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 Course
How to Register
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 course we understand you to be committing to attend the entire course. If a special need arises or an unexpected event occurs after the course 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 course. Thank you for your understanding.
Email confirmation will be sent within a few days of receiving your registration and deposit.
Four-Tier Course Fee Structure
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. Teachers are reimbursed by BCBS 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 courses. Financial Assistance applications are included in the registration process.
Rooming on Campus
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Staying an Additional Night
You are welcome to stay one night before and/or after a course, as long as space is available. The fee is $59 for each additional night. Please select the appropriate box(es) when registering online. Your selection(s) will be confirmed by email along with course registration.
If the option to stay an additional night (either the night before or the night after your course) is not available on the registration page, it is because there are no rooms available.
We do not offer any meals during additional nights before or after courses. You can bring food and will have access to a microwave and refrigerator, if needed.
Attending a Course as a Non-Resident
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 course as a non-resident. Normal cancellation policies will apply.
Non-resident course fee is $59/night, which includes all meals. You will be expected to attend all aspects of the course and are welcome to remain on campus for the entire day.
For information about places to stay nearby, please visit Local Lodging
Residential Cancellation Policy
During the pandemic, there is a cancellation fee of $50 for all programs longer than two nights and $25 for weekend programs.
Preparing to Attend
A confirmation email with course details will be sent upon registration and deposit. This email will have much of the information you will need for preparing to attend a course at BCBS. Please read it carefully.
How to Get Here
For information about directions and transportation options, please visit Getting to BCBS.
What to Bring
- All beds come with two pillows, mattress cover, heavy comforter, and a light blanket. Please bring your own twin sheets, pillowcases, towels, and toiletries. If you are taking public transportation or are otherwise unable to bring your own linens, the center does have 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, tanktops, or tight clothing.
- 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 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 course 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 courses 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.
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.
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 courses here. Please contact us for more information.
Smoking cigarettes is permitted in the parking lot.
BCBS is a scent-free environment. Unscented soap, shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer is available in all bathrooms. Please feel free to bring your own unscented products.
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.
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.
Because the nature of courses at BCBS varies widely, so does appropriate use of technology. Some guidelines about recommended technology use may be given on opening night. Our default policy is that no laptops or tablets or cell phones are allowed in the Dharma Hall at any time, except in special circumstances.
While You Are Here
Please note that the daily schedule will vary (sometimes significantly) from course to course. 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||Course 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, as well as preserve and store many more for winter use. We are also cultivating sunflowers, dahlias, hydrangea, 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 not only a source of nourishment, but has also become a lovely space for meditation and contemplation.
To support the Garden Fund, please click here.
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 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 course 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 course, which you will need to access those talks.
To access talks from your course, go to www.dharmaseed.org, click on Retreats, and enter the code in the appropriate box.
We invite you to follow us on Facebook.
For information about BCBS’s online offerings, please visit Online Programs.