Becoming Buddha 2017 Retreats


These are pictures and Dhamma Talks from our Becoming Buddha 2017 residential retreats held at the Won Dharma Center in Clavarack, NY. We were in residence from May 11 to May 14, 2017 and October 19 to October 22, 2017.

Our retreats are remarkable on many fronts, including the setting. The Won Dharma Center provides a spacious and beautiful natural setting, very comfortable and quiet rooms, and delicious but simple food. The staff is attentive and supporting without being intrusive.

Our retreats are structured by the Buddha’s dhamma as preserved in the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon. Our retreats are a refuge form the world but not a retreat from the Dhamma so we avoid the asceticism of forced silence. Right Speech and the entire Eightfold Path provide the framework and guidance to develop the Buddha’s Dhamma. This is how the Buddha taught – to develop the framework of the Eightfold Path in order to recognize and abandon ignorance of Four Noble Truths – to empty oneself of ignorance.

One of the first “rules” the Buddha established with the original sangha is that when gathered as a sangha to only discuss his Dhamma and have the Dhamma guide their moment-by-moment lives. In this way, every moment that unfolds is an immediate opportunity to develop and establish the teachings of an awakened human being. The Buddha taught the Middle Way of the Eightfold Path that avoids the extreme views that would result in sensory indulgence or ascetic practices. Avoiding asceticism of any kind and guided by the Eightfold Path, the mindful interaction of our sangha during retreat develops the Dhamma as originally intended.

As you listen to these seven recordings notice the lighthearted laughter that is present throughout the talks and discussions, and the insight developed into the Three Marks Of Existence that is apparent from the sangha questions and comments. This lighthearted laughter is an expression of the joy developed from understanding the absurdity of maintaining ignorant views and the realization of the Buddha’s simple and direct teachings.

These recordings of the Dhamma talks, sangha questions, comments, and discussions, all bring to life the most remarkable aspect of our retreats: The simple and direct words of the Buddha – still relevant and still well-focused on the Buddha’s promised outcome – the end of ignorance and cessation of suffering.

Information regarding future retreats is here: Becoming Buddha Retreats.

Mouse-over the picture for slider controls.

The talks are in the order they were presented.

Click the player below for wonderful and appropriate background music while browsing the pictures – Thanks, Satchmo and Toph!

Pictures, videos, and Audio recordings from our Spring 2018 Retreat is here: Becoming Buddha Foundations of Mindfulness and Meditation Retreat

2017 Retreats Talks

Fall 2017 Retreat Talks

Spring 2017 Retreat Talks

Fall 2017

Five Bhikkhunis

Won Dharma Center

Ram (Mindful Woodwork)



Won Dharma Center Grounds

Fortunate Hami

Fortunate, Too


F2017 Mark 2


Saturday Evening

Saturday Evening

Saturday Evening

Frank's Cake

Won Dharma Center Evening Sky

Spring 2017

In Session


The Path



Happy Helen

Dhamma Talk

Relaxed Helen

John And Kevin


Matt, Our QiGong Instructor


Moira And Kevin


Matt, Our Qigong Instructor








Matt And Jen

Happy Teacher



Dhamma Talk

Happy Teaching





Our Friend Matt

To continue to develop and share the Buddha's timeless wisdom and preserve the legacy of our friend and teacher John Haspel, we offer weekly classes, both online and in person, both residential and local retreats, and our website with its extensive video and audio archive.  None of this would be possible without your support and donations. 

Please continue to support us by donating here:

Thank You!