What should I expect when I arrive?
- NYI is a casual, non-ceremonious spiritual center. We do not observe any specific rituals.
- Our lay teachers do not wear robes or have honorific titles (although we sometimes host monastic teachers who do).
- All events start on time: please arrive 15 minutes beforehand.
- Please remove your shoes and place them in allocated areas.
- Latecomers should either wait outside or sit in the back of the large room until there is a break in the dharma talk or meditation period.
What do the sliding scale fees mean? What if I need financial support to participate in an event?
Generosity Policy: Information About Our Sliding Scale Fees
New York Insight is committed to ensuring that our Dharma offerings are available to all, regardless of ability to pay. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. No financial assistance application is needed when registering for a program. We offer new sliding scale fees, and ask that you choose the highest fee you are able to afford based on your financial means. For programs where there are a limited amount of seats, tickets for each sliding scale option are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. This ensures NYI’s operational sustainability. If you cannot pay the lowest fee, you can set up a payment plan or let us know how much you can pay by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patron- The Patron rate provides the opportunity to offer more substantial support than the Benefactor rate for those who sustaining pricing is prohibitive. This price is 50% above the sustaining fee.
Benefactor- The Benefactor rate provides the opportunity to offer more substantial support to those for whom the sustaining cost is prohibitive. This price is 25% above the sustaining fee.
Sustaining- The Sustaining rate represents the actual cost to NYI to operate our programs. If you can afford this level or higher, you assist our efforts to offer lower sliding-scale rates and support ongoing financial assistance.
Reduced- This rate is between Base and Reduced, and covers just over 75% of what is needed to run our center.
Base- Payment at the Base rate covers just over 50% of what is needed to run our center.
What is dana or teacher support?
- Dana is the Pali word for generosity. At all New York Insight events, we endeavor to offer all participants the opportunity to share in the joyful cultivation of generosity through offerings to our teachers. It is sincerely hoped that donations come from a spontaneous expression of the heart in gratitude and appreciation for the benefits we have received through the hearing and practice of these unexcelled teachings. No one is turned away from the teachings for lack of funds.
What is the cancellation policy?
To cancel registration for an event, you must notify NYI (email email@example.com) at least one week before the beginning of the course or event. Refunds are issued for cancellations, up to seven days before an event less a $15 processing fee. There are no refunds for events with registration fees under $50.
Less than seven days before an event, we do not offer refunds. Registration fees may be used as credit to a future course or event at NYI within 365 days of the original event or the first class session.
New York Insight reserves the right to cancel a course or event within 7 days of the event start date, due to “low enrollment.” Minimum enrollment for courses is 10 participants and 20 for weekend/daylong retreats and workshops. Maximum participation is determined by the teacher of the course/retreat. Participants will receive a full refund for any events cancelled by New York Insight.
For the cancellation policy for residential retreats, please see the event registration page for more information.
Am I allowed to talk?
- Each event is different. Days of silence are largely kept in Noble Silence, but some events invite engagement and discussion as part of the process. Usually this is described in the event description and teachers explain the program flow at the start of an event.
Do I have to sit on a cushion?
- We provide cushions, benches, as well as comfortable straight back chairs.
Are there any rules?
Most of our daylong events, especially those referred to as “retreats”, include periods of meditation. In the interest of providing a harmonious and rewarding opportunity to practice, we ask all participants to join us in creating a supportive sacred space by observing the following guidelines:
- Please wear modest, appropriate clothing with an emphasis on comfort.
- Please remove your shoes and place them in the allocated areas.
- Except for the lunch period, please refrain from reading, eating, lying down or stretching in the meditation rooms during formal programs.
- Please refrain from using any electronic devices during programs. We encourage the use of paper and pens/pencils over electronic note-taking as these devices can be extremely distracting for others around you.
- Please do not sit on the sofa or in the lounge area during formal teaching and programs.
- Make sure that the area you’ve been sitting in, and any cushions you’ve used, are clean before you depart.
- Out of respect for people with environmental illnesses, we request that everyone at NYI please not wear strong fragrances or strongly scented products when attending events at NYI. We greatly appreciate your efforts to make NYI accessible to those with MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities).
- Please keep aisles and fire exits clear of cushions and belongings.
- Please make every effort to enter and leave meditation areas only at designated times.
- Please sit in an attentive posture during meditation and Dharma talks.
- Please be mindful of others when practicing walking meditation. Choose a walking path that does not cross paths of other meditators.
- If you wish to practice yoga, please do so only if there is space and time allotted (if you’re not sure, ask the Event Manager or a volunteer).
Can I meet with a teacher privately?
Student-teacher meetings are for people who are actively practicing meditation and would like to confer with a teacher about that practice. Discussions may focus on specific questions about one’s meditation practice itself, concerns about the integration of practice into one’s daily life, or on an exploration of the truth as it is experienced through direct insight from meditation.
While all students at NYI have opportunities to engage with teachers during classes and other activities, members are given first access to teachers for individual meetings. Please read more about Student-Teacher meetings.