Transformation and Healing – The Art of Suffering

August 25-30 | Mindfulness Retreat in English | Blue Cliff Monastery


The English retreat, with the theme Transformation and Healing: The Art of Suffering, is one of five retreats that are being offered in our practice centers in the US in 2013. The retreat will be led by Thich Nhat Hanh along with the monks and nuns of Deer Park Monastery, Magnolia Grove Monastery, Blue Cliff Monastery, and Plum Village.

The retreat is open to all, including beginners, those who have previously attended retreats, and families with children. The first part of the talks are normally dedicated to children. The nuns, monks and staff members will lead a mindfulness practice program for teens (ages 13-17). Some parents will be invited to help other monks, nuns and laystaff with a similar program focused on children (6 to 12 years old). Children under 6 are welcome to join the retreat under the care of their parent.

We welcome the participation of people from all backgrounds, regardless of ethnic origin, race, cultural background, socio-economic class, age, gender, sexual orientation, or physical ability.

We are committed to fostering a practice environment where all may touch the Dharma and find healing and nourishment.

Retreat fees include all retreat programs, housing, meals and transportation for those housed off-site. Housing options and fees are:

Camping (Blue Cliff, tent only) — $700 SOLD OUT
Dormitory (Blue Cliff) — $900 SOLD OUT
Hotel (double occupancy only) — $1,075/person SOLD OUT

Student (ages 18-27 with ID) – Dorm (Blue Cliff) — $575 SOLD OUT
Student (ages 18-27 with ID) – Camping (Blue Cliff, tent only) — $475 SOLD OUT

Teen (ages 13-17, housed with parents/guardians) – $375 SOLD OUT
Child (ages 6-12, housed with parents/guardians) — $225 SOLD OUT

Infants/Toddlers (ages 0-5) – no fee [note: no child care available for children ages 0-5)

As with all our retreats, we encourage participants to share rides wherever possible in order to reduce the environmental aspect of traveling. Please use the commenting system below to make connections with other participants to offer rides and insights on reducing the impact.

  • Joe Nolan

    Hoping to carpool from Ithaca area.

    • Alexis

      Me too! Good luck with registration tomorrow.

    • Pamela Goddard

      Joe, There will be at least two of us going from Ithaca. If you are still planning to attend we can arrange car pooling I’m sure. Also, our group (Cedar Cabin Sangha) meets at Hospicare of Ithaca every Wednesday evening 7:30-9:00. It’s a good place to meet people who practice in this tradition.

      • Concerned

        Pam, where is Hospicare, if you don’t mind me asking here…

    • Concerned

      I am also going from Ithaca, though possibly I would only need a ride home. I’m excited to hear that there are local Sangha meetings; when I moved here from CA 7 years ago, I was told that they were very sporadic. I hope to join the group there soon; I need to get back in “practice”, so to speak, before the retreat! :)

  • Cimbria

    I will be coming from Northern NH and can pick up people on the way, or willing to carpool with someone else coming from this area.

    • Neshobe

      I am in Vermont near Rutland and Rts 7 and 4. Is that a possibility for you?

      • Cimbria

        Yes, I think we could make it work. We can talk about it if we both get to attend, I’m sure registration will be competitive. I’m hopeful but not attached to outcome :)

        • Neshobe

          I am of same mind. I usually don’t go to big retreats, but this one is special. Will be going to personal retreat later if this doesn’t work out.

      • Jennifer Mainey

        Annie, I am in Rutland also and would like to catch a ride. Are you driving?

        • Annie Delyth Stratton

          I am open either way. I am registered. Tenting, but my ancient but trusty Volvo has lots of room for passenger and gear.

        • Annie Delyth Stratton

          Find me on FB so you can contact me with private mesage. We can take it from there. Great you are tenting too!

  • Jennifer Mainey

    Will be in Rutland, VT and would love a ride! So exciting! Jennifer

    • Cimbria

      Jennifer, if we both get to go then I’m sure we can work something out, if you’re willing to help with gas :)

  • Martha Hervieux

    Y aurait-il possibilité de covoiturage à partir de Montréal?
    Need a ride from Montreal?


    Please, i would like to register to camp at the retreat.
    Thank you.

    • Kenley Neufeld

      Please visit the site now and register.

  • Harriet Korim Arnoldi

    might like to collaborate on travel from Cape Cod or Boston

    • Laurene

      I would like to travel with someone driving home from the retreat on August 30 or 31, going to, or through, western Mass (Amherst area) where I live. Would this work for you? I do not have a car, so am interested in carpooling with someone. Please contact me directly at , and thanks!

  • Jeanie

    How does one register?

    • Kenley Neufeld

      Registration will open here on this page on Wednesday, March 20 at 9:00am EDT

  • John Paul Marosy

    Philadelphia area folks – please let me know if you are interested in car pooling with me. Thank you.

