The Retreat

There are many ways to approach the practice of meditation. Buddhist meditation aims to cultivate an interconnected awareness. One where the development of our own inner peace gives way to greater harmony with the world around us.

The more we are able to cultivate space for all dimensions of our experience, the bolder we become in our compassionate response on both a personal and collective level. Perceived difficulties may just yield to greater depth of connection and the ability to maintain unconditional presence, come what may.

In this five day meditation retreat we will dive deep into transformational awareness practices for developing a vast mind and courageous heart. Through periods of meditation and discussion we will explore and develop our connection to a more resilient state of being, and ways to overcome mental and emotional habits that cause unnecessary suffering. Whether you want to deepen a sense of presence within yourself, your relationships, or the wider world, this retreat is for you.

This retreat will be held in partial silence with an emphasis on practice. Each day will be broken into periods of sitting and walking meditation with a Dharma talk/Q&A session in the evening.

The Details

Thursday 10/24

3pm-5pm - Welcome and orientation (Our first practice session will begin after dinner)

Sample Daily Schedule 10/25-10/28

7:00am-8:30am - Meditation

8:30am-9:00am - Breakfast

9:00am-12:00pm - Meditation (with breaks)

12:00pm-1:00pm - Lunch

3:00pm-6:00pm - Meditation (with breaks)

6:00pm-7:00pm - Dinner

7:00pm-8:00pm - Dharma Talk/Q&A

8:00pm-10:00pm - Meditation

Tuesday 10/29

7am-1pm - The schedule remains the same as above with a closing talk before lunch. After lunch we will pack up and depart.

The Teachers

Scott Tusa_Headshot 2.jpg

Scott Tusa is a Buddhist teacher based in Brooklyn, New York. Ordained by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, he spent nine years as a Buddhist monk, with much of that time engaged in solitary meditation retreat and study in the United States, India, and Nepal. He teaches meditation and Buddhist psychology internationally in group and one-to-one settings, and supports Tsoknyi Rinpoche's Pundarika Sangha as a practice advisor. He trained in Buddhist philosophy and meditation with some of the greatest living masters since his early twenties, including Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and Tulku Sangag Rinpoche. Scott is featured regularly at MNDFL, Tibet House, Nalanda Institute, Dharma Punx, InsightLA, and teaching retreats with Tsoknyi Rinpoche's Pundarika sangha. He has also been featured at the Den Meditation, Ocean of Compassion Buddhist Center, Vajrapani Institute, Shantideva Meditation Center, Tse Chen Ling, and many other meditation organizations and communities.


Marisa Viola is a meditation teacher based in Brooklyn, New York. She has been practicing since 2008, and has taken Refuge and Bodhisattva vows in the Tibetan Buddhist Gelugpa tradition with Venerable Robina Courtin. She has studied with Thich Nhat Hahn, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and many great teachers of various lineages. She has taught a wide array of populations, including caretakers in hospitals, inmates in prisons, employees of small businesses & major corporations, the LGBTQI+ community, students at MNDFL in NYC, artists, and in one-on-one settings. With a background in theater and film,  she is interested in illuminating the creative aspects of engaging with both the self and the world.

The Place


Kagyu Thubten Chöling Monastery ("Garden of the Buddha's Teaching") began as a simple one-story building on seven acres of land overlooking the Hudson River in Wappingers Falls, New York.  Since its founding, a major focus of Kagyu Thubten Chöling Monastery has been the three-year retreat program which trains serious students in the core teachings and practices of the Kagyu Lineage. Seven retreats have been completed to date, and the eighth retreat commenced in November 2011.

Over the years, Kagyu Thubten Chöling Monastery has developed into an active Dharma community and meditation center, providing opportunities for students at all levels.

Getting there from NYC: From Grand Central Station in NYC, take the Hudson line (Poughkeepsie train) to New Hamburg station. (Travel time: approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours.)   Please call and reserve a taxi in advance to ensure that a taxi will be at the station when your train arrives. (See Taxi Service Information above.)  We are located on Sheafe Road directly across from Delavergne Ave. The sign at our driveway reads: 245 Kagyu Thubten Chöling. Please contact Metro-North for train schedules, fares and information. (Phone: 800-METRO-INFO or 212-532-4900;


Tuition: $765

There is a $300 non-refundable deposit due upon registering (The remaining balance will be automatically debited on September 24th)

Some financial assistance is available upon request

Note: tuition fees are separate from accommodation costs. Please see the Lodging section for further details.


In addition to registering for the retreat through the link above, you will need to book your room with KTC

To book your room with KTC, please complete the following two-step process:

First, please register with KTC:

In the Additional Information section, please indicate in the Comments Box that you are attending the Vast Mind, Courageous Retreat with Scott Tusa.

Note: you cannot submit a payment on this page. Please continue to step two.

Second, please visit

KTC is offering retreatants the following accommodation options:

  • a. Semi-Private Room, Guest House - $60/night ($300 total)

  • b. Semi-Private Room, Maitreya Center - $75/night ($375 total)

  • c. Private Room, Guest House - $65/night ($325)

  • d. Private Room, Maitreya Center - $80/night ($400 total)

At the bottom of the page, please see:

  • Make a donation or payment of $ USD towards:

  • In the first box, please fill-in the total amount for your room type

  • In the second box, please specify your room type

Retreat Insurance

Retreat insurance is available in case of last minute cancellations or emergencies. Travel Guard can provide a trip policy that covers your retreat fees in full. Policy prices vary by applicant, but are in the range of $75. To contact a Travel Guard agent, call:  800-826-1300


If you have any additional questions or concerns please email scott directly at