Commitment to Safety and Health
We are committed to keeping everyone as safe and healthy as possible while in residence here at BCBS. We will be operating in full compliance with all CDC and Commonwealth of Massachusetts guidelines. We request your cooperation as we do our best to follow current best practices and protocols. Please review our Covid-19 Safety and Protocols here.
Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We continue to critically reflect on and re-affirm our personal and institutional commitment to a just, equitable, and safe society for all. In support of this intention, we have policies in place to support increased participation for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and uphold our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Please review these DEI policies here.
Registering for a program
To register online, please visit the Course Calendar.
- If you are unable to register online, please call 978-355-2347 ext. 10 to register by phone.
In order to maintain a shared space for exploration, practice, and community, and to uphold our mission and institutional culture, if you register for a program, we understand you to be committing to attend the entire course. If a special need arises or an unexpected event occurs after the program has begun, the teacher, the yogi, and the BCBS staff will work together to find an acceptable alternative. Registration and deposit are required to hold your place in a program. Thank you for your understanding.
An email confirmation will be sent within a few days of receiving your registration and deposit.
Our four-tier fee structure is designed to make transparent the real costs to BCBS and to help keep our offerings available to all, regardless of financial circumstances. There are four payment levels:
- Mid-Level (representing the actual cost to BCBS)
The four-tier system allows us to continue to offer the Supported fee to those who need it most. Any amount paid above Supported will be considered a tax-deductible gift, for which you will receive acknowledgment by mail.
If you can not afford the Supported rate, please choose Financial Assistance in the registration process.
BCBS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational organization.
For more information, please visit Generosity.
Teaching the Dharma is inherently an act of generosity. The teachers who come to BCBS travel from afar and offer their time, their energy, and their wisdom as a gift to all who choose to come. BCBS reimburses teachers only for their travel and other basic costs. Students are invited to help support the continuing efforts of teachers by contributing to their livelihood. A box for Teacher Dāna is provided after every program. Please give generously to the teachers.
BCBS is committed to being open to all, so please do not let financial hardship prevent you from attending our programs. Financial Assistance applications are included in the registration process.
We have both single and double rooms. On the online registration page, there is the option to choose what housing arrangement you prefer.
- Offering to stay in a double room is an act of generosity that allows more people to attend.
- If there is no option to "Request a Single" it means that no single rooms are available. If you are willing to stay in a double room, please select that option. If you like, you can write in the comments section that you wish to be put on the waiting list for a single room, but that does not guarantee that you will get a single room. If you can only attend if you can stay on campus in a single room, please register for the waiting list.
- Single rooms are assigned on a first-come first-serve basis.
Please email email@example.com if you have any questions.
You are welcome to stay one night before and/or after a program as long as space is available. The fee is $70 per extra night. Please select the appropriate box(es) when registering online. Your selection(s) and program registration will be confirmed by email.
If the option to stay an extra night (either the night before or after your program) is not available on the registration page, it is because there are no rooms available.
We do not offer any meals during extra nights before or after programs. You can bring food and will have access to a microwave and refrigerator, if needed.
If all rooms are occupied, you will have the option to register as a non-resident with an additional option to go on the waiting list for a room.
Please only register as a non-resident if you are willing and able to attend the program as a non-resident. Normal cancellation policies will apply.
The non-resident program fee is $70/night, which includes all meals. You will be expected to attend all aspects of the program and are welcome to remain on campus for the entire day.
For information about places to stay nearby, please visit Local Lodging
If you need to cancel your registration, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. If you cancel two or more weeks before a program begins, cancellation fees are $50 for all programs longer than two nights and $25 for weekend programs. Your full deposit is forfeited if you cancel less than two weeks before your program begins. If you have requested financial assistance, cancellation fees are $50 for all programs longer than two nights and $25 for weekend programs.
All cancellation fees support our Scholarship Funds.
Preparing to Attend
For information about directions and transportation options, please visit Getting to BCBS.
- All beds come with two pillows, a mattress cover, a heavy comforter, and a light blanket. Please bring your own twin sheets, pillowcases, towels, and toiletries. If you are taking public transportation or cannot bring your own linens, the center has a limited supply available.
- All rooms have an alarm clock, a flashlight, and a fan.
- BCBS provides unscented soap, shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer. You are welcome to bring your own products, but please make sure they are unscented.
- Please be aware that New England weather and temperature can fluctuate rapidly. Please consider bringing layers and appropriate seasonal footwear.
- During warmer months, consider bringing bug spray and suntan lotion. The center has a limited supply.
- All rooms have at least one fan.
- If you are attending a retreat offered by a monastic, please bring appropriate attire: no shorts, tank tops, or tight clothing.
BCBS is a scent-free environment. Unscented soap, shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer are available in all bathrooms. Please feel free to bring your own unscented products.
- We serve three vegetarian meals a day. If a meal contains gluten, eggs, or dairy, we provide a gluten-free/vegan alternative for those who are gluten-free free and/or vegan. We provide a sign-up sheet for those with food sensitivities on opening day. Because we are a small center with very limited kitchen staffing, we are not able to accommodate all dietary needs and preferences. You are welcome to bring your own foods to supplement your diet while at BCBS if you have other allergies or sensitivities. Please be aware that our kitchen uses ingredients that are allergens to some people – such as peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, gluten, and soy – to provide sources of protein in a vegetarian diet. We cannot remove these allergens from our menu to accommodate individual course participants. Our kitchen staff members are trained in safe food handling, including the prevention of cross-contamination, but please note that we do not have the facilities or resources to ensure that trace amounts of allergens are not present in our food. If you have a serious food allergy, please keep this in mind as you decide whether a BCBS program is suitable for you – you are welcome to contact us if you have specific questions.
