Skip to content

F.A.Q. Zen & Psychoanalysis at Garrison Institute

FAQ’s Dogen Bion Retreat

Is there public transportation from N.Y.C. to the Garrison Retreat Center?

Yes,The Garrison Institute is located directly off Route 9D in Garrison, New York, within Putnam County. The facility is 50 miles north of New York City and approximately 30 minutes from the city of Poughkeepsie, NY. Major highways nearby include Interstate 84, Route 9, the Palisades Parkway and the Taconic State Parkway. Garrison offers on-site parking for those who will arrive by car

Travel Details Link

Metro North Rail Time Table

From Metro North Garrison Train Station:

A no-cost, no reservation required shuttle service is available from the Garrison Train Depot (one mile away) to the Garrison Institute during registration hours (approx. 3-6pm), and immediately after lunch on the closing day of an event. There is also a one-mile long walking path through the woods from the Garrison Train Depot to the Institute, lovely during good weather.

Are we allowed to talk on the retreat?

All of our retreats are conducted in silence unless otherwise specified. This supports your meditation practice by limiting distraction. The timekeeper and retreat leaders will speak when they need to direct you. And of course the teacher will be giving Dharma Talks as well as opportunities to participate in discussions and one-on-one private interviews (Dokusan)related to the retreat topic. When other communication is necessary, short handwritten notes are allowed, or you may speak quietly to one of the retreat leaders who will be identified during the orientation & introductions.

Do I have to follow the retreat schedule?

Yes, if you come on retreat, you are expected to follow the schedule. The environment and schedule are carefully planned to provide all participants with the best possible conditions for perfecting their practice. Ample break-time is included in the schedule From morning till night, you know exactly where you are supposed to be and what you should be doing. This frees you to focus your full attention and energy on your practice.

Why are there so many rules on retreats?

The rules or etiquette are designed to enhance deepened moment-to-moment awareness both on and off the meditation cushion (zafu) and to maintain a harmonious atmosphere in support of intense meditation practice. The environment and schedule are carefully planned to provide all retreatants with the best possible conditions for perfecting their practice.

Is there a dress code for retreats?

Wear loose and comfortable clothing suitable for meditation. Elastic-waist pants are most suitable. (Jeans are not a good choice, since they can constrict the waist and chafe the thighs and the backs of the knees when sitting for long periods in meditation.) Please wear muted colors and avoid eye-catching t-shirts, bright-colored clothing, tank tops or shorts and do not wear cosmetics, perfumes or colognes.

What to bring on retreats?

Bring your own toiletry items and a personal alarm clock or device.

Can I bring my own cushion?

Cushions and chairs for sitting meditation are provided based on your registration requests. You are welcome to bring your personal cushion or bench if you prefer; please be sure your personal item is carefully marked with your name.

What about meals?

All meals served at the retreat center are vegetarian with optional dairy products. Please inform us of any food allergies at your earliest convenience. Breakfast, lunch and a light supper are all provided and served in the dining hall. Food is for sustaining energy during practice and not for indulgence; therefore, no food or beverage is to be consumed outside the dining hall and scheduled meal times.

Garrison Food Policy, Check list for Guests & Other Details Link

%d bloggers like this: