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Wed 26

Free Weekly Wednesday Evening Meditation Sessions

September 26 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Wed 26

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 8-Week Course

September 26 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Thu 27

Weekly Day Meditation Sessions

September 27 @ 1:10 pm - 1:45 pm
Thu 27

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 8-Week Course

September 27 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Sat 29

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 8-Week Course

September 29 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm

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Learning to Meditate One Day Retreat
5-Day Mindfulness Based, Residential Silent Retreat

Learning to Meditate One Day Retreat

October 6
9am-3pm (please arrive no later than 8:45am.)
Student Center, Ramapo College of NJ

Information and Registration

Join us for a mindfulness meditation retreat on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 9-3pm. Come learn the basics of how to meditate, or more experienced meditators can deepen their practice.  Pause, quiet your mind and body and cultivate balance and ways to deal with your stressors.

Learn how mindfulness meditation can help us be more present in all of the moments of our lives. Together we will explore mindfulness meditation practices that can help us relate to every moment in our lives with compassion and kindness.

Learn how meditation is different from relaxation and the power of mindfulness meditation in building awareness, focus and concentration.

We will alternate periods of meditation, mindful walking, gentle movement, mindful eating with time for Q & A.

Please bring a yoga mat if you have one and dress in layers as the rooms can sometimes get cool.  Please bring your own lunch and drink.

Cost: $45 Community/$20 Ramapo Faculty, Staff & Students  Please note, we are unable to give refunds if you are unable to attend for any reason.

To register and receive your parking pass, please click here.

Bio for Retreat Leaders Ken Verni and Peter Shalit
ken verni photo

Ken Verni, Psy.D

Ken Verni, Dr. Ken Verni is a licensed Psychologist with over 20 years practicing mindfulness meditation. He has received advanced training as an
instructor of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction curriculum at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts. As director of the NJ Center for Mindful Awareness, he is a frequent speaker and educator on the topic of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and offers trainings and workshops for professionals and the general public throughout New Jersey including leading an intensive MBSR program at the United Nations Headquarters in NYC.

Peter Shalit

Peter Shalit

Peter Shalit, a Graduate of Syracuse University with a BA in Psychology, studied Eastern Philosophy and Practices in Asia for several years. Peter is pursuing his Masters in Social Work at Ramapo College.He is a qualified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher trained at the Center for Mindfulness UMass Medical School and is a Certified Yoga Instructor. Peter leads meditations and mindfulness practices, and develops talks and programs for the Krame Center.

5-Day Mindfulness-Based, Residential Silent Retreat: In collaboration with the Center for Mindfulness at UMass

Check back for next retreat date.
Ramapo College of New Jersey, Mahwah, NJ

5-Day Silent Retreat Information

All of us have an innate capacity to experience well-being, strength, and confidence, even in the face of stress, pain, or illness. In order to enhance that capacity, we introduce the power of mindfulness, the practice of meeting each moment with an open heart and mind. The Mindfulness Meditation Retreat is an intensive, residential, teacher-led, silent meditation retreat, which emphasizes the deep understanding and practice of mindfulness meditation in its most universal and secular expression.

While open to all students who are willing to undergo the discipline of silent retreat, this retreat also fulfills one of the retreat prerequisites for attending the CFM’s Oasis Institute for Mindfulness-Based Professional Education and Training.

The Retreat includes meditation instruction, individual interviews with qualified meditation instructors, talks by senior teachers, guided sessions of mindfulness meditation practice, movement exercises, and mindful eating, as well as sessions of contemplation and teachings to deepen the understanding of the practice.

During the retreat, there will be one small group session and one brief individual interviews.

The Mindfulness Meditation Retreat is based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) principles developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli at the Center for Mindfulness in the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Retreat Details

  • Dates:  Retreat check-in begins at 2:30pm on  followed by a dinner and an orientation. The retreat will end at noon followed by a lunch. Please plan accordingly.
  • Tuition: $1,250 (including $500 non-refundable deposit). Includes 3 meals a day, snacks, water, tea & coffee, and double room on-campus residential lodging. Please see Meals & Snacks, Retreat & Housing Guidelines and Sample Schedule below. DOUBLE ROOMS ONLY.
  • Application/Registration Process: Step 1 is to fill out an application by clicking here. Step 2 is to register and pay upon receipt of your acceptance email.
  • Cancellation Policy: Cancellation prior to 30 days before the retreat will receive a refund of tuition less the $500 non-refundable deposit. Cancellations within 30 days of the event will receive $375, or half of the total of tuition less the $500 non-refundable deposit.
  • Spots are given on a first come, first served basis, dependent upon on payment and room availability.

