Public Title
The Westchester Buddhist Center’s Seventh Annual Retreat: The Wisdom of Emotions

Westchester Buddhist Center

Join the Westchester Buddhist Center for their annual week-long retreat. This will be an intensive exploration of emotions and meditation, and will be led by experienced dharma teachers, authorized by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in the Kagyu-Nyingma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
A limited number of Hemera Contemplative Fellowships are available in support of this program. For more information, please refer here.

Emotions like grief, fear, and despair are as much a part of the human condition as love, generosity, and joy. They are natural and inevitable responses to the impermanent world we all live in. Yet few of us learn how to experience them fully. Instead of encountering them fully in our bodies and minds with awareness, we are triggered by them and react in impulsive and neurotic ways. We become depressed, anxious, or emotionally numb; addicted to substances or activities as avoidance strategies. But it’s not the emotions themselves that are the problem, it’s our inability to experience them directly, mindfully.

Emotion-phobia is endemic to our culture and perhaps to patriarchal culture in general. But difficult emotions have value and purpose. There are no negative emotions; there are only negative attitudes towards emotions we don’t like and can’t tolerate, and the negative consequences of denying them. The emotions we call negative are energies that require our attention, ask for expression, transmit information, and impel us to action. Each is purposeful and useful, if we know how to listen.

WBC Retreat Scholarships are Available! Click here to learn how to apply.

Days will consist of alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation, guided meditations, short dharma talks, readings focused on the techniques, and interviews with the teachers.

TThe retreat will primarily be held in silence, with some relaxation of this policy towards the end. Meals will be served buffet-style and will be primarily vegetarian.  The retreat will be led by John Baker, Gene Bobker, Jane Kolleeny, and Derek Kolleeny, all of whom are experienced dharma teachers, authorized by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in the Kagyu-Nyingma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. 

As students of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, John, Jane, and Derek emphasize experiential Buddhism, which develops as meditation practice deepens, both on the meditation cushion and in one’s daily life.

Westchester Buddhist Center was formed in early 2009 from the inspiration to share the Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist and Shambhala teachings and meditation practices presented in the West by the Tibetan meditation master and scholar, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. 


John Baker has been a student of Buddhism for more than 41 years. A close disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, he co-founded and taught at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, serving as its CEO for the first three years of its existence, teaching there for five. He also co-founded and co-directed the Karma Dzong Meditation Center in Boulder for the first five years of its existence. He is the co-editor of Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism and The Myth of Freedom and the author of numerous articles.

Gene Bobker
met Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche as a student at University of Colorado the summer of 1971. She attended the 1974 Seminary and became a meditation instructor in 1976. In the late seventies, she became a teacher at the New York Shambhala Center and also served as director of the center from 1977 to 1982.  In 1982, she staffed the Bedford Springs Seminary, and later served as Practice Department coordinator in New York. She has been teaching at Westchester Buddhist Center for six years. Gene is an educator in the Westchester public school system, and is a mother and grandmother.

Jane Kolleeny has been studying and practicing Buddhism since the early seventies, when her teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche arrived in Boulder, Colorado. A native Coloradan, she moved to New York in 1990 and taught classes at the New York Shambhala Center for many years, organizing and teaching at the Tuesday dharma gatherings for nine years. She serves as retreats and business development director at The Garrison Institute, producing over 100 retreats a year. 

Derek Kolleeny began his practice and study of Buddhism in 1976 and soon became a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, attending his first of many Naropa Institute summer sessions in 1977. He earned a B.A. from Harvard College in the Comparative Study of World Religions, focused on Buddhism, including study of Sanskrit and Tibetan languages. During a year off from college, Derek was the assistant coordinator of the six-month US tour of HH the XVIth Gyalwa Karmapa in 1980 and attended the Vajradhatu Seminary and the Kalapa Assembly in 1981 at Lake Louise, in Alberta, Canada.
2/17/2019 3:00 PM - 2/24/2019 2:00 PM
Garrison Institute Route 9D At Glenclyffe Garrison, NY 10524

Pricing Information

Registration OptionFee
Commuter Rate (no bedroom)$845.00
Dorm Room$1,020.00
Double Room$1,160.00
Single Room$1,335.00
Fees Include
Total Fees by Room Choice.

Late Registration Fee

Online registration for this event will close the day before the start of the retreat. Late registrations may be accepted on a case-by-case basis; there is a $50 late registration fee.

Cancellation Policy

This policy applies only to retreats for which Garrison Institute collected registration fees directly from guests. For cancellations made at least a week in advance of the start of the retreat, we assess a $50 cancellation fee. For cancellations made within a week of the event, in addition to the $50 processing fee, we will assess a fee of $40 per day for the length of the retreat to cover our direct costs for food, which will have already been ordered. We cannot offer refunds for cancellations made after 4pm the day before the start of a retreat.

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