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Palyul US Summer Retreat - Telephones, Laundry, Travel

Telephones

Pay phones accept coins for local calls only, so a pre-paid calling card or credit card may prove useful. You can receive calls at the retreat office phone number (607-656-4645) ONLY in the event of an emergency.

Laundry

You can do laundry in Greene or Chenango Flats, but we also have a laundromat onsite. The machines are on the other side of the building housing the tent bathrooms, facing the 8th year class hut. These convenient machines require quarters to operate, available in the office. You can also purchase laundry soap from the office if you need it. Few notes on the laundromat. The water in this area make it so that you need about 1/4 of the soap we normally would use in a washing machine (otherwise clothes can feel stiff). You also might want to extend the drying time allotted by the full tray of quarters by adding an additional quarter to extend the drying time slightly as we incline to be on the damp side during the summer. Also, of course we're looking for everyone to be considerate of each other. For instance, retreatants are requested not to leave laundry in the machines, but to supervise all washers and driers until laundry is completed if possible. Also, with the addition of the 8th year hut, during practice time please keep voices low. It would be best not to do laundry during practice time if possible.

Health Insurance/Liability

You are encouraged to have your own health and accident insurance. In accordance with routine procedures at the retreat center, all participants and staff are required to sign a "Release of Liability" statement.

Travel information

Arrival/Departure Dates and Times

Arrival dates and times for full-month and "first session" retreatants are July 8-9 between 8:30am and 9:00pm. Arrival date and times for "second session" retreatants is July 24 after 3pm. Note: Arrivals before 3pm for the first day of part-time retreats (the day prior to the day listed for Ngondro sessions) will be billed an additional day’s tuition ($65). All retreats end on August 10 at 3pm, and retreatants may select to leave either on that day or must leave on August 11 by Noon.

The retreat application form includes a section for indicating your exact expected arrival and departure dates and times, so the registrar can make adequate accommodation plans for all retreatants. It is very important to carefully complete this section.

Airports

Click here for detailed travel advice

The closest airport to the retreat center is in Binghamton, NY, approximately a 45-minute drive to the center. See "Taxi" below for details on taxi service to the center from the Binghamton airport.

It is also possible to fly into either Newark, LaGuardia, or JFK airports, acquire transportation into New York City, and then from the Port Authority Bus Terminal embark on a bus to either Binghamton or, preferably, Greene, NY.

Bus

If you arrive at a metropolitan New York airport, take an Airport Express Bus to Port Authority Bus Terminal (at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue). From Port Authority take a Short Line/Coach USA bus (800-631-8405) to Binghamton or Greene, NY. The Short Line bus runs several times daily in both directions. See the bus company website here for PDF copies of the NYC-Binghamton-Green bus schedule. http://www.coachusa.com/CoachUsaAssets/files/98/Binghamton.pdf

Greene is only 15 minutes from the retreat center. Please be forewarned, however, the retreat center cannot officially make pickups from the bus stop in Greene, and working payphones are sometimes difficult to find there. If you choose to take the bus to Greene, you may wait up to three hours before getting picked up. So, although it is farther away, it is actually best to arrive at the Binghamton bus station and hire a taxi to the center from there.

Taxi

From Binghamton bus terminals: Call Checker Car Services (607) 722-2227. Flat rate is $70 per car, which can then be shared by up to 4 people.

From Binghamton airport:

To be updated! :)

Advance luggage

Please ship your packages so they arrive no more than five days prior to your arrival.

Mail

Please have your mail addressed to:
(Your Name)
c/o The Palyul Retreat Center
359 German Hollow Road
McDonough, NY 13801

Cars

Please limit all use of cars and other vehicles in order to preserve the retreat atmosphere and the natural environment, and to avoid unnecessarily raising dirt clouds on the gravel roads.

Recreation Vehicles and Personal Tents

Due to local health codes and the fact our license is based on a quantified number of residences, recreational vehicles and personal tents are expressly forbidden on retreat lands. Please do not bring your camper or tent as it could put the center at risk of being closed down by the authorities.

Childcare

Parents or guardians are fully responsible for their children at all times. This includes monitoring their children in the temple and on retreat grounds, so that they do not interfere with retreat activities or distract retreatants from their study, practice, and work or rest sessions. The Chamber of Commerce in Greene may direct you to locally available babysitters, but hiring help to care for your child or children while you are at the retreat center is done entirely at your own risk. Those who are unable to control the behavior of their children in the temple may be asked to leave.

Hiking and Wildlife

Walking along the farmland roads or through state forests can be a wonderful meditative pastime. Please prepare yourself properly and follow these guidelines when walking outside the retreat center perimeter:

· Be sure to use the center’s “off-site sign-out sheet.” Also, verbally tell someone where you are going and when to expect you back.
· Always walk with a companion.
· Take at least one quart of water per person.
· Do not drink from local streams or other bodies of water as they are contaminated by runoff from nearby cattle farms.
· In general, please be respectful of all flora and fauna while on retreat. Be especially considerate of planted fields and grazing cattle. Plants may be at a delicate juncture in their growth cycle and cattle may produce less milk when frightened.
· Always heed all "No Trespassing" signs.
· During hunting season, be on the alert for hunters.
· If hiking through state forest land, be sure to wear bright colors.

Lyme Disease

There are many deer on retreat center land and surrounding areas. Although this area is much less afflicted, these deer may be infested with the tick that carries Lyme disease. While new vaccines for Lyme disease are now available, they take time to become effective. So please consult your doctor about the possibility of getting vaccinated well in advance of leaving for the retreat center. In any case, insect repellant is recommended.