Welcome to Springwater Center

Located an hour south of Rochester, New York, Springwater Center offers silent meditation retreats in a beautiful and spacious facility on 212 acres of country land with streams, meadows, forests, a pond, and miles of walking trails.

There are no rituals, required beliefs, or assigned practices.

The essence of retreat at Springwater is being together in the simplicity and openness of silent awareness. Attending moment-to-moment to what is happening within and without, in a spirit of wonder, curiosity, and discovery.

Meditation

The heart of our meditative work is simple awareness. Right now can there be simple listening, being present to what appears as sound and feeling and thinking in the midst of open silence? A vast listening space of no preferences and no judgments?

The mystery, the essence of all life is not separate from the silent openness of simple listening.

Sitting quietly is vast boundless being, not belonging to me or you. Revealing what is as it is, beholding it and yet not meddling with it in the light of wisdom and compassion too marvelous to comprehend.

Meditation

The heart of our meditative work is simple awareness. Right now can there be simple listening, being present to what appears as sound and feeling and thinking in the midst of open silence? A vast listening space of no preferences and no judgments?

The mystery, the essence of all life is not separate from the silent openness of simple listening.

Sitting quietly is vast boundless being, not belonging to me or you. Revealing what is as it is, beholding it and yet not meddling with it in the light of wisdom and compassion too marvelous to comprehend.

A Variety of Ways to Participate

Silent retreats form the heart of life at Springwater. Grounded in an atmosphere of inquiry and shared silence, a daily schedule is offered with timed sittings, a morning talk, meetings with teachers, and an afternoon group dialogue.

A one day retreat experience, our All Day Sittings begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. The day includes time for sitting, a talk, vegetarian lunch, an afternoon dialogue group, and concludes with refreshments and social time.

During quiet weeks, specific areas of the building are kept in silence, while the rest of the house continues in its work day. This provides a quiet, meditative atmosphere in the midst of everyday life.

You are welcome to visit as a guest or volunteer outside of retreat. You can create a personal retreat experience, supported by daily sittings, shared meals, and the option to meet with teachers.

Retreats

Here at Springwater there is no special practice assigned or suggested. You may wish to continue with a previously learned practice, or to try something new: simply attending without a known method or purpose.

Each retreat has a daily schedule with meditation periods, a talk, private meetings with teachers, and group dialogue. All activities are optional and you are free to interact with retreat in a way that works for you. The only requirements are to participate in silence and contribute an hour of work each day.

We have been holding retreats in Springwater for over 30 years, and they have evolved over time into an innovative form that flows naturally.

Retreats

Here at Springwater there is no special practice assigned or suggested. You may wish to continue with a previously learned practice, or to try something new: simply attending without a known method or purpose.

Each retreat has a daily schedule with meditation periods, a talk, private meetings with teachers, and group dialogue. All activities are optional and you are free to interact with retreat in a way that works for you. The only requirements are to participate in silence and contribute an hour of work each day.

We have been holding retreats in Springwater for over 30 years, and they have evolved over time into an innovative form that flows naturally.

Upcoming Events

Winter Break – Center Closed

The Center will close at the end of the day on Saturday, December 15, and reopen Wednesday, December 26. Staff will be taking a break during this holiday period, and then will be preparing for the New-Year’s retreat beginning December 28.

Find out more »

Four-Day New Year’s Retreat with Wayne Coger ( This Retreat is Full! Contact reception to be placed on waiting list)

Wayne Coger has led retreats since 2001. He worked with Toni Packer for more than 30 years, and has been a staff member of the Center since 1983, currently serving as administrator. Previously, he studied at the Rochester Zen Center. Toni Packer asked me if I would share the work that we do with others. […]

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Three-Day Retreat with Susan Schepp

Susan will give talks and be available for private meetings during this three-day retreat. Susan Schepp has a deep commitment to meditative work and has been involved in the Center since its inception. She has a small collection of poems she’s written at the Center, including one she read during a talk last June: Ripples […]

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February All Day Sitting

All are welcome to attend this All Day Sitting, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 4:00 p.m. The day includes timed and un-timed sittings, a talk, vegetarian lunch, afternoon dialogue group, and refreshments/social time from 3:30 to 4:00. If you would like to attend, please contact us. A donation is  requested for the day […]

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Seven-Day Retreat with Wayne Coger and Susan Schepp

Susan and Wayne will both give talks and be available to meet with others individually and in groups. Wayne Coger has led retreats since 2001. He worked with Toni Packer for more than 30 years, and has been a staff member of the Center since 1983, currently serving as administrator. Previously, he studied at the […]

Find out more »

Origins

Springwater Center was founded in 1981 by Toni Packer along with over 200 friends dedicated to the work of meditation and inquiry.

Trained as a teacher in Zen Buddhism, Toni left the tradition to work with the essence of meditative practice attending to what is happening in the immediacy of each moment.

Over the years, Springwater has evolved into a large and lively community. People of all backgrounds come here to meditate in deep silence to inquire and share with one another their questions, insights, and difficulties.

Origins

Springwater Center was founded in 1981 by Toni Packer along with over 200 friends dedicated to the work of meditation and inquiry.

Trained as a teacher in Zen Buddhism, Toni left the tradition to work with the essence of meditative practice attending to what is happening in the immediacy of each moment.

Over the years, Springwater has evolved into a large and lively community. People of all backgrounds come here to meditate in deep silence to inquire and share with one another their questions, insights, and difficulties.

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