Welcome to Springwater Center

Springwater Center is looking for people interested in joining staff!  The current open position calls for good skills in the area of repair and maintenace of buildings and grounds. There are also other possible openings in the near future that benefit from a range of other skills. The main benefit in joining staff is the opportunity to attend many retreats and to work with the Center’s meditative community in the spirit of the work of its founder, Toni Packer. A five-week period of volunteering is a requirment before being accepted on staff. If you have interest or questions about joining staff or scheduling time to come visit and volunteer, please reach out to Stacey at info@springwatercenter.org

It’s now 40 years since Springwater  Center came into being! Use this link to see photos, writing, and art submitted by friends of the Center about their time and experiences here through the years. From the first retreats held at Camp Onanda on Canandaigua Lake to more recent days.

Located an hour south of Rochester, New York, Springwater Center offers silent meditation retreats and year-round guest visits 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.

Springwater Center is located on the traditional homelands of the Onondowahgah (Oh-KNOWN-doe-wah’gah), also known as the Seneca Nation. The Onondowahgah are members of the Haudenosaunee (Hoe-dee-no-SHOW-nee) Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign nations with a historic and contemporary presence on this land. The confederacy precedes the establishment of Springwater Center, New York state and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Onondowahgah, dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection of Onondowahgah people, past and present, to these lands and waters.

COVID-19 Update

The Center is now open to fully vaccinated (including booster) in-person guests. We are monitoring the unfolding COVID situations closely and will update this page as our policy changes.

Our deepest gratitude to all of our members and friends who continue to support us as we all move through such uncertain times.

ONLINE OFFERINGS:

We will continue to offer timed quiet sittings, group meetings, private meetings with teachers and retreats accessible online.

For more information, email Stacey at: info@springwatercenter.org.

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

Staff Break/Center Closed

The Center will close during this period so that staff can take a break after a busy summer. We’ll be open again Tuesday, October 4 and welcoming guests and visitors.

Find out more »

Teacher Dialogue Session (Online)

New in 2022: Online Teacher/Facilitator Dialogue Sessions. Following a 25-minute minute sitting, two or more Springwater Teachers will dialogue about a specific theme or question. An open group dialogue will […]

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Four-Day Retreat with Stew Glick

Stew Glick began working with Roshi Phillip Kapleau at the Rochester Zen Center around 1971. He later began working closely with Toni Packer and came on the Zen Center staff […]

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All Day Sitting

All are welcome to attend this All Day Sitting event beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 4:00 p.m. EDT. We are accepting up to 18 fully vaccinated in-person participants, […]

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Center Closed for Staff Retreat

The Center will be closed November 1 and November 2 to give staff time for silence, reflection, and dialogue.

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Quiet Week

Quiet Weeks offer an opportunity to create a personalized retreat while the Center enters into a modification of its day-to-day working life. There are many possibilities to connect with the […]

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Seven-Day Retreat with Sandra Gonzalez

  Sandra will give talks and meet with participants privately and in the afternoon dialogue group in this autumn retreat. Sandra Gonzalez began working with Toni Packer in 1988. Previously, […]

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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.

Gallery

COVID update: The Center is now open to fully vaccinated (including booster) visitors. Masks are required for the first 5 to 10 days of a guest stay, with the option for testing on day 5.

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