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Take a Breath at These Retreat Centers in the Hudson Valley



Meditation has been a part of religious practice for thousands of years, extolled from Athens to Osaka by many philosophers, gurus, and teachers. It can also be a helpful tool for those looking to calm their minds amid the stress of work, relationships, or anxiety. These centers offer meditation for all levels, from absolute beginners to masters:



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American Meditation Institute

Averill Park, 518.674.8714

Dedicated to “Yoga Science,” The AMI was founded by Leonard and Jenness Cortez Perlmutter in 1996. They offer a specially-designed, non-denominational form of meditation, which can be taught in special courses on campus. They also offer a unique conference for physicians ever fall.


Blue Cliff Monastery

Pine Bush

This Vietnamese monastery was founded by the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, author of books including The Miracle of Mindfulness and Peace is Every Step. Days of Mindfulness are on a donation basis for visitors, and they hold approximately one retreat a month for instruction in the cultivation of mindfulness.



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Chuang Yen Monastery

Carmel, 845.225.1819

Run by the Buddhist Association of the United States, Chuang Yen offers meditation in many traditions, including special Theravada retreats and a weekly Sunday meditation class by teachers of various sects.


Dharma Drum

Pine Bush, 845.744.8114

Located below the Shawangunk Ridge, Dharma Drum was founded by Chan Master Sheng Yen and is dedicated to the practice of Chan Buddhism. Classes range from free workshops to in-depth retreats focusing on various aspects of Chan practice, including an upcoming silent weekend.


Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing

Pine Bush, 845.203.1275

The Center of Wellbeing is affiliated with the Dharmakaya Institute, founded by incarnate lama and Harvard PhD Trungnam Gyalwa Rinpoche, currently head of the Tibetan Trungnam lineage. They aim to fuse Tibetan knowledge with western understanding, resulting in an accessible practice. Weekend retreats for both beginners and initiates are held all summer long.



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Garrison Institute

Garrison, 845.424.4800

This non-denominational center of contemplation is based in an refurbished Capuchin monastery. Its retreats focus on a variety of topics, from mindfulness to neurobiology to lectures on key aspects of Buddhism, Judaism, and other religious traditions.


Kadampa Meditation Center

Glen Spey, 845.856.9000

The 82 acres of Kadampa include the modern World Peace Temple dedicated to meditation. Tibetan meditation is offered by various teachers, and a number of personal and group retreats are also available for those looking to deepen their practice.



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Kagyu Thubten Chöling

Wappingers Falls

The Hudson Valley is home to a number of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, all of which host their own meditation sessions. KTC holds daily Chrenrezig chanting practice in addition to special classes, in addition to weekly introductions to sitting meditation. Their special events include talks from dedicated practitioners, as well as prayer sessions timed to the Tibetan religious calendar. They have limited overnight space.


Karma Triyana Dharmachakra

Woodstock, 845.679.5906

This gorgeous temple in the mountains overlooking Woodstock is a popular tourist destination, but once the crowds leave and the chanting begins, you could just as easily be in Dharamshala or Ulaanbaatar. They offer a number of classes in Tibetan Buddhism, and have a well-stocked bookstore.


Linwood Spiritual Center

Rhinebeck, 845.876.4178

Linwood is operated by the Ursuline Sisters, and so offer a number of unique retreats at their gorgeous, riverside convent, included guided Ignatian practice, Twelve-Step programs, and a number of all-Women programs.



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Mahayana Buddhist Temple

South Cairo, 212.925.8787 ext. 110 or 103

South Cairo is home to the oldest Chinese Buddhist Temple in the Eastern United States. They schedule regular trips from New York City, and Mahayana meditation occurs daily.



Phoenicia, 845.688.6897

Menla has the special distinction of being the Dalai Lama’s cultural center in North America, and is associated with Tibet House. It is a bit more luxe than the average temple or meditation center, with an associated spa. For those looking to both deepen their practice and maybe get an exfoliation.


Omega Institute

Rhinebeck, 877.944.2002

The Omega Institute’s sprawling campus in rural Rhinebeck is dedicated to all-things ethical: vegan meals, sustainable practices, as well as workshops in meditation, tai-chi, and yoga, all for the purpose of freeing your mind and your heat. Many classes are reserved for retreat participants, but check the website for a list of open classes for drop-ins.



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Won Dharma Meditation Center

Claverack, 518.851.2851

Won is, by the standards of Buddhism, fairly-recent — its founder attained enlightenment in 1916. Its tenets focus on the use, rather than the expiation, of Mind, and so both weekly free meditation classes and retreats like “Purifying Body and Mind” focus on more mindful practices.


Zen Mountain Monastery

Mt. Tremper, 845.688.2228

This Western Zen monastery has prospered since 1980, and is associated with Zen Center of New York City. They offer guided zazen meditation, as well as retreats lasting from a weekend to a month.

Related: Find Serenity Inside Poughkeepsie’s Secret Himalayan Salt Cave

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