Contemplative Retreats for Educators

Walking Meditation at the 2011 Retreat for Educators


Thank you to all who attended our recent retreat!

Resilience in the Resistance: Contemplative Practice for Recovery and Renewal

A Retreat with Leslie Booker
Friday, March 15th – Sunday, March 17th, 2019
at the Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY

Contemplative practices offer the opportunity to learn greater resilience in the face of turmoil and to develop skills to resist against all forms of oppression and violence, including internalized beliefs that disrupt our ability to thrive. Both a “turning inwards” and a “turning towards,” these practices help us see and care for ourselves as we journey through difficulty, healing, learning, and growth. Introspection shines a light on how our actions fit within the context of the world around us. This deeper listening can support us in creating that pause before reaction, so as to respond from a place of clarity and calm.

During this retreat, participants will be given tools to develop and sustain practices in support of recovery and renewal, including rest and time in nature. Contemplative practices and community conversations offer space to redefine what support looks like, to explore what to do with anger in the face of institutional harm, and to gain deeper understanding of the personal boundaries needed to engage without burning out.

Meet the Retreat Leader

Leslie BookerBooker brings her heart and wisdom to the intersection of Dharma, embodied practice, and activism. She began sharing mindfulness and yoga with system-involved populations in 2005, served as senior teacher and Director of Trainings with Lineage Project from 2006-2016, and co-facilitated an intervention research project on Riker’s Island from 2009-2011 through NYU.

Booker shares her expertise nationally around the need to create culturally responsive environments, and changing the paradigm of self and community care. She has spoken at the Mind & Life Institute’s International Symposium and the Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, Mindfulness in America, and Mindfulness in Education conferences, as well as at universities across the country. She is a co-founder of the Yoga Service Council at Omega Institute and the Meditation Working Group of Occupy Wall Street.

Booker is a co-author of Best Practices for Yoga in a Criminal Justice Setting, a contributor to Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality’s report on Gender & Trauma, YOGA: The Secret of Life, and Sharon Salzberg’s book Happiness at Work. Booker is on faculty with the Engaged Mindfulness Institute, Off the Mat Into the World, Bending Towards Justice and the Yoga and Dharma Training at Spirit Rock. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Mindful Yoga and Meditation training (2012), Community Dharma Leaders’ Training (2017), and will complete Spirit Rock’s Teacher Training in 2020.


Our Past Retreats:

Resilience in the Resistance: Contemplative Practice for Recovery and Renewal March 15-17, 2019 Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY with Leslie Booker
Retreat for Educators: Contemplative Practices in Teaching and Learning Saturday, March 28, 2015 Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT with Shalini Bahl and Daniel Barbezat
Contemplative Retreat for Educators: A Day of Practice Saturday, May 3, 2014 Friends Meeting of Washington, Washington, DC with Paul Wapner and Nicole Salimbene
Contemplative One-Day Retreat for Educators: Mindfulness, Lovingkindness, and Simple Yoga Saturday, February 22, 2014 Amherst College, Amherst, MA with Mirabai Bush and Anna Neiman Passalacqua
November 18 – 21, 2012 Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY With Mirabai Bush, Paul Wapner, and Anna Neiman Passalacqua Read the report (.pdf)
November 17 – 20, 2011 Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY With Mirabai Bush, Arthur Zajonc, and Anna Neiman Passalacqua Read the report (.pdf)
November 11 – 14, 2010 Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY With Mirabai Bush, Arthur Zajonc, and Sunanda Markus Read the report (.pdf)
November 12 – 15, 2009 Marconi Conference Center, Marshall, CA With Mirabai Bush and Arthur Zajonc Read the report (.pdf)
November 13-16, 2008 Menla Mountain Retreat Center, Phoenicia, NY With Mirabai Bush, Arthur Zajonc, and Sunanda Markus Read the report (.pdf)

Dialog at an Academic Retreat

“The Center is a great guide to developing contemplative practices. ‘Poetry and Meditation,’ the experimental course I taught in Spring 2000 at West Point as a Fellow of the Center, changed much of what I thought I knew about teaching and learning, and by doing that, changed my life.”

— Marilyn Nelson, chancellor emeritus, Academy of American Poets; author, A Wreath for Emmett Till and Carver: A Life in Poems