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Retreat Guidelines

HOW TO GET HERE

Empty Cloud is located at 29 Ridgeway Avenue in West Orange. Please use the entrance on the far left side corner of the building, by the big sitting monk statue.

  • To learn how to get to the center via public transit from NYC, please click here.

WHAT TO BRING

Please pack very lightly. Ideally, all your belongings should fit in a small bag or a carry-on suitcase.

  • Sleeping bag or twin sheets and pillow case.
  • Towel and toiletries you expect to use (toothbrush, toothpaste, conditioner, etc.).
  • Water bottle.
  • If you’re a light sleeper, we suggest bringing earplugs.
  • If you would like to bring a food donation, please check Dana list first.
  • Laundry will only be available once a week for retreats longer than 7 days. Please pack accordingly.

ARRIVAL AND ACCOMMODATION

  • Upon arrival, you will be asked to relinquish your phone. All communication devices (phones, laptops) need to be shut off during the entire retreat. Please give the email retreats@buddhistinsights.com to friends and family for emergency purposes. If you need an emergency contact number, upon arrival please request the phone number of the volunteer who will manage the retreat you’re attending, and send it to your family before relinquishing your phone.
  • Please arrive on time. If you arrive late, you may be asked to cancel your stay. Attendance is required for the entire retreat and every scheduled event. This applies to both sleepover and commuter attendees.
  • Participation in Buddhist Insights events is at the discretion of BI’s teachers and managers. If in Buddhist Insight’s opinion, it is not appropriate for you to continue to participate, you may be asked to leave at any time.
  • Before leaving, please clean up your room and leave all facilities as you found them. Unfortunately we have very little storage space available for personal belongings. Any items left behind and not claimed/picked up within one week will be donated to charity.

FOOD

  • During your stay, please practice contentment with the food you’re offered: do not bring or purchase food/beverages outside the center.
  • We provide organic vegetarian food, ethically sourced from small local farms and our own garden. We cannot cater to dietary preferences. If you would like to donate organic and ethical food to the center, please contact us. A list of currently need items can be found here

DANA

This retreat is offered to you as a gift by previous attendees at Buddhist Insights. We are a grassroots volunteer-run organization that runs entirely on donations by individuals like you. When donating, please do not think of it as a payment for your participation, but as a gift to others who wish to participate in the future. As a 501c-3 non-profit organization, all donations are tax deductible. You can donate on-site via check or cash, and electronically by clicking here.

SCHEDULE

Every retreat has a customized schedule for each teacher and monastic and sometimes evolves as the retreat progresses to adapt to the attendees. What doesn’t change are the start and end times. Below is a sample of the standard schedule.

FIRST DAY OF A RETREAT!
8:00pm – Registration
9:00pm – Orientation / Opening Talk
9:30pm – Meditation
10:00pm – Bedtime

DAYS OF THE RETREAT
6:00am – Wake-Up Bell
6:30am – Meditation
7:15am – Personal Time / Set Up Breakfast
7:30am – Breakfast
8:15am – Personal Time / Clean Up Breakfast
9:00am – Dharma / Meditation
10:00am – Work Period
11:00am – Lunch
12:00pm – Personal Time / Clean Up Lunch
1:30pm – Dharma Talk / Meditation
5:30pm – Break 6:30pm – Q&A / Meditation
9:30pm – Bedtime

LAST DAY OF A RETREAT
6:00am – Wake-Up Bell
6:30am – Meditation
7:15am – Personal Time / Set Up Breakfast
7:30am – Breakfast
8:15am – Personal Time / Clean Up Breakfast
9:00am – Dharma / Meditation
10:00am – Work Period
11:00am – Lunch
12:00pm – Personal Time / Clean Up Lunch
1:30pm – Dharma Talk / Meditation
4:00pm – End of Retreat

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