2012 Retreat for Educators

October 18-21, 2012
Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY
with Mirabai Bush, Paul Wapner, and Anna Neiman Passalacqua

The 2012 retreat is an opportunity to cultivate awareness and inquire deeply into our professional lives. At the core of contemplative methods is a practice of one’s own. Much of the time on retreat will be spent in focused, guided inquiry and in silence, including some silent meals. Through guided meditation, mindful walking, yoga, and journaling, participants will examine their work deeply, enabling them to reenter their professional lives from a place of greater skillfulness and insight. The final day of the retreat will include discussion of contemplative pedagogical methods and the relationship of the contemplative perspective to teaching, learning, and knowing. These practices cultivate capacities central to all of higher education—focused attention, deepened understanding of course material, greater kindness and compassion, and enhanced contemplative inquiry and insight.

The retreat is designed to appeal to participants with a wide range of experience in contemplative practice, from beginners to seasoned practitioners.

Registration is open to college and secondary school educators, administrators and staff.


Fee for ACMHE members: $650 single room/$500 double room
Fee for non-members: $700 single room/$550 double room (ACMHE members receive a $50 discount on all ACMHE events. We encourage you to join the ACMHE if you are interested in this retreat; membership dues are on a sliding scale, $35-$115 per year.) 
A limited number of spaces are available at a $425 scholarship rate.

Retreat Location

The Garrison Institute is a former Capuchin monastery situated on a bluff overlooking the Hudson with grounds offering trails, ponds, meadows, and scenic overlooks. The facility includes a spacious, light filled main Meditation Hall, rooms for smaller sessions, and a beautiful, monastic wood beamed dining room. Guest bedrooms are simple but beautifully furnished. Comfortable bathrooms are designed in an elegant Zen esthetic. Each floor has a jacuzzi and a lounge for relaxing, reading, or just enjoying the Hudson River views. To learn more about the Garrison Institute, visit http://www.garrisoninstitute.org/.

Retreat Faculty

Paul Wapner is Professor of Global Environmental Politics at the School of International Service at American University, and author of Living Through the End of Nature: The Future of American Environmentalism and Environmental Activism and World Civic Politics. His research focuses on Environmental Thought, Transnational Environmental Activism, Environmental Ethics, and Global Environmental Politics. Paul Wapner is a 2008 Contemplative Practice Fellow. Paul is a longtime practitioner of vipassanna meditation and anasura yoga, and a member of Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center in Takoma Park, MD. He is also a Trustee of the Lama Foundation.

Mirabai Bush is an Associate Director and Senior Fellow of The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. A co-founder of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and Executive Director until 2008, under her direction the Center developed its programs in education, law, business, and activism and its network of thousands of people integrating contemplative practice and perspective into their lives. Mirabai holds a unique background of organizational management, teaching, and spiritual practice. A founding board member of the Seva Foundation, an international public health organization, she directed the Seva Guatemala Project, which supports sustainable agriculture and integrated community development. Also at Seva, she co-developed Sustaining Compassion, Sustaining the Earth, a series of retreats and events for grassroots environmental activists on the interconnection of spirit and action. She is co-author, with Ram Dass, of Compassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service, published by Random House.

Mirabai has organized, facilitated, and taught workshops, weekends, and courses on spirit and action for more than 20 years at institutions including Omega Institute, Naropa Institute, Findhorne, Zen Mountain Monastery, University of Massachusetts, San Francisco Zen Center, Buddhist Study Center at Barre, MA, Insight Meditation Society, and the Lama Foundation. She has a special interest in the uncovering and recovery of women’s spiritual wisdom to inform work for social change. She has taught women’s groups with Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Sharon Salzberg, Joan Halifax, Margo Adler, Starhawk, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Vicky Noble, and other leaders.

Her spiritual studies include meditation study at the Burmese Vihara in Bodh Gaya, India, with Shri S.N. Goenka and Anagarika Munindra; bhakti yoga with Hindu teacher Neemkaroli Baba; and studies with Tibetan lamas Kalu Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Kyabje Gehlek Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and others. She also did five years of intensive practice in Iyengar yoga and five years of Aikido with Kanai Sensei. Her earlier religious study included 20 years of Catholic schooling, ending with Georgetown University graduate study in medieval literature. She holds an ABD in American literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Anna Neiman Passalacqua teaches Hatha yoga and Peaceful Weight Loss™ through Yoga. After working at the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, Anna began teaching yoga full time with a focus on yoga therapeutics. In addition to teaching group yoga classes, Anna works with private clients of all ages, helping them to connect with their own best selves and make lifelong change. Based in Northampton, Massachusetts, Anna has coordinated and taught yoga retreats at centers including Kripalu, Yogaville, and Garrison Institute. Her yoga sessions are  an opportunity to move, stretch, and enhance body awareness. The sessions are designed for all levels.


For more information on our Academic Retreats, review the 2010 retreat agenda and read our report on the 2011 retreat.

1 Comment

  1. Back on Tuesday | on October 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    […] to fly to New York, to meet with my first meditation teacher, Mirabai Bush, and to attend the Contemplative Retreat for Educators she’ll be […]

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