Soul Spa Wellness Weekend for BIPOC Community Leaders | Retreats | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

Nestled into a hillside in the village of Cragsmoor, Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing is a retreat site founded in the modern application of the ancient Buddhist principles. The 90-acre campus, with its woods and open fields, offers a peace setting for reflection, meditation, yoga, and healing.

Under Dharmakaya founder and Tibetan Buddhist lama Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche, the center’s programming is designed to meet individual students wherever they are in their journeys, with intensives and workshops in areas like spirituality and meditation, yoga and movement, health and nutrition, and art and culture.

As part of programming designed to support people through the pandemic, this July 16-18, Dharmakaya will host a Soul Spa Wellness weekend for 12 BIPOC leaders from the Hudson Valley. Communities of color were especially hard hit by the pandemic, from both a health and financial perspective. The stress and psychological toll of COVID coincided with an extremely tumultuous year of police brutality, systemic racism, and ongoing protests. Designed by Reverend Therese Bimka, LCSW, a Hudson Valley and Brooklyn-based psychotherapist who specializes in trauma, Soul Spa is specifically tailored to create a healing space for BIPOC community leaders that led the charge in responding to the past year’s crises.

Led by four renowned BIPOC teachers, the retreat will focus on identifying stress factors that impact healing, activism, and service work; cultivating mental, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing; and developing sustainable self-care strategies. In addition to the sessions on wellness and art, participants will be able to spend time in nature on the Dharmakaya campus, book holistic health treatments, and enjoy vegetarian meals.

The teachers for this event are Iya Rev. DeShannon Barnes-Bowens, Abigail “Ifatola” Jefferson, ArinMaya, Ben Brown, and Rev. Therese Bimka. The event is co-sponsored by the Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing, the Hudson Valley Guild of Mental Health Professionals, and the Holistic Health Community in collaboration with the Morty and Gloria Wolosoff Foundation.

The program is free of charge but requires an application, due by Friday, May 14. To apply, send an email to Rev. Therese Bimka with:

1) Details on your community or organizational role

2) How you or those you serve have been impacted by COVID and

3) Why participation in this retreat is important for you

4) How you heard about this offering.

Soul Spa Wellness weekend will run from July 16-18 on the Dharmakaya Campus in Cragsmoor, NY.

Location Details

Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing

191 Cragsmoor Road, Cragsmoor Cragsmoor


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