Program Goals

  • Provide a safe and nourishing environment for the cultivation and development of a deep and grounded mindfulness meditation practice.
  • Foster a rigorous retreat experience – independent of a specific religious outlook – that fulfills Oasis Institute
  • Offer excellent support and guidance from highly trained and experienced teachers and meditation instructors.
  • Practice noble silence to develop a strong container for deepening meditation practice.

For those who are new to meditation practice, please be aware that practicing for a week in silence can be an intensive and challenging – as well as a highly rewarding – experience.

Retreat Leader Eowyn Ahlstrom, BA, LMT, E-RYT500 Bio

Silent Retreat Leader Eowyn Ahlstrom

Éowyn currently serves as the guiding teacher for the mindfulness communities of the Lancaster First Unitarian Church and the Gardner Unitarian Universalist Society, both in central Massachusetts. Based at Listening Wellness Center in Barre, she teaches regionally and is a part-time faculty member at the Center for Mindfulness. At Listening Wellness Center, Éowyn has developed an innovative, in-depth, nine-month program to re-integrate yoga and meditation, entitled Living Yoga, Living Mindfully. Her approach to practice and teaching is holistic, with a strong emphasis on embodiment.

Prior to full-time teaching, she was on staff at the Insight Meditation Society for seven years, serving in the areas of communication and development. Silent retreat remains a priority for Éowyn, who devotes at least one month each year to that way of practice

While open to all students who are willing to undergo the discipline of silent retreat, this retreat also fulfills one of the retreat prerequisites for attending the Oasis Institute for Mindfulness-Based Professional Education and Training at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at UMASS Medical School.

Daily Retreat Schedule

Sunday Opening Day Schedule

2:30 Registration

5:30 Dinner

7:00 Course Opening – Silence Begins at the Close of this Session

9:00 Sleep/Rest

Daily Schedule

6:00am Wake Up

6:45am Quiet Sitting

7:30 Breakfast

8:15 Mindful Working

8:45 Sitting and Instructions

9:30 Morning Practice Period – Alternate Sitting, Walking, Standing, & Reclining

11:30 Guided Mindful Hatha Yoga

12:00 Lunch

2:15pm Guided Sitting

3:00 Afternoon Practice Period – Alternate Sitting, Walking, Standing, & Reclining

5:00 Sitting

5:30 Dinner

6:30 Walking or other form of independent practice

7:00 Teachings and Reflections on Practicing

7:45 Walking or Self-Guided Move or Stretch

8:15 Quiet Sitting

9:00 Rest or Further Practice as you see fit

Friday Morning Schedule

6:00am Wake Up

6:45am Quiet Sitting

7:30 Breakfast

8:15 Mindful Work – Room Cleaning

9:00 Sitting with Instructions for Kindness Meditation Practice

9:45 Walking or Self-Guided Mindful Hatha Yoga

10:00 Lovingkindness Sitting

10:30 Course Closing – Group Go Around

12:00 Lunch 1:00-3:00 Check Out in Mackin 1st Flr Lobby

Housing Description/What To Bring

You will be staying in Mackin Hall, a dormitory on campus designated for first-year students. They have dressers, a bathroom with a shower and shower curtain, an adjustable air conditioning / heating unit, and linens will be provided in each room. Linen sets include sheets, a pillow case, a thin blanket, a thin pillow, hand towel, wash cloth and a bath mat. Please note that shower towels are not provided. Each room also has a small refrigerator and microwave, but no coffee maker or tea pot. There is a vending machine and free laundry facilities on the 1st floor, however laundry detergent is not supplied. NOTE:  All rooms are doubles.

We suggest you bring the following items with you:

  • Shower Towel
  • Blankets (1 for retreat room, 1 for bed for added warmth)
  • Hat & scarf (meditation room tends to get cold)
  • Bed Pillow (if you need two pillows or prefer a thicker pillow)
  • Toiletries (shampoo, hand and shower soap, lotion)
  • Slippers and shower shoes
  • Snacks (snacks are provided throughout the day and evening, please see listing on website.)
  • Alarm clock for your room (cell phone use is not recommended)
  • Wrist watch (cell phone use is restricted)

Prohibited Items: (visit for full listing)

