd, Mount Tremper, NY 12457
Activities: There is an introduction to Zen Training Retreat each month and various retreats on weekends. Residential programs are also offered. For first time visitors, the Sunday Morning Program is available every week to learn beginner’s instruction in Zen meditation, an orientation to the Monastery, and a chance to meet monastics, residents and lay practitioners. There is also a Zen Kids/Teens program.
Accommodations: Dormitory-style accommodations segregated by gender are provided in the Monastery’s main building. Each room has bunk beds and sleeps six to eight people. Vegetarian meals, bed linens, pillows, and a blanket are provided.
Rates: Ranges from free to $150 and up.
Details: The Mountains and Rivers Order is a Western Zen Buddhist lineage established by the late John Daido Loori Roshi. It has two locations—Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper and Zen Center of New York City in Brooklyn. Built in the 1920s and 30s, Zen Mountain Monastery was originally a Benedictine monastery and boys’ camp. Now, for over three decades, it has offered practitioners from all walks of life to learn Buddhist teachings and practice.
Sky Lake Shambhala
Location: Sky Lake, 22 Hillcrest Lane, Rosendale, NY 12472
Activities: Meditation, qigong practice, contemplative arts like flower arranging and photography, mindfulness and more.
Accommodations: Linens, blankets, towels and pillows are all provided in the rooms. Bring your own toiletries. Meditation cushions are provided in the meditation hall. Guests sleeping in the Shrine hall will need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow and towels.
Rates: Varies, depends on each program. Ones through this summer start at $165.
Details: Nestled in a forest of cedars and white pines in the Shawangunk Mountains, Sky Lake is a Shambhala center for meditation, arts and community. It is part of an international community of meditation centers founded by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and now led by his son and lineage holder Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.
The Assisi Institute
Location: 1400 North Winton Rd., Rochester, NY 14609
Activities: Among the offerings include Kriya yoga meditation, Assissi yoga, prayers, chanting and silent meditation.
Accommodations: One-day and multi-day overnight retreats are available. The facility can accommodate up to eight overnight guests in seven single occupancy rooms and one double room. Bed and bath linens are provided for guests. Meals are not provided, but the retreat center has a kitchen and dining room for guests to make their own meals.
Details: The Assisi Institute is where Kriya Yoga and mystical Christianity integrates peacefully. It’s a place of stillness, silence, and peace for those who seek God-communion in the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi and Paramahansa Yogananda. Eastern and Western spirituality blends together with a special emphasis on Christian mysticism. All spiritual seekers are welcome regardless of religious affiliation.
Won Dharma Center
Location: 361 State Route 23, Claverack, NY 12513
Activities: Dharma and meditation service, yoga, weekend retreats, and themed retreats with focus on mindfulness, healing, and more.
Accommodations: Timeless Zen House and Placeless Zen House are two guest residences that accommodate 60 overnight guests in single, double, and dorm-style rooms featuring forest and mountain views. There are several single rooms, but most rooms are double rooms with twin beds and an ensuite sink. Each room shares a modern tiled bath with the adjacent room.
Rates: There are single, double and quad rooms available ranging from $90 to $200 per night for self-retreats. Other retreat programs vary in price.
Details: The Won Dharma Center is a refuge where people can restore their true self through faith in the universal truth and practical spiritual training, based on the teachings of Sotaesan, the founding master of Won Buddhism. Its mission is to create a world free from suffering. The Center is creating a sangha where people from all walks of life study dharma, practice and work together, regardless of their faiths, in order to enlighten their minds.
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