- If you would like to bring any food or beverages requiring refrigeration to supplement your diet, a refrigerator with limited storage space is available in the dining room. Coffee, tea, bread, butter, peanut butter, tahini, and fruit are always available in the dining room. Yogurt, milk, soy milk, rice milk, gluten-free bread, Earth Balance spread, jam, and hard-boiled eggs are always available in the dining room refrigerator.
In order to keep costs low, BCBS operates with a very small staff. It would be impossible for us to run programs without help. We ask that all those who come here sign up for a yogi job lasting about 30-40 minutes/day. Most yogi jobs involve cleaning up after a meal or cleaning a bathroom. If you are unable to take on a yogi job because of physical limitations, we are still happy to have you here at our center.
Chairs, meditation cushions, and thin blankets are provided in the Dharma Hall. Please feel free to bring your own.
The Farmhouse and Dharma Hall are wheelchair accessible. We will do our best to support all those who wish to attend programs here. Please contact us for more information.
Because the nature of programs at BCBS varies widely, so does the appropriate use of technology. Some guidelines about recommended technology use may be given on opening night. Our default policy is that no laptops, tablets, or cell phones are allowed in the Dharma Hall at any time except in special circumstances.
Wi-Fi is available in the Farmhouse and the Dharma Hall. There is a laptop for yogi use in the reading room in the Farmhouse.
Mobile Phone Service
Verizon and AT&T have fairly good cell phone reception at BCBS. A telephone is available for use in the front office. If someone needs to reach you while you are here, they can leave a message at 978-355-2347 ext. 10.
There are many well-marked trails around the BCBS campus, which you are welcome to explore during your time here. If you wish, please bring appropriate footwear. BCBS has a limited supply of insect repellent; you are welcome to bring you own.
Smoking cigarettes is permitted in the parking lot.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, BCBS welcomes service animals (who are trained to perform a particular service and are required because of a disability). We are unable to accommodate pets or emotional support animals. If you are bringing a service animal to BCBS, please contact us at least ten days before the program to coordinate housing and other needs at firstname.lastname@example.org. All service dogs must be on a leash in indoor spaces.
While You Are Here
Please note that the daily schedule will vary (sometimes significantly) from program to program. The amount of silence also varies by course so you can contact the office for specific details. A typical schedule is below, but please keep in mind that it will not directly reflect every course.
|2:00 - 6:00||Registration|
|7:30 - 9:00||Program Opening/Evening Session|
|7:00 - 7:30||Group Sitting|
|7:30 - 8:00||Breakfast|
|8:00 - 9:00||Work Period|
|9:00 - Noon||Morning Session|
|2:00 - 5:00||Afternoon Session|
|7:00 - 9:00||Evening Session|
|7:00 - 7:30||Group Sitting|
|7:30 - 8:00||Breakfast|
|8:00 - 9:00||Work Period|
|9:00 - Noon||Morning Session|
|8:30||Check-in at Dharma Hall|
|9:30||Manager's Talk/Morning Session|
We now have almost 5,000 sq. feet under cultivation in our garden, including 32 raised beds and a large open area planted in potatoes and squash.
We supply many of the kitchen’s vegetable needs during the summer and preserve and store many more for winter use. We are also cultivating sunflowers, dahlias, hydrangeas, and roses for the dining room and altar arrangements.
The garden has become so much a part of our lives here that it is hard for many of us to imagine BCBS without it. It is a source of nourishment and has become a lovely space for meditation and contemplation.
To support the Garden Fund, please click here.
The library at BCBS is a resource for both scholars and practitioners. The collection is dedicated to having as complete a set as possible of popular as well as scholarly books on all traditions of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana, Zen, and Vajrayana. In addition, there are complete collections of the Pali Canon in translations as well as Devanagari and Thai languages. There are dictionaries and concordances for Pali, Sanskrit, and Tibetan languages. The library contains over 8,500 titles. A searchable electronic catalog is available for finding specific titles and authors.
The library is a non-circulating collection. It is open for browsing and reading on campus only. Readers are requested to return borrowed books to the re-shelving shelf before leaving the campus.
- We serve three vegetarian meals a day. We do our best to provide options for those who are gluten and dairy-free and will provide a sign-up sheet for those with food sensitivities on opening day. Please understand we are a small center and are not able to accommodate all dietary needs. Please be aware that our kitchen uses ingredients that are allergens to some people – such as peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, gluten, and soy – to provide sources of protein in a vegetarian diet. We cannot remove these allergens from our menu to accommodate individual program participants. Our kitchen staff members are trained in safe food handling, including the prevention of cross-contamination, but please note that we do not have the facilities or resources to ensure that trace amounts of allergens are not present in our food. If you have a serious food allergy, please keep this in mind as you decide whether a BCBS program is suitable for you – you are welcome to contact us if you have specific questions.
- A refrigerator with limited storage space is available in the dining room if you would like to bring any food or beverages to supplement your diet. Please email us if you have any questions about dietary needs or regarding food you would like to bring with you.
- Coffee, tea, bread, and fruit are always available in the dining room. Yogurt, milk, soy milk, rice milk, gluten free bread, butter, Earth Balance, jams, and hard boiled eggs are always available in the dining room refrigerator.
After You Leave
The majority of talks and guided meditations are recorded and uploaded to Dharma Seed. You will receive a password at the end of the program, which you will need to access those talks.
To access talks from your program, go to www.dharmaseed.org, click on Retreats, and enter the code in the appropriate box.
For information about BCBS's online offerings, please visit Online Programs.
BCBS publishes a quarterly, digital Insight Journal with articles by, and interviews with, some of today's leading Buddhist teachers.
You can view the current edition and archive at Insight Journal.
If you wish to receive the Insight Journal by email, please join our mailing list.