What to Know
Personal Meditation Retreats are a wonderful way to deepen your understanding and practice of the Dharma. This page contains information to help you plan your stay here.
Personal Meditation Retreats include:
- Individual (Silent) Meditation Retreat without community interaction: This option is for when you really want to focus inward on your study and practice without the distraction of interacting with others.
- Personal Retreats within community: This is for when you want to participate in the community events while pursuing your own study/practice program.
- Self-guided Group Retreats: This is for groups who want to function as a cohort for a specific study/practice regime.
- Trial Residency: Individuals who are considering Residency and want to try out living at Karmê Chöling before committing.
When applying, it’s best to be clear on your motivations and aspirations for coming into a retreat. Part of the practice of developing self-awareness through meditation is in allowing flexibility in how these goals come to fruition.
What's Included In Retreats
Meditation Support, Accommodations, Meals, & Amenities
Receive meditation instruction from one of Karmê Chöling’s qualified meditation instructors (MI) Meeting with your MI on a regular and ongoing basis is strongly recommended, The MI relationship can be the basis of meditation support and mentorship.
We have six meditation/shrine rooms available for use; the Main Shrine Room, Community Room, Teacher’s Room, Shambhala Shrineroom and Sadhana Shrineroom in the Main House and the meditation hall in the Pavilion. These are available according to your practice, size of group and the time of your retreat.
Dharma Teachings Archive
Karmê Chöling has video and audio archive material going back 50 years. This includes the original talks given at Karmê Chöling by Chögyam Trungpa and others, that were later transcribed into books.
We have a collection of materials that extend from contemplative disciplines of general interest to transcripts of specific practices. Our library acts as one of our community rooms that is available most times to retreatants.
Our Retreats Coordinator will go over your retreat plan with you before your arrive. This might include what practices you are engaged in, which spaces you need for your practice, and arranging for a meditation instructor if you don’t have one.
We are a community of meditation practitioners. When you are at Karmê Chöling you are living in a household that organizes itself around meditation and its principles.
Karmê Chöling’s program participants and in-house retreatants have a variety of accommodation options. We offer private single rooms, shared rooms, and dormitory housing.
During the warmer months, our campground is open. We offer wooden ‘tent’ cabins, canvas tents, or you may use one of our tent platforms and bring your own tent.
Retreat cabins are strictly used for Solitary Cabin Retreats.
Luxury room with private bathroom
These rooms offer a full-size bed, desk, closet, and a private bathroom. There are only two of these — one in the main house and one at Ashoka Bhavan.
Premium room with shared bathroom
These rooms offer a full or queen sized bed, plus either a second bed in a loft or a desk.
Standard room with shared bathroom
Individual rooms vary in size and layout, but are on average 10′ x 10′. Single rooms include either a twin or full-size bed. Desks are not available in Standard Rooms.
Shared Dormitory Housing
Two same-gender dormitories with twin beds are located in the main house with access to shared same-gender bathrooms. Bedding and towel included.
Personal items can be left in large cubbies in the bathroom area. Small lockers are available at no additional cost.
(May through September)
Karmê Chöling has three beautiful Wooden "Tent" Cabins made by our local builder friends. Each structure has windows, a door, tin roof, and two cots. Bedding and towels are not provided.
Karmê Chöling Tents
KCL Tents are on thick wooden platforms and located throughout the forest behind the main house of Karmê Chöling. Each tent has up to two cots and optional three-inch-thick foam mattresses. Bedding and towels are not provided.
Those staying in tents may store their belongings in the dormitory cubbies located at the main house. Small lockers are available for use at no additional cost. Candles, fire, food, and toiletries of any kind are strictly forbidden in tents and Cabin tents.
There is an outhouse in the woods, however guests may also walk down to the main house to use dorm bathrooms and showers.
MEALS & DIETS
We eat fresh and healthy at Karmê Chöling! Organic produce from our garden is incorporated into most of our meals . We use local Vermont sources as much as possible in our cooking.
