Event Calendar


DDRC offers an educational program for children, in conjunction with our monthly Day of Stillness retreats.
Fee: $12.00

2-4 (must be accompanied by a parent for the entire day)
5-12 years
13-16 (NEW teen program)
Avenue: Dharma Drum Retreat Center
Address: 184 Quannacut Road, Pine Bush, New York, 12566.
Phone: (845) 744-8114
Fax: (845) 744-8483
Email: ddrc@dharmadrumretreat.org
Registration Process
(Register early, as space is limited)

Register yourself online for the Day of Stillness Retreat/http://www.dharmadrumretreat.org/retreats/register.php
Register your child by
- writing to kids@dharmadrumretreat.org NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS!
- or calling Buffe Laffey at 845-744-8114
If this will be the first time for your child to attend the program, please fill in this application form (http://www.dharmadrumretreat.org/download/CHILDRENS-PROGRAM-PROTECTED-APPLICATION.doc), and send it to the email address above.

Program Mission

ur mission is to nurture the innate wisdom of each child, and help them to cultivate a more wholesome and compassionate character. We do this by raising children's awareness of the basic principles of Buddhadharma, as well as showing them how to integrate these ideas into their daily lives.

Some principles that the children learn are:

Impermanence (constant change of everything)
Cause and Effect (moral responsibility)
Causes and Conditions (inter-relationships among oneself and others)
These concepts are presented in a simple way without complicated terminology. For example, the children learn about causes and conditions by seeing how a flower--in order to be a flower--requires sunshine, water, nutrients, care, etc. The children are encouraged to use their own creative abilities to demonstrate these and other basic Buddhist concepts.

They also practice meditation and silent observation of nature to help engender a more direct experience of these principles as a living reality within themselves.

From these activities, children learn the need to protect the spiritual, societal, daily, and natural environments, which will lead to the development of more eco-conscious and spiritually-conscious children.

Through this process of understanding and experience, gratitude, compassion, humility, and other wholesome and virtuous qualities will naturally emerge from the heart of each child.


The children's day is filled with kids' Dharma book reading, nature walks, drawing and coloring, yoga, beginner's meditation, chanting, and other fun activities. A healthy vegetarian lunch, a nap, and snacks are included. Some activities might involve brief trips off the DDRC campus, for example, a visit to a local farm or ice cream stand.

The program begins at 8:30am and lasts until 5:00pm. Parents are simultaneously able to enjoy their own 1-Day Retreat during these same hours.

Note to Parents: In order to enhance their experience, please do not visit your child during the retreat. We appreciate your cooperation in this.

Please bring extra clothing and age appropriate garments to change into, such as pampers. Suggested necessary clothing items are:

comfortable dark garments
an extra pair of socks
in cold weather: coat, hat, scarf, gloves
Please do not bring any food, as a nutritious vegetarian lunch and snacks are included in the program.


Soledad Soriano-Kaplan - Program Coordinator/Teacher
A licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, with over fifteen years experience working with children and adults. BA in Psychology from City College/CUNY and MA in Education with a major in counseling from Hunter College/CUNY.

Matthew Kaplan - Assistant
Matthew Kaplan has been attending the children's program since its inception. Matthew currently works with the children in the areas of reading, music, nature, art, and gardening.

Taylor Mitchell - Co-Founder
BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic, with an emphasis in botany, environmental education, and the arts. MA in Fine Arts from the New York Studio School. Four years experience as a Nature Specialist at a residential camp for children and adults with Developmental Disabilities.

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