Every year, hundreds of people leave the realm of their digital screens and overflowing appointment calendars to journey up an unpaved mountain road and find spiritual respite deep in the heart of the Catskill Mountains. They arrive at Dai Bosatsu Zendo to take part in week-long sesshin (intensive Zen retreats) or introductory weekends — and to participate in our Open Space program at Beecher House.
The Dai Bosatsu property encompasses 1,400 acres of pristine wilderness surrounding a clear lake in the middle of New York State’s Catskill Park preserve. By day, the air is fragrant and pure; at night, with no light pollution, billions of stars glimmer.
The Beecher House sits on the shore of this lake, the highest in the Catskills. It was built in 1875 by James Beecher, the brother of Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose 1852 novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin galvanized the movement to end slavery in the United States. In the early 1970s, Dai Bosatsu Zendo’s first resident community lived and practiced at the Beecher House.
In 2021, the building was completely renovated and restored, and now has a new solarium and expansive deck that open out onto Beecher Lake and a wide view of the mountains rising beyond. The main monastery building, with its traditional Japanese architecture, is just a short walk away.
During spring, summer and fall, steeped in the beauty and healing energies of nature, the Open Space program includes retreats in yoga, shiatsu, reiki, forest bathing, environmental awareness, the Zen arts,12-Step retreats, and Healing and Wellness weekends for those living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses. Visitors enjoy walking the gentle hiking trail that circles the lake and encountering the wildlife dwelling there, from beavers to geese, bald eagles to trout leaping from the sparkling waters.
We invite you to support the Beecher House and our unique Open Space program with a donation today. Your contributions are essential for us to protect and maintain this historic building and continue offering the gift of spiritual exploration and transformation in a wondrous natural environment.
Thank you in advance for your generosity.