Wilderness Retreat & Orientation (1 week)
Wilderness orientation and meditation workshop in the High Peaks wilderness of the Adirondacks.
Residential Zen Training (10 - 12 weeks)
Intensive zen training at a monastery in New York or Vermont. This includes three, week-long formal retreats.
Integration and Engagement Retreat (1 week).
Rejoin all the program participants, network, learn how to sustain your meditation practice in ‘the real world’, learn from engaged Buddhism experts how to apply what you learned in the monastery to making tangible, long-term positive changes in our society and in your life. We will have workshops on Buddhist environmentalism, compassionate activism, and contemplative neuroscience.
Dharma Gates offers participants an intensive immersion experience in Buddhist Monastic Life. We will interview candidates and connect them to a monastery we believe would be a good fit. After a week of wilderness backpacking, orientation, and practice with stillness, they will spend three months in residency, delving deeply into meditation and the study of Buddhist practice.
Life in a Buddhist Monastery consists of meditation, chanting, work practice, and silence. Committing to this requires a certain degree of open-mindedness and determination. It can be both physically and emotionally challenging. It can also be massively rewarding, and help to open the heart and mind to be responsive, engaged, focused, and compassionate.
Residents will get to know the Sangha (community) with whom they stay and the other program participants forging lifelong connections to other like-minded young people. After their residency, participants will come back together for a week-long workshop to integrate their experience with their peers. Students will have time to process what they have learned and contemplate how to carry such knowledge with them into the world.
Areas we will cover in the concluding retreat include Buddhism and political action, environmentalism, social justice, contemplative neuroscience, and how to create or support a meditation community at your university.
There are not many young people practicing Dharma, and those that do encounter a lot of resistance from the culture around them. Countering this resistance we will incubate a culture that no longer sees success and compassion as opposites, a culture that values both the head and the heart, both speed and patience.