Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 7 years ago

Where might I find a Buddhist temple/retreat?

After exhausting my limited internet skills, I've come here with a question. I'm looking for a Buddhist temple/monastery in the U.S. where I might be able to serve those around me. I've got in mind someplace where they allow individuals to stay for extended periods of time, isolated from the "normal" world to be uninhibited by distractions. The idea of being in communion with teachers or guides, or individuals who have been living and practicing Buddhism for much longer than I have, is most attractive.

Does there exist any place like this in the eastern U.S.? Any feedback at all is much appreciated.

5 Answers

  • P'ang
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favourite answer

    There are many Buddhist monasteries and temples in the Eastern U.S. where you can live and train with other people. Some of these are in urban settings (for example, Cambridge Zen Center), while others are in rural settings. It sounds like you're interested in a more rural kind of situation, so you might consider:

    Providence Zen Center (RI)

    Zen Mountain Monastery (NY)

    Karme Choling (VT)

    Insight Meditation Society (MA)

    To the best of my knowledge, there is no center in the U.S. where you can simply show up and be accepted. Residential centers nearly always require a person to practice at the center for a period of time before beginning residency. In addition, residents are expected to pay a monthly training fee that covers the teaching, housing, and food. Some centers offer work study, especially for those with valuable skills (like programming or carpentry).

    Finally, no matter where you go, you will find the same kinds of distractions you experience in the "ordinary" world. That's because distractions come from *mind* - not from outside circumstances. No matter how you rearrange your outside circumstances, unless you work with *mind* you will not find the peace you seek. And, of course, you can work with mind in any kind of situation - on a bus, in a meeting, or in an argument with a friend.

    Best wishes on your path!

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Start your search by going to

    They have worldwide listings of dharma groups.

    I know that Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, Canada, has short-term openings. You pay, and you also help out. But they do expect you to have some training in their particular traditions of Buddhism. Also, you will be sitting and meditating for 4 hours a day. Can you do that day after day and not want to scream?

    As for being isolated from "normal" distractions of the world, this is not useful. Nor is it Buddhism ... is more about escapism.

    The distractions of the world are fuel for your practice of Buddhism. Buddhism is about observing what goes on inside yourself, and the more distractions there are around you, the more there is to observe.

    The general advice is to start right where you are, and not go trying to change outer circumstances. Buddhism is about changing inner circumstances, not outer circumstances.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    You probably would not be allowed to go into a deep monastic situation right away, nor should you. You'd be better off contacting a local Buddhist center, or visiting one, and take some classes and do some short retreats.

    As for "isolation", when you go on extended retreats, believe me, the world comes along with you.

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  • 7 years ago

    Yes, here is the website for Kadampa Meditation Center New York, located in upstate New York. It is very quiet and beautiful and there are many monks and nuns to help you.

    Good luck!

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