College & University Students / Young Adults Winter Retreat


Young Adults


Director: Gaylon Ferguson

Assist. Director: Vegan Aharonian

Judith Simmer-Brown

Guest Speaker: Grace Gershuny

Date & Time Details:

January 2024



Program Fee:

Generosity Price - $630

Tuition - $530

Room/Meals Fee:

This will be added in during the registration process.
View accommodations

Heart Gift:

Donation gift to the teacher.
Make a heart gift

Wellness Update:

Read our Wellness Policy

Contact Us:

Karmê Chöling
(802) 633-2384

Step away from the constant pressure of deadlines, demands, and the buzz of social media. Embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery where the unparalleled natural beauty of winter in Vermont will provide the perfect backdrop for your mindfulness journey.

A Four-Day Mindfulness Retreat

  1. Deepen Your Mindfulness Practice: Take a break and immerse yourself in a week-long mindfulness practice amongst peers.

  2. Accomplished Guest Speakers: Gain insights from a diverse team of guest speakers who will share relevant teachings on socially-engaged dharma, helping you see how mindfulness can be applied in various real-world contexts.

    Gaylon Ferguson - Shambhala vision
    Judith Simmer-Brown - Compassion and Science
    Grace Gershuny - Food, soil, climate, hope
    Vegan Aharonian - Enlightened Society and International relations

  3. Guided Sessions: Receive personal guidance from seasoned meditation instructors.

  4. Rediscover Calm, Presence, and Bravery: Learn valuable tools and techniques to use in your daily life, empowering you to navigate life's challenges with grace and courage.

  5. Explore Collective Awakening: In a world that often feels chaotic and out of control, is an enlightened society even possible? The Buddhist tradition offers far more than a mere path to ‘personal enlightenment’. This retreat will explore what it means to 'wake up' collectively.

  6. Mindful Living Practices: Experience the power of mindfulness through alternating periods of silence and mindful speech. Discover ancient practices that promote mindful eating and wakeful movement.

Join us for this unique retreat tailored to students and young adults, where everyone is welcomed to participate.

Scholarships Available

Our program tuition helps us cover the costs of providing you with an excellent retreat environment. Cost, however, should not be a barrier. Thanks to generous patrons, we are able to offer a generous scholarship program.

Contact if you would like to request assistance.
We have a limited number of the following scholarships available:

Partial Scholarship - $125

Full Scholarship - $390


Here are Directions & Transportation options for traveling to Karmê Chöling.
Many people make their way to the Hanover/White River Junction/Lebanon area via bus, plane, or train. From there we are able to assist you with transportation the rest of the way to the retreat center here in Barnet. Please let us know when you register that you will need a ride.

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Karmê Chöling values its commitment to making programs affordable and available to all who wish to study with us. To support this commitment we provide two program price options.

Generosity Price: $630.00
You're able to help us with this commitment by choosing the "Generosity Price". The money above the basic tuition cost goes into a scholarship fund for those who might not be able to attend a program otherwise.

Tuition: $530.00
This is the price of the program, it does not include housing options or material fees.

Please Note:
Price does not include accommodations, which will be added during the registration process.


Payment Policies:
Please read the payment policy before proceeding with registration.

Financial Aid:
Karmê Chöling offers full-time student discounts, scholarships and other financial aid.

Program Credit:
If using existing program credit to pay for a program, you must pre-register for this program at least two weeks prior to the program start date by calling the front desk (802-633-2384 x3000). Program credit may not be used to pay for housing or practice materials and may not be used on or after arrival day.


Gaylon Ferguson
Director: Gaylon Ferguson

Gaylon Ferguson, PhD, has practiced and taught Buddhism for over four decades. He received a doctorate in cultural anthropology in 1996 and taught at several universities, including fifteen years as core faculty at Naropa. He is a senior dharma teacher in the Shambhala International Buddhist community and has led meditation programs in numerous cities in the U.S. and internationally since 1976. He has been published in anthologies including "Dharma, Color, and Culture"; "Mindful Politics"; and "Black and Buddhist". He is the author of "Natural Wakefulness" and "Natural Bravery".

Vegan Aharonian
Assist. Director: Vegan Aharonian

Vegan Aharonian began studying Shambhala Buddhism in 1996 and has been teaching Shambhala Buddhism since 2007. Originally from Armenia (the former Soviet Union), he came to the United States as a graduate student at Columbia University in 1991. In addition to teaching regularly in New York, he has also taught international Shambhala programs in Russia and Ukraine. Vegan holds a PhD in geophysics and has worked as a software engineer for most of his career. His last engagement was at the United Nations. He is currently serves as co-Director of Karme Choling and leads practice and education for NY Shambhala Center.

Judith Simmer Brown
Judith Simmer-Brown

Judith Simmer-Brown is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where she has been in the faculty since 1978. She has practiced Tibetan Buddhism for almost 50 years. She serves on the steering committee of the American Academy of Religion’s Contemplative Studies Group. Dr. Simmer-Brown lectures and publishes on Tibetan Buddhism, American Buddhism, women and Buddhism, interreligious dialogue, and contemplative studies. Her books are "Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism" (Shambhala) and, with Fran Grace, an edited collection of articles called "Meditation and the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies" (Religious Studies Series, State University of New York Press).

Grace Gershuny
Guest Speaker: Grace Gershuny

Grace Gershuny is an American organic farmer, writer, and leader in the organic farming movement.
She is the author of books and articles on soil management and composting including; "The Soul of Soil", "Start with the Soil", "Compost, Vermicompost and Compost Tea: Feeding the Soil on the Organic Farm" and "The Organic Revolutionary: A Memoir from the Movement for Real Food, Planetary Healing, and Human Liberation".
Previously, she was editor of the "Organic Farmer: The Digest of Sustainable Agriculture".
Currently she serves on the faculty of the Institute for Social Ecology.

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