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Last spring, dharma centers across the United States made the difficult decision to close their doors due to COVID-19. Unable to host in-person gatherings, Buddhist centers quickly adapted to the confinement of the pandemic by shifting their offerings online. Through virtual events, Zoom meditations, and live-stream talks, sanghas were able to stay connected while practicing apart.
Now, as restrictions ease and more people get vaccinated, some centers have begun the careful process of reopening for in-person events. For those who have missed sitting alongside fellow practitioners, here is a growing list of centers that have reopened or are planning to reopen within the year. (Check back for updates.) You can visit each center’s website to learn more about their COVID-19 safety protocols, vaccination policy, and capacity restrictions.
In addition to in-person events, many centers on this list will continue to offer online programming for the foreseeable future.
Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, Massachusetts
Status: Opening for residential programs on September 28th
The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in Barre, Massachusetts will reopen in September for in-person residential retreats, requiring all visitors to provide proof of vaccination. BCBS will also offer hybrid Path Programs starting in the fall.
Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community, Vermont
Located in Cornwall, Vermont, the Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community has reopened for in-person daily zazen practice, with plans to resume in-person dharma talks in the near future. Visit their events calendar page for updates on new in-person offerings.
Buddhist Temple of Toledo, Ohio
The Buddhist Temple of Toledo in Holland, Ohio began its phased reopening in June. Adult temple members with proof of vaccination can attend in-person Sunday services.
Chosei Zen, Wisconsin
Located in Madison, Wisconsin, Chosei Zen reopened for in-person Zen training in June, requiring all participants to provide proof of vaccination. Chosei Zen will be offering an in-person fall sesshin at its Spring Green, Wisconsin dojo from September 30 to October 3, 2021.
Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center, Missouri
Status: Open from May through October
The Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center in Annapolis, Missouri opened its doors for on-site retreats back in May. In the immediate future, the center will be offering 7–14 day retreats in the meditation practice of Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation through the end of October 2021.
Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing, New York
The Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing reopened in March, offering both in-person programs and personal retreats at its Cragsmoor, New York center in the Catskill Mountains.
Dharma Drum Retreat Center, New York
Status: Opening on July 11
The Dharma Drum Retreat Center in Pine Bush, New York will host its first in-person event in July. The seven-day “How to Meditate” retreat will run from July 11–17.
Great Vow Zen Monastery, Oregon
Status: Partially reopened
Great Vow Zen Monastery in Oregon is open Tuesday and Sundays to fully vaccinated practitioners. Reservations for in-person participation in retreats and workshops are also open.
Houston Zen Center, Texas
Status: Partially reopened
The Houston Zen Center is gradually reopening for participants who have been fully vaccinated. Currently, weekday morning and afternoon zazen practice, held Monday through Thursday, is open for limited in-person attendance, and all other programs remain over Zoom.
Insight Meditation Society, Massachusetts
Status: Opening in-person retreats in October and November
The Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts will reopen its two on-campus retreat programs this fall, with the Retreat Center opening on October 5 and the Forest Refuge opening on November 1.
Monastic Academy, Vermont
The Monastic Academy in Lowell, Vermont is open for in-person meditation, stays, and retreats.
New York Insight, New York
Status: Partially reopened
The New York Insight Meditation Center in central Manhattan will continue to offer a hybrid of in-person and virtual programs, with its next upcoming in-person event scheduled for July 24.
Wonderwell Mountain Refuge, New Hampshire
Status: Reopening for residential retreats in September
Wonderwell Mountain Refuge, the retreat center of Natural Dharma Fellowship located in Springfield, New Hampshire, will reopen September 3 for onsite group retreats. Retreatants will be required to provide proof of vaccination. Beginning July 15, the Refuge will offer several in-person meditation sittings per week. Solo personal retreats and online programs are available now.
Zen Center of New York City, New York
The Zen Center of New York City, located in Brooklyn, and the Zen Mountain Monastery, located in Mount Tremper, New York, have both opened their doors to a limited number of in-person visitors.
To share news about a dharma center reopening, email email@example.com.
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