  • Aerosol Products
  • Space Heaters
  • Hot plates
  • Electric Kettles
  • Coffee Pots
  • Rice Cookers
  • Toasters and Toaster Ovens
  • Candles
  • Incense
  • Hookahs & E-cigarettes
  • Extension cords and multiple plug adapters
  • Leger and Wiremold Power Strips
Retreat/Participant Guidelines
  • Silence: Often referred to as noble silence – the entire retreat will be conducted in silence except during designated daily Question and Answer and practice discussion sessions.
  • Noble silence means the following: suspension of all talking, reading, writing, texting, cell phone use, picture taking, listening to music or poetry, painting etc. Integral to this silence, we will also give ourselves over to the practice of “modesty of the eyes” – refraining from eye contact with one another. This is not meant to be a form of “shunning” or isolation. Rather, as in many retreat traditions across the world, this practice provides another means of minimizing distraction and attending with closeness and care to the unfolding of our lives.
  • Exercising: is fine (without music). Feel free to work in exercise time around the retreat schedule. The campus offers beautiful outdoor space to explore. The gym at the college is not accessible.
  • Cell Phones: Unless you are on-call because of your profession or in the midst of a family crisis, we request that all devices (cellphones etc.) be turned off and stored for the duration of the retreat. While challenging, your cooperation will support everyone’s practice. If you request support with this guideline, the retreat staff will hold your devices and return them to you at the end of the retreat.
  • Note Taking: During the evening talks you can take minimal notes as needed.
  • Message Board: There will be a message board where you can write a note if you need something or require assistance.
  • Attendance: We request that you attend the entire retreat including all of the practice periods and talks.
  • Punctuality: We request that you arrive at each practice period on time and stay for the entire period. Of course, if you have to use the toilet facilities during these sessions, you’ll be free to do so.
  • Meditation Hall: Unless you have a medical condition that requires you to eat in the meditation hall, with the exception of water, please refrain from eating and drinking in the meditation hall. Also, we will ask you to remove your shoes before entering the meditation hall. Feel free to bring slippers or socks.
  • Chairs and Cushions: There will be chairs for everyone. If you prefer sitting on the floor, while some cushions and mats will be available, it is best if you bring your own cushion and mat.
  • Interview Sessions: During the retreat you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for both group and individual interview sessions. The interviews are brief and will be conducted by the retreat guides.
  • Emergency Contact: If a family member needs to reach you due to an emergency, please give them the Ramapo College Public Safety phone number 201-684-6666. They must mention their name, your name and the Krame Center Silent Retreat in the Pavilion. Public safety will immediately know where to find you.
Meals & Snacks

Meals are served 3 times per day. They are prepared by our wonderful on-site catering staff, are vegetarian based with fish and chicken options, and are catered to your specific dietary needs, as indicated on the application form. Snacks, tea and coffee are available all day for your convenience. Snacks include breads, nut butters, butter, jams, nut mix, and whole fruits. Gluten free options available.

Dinner will be served at 5:30pm after Check In on Sunday.

Emergency Contact at Home

Please let your loved ones know that you will be phone and computer free for 5 days. If they need to reach you due to an emergency, please have them call Ramapo Public Safety at 201-684-6666. Please make sure that they state their nameyour name and that you are in the Krame Center Silent Retreat.

Mandatory Fire Drill

There will be a mandatory fire drill on Sunday following check in at 4:30pm in the Mackin dormitory where you will be residing. Please make sure to be in the 1st floor  lobby of the dorm (where check in will take place) at that time. This fire drill is for your safety. If you will not be arriving until after the drill, please touch base with any Krame Staff when you arrive to find out the protocol in case of a fire.

What Participants Have to Say

“Heartfelt gratitude for the Krame Center in offering such a life changing program that has the potential to change many lives.” – J.C., 5-Day Silent Retreat March 2018

“This was my first retreat, nothing could have prepared me for this wonderful experience I had.” – P.J.T., 5-Day Silent Retreat March 2018

“I experienced a slowing down and an opening up to this very full daily living experience.”- C.J., 5- Day Silent Retreat March 2018

“Practicing with and learning from Eowyn, I am certain will prove to be an experience of enduring impact.” -S.E., 5-Day Silent Retreat March 2018

“The food was amazing!!” – M.C.M., 5- Day Silent Retreat March 2018

“The silence allowed me to take a pause from my life and to see the daily invisibles.” -P.H., 5-Day Silent Retreat March 2018

“This experience was both wonderful and challenging.” -M.B., 5-Day Silent Retreat March 2018

“Eowyn led the retreat with wisdom and care.” -L.S., 5-Day Silent Retreat March 2018

“We wanted you to know we that we have officially fallen in love with Ramapo and the Krame Center. It was perfection for our all-day silent retreat. Thanks too for sprinkling the fawns and woodchucks around for our deep pleasure. Nature abounds here!”

Lynn Koerbel, Center for Mindfulness Fundamentals Instructor 

To request disability-related accommodations, please contact

Krame Center for Contemplative Studies and Mindful Living at Ramapo College of NJ
505 Ramapo Valley Rd, Mahwah, NJ, 07430 in Bergen County, New Jersey, Northern New Jersey