Dharma Drum Retreat Center
Dharma Drum Retreat Center (DDRC) was founded by Chinese Ch'an (Zen) master Sheng-yen. It is in the rural area of Pine Bush, New York, about two hours drive or 90 miles (140 km) northwest of New York City. The center stands on 125 acres (0.51 km2) of land dominated by meadowland and woods of maple, oak, and beech populated by wild animals and birds. Beyond the center to the north is the ecologically-protected Shawangunk Ridge. It also has a small lake (Murray Pond) near its Ch'an Hall.
The Dharma Drum Mountain organization bought the land at 1995 after their Ch'an centers in Queens, New York and Corona Avenue were overflowed by participants during retreats. Its whole buildings, however, were finished at 2002. Sheng-yen held his first 49-day retreat in United States at this center in 2000. He passed his Dharma transmission to two of his prominent Western disciples, Simon Child and Max Kalin in this retreat.
Currently it serves as the main retreat center for Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association - an association of Dharma Drum Mountain chapters and branches in United States. It also has close affiliation with the Western Chan Fellowship, a fellowship founded by Sheng-yen's western disciples. Its current abbot is one of the Dharma heirs to Sheng-yen, Guo Xing. Its activities include weekly Thursday evening meditation group and Sunday dharma sharing. It also has regular meditation classes, month-long residential programs, and several types of retreats for all level of practices (DDRC_activities_calendar).
Its faculty includes resident teachers such as the abbot, Guo Xing, and a native New Yorker monk, Chang Wen; monastic Dharma heirs such as Guo Ru and Chi Chern; and lay Dharma heirs, mostly Sheng-yen's western disciples, including John Crook, Simon Child, Zarko Andricevic, and Gilbert Gutierrez.
- Sheng Yen, Footprints in the Snow: The Autobiography of a Chinese Buddhist Monk. Doubleday Religion, 2008. ISBN 978-0-385-51330-2.
- Dharma Drum Retreat Center (New York) Official Website
- Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association (DDMBA) Official Website
- Western Ch'an Fellowship Official Website