Spirituality has always been very important to me. It is the beating of my soul. The wonderful thing about spirituality is that you can tap into it wherever you are. At any moment, you can go directly to that internal space to refuel yourself and be strengthened. But there are some places that call forth your spirituality in a very special way, just by your mere presence there. And for me, one of those places is the Garrison Institute.
The Garrison Institute is nestled in the hills overlooking the Hudson River – across from West Point – in Garrison New York.
The Garrison Institute is a spiritual haven for the thousands who flock there. The former monastery was renovated and converted into a retreat center providing impactful, contemplative, educational programs and retreats for nearly the last 20 years.
When you walk on the property of the Garrison Institute there is no question that you have arrived to a sacred place.
The institute was founded on the principle that action in the world is more effective when combined with wisdom and skill to produce contemplative practices. It is those practices that create a healthier, safer and more compassionate world.
It is known for having everyone from the Dalai Lama to political leaders visit in an attempt to create collaborative efforts to make the wider world and society a better place.
The Garrison Institute offers programs on everything from Mindfulness in Education to Transforming Trauma. They often have young people visiting from the inner-city to experience the magic of meditation and contemplative teachings in their beautiful, serene environment.
The Garrison Institute is a light for all who come. It doesn’t matter what religious background you come from, or if you are religious at all, there is a magical peace that is found there that crosses all divisions.
The location is also home to community events and functions. They have delicious, healthy, clean food they serve which has its visitors raving.
It opens its doors to all for free community meditation every Wednesday morning at 8:30 AM. It is an hour meditation followed by tea and coffee service and a discussion on the meditation reading of the day. The most amazing conversations emerge from what is shared during that time from a diverse pool of attendees.
I am so utterly grateful to have the Garrison Institute as part of my life and I am immensely grateful to be able to call it my spiritual home.
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