Wake-up Retreat

About us

You are invited to join other young adults (ages 18-35 or so) for a time of practice, inclusiveness, and fun. The Wake Up movement was founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh as a way for young adults around the world to come together and practice mindfulness in order to take care of themselves, nourish happiness, and contribute to building a healthier and more compassionate society. During this time together we will explore the practices of sitting, walking and eating meditation, while building community through Dharma sharing and simply being together.

Registration will open in March 2018.

Life waits patiently for true heroes. It is dangerous when those aspiring to be heroes cannot wait until they find themselves.

Venue Highlights

Nestled on 80 peaceful acres of woodland in the southern Catskill region about two hours northwest of New York City, Blue Cliff is home to a thriving community of monks, nuns, and lay practitioners who share the art of mindful living with thousands of adults and children every year. Visitors are welcome year-round.


05:00 am - wake up
05:45 am - sitting meditation
07:00 am - exercise
07:30 am - breakfast
09:00 am - Dharma talk or working meditation
11:30 am - walking meditation
12:30 pm - lunch
03:00 pm - Dharma sharing or other activity
06:00 pm - dinner
07:30 pm - activity or personal practice time
09:30 pm - noble silence

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Dairy Free


Three meals per day are included with your registration fee. We are 95% vegan. If you have food allergies, we ask that you take care of your own needs. There is generally a variety of options available at mealtime, including steamed veggies, brown rice and white rice, oatmeal, fresh fruit, nut, soy and rice milks, but you may bring non-perishable supplementary food for yourself if you have a particular dietary need.


Most people who visit Blue Cliff stay in a simple dorm-style room with bunk beds and two to ten people, depending on the size of the retreat. Sharing a living space with others is part of our practice of community and togetherness. Spaces for couples and families are available.


Blue Cliff is located about two hours from New York City, two hours from Hartford, three hours from Philadelphia, and four hours from Boston. If using GPS, please note that “Mindfulness Road” is often listed as “Hotel Road.”

By Plane
All NYC-area airports are within a two hour drive of the Monastery. Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) has an easy connection to New Jersey Transit train service. (See "By Train" above.) Stewart International (SWF) in Newburgh, NY is the closest airport to Blue Cliff (about 40 minutes by car). Please use the website of your arrival airport to get the most up-to-date and accurate information about ground transportation.

Tags: meditation mindfulness thich nhat hanh zen

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

I want to deepen my meditation. Jackie

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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