June 30, 2023


An amazing 9-day Silent Illumination retreat took place in the wondrous Dharma Drum Retreat Center from June 30 to July 8, 2023, led by Zarko Andricevic, Dharma Heir of Chan Master Sheng Yen. Zarko is founder of Dharmaloka Chan Buddhist Community and Chan Retreat Centre in Croatia. 

Together, retreatants deepen their learning and practice with Zarko's incredible and inspiring teaching, along with one-on-one interviews to "clear the path" even further for these Chan practitioners.

Here are some of their reflections, to "share the precious forward" for practitioners come after:

An amazing 9-day Silent Illumination retreat took place in the wondrous Dharma Drum Retreat Center from June 30 to July 8, 2023, led by Zarko Andricevic, Dharma Heir of Chan Master Sheng Yen.

Tom S:

A wonderful and valuable experience which helped my daily practice. Instead of becoming more "spiritual", the retreat has grounded me firmly in the quotidian; the every day responses of clarity, compassion, and courtesy to each event as it arises. Zarko embodied this. I thank you all.

Madeline: So well run! Wonderful teachings and support!

J Z (volunteer):

I would never anticipate volunteer for retreats can actually deepen the Dharma study and practice in such a real almost magical way. Buddha's teaching in sutras come alive, like real case studies, and these benefits are uniquely blessed