On a perfectly clear day, the World Peace Temple of the New York Kadampa Center glistens, the golden vajras (objects representing spiritual power) at the top of the sacred building shine brightly, and you can’t help but gravitate towards it. This Tibetan Buddhist temple and meditation center sits on 82 acres in the Catskill Mountains in the town of Glen Spey, New York. Surrounded by rolling hills, the temple and accompanying structures present an idyllic escape for the weekend, conveniently located two hours from New York City.
Started in 1991 by contemporary Buddhist master Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the Kadampa Buddhist tradition presents Buddha’s teachings in a way that is easily applicable in our daily lives. Though the movement has spread around the world, with many centers in cities across the country and world peace temples in the UK and Portugal, its tenets of simplicity and world peace remain at the core of the practice. The prices here aren’t exorbitant, allowing people access to meditation and a peaceful way of life.
Kadampa offers a number of weekend getaways, with titles like “Blue Sky Mind,” “Letting Go of the Past,” and “Healing Ourselves and Others”. Beginner silent retreats are also available. Weekend retreats have visiting teachers from other centers, and sessions take place in the awe-inspiring temple that evokes immediate reverence. Natural light graces the sacred space, red padded chairs and cushions face a row of golden Buddhas and elaborate wall decor. Sessions last anywhere from 60 to 75 minutes, including an opening prayer and teaching followed by guided meditation.