All posts tagged: Featured

Empty Cloud

Welcome to Empty Cloud, our new monastery and retreat center in West Orange, NJ. After three full years of offering free meditation retreats at the Rockaway Summer House in New York City, thanks to your kind donations we have moved to this wonderful location where we can keep doing what we know how to do best – practice the Dharma – and offer it to even more living beings! As usual, all retreats are offered on a donation basis: the suggested donation is to practice generosity! Everyone is welcome, but registration is mandatory ahead of time. There’s no shortage of events to participate in, so check out our upcoming calendar at, or send us an email at RSVP@BUDDHISTINSIGHTS.COM We are not supported by grants, but we run entirely on individual donations. To help us offer the Dharma freely, please donate on

Many Teachings, One Essence

By BHANTE SUDDHĀSO  * Art AARON GLASSON * When one first encounters Buddhism, it is not uncommon to be confused and overwhelmed by the bewildering array of seemingly dramatically different forms of Buddhism. This is unsurprising. On first glance, it seems impossible to find common ground between the austere aesthetic of Japanese Buddhism and the byzantine visage of Tibetan Buddhism, or to reconcile the multi-stage meditation training of Theravāda with the single-step directness of Soto Zen. However, as one digs beneath the surface one begins to discern the common threads that tie them all together: the heart-essence of the Buddha’s teachings found in the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The question then becomes: How can we see all contemplative Buddhist traditions as only superficially different manifestations of the same core essence? And perhaps more relevantly, how can we form a clear picture in our minds of a complete and valid path to liberation? The truth is that there is no easy answer to such questions. It is only through contact with experienced members of …

Engaged Spirituality

  Start 2017 with the right foot and a compassionate heart. In January Buddhist Insights will be launching Engaged Spirituality, a new series of programming featuring workshops, retreats and talks to empower people to be the change they want to see in the world. We will kick off programming with two retreats at the Rockaway Summer House. The Peaceful Revolution, led by Jampa Kunchog an American monk in the Tibetan tradition. Spiritual Activism, led by Kundalini teacher Marika Bethel and Buddhist monk Bhante Suddhaso. FOR MORE INFO & TO REGISTER CLICK HERE      

The Rockaway Summer House

We are proud to present the Rockaway Summer House, a retreat center by the beach in New York City easily reachable via subway train. Starting December 2016 we will offer free meditation retreats and a mix of other wholesome activities and wellness programs. Retreats are residential and the Summer House can accommodate up to 20 overnight guests. DECEMBER 2016 We’re starting out strong with a weekend meditation/study retreat led by Bhante Suddhāso, where you can deepen your insight into causality and its relationship to Buddhist practice; then we’ll welcome in the new year with our 8-day New Year’s Retreat, which will incorporate daily Dharma talks, discussion periods, and private mentoring sessions with our resident monk. COMING UP IN 2017 The new year will bring you many treasures, featuring retreats from Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu, Konin Melissa Cardenas, Jayasara Bhikkhu, and many others. All retreats are offered on a donation basis: there is no minimum donation, and everyone is welcome. Registration is mandatory. There’s no shortage of events to participate in, so check out our calendar at, or send us an email at RSVP@BUDDHISTINSIGHTS.COM Main photo …

Hiking & Meditation Retreat

The Buddha frequently recommended meditating in the wilderness – and for good reason: the peace and serenity of natural environments contributes to the development of concentration. On Saturday November 12th come join Bhante Suddhaso and the Buddhist Insights crew for our second hiking retreat; we’ll be spending the day walking and meditating together in Little Stony Point State Park, near the Cold Spring train station. Little Stony Point State Park is located at a peninsula in the Hudson River, and includes sandy beaches, forest trails, and vantage points with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Make sure to bring plenty of water. You may also wish to bring insect repellent, sunscreen, a sun-hat, and something to sit on (such as a beach towel). This is a “bring your own food” event; if you would also like to bring food for the monk, please notify MEETING POINT: 11am at Cold Spring train station. REGISTRATION:      

Chocolate and Meditation

Chocolate is well known for its medicinal value, and among Buddhist monastics it is considered medicine rather than food. Even monks and nuns who follow the ancient tradition of not eating dinner will often eat chocolate in the evening, valuing its ability to gently elevate mood and stimulate mental energy prior to meditation. Dark chocolate is seen not as a food, but rather as a medicine with valuable therapeutic properties that can be eaten at any time of day. Join Bhante Suddhāso for an evening of mindful eating, meditation and chocolate tasting at Raaka Chocolate Factory in Red Hook. At this event, you will learn about how the attitude of renunciation aids in developing non-attachment and how this practice varies from tradition to tradition. The evening will include a Dhamma talk, a period of meditation, and chocolate tasting.  Raaka Chocolate is a chocolate factory that uses ethically sourced organic cacao, produced using sustainable agroforestry. Its products are made in small, hand-crafted batches using raw, unroasted cacao, which preserves the richness and complexity of its flavor. To register, please visit   …

At the New York Botanical Garden

Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, is a Japanese practice that supports physical and mental health through exposure to nature. This is reflected in Japanese Zen, where silent meditation in serene environments is a core element of the practice. On October 15th & 16th, Buddhist monk Bhante Suddhāso, trained in both Zen and in Theravāda meditation, will lead visitors in the practice of sitting and walking meditation among the trees and landscapes of the New York Botanical Garden. This is part of the Kiku Exhibit at NYBG. For more info: CLICK HERE    

Autumn in New York

Autumn provides all manner of opportunities to practice meditation. At Buddhist Insights we are kickstarting the Fall season with an action-packed meditation schedule including retreats at a biodynamic farm in the Catskills, meditation and chocolate tastings at a chocolate factory in Brooklyn, and a series of day-longs led by visiting monastics. Brighten your mind with compassion at Tibetan Buddhist nun Khenmo Drolma’s subway sessions, and sharpen your insight at Theravada monk Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu’s Mahasi retreats; or just come practice with us in costume at our Halloween special! There’s no shortage of events to participate in, so check out our calendar at, or send us an email at RSVP@BUDDHISTINSIGHTS.COM Photo by Bennett Cain

BK Street Retreat

You don’t need to go to a meditation center to do a retreat – the city is full of peaceful places! On August 28th join Bhante Suddhāso and the Buddhist Insights crew on the third edition of this unique retreat experience: meditating in parks, plazas, and subway stations all over New York City! We’ll begin in the morning at McCarren Park in Brooklyn. After that, we’ll roam the city together stopping periodically for periods of group meditation. If you’re joining late, check out @BUDDHISMNYC on TWITTER to find out where we are. Send us an email: RSVP@BUDDHISTINSIGHTS.COM Sign-up on Not in NYC? Go meditate outdoors, take a picture and tag #STREETRETREAT on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. The best picture will be posted on