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Plan Your Visit | What to expect

The Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing is a place of rest and refuge

We look forward to welcoming you at the Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing, whether you are joining us for a day, a week, a month or longer. This page has lots of information that will be useful as you plan your visit. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us.

Arrival and Departure










What to Bring

Conduct and Etiquette

Teacher Dana




Stone stairs at the Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing

Check-in begins at 3:00 pm.

Your meals begin with dinner on the day of your arrival, served from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. If you arrive after 8 pm, please make other arrangements for dinner, as the kitchen is generally closed by then.

We are sorry, we cannot accommodate arrivals after 10:00 pm.

Lunch is included in the last day of your stay. As room check out is at 11:00 am, we ask that you vacate your room before the meal.


CAR. Please follow this link for driving directions. Feel free to drive up and drop your luggage at the Welcome Center; then please return down the hill to park your car in the lot that is immediately to your left when you enter the Center grounds. We will shuttle you back up the hill.

TRAIN. From Newark, La Guardia and Penn Station, you can take the Metro North train into Middletown, New York, approximately a 30-minute drive from the Center. For teachings, retreats and other special events, we will provide van service at set times; if you would like this service, please let us know at least a day in advance. Otherwise, please take a taxi from the train station to the Center.

BUS. From New York City, you can take the Shortline Bus into Ellenville, New York, approximately a 15-minute drive from the Center. For teachings, retreats and other special events, we will provide van service at set times; if you would like this service, please let us know at least a day in advance. Otherwise, please take a taxi from the train station to the Center.

PLANE. Newark, La Guardia and Stewart Airports all offer convenient services. From Newark or LaGuardia you can complete your trip by train; from Stewart you may rent a car or take a taxi service.

TELEPHONETrungram Gyalwa Rinpoche teaching outdoors to a group of Buddhist retreatants

Cell phone use is strictly restricted to the bedrooms. Please keep any calls brief, and be aware of the volume of your voice, so as not to disturb guests in neighboring rooms. The center phone may be used for emergencies only; emergency calls are expected to be extremely brief.


Free internet service is available in the library.


Washers and dryers are located in both Birch House and Oak House, and detergent is in the cabinet above the machines. Retreatants may do their own laundry for $2.00 per half hour. Please contact a Center staff member to pay and get a key.

In true Buddhist tradition, deer roam the property at the Dharmakaya Center for WellbeingBEDDING

We provide bedding and towels for each room. Retreatants are expected to make up their beds. If your retreat lasts longer than a week, you may get a fresh set of sheets and towels. At the end of your stay, please strip your bed, leave your sheets and towels neatly outside your door, tidy your room and make sure you have removed all your belongings.


If you expect personal visitors during your stay, please let staff know in advance. All visitors are expected to pay accommodation and/or meal fees, to follow all Center rules and to sign a waiver.


Children are welcome at the Center except during some special programs, and those under 14 may attend programs free, space permitting. Children must, however, be supervised at all times by a parent or designated guardian. Before bringing your child, please consider whether they will disturb those on retreat.


In the event of illness or injury, the nearest emergency medical facilities are about 20 minutes away. We do not have our own medical facilities or personnel. Sometimes other visitors with medical or alternative healthcare training may offer help or advice. Please understand that the visitor is acting entirely on their own initiative, and not on behalf of or under the direction of the Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing.

Dharmakaya retreats include advance Buddhist studies, introductory meditation and mindfulness and meditative movementWHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable clothing for meditation and movement
  • Slip-on, soft-soled shoes for indoors and shared bathrooms
  • Bathrobe or sweat suits for movement between bedroom and bathroom
  • Walking/hiking shoes for outdoors and hiking trails
  • Unscented shampoo and toiletries
  • Water bottle, sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen
  • Warm clothing; weather on the hillside is seasonal and can be extremely variable
  • Umbrellas and/or rain clothes; you will need to move between buildings in all weather
  • Any special items for your practice (each room has a meditation cushion)


To maintain a respectful environment appropriate to practice, we ask that all guests abide by the following guidelines:

  • Shared community values and behavior help make the Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing a welcoming place for everyonePlease dress modestly and remove your shoes as you enter Milarepa Hall, Birch House and Oak House.
  • Please keep your things neat and tidy.
  • Please maintain functional speech. Avoid loud noises and limit conversations to Dharma topics and questions. We request that everyone is completely silent after 10:00 pm with lights out.
  • Laptops may only be used in your room or the library.
  • Please refrain from all social media use, including news channels, while you are on retreat; you are learning to disconnect.
  • Alcohol, non-prescription drugs, cigarettes, meat and fish are not permitted.
  • We unfortunately cannot accommodate pets; this includes emotional support animals.
  • Please do not use any perfume or cologne. Use only unscented, fragrance-free personal hygiene products.
  • We show our respect for the teachers by standing when the Rinpoches arrive, and sitting only after they have been seated. We again stand as they prepare to leave.
  • Please do not point the soles of your feet towards the Rinpoches or the Buddha, and do not place Dharma texts or images directly on the floor.


Dharmakaya teachers continue the ancient Buddhist tradition of freely offering their teachings. It is traditional, though not required, for students to make an offering to the teacher in thanks for their great kindness in sharing the Dharma.


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