- 8-9 Breakfast
- 12:30-1pm Lunch
- 3-3:30 Tea
- 6:30-7 Dinner
Diets Accommodated through our kitchen
- Gluten free
We also have a community kitchen where you can cook to your own likes and needs. It includes a microwave, toaster, instant hot water, stove/oven, a refrigerator where you can store perishables, and a personal cupboard to store your own dry goods in. Additionally, we keep certain staples available around the clock to snack on.
The Main House has a symmetrical fiber optic connection with 50 mbps up and 50 mbps down. This is available wirelessly via a business grade system of wireless access points placed throughout the building with about 95 percent coverage. This network is constantly monitored for performance, reliability and fair usage.
Our zoom studio is available to retreatants by appointment and offers a private space to make phone calls, video calls, and hold zoom classes and meetings.
Hikes & Walks
Our 750 acres of Vermont woodland is located in the scenic Green Mountains with beautiful walks and hikes that visitors and residents can take on the land.
All retreatants have access to our coin-operated laundry room which includes washers and dryers, an iron & ironing board, and drying racks.
Keep in shape with our exercise room. We have weights, a tread mill and other equipment to help keep you in shape even during a Vermont winter.
There are a number of spaces where people can gather to talk, or go for a quiet place to read or to meditate. These include the dining room, lower living room, Community Room, the library, the Main Meditation Hall, and the Shambhala Meditation room.
This is a smaller, shared kitchen for retreatants and staff to prepare their own personal items. This is perfect for those treats you are craving, or a specific dietary need you might have.
We have plenty of outdoor vehicle parking which is readily available and included in all costs. Retreatants may bring a bicycle, however bicycles are not allowed indoors and there are no designated outdoor racks. We are unable to accommodate large recreational vehicles. We do have a recharging station for electric cars.
While at Karmê Chöling
Karmê Chöling is set up for telecommuting
Although the ideal may be to get away and 'unplug', we realize an electronic free lifestyle is not an option for some people.
Karmê Chöling is fully set up for telecommuting with:
- Fiber optic wifi
(included in fee)
- Office spaces for rent
(at additional cost)
- A private zoom studio available
(free and available by appointment)
- Equipment for zoom conferences and meetings
(free and available by request)
We do maintain electronic free zones in some of the common areas of the house. This allows for times when you do want to 'unplug' and get away from all devices and electronics.
See our Electronics Policy
Costs & Fees
For Personal & Custom Retreats at Karmê Chöling
Custom retreat fee
$10/day per person plus cost of Accommodations
Our accommodations prices include meals.
Priced per day for one adult.
All housing options come with shared baths, unless otherwise noted.
Priced per week
|INDOOR HOUSING||COST / NIGHT|
|Dorm Room Bed||$80/night|
|Standard Room - shared||$90/person/night|
|Standard Room - single||$120/night|
|Premium Room - shared||$115/person/night|
|Premium Room - single||$160/night|
|Luxury Room: private bath - shared||$130/night|
|Luxury Room: private bath - single||$185/night|
|OUTDOOR HOUSING||COST PER NIGHT|
|Wooden "Tent" Cabin - shared||$75/person/night|
|Wooden "Tent" Cabin - single||$100/night|
|Karmê Chöling Tent - shared||$70/person/night|
|Karmê Chöling Tent - single||$90/night|
|Your Tent on KCL's wooden platform||$70/night|
|Your Tent without a platform||$60/night|
|OFFICE SPACES||COST PER WEEK|
|Standard Private Office||$75/week|
|Shared Office Space||$25/week|
|Retreat Fee ($10/day)||$70/week|
|Dorm Room Bed ($80/night)||$560/week|
|Shared Office Space||$25/week|
|Luxury Room - single||$1295/week|
|Private Office Space||$75/week|
|Total Weekly Cost||$1440/week|
Requirements for Custom Retreats
- Be a friend or member of Shambhala
- Have completed at least one silent, group sitting-meditation retreat that lasted a week or longer
- Have an established daily meditation practice of at least one year
- Have the ability and discipline to do a self-directed meditation retreat
- Have a written recommendation from a meditation instructor or senior teacher.
Living at Karmê Chöling
Ethics, ROTA, & Daily Schedule
Diversity & Inclusion
We are dedicated to providing an environment that is welcoming, safe, and caring for all! We recognize that all of us come to Karmê Chöling with a variety of backgrounds and identities. This profoundly impacts how we experience being in the world and being around others. Given this wide variety of experience, we work to create relationships that are based on trust, and that are fair and kind. This means being respectful of each other, working in cooperation, being open to each other’s differences and maintaining good communication.
Read our Code of Conduct Policy
ROTA involves household members participating in:
- Doing the dishes
- Cleaning the common household areas
- Taking on key roles during the community practice sessions.
ROTA is more than “chores” however. It is an opportunity to bring insights gleaned from your sitting meditation and study into your real world activity. ROTA allows you to examine your ideas and beliefs around work and to relate to the “kitchen-sink” aspects of your life with a more mindful attitude. Please read our policies and statements carefully as you will be required to follow them while at Karmê Chöling.
Read our ROTA Policy
- 8-9 Breakfast
- 9-10:15 Community meditation practice
- 12:30-1pm Lunch
- 3-3:30 Tea
- 5:30-6:30 Community meditation practice
- 6:30-7 Dinner
About Personal Retreats
No, not at all, you're not required to be a Buddhist or a student of the Sakyong's, though you will need to be comfortable living within a Shambhala Buddhist community. We engage in chanting before sitting meditation sessions, which some people don’t care for and opt out of.
Yes, we can help you plan out what's needed for your retreat and provide you with teachers for meditation and mindfulness.
We don't come up with the specifics of what you will do while you are in your retreat. We do have Guided Group Retreats where all the retreat activities are planned out, organized and structured for the participants.
There is no direct public transportation or uber service to Karmê Chöling.
If you let us know you need a ride at least a week before you arrive, we will arrange for a household member to pick you up from Burlington or Hanover.
There is a fee for this service. Please ask what the current rate is when you are making arrangements.
There is a $35 cancellation fee.
Deposits and payments are refundable up to two weeks prior to the start date minus the $35 cancellation fee.
If you cancel within two weeks of the start date, Karmê Chöling will deduct the cancellation fee and retain the balance of your deposit as transferable credit towards another program here. Transferable credit will expire after two years. Any payments exceeding the deposit will be refunded to you (not including financial aid or scholarships).
We have just a few private bathrooms. Please ask about availability.
Yes, we have seven indoor meditation rooms, plus rooms that can be used for meetings and conferences.
Your retreat can be as short or as long as you need. Details will need to be worked out with Guest Services in advance. At Karme Choling we have been known to hold everything from weekend retreats to a 10 day meditation retreat to a 3 month buddhist retreat!
If you are thinking about a retreat of a month or more, consider applying for residency. Residency has a different fee schedule and application process.
We have private and shared office space available, with wifi throughout the Main House and our peripheral buildings.
We actively work to create a safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, culture, religion, physical mobility or mental abilities! Please read our Code of Conduct.
We recommend that you begin this process at least six weeks before you are planning to arrive at KCL, although we do our best to accommodate your requests.
The process begins with filling out this form that lets us get to know you, the type of retreat you're interested in, and what your timeline is. After we review your enquiry, we’ll be in touch promptly to set up a time to talk.
During our conversation we’ll discuss the needs for your retreat, what kind of logistics are required and answer any of your questions.
When it is time to book your retreat, you will work with Guest Services to arrange for rooms and any office space you might want to use.
Initial fees need to be received at least three weeks before your arrival date.
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