Preparing for Your Stay

The land at Karmê Chöling has four distinct seasons and it is important to prepare for them. In winter, expect deep snow and cold temperatures. In autumn, bright sunny days can precede chilly nights. Spring, when the snow has melted and rains begin, is also known locally as “mud season” and summer can be hot or cool, sunny or rainy. An expansive, beautiful outdoor environment with much to explore—dress accordingly and it will be a delight in any season.

What to Bring

  • Clothing suitable for your program and the season, including loose-fitting, comfortable clothes for meditation and yoga, as well as warm clothing (winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves) in winter, spring and fall. For evenings in warm months, a sweater or light jacket is recommended. In summer, you may want to bring a bathing suit for nearby lakes.
  • Toiletries, including shampoo, soap, lotion and sunscreen. You can also buy toiletries in our store.
  • A towel, particularly if towels are not provided as part of your housing arrangement.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Shawl, blanket, and warm socks if you need extra layers for warmth, particularly if you are sleeping in the meditation hall or in a tent.
  • Bag or pack to carry your texts or other items.
  • Calling card. These can also be purchased at the store.
  • If you are sleeping on the floor of the meditation hall or in a tent, please bring all necessary bedding, including sheets, blankets or a sleeping bag, and a pillow. Foam mattresses will be provided.
  • Battery-powered alarm clock, particularly if you are not staying in the Karmê Chöling main building. (On most days, there is a 6:30 AM wake-up bell throughout the house.)
  • Formal and festive clothing options for parties, celebrations, formal dinners and feasts.
  • Comfortable walking shoes. Indoor shoes should be easy to slip on and off, as shoes cannot be worn in meditation halls. In the winter, bring warm winter boots and heavy socks.
  • Cash for the Karmê Chöling store (clothing, gifts, snacks, cards, medicine, toiletries), Samadhi Cushions and Book Store (books and practice materials), a teaching gift if applicable, and other purchases. An ATM is available one mile from Karmê Chöling at the Barnet General Store.
  • Several dollars’ worth of quarters for the washing machines and clothes driers, which are coin operated. The store can make change, but it is only open a few hours each day.

Communications

We have public phones available, as well as very limited internet use. Because cell phones generally do not get service at Karmê Chöling (some phones on the Verizon network are an exception), you should purchase a calling card if you plan to make long-distance phone calls. If your cell phone does work, we ask that you use it only in your private room, the mud room or the main parking lot, and only between the hours of 7:00 AM and 10:30 PM. Please do not use the staff offices for computer or phone access. In general, please make an effort to be mindful in your approach to communication and technology while you are at Karmê Chöling.

It may be difficult for others to reach you during a program, so it is best to coordinate an appropriate day and time for communication.  The best number for friends and family to call is (802) 633-2384.

Electronic Devices and Internet Access

To support your retreat container, use of electronic devices by is limited to the dining room and your private accommodations. Limited wifi internet use is available but not always reliable. A guest computer is available in the dining room to check your email but we highly recommend that you to unplug while you are here unless absolutely necessary. You will truly benefit much more from your retreat if you leave the virtual world behind during your stay.

Medical Information

When you visit Karmê Chöling, you will be asked to fill out a Participant Medical Information Form to let us know of any medical conditions you have. If you are taking medications, please ensure that you bring a sufficient supply for the duration of your visit. The closest pharmacy is approximately 15 minutes away by car. If you have any specific health concerns, or would like to change the dosage of any of your medications, please meet with your physician before your program begins.