  • Susan Schlenger

    I have two questions. I am mildly disabled ( cannot camp any more) and lost my job due to my disability. First, as I am living on disability income, would I be permitted to register with a downpayment and pay the balance over the next thirty days? Secondly, is there a senior discount for those folks 60 and over who have lost jobs and will be hard pressed to find new
    Jobs at their age? (I ask because I would like to help someone to come and room with me)
    With whom do I speak to get information of this kind?

    ones at this age? (I ask because I would

    pressed to find new ones at this age? (I ask becausr I

  • m c

    Can’t get to regist. forms. Is there a website problem?

    • Kenley Neufeld

      Yes, the web site had crashed this morning and should be working now.

  • Carisa Chee

    I’m not seeing how to register for the retreat. Could someone please help me? Thank you!

    • Kenley Neufeld

      Linked above on the site now.

  • Drew Michael

    I registered for Double Occupancy Hotel – although I am attending the retreat by myself. I am assuming that they will pair me up with someone? It wasn’t clear on this. Also – I am coming from central NJ if anyone would like to carpool, I am registered to go! Thanks!

    • Augusta Hopkins

      I would be interested in the possibility of carpooling. I will be coming from Philadelphia. 215.495.7043

    • freda

      Did you get a roommate for the hotel? I am so sad it’s sold out. I want desperately to go.

  • Berit Talan

    Anyone interested in renting a cab/van together from either JFK or EWR (Newark)? I could fly into either, both get in around 11 a.m. (Traveling with a little one, so I’d be happy to avoid the drag of hauling luggage + baby through trains/busses)

    • Faye Harasack

      That would be wonderful.I’m coming from Alaska (the California dates were’t possible) but having contributed that much to our collective carbon footprint I’ll be glad to share whatever transport I can to help reduce the rest of it!Am traveling alone and if my connections work I should be into Newark at around 8 am, so we can just arrange for me to meet you wherever is convenient.

      • Karen Cabral

        Hi Faye I just sent a message to Berit. I am also interested in ride sharing and am flying in from Florida. Have you made your travel arrangements yet?

        • Faye Harasack

          So sorry, I haven’t looked at this site for a while&then my browser wouldn’t work with it! Yes I did make the reservation,arriving around 8am Newark;let me know if either of you need more details. I didn’t get my registration packet yet; did you?

          • Chris Elias Costa

            Hi Faye, I will be arriving aroun 6am Newark terminal B. Is there a place for sharing the ride?

          • Faye Harasack

            Hello all, seeing Chris’s message I guess maybe it’s time for us to start getting more coordinated in our planning! I haven’t done any research about the size of vans that might be available, so I don’t know how many people could fit in one. (Also don’t know how much luggage space a person like Berit with a baby would need!) My internet browser doesn’t always function well on this DISQUS system that the retreat message board uses (I can read but can’t always send, though it looks as if I might luck out with it right now), so it would probably be better if somebody else did the coordinating, unless we all exchange email addresses. Mine is I exist on facebook but almost never use it, though I would, if that’s the best way for us all to stay in touch!

          • Twila Grandchamp

            interested in ride share from Newark

    • Karen Cabral

      Berit I would be interested in renting a van or car also if you are still looking for someone. I am coming from Florida and could also fly into either airport. Have you booked your flights yet?

      • Twila Grandchamp

        Also coming from Fla and would love to share

    • Faye Harasack

      Dear friends – the retreat is almost here!I wonder what we can do to help the process of sharing rides from EWR work the most smoothly for everyone.There are now 5 of us (Berit Talan, Karen Cabral,Chris Elias Costa,Twila Grandchamp&me) who expressed an interest in rides from EWR to the retreat on the Disqus section of the retreat site( Transformation & Healing) ,&on the BlueCliffMonastery Rideshare website there are at least 3 more (“karenlutz”, “crismec”&”lauriel”), but there are no offers of rides.Originally I thought we’d make advance arrangements with Tony@Pine Bush Taxi – according to the BCM website he does airport runs as well as trips to/from Middleburg train station – but according to the Rideshare website message from jbuyske who wanted a ride from Middleburg, Tony is already ‘overwhelmed with requests”. Maybe we need to appoint a meeting place in the airport where we can wait for one another and hope that there are EWR taxis that will take us to the hotel?They might be expensive but sharing the cost would help.Then we could just fit as many people as possible into one taxi &the rest could take others?Am adding this message to the Disqus as a response to all who left messages there, &emailing directly to Chris&Twila who left their addresses on Disqus.Am also copying to the office@BlueCliff in case they have any suggestions, but they have already made a huge effort by setting up the rides website and I’m sure they have many other things to take care of before the beginning of the retreat.Does anyone know the EWR airport &have a suggestion where to meet? Will be happy to hear from any of you!_()_

  • Jennifer Mainey

    Cimbria, let’s get together on a ride. I am tenting and would love to share the cost of gas with you. Jen

  • Nancy Ryan

    Anyone willing to rent part of their tent plot if I bring a larger tent to share so two more people could attend? Let me know!

  • Luu Domon Pham

    Dear Friends: We are considering bringing our 2 and 4-year old daughters for camping. However, they could also stay home with grandmother. We would like to hear from anyone who may have gone to retreat with very young children or from the monastics — what are the pros and cons? With gratitude for your responses.

    • Kenley Neufeld

      We have taken our family to the monastery since our youngest was 6-months old and our son was 2-years old. The challenge isn’t so much for the children, but more for the parents because it will make your practice time at the monastery one that is focused on the kids and on switching off with each other for the activities. We have ALWAYS felt welcome and continue to bring our children (now 9 & 13). I hope this helps.

  • Lorna Sirjusingh

    Can anyone provide information re arrival/departure dates and time for August 25-30 retreat?

    • Kenley Neufeld

      Our retreats typically begin registration after lunch on arrival day and are over after lunch on departure day.

      • Lorna Sirjusingh

        Your response is greatly appreciated. Many thanks Kenley.

  • Kaveh

    Me and my 9 year old are arriving to LaGuardia airport at 12.30PM on Sunday Aug 25th. If there is anyone who would like to carpool or share transportation from the airport to the retreat, please let me know.

  • Michele Fleming

    Anyone willing to share any space please contact me. Older female.

  • Jason

    Hi, just wondering if anyone has experience with the wait list – this opportunity just came up to our attention – my wife was just diagnosed with a rare aggressive breast cancer and will be heading into surgery soon after just recently nearing the end of her chemo treatment – this is exactly what she and our 2 1/2 year old girl and I could really use to help the healing. We would love to go so if anyone has any thoughts/pointers for being able to attend via the wait list please let me know. Thank you.

    • Kenley Neufeld

      Hi Jason. I trust the surgery and treatment for your wife will go well and that she is able to fully heal. The wait list information and process is managed by the registrar at the monastery. You will want to contact them directly about the options. Email

    • Marian

      I have a reservation that I might want to cancel since we have a family event at the same time. I was not able to get a refund though. If you’re still interested in going, please contact me at

      • Jason

        Hi Marian, thank you. Very interested, wondering if you have a campsite, hotel or dormitory reservation. I emailed you yesterday, please let me know via email, many thanks.

  • Samantha Gardner

    Is there going to be any more retreats this year and what about next year?

    • Kenley Neufeld

      The events listed on this site are all the scheduled events for North America in 2013-2014. There will continue to be retreats in other locations in the world.

      • Samantha Gardner

        That is good. I registered for a day in September to go to batesville Ms. I am so excited to attend.

  • Candie

    I will be starting a sangha in S.E. Florida in the areas around Wellington, Boynton, Delray, West Palm.
    If you are interested in joining a new sangha, please get in contact with me.
    May all beings be peaceful,

  • Twila Grandchamp

    need ride share from either Newark, JFK, or LAG.

    • Long

      My name is Long, a future Monk =). Have you found a ride yet? I’ll be around JFK or LGA around 12 PM on Sunday. And around Newark Airport around 1:30 pm, I could fit any 4 people =)) in a small Honda Sedan if not too many luggages. Please call me at 917 592-8147 anytime up until 12 PM on Sunday. My phone signal is weak so please keep on trying. I’ll be your mindfulness taxi. I don’t ask for anything beside a smile.

  • virginia draper

    Rideshare, Aug. 25 , to Honor’s Haven

    I’ll be going from Wilmington, VT to the retreat on Sun., Aug 25. Would be glad to pick someone up on the way or share a ride (and gas). Note: I will NOT be going back to VT at the end.

    If interested, contact me at

  • Susan Curtis

    looking for a ride from Great Barrington or anywhere nearby as far as Albany

  • Katy Malone

    Is anyone leaving from JFK or LaGuardia on Sunday? I’ll already be in the City (coming in from Atlanta), but I would love to meet up for a ride share.Or else I’m catching a bus from Port Authority and would love to split a cab from Middletown. If any of that sounds of interest, please send me a note. I’m camping and traveling very light so I won’t have a great deal of stuff to manage.

    • Long

      My name is Long, a future Monk I hope =). Have you found a ride yet? I’ll be around JFK or LGA around 12 PM on Sunday. And around Newark Airport around 1:30 pm, I could fit any 4 people =)) in a small Honda Sedan if not too many luggages. Please call me at 917 592-8147 anytime up until 12 PM on Sunday. My phone signal is weak so please keep on trying. I’ll be your mindfulness taxi. Merits accepted. I don’t ask for anything beside a smile.

    • Long

      I could pick you up from anywhere around NY, Port Authority? is that the Main station on 33rd street, I have GPS.

  • Jason

    If any last minute cancellations, please let me know, as my family and I would love to be able to attend. Please respond here and/or my email at

    Thank you

  • Kim

    If anyone has a 1-person camping reservation for sale, I would be happy to purchase it. Please email me, Kim, at theredheadedgirrl at gmail dot com (the double-r is intentional). Thank you in advance for your kindness! :-)

  • Alison Mac

    Have to cancel last minute due to medical issue, 2 camping reservations available