NJ: 9-Day Course in Hackettstown, New Jersey from September 15 to 25, 2014

A nine-day residential Vipassana meditation course will be held in Hackettstown, NJ, from September 15th (Monday) through the 25th (Thursday).

This nine-day course will be identical to regular 10-day courses in terms of the practice, and is open to new and old students. The location (about 1.5 hours’ drive from New York City) is a summer camp rented for the course. As such, accommodation will be dormitory style, with 10 to 15 students per lodge. Bathrooms will be shared. The camp is called Camp Merry Heart.

Preference will be given to new students and those old students who haven’t attended a residential course in the last one year, though everyone is welcome to apply.

Applying for the course

  • Please read the Code of Discipline.

  • Click here  to apply to the course

  • Look out for the Hackettstown location in the list and click on “Apply” link of the course to fill out the application form

  • Await notification. All correspondence will be through e-mail if you give an e-mail address in your application. Due to the large volume of applications, it may take up to one month before receiving notification.

  • Confirm. Once accepted we require a confirmation of attendance from applicants to secure their place on the course. This is important as accommodation is limited, we often have waiting lists for our courses.  If you are unable to attend, please inform us as soon as possible so that another on the waiting list can attend. You will be getting a confirmation reminder (4-5 weeks) before the course. Please confirm your participation. If you don’t confirm in stipulated duration, the space will be provided to someone on waitlist.

Arrival and Departure times

All students are asked to arrive between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. on the day the course begins (15th Sept). After registration is completed, a light meal and orientation will precede the start of the course.  The course will end at approximately 7:30 a.m. on the last day, Day 10 (25th Sept) of the course. All new students, as well as old (returning) students taking a full course, are required to remain until the very end of the course.When making travel arrangements, please allow sufficient time for travel to and from the course site.


Accommodation is shared with each dorm having about 12-13 participants. Bed and mattress are provided. Toilets are located within the dorms. There is separated shower area which will be available for certain hours. The dorms are not heated and have suction exhaust fans to throw any heat out. Average temperature varies from  upper 50s to lower 70s at that time of the year.

What to bring

Bring enough comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for the length of your stay, as there is absolutely no laundry washing facility available.


  • shirts
  • pants
  • socks
  • underwear
  • sweaters or other warm layers
  • slippers or house shoes – optional (outside shoes should not be worn inside)
  • hats, gloves, warm coats for colder months

All students should observe the rules for modest dress as outlined in the Code of Discipline.  Shorts, tank tops, transparent, tight or revealing clothing, etc. are not permitted. Tights or leggings should be worn only under a knee-length top or shirt.


  • warm jacket and/or raincoat
  • boots and/or rain boots
  • shawl and/or sweater
  • warm hat (can also be used during meditation)
  • umbrella

Meditation supplies:

  • meditation cushion and/or bench (a limited number of small/supplementary cushions are available)
  • meditation shawl or blanket – optional (separate from sleeping blankets)
  • small cushions for knees, etc. – optional

A floor mat will be provided for each student.


  • sleeping pillow (not the same as your meditation cushion)
  • pillowcase
  • bottom sheet
  • sleeping bag and/or top sheet and warm blankets

Personal items (Please avoid using items with strong scents or perfumes.):

  • soap, shampoo, etc.
  • unscented deodorant
  • other toiletries (shaving and sanitary supplies, etc.)
  • toothbrush and toothpaste
  • towel
  • liquid laundry soap for hand washing laundry – optional
  • flashlight
  • alarm clock (you cannot use cellphone)

PLEASE NOTE: Students are asked not to bring any personal food, reading or writing materials, cell phones, or other electronic devices for use during the course. These should be left in your car.  If necessary, they can be stored for you until the end of the course.

Please come prepared with clothing for unexpected changes in weather.

Travel and ride information

Directions to Camp Merry Heart-Easter Seals, 21 O Brien Rd, Hackettstown, NJ 07840

From I-80 E/I-80 Wt:

  1. Take Exit 26  toward Budd Lake/Hackettstownat
  2. Merge on to US46 West. Continue 9.1 miles
  3. Take slight left onto Russling Rd and continue 2 miles
  4. Turn left onto Mt Bethel Rd and continue 0.2 miles
  5. Take slight left to O Brien Rd.
  6. Drive to the Camp Office for registration.


If you have informed us that you can offer a ride, (at least two weeks before the course), we will add you to our ride share board.  You will receive an email notifying you of this addition and how you can delete or modify your entry.

IF YOU ARE OFFERING A RIDE: Your name and phone number will be given to those in your area seeking a ride. If you fill your car, or you wish to change your status, do so on our rideshare board at http://rides.server.dhamma.org/dhara/index.php

IF YOU NEED A RIDE: Register yourself on our rideshare board at http://rides.server.dhamma.org/dhara/index.php

Please actively use the ride share board to search for a ride the week prior to the course.


Train Service to Hackettstown: From New York Penn Station:

  • Take Morris & Essex Line towards Dover and get down st Newark Broad St (2nd stop) [Alternatively, take PATH from 33rd St and get on Morris & Essex Line from Hoboken]

  • Take Morris & Essex Line towards Hackettstown (14 stops)

  • Get down at Hackettstown and take a taxi

Note: Volunteers might be able to pick you up if you know registration team beforehand. Details are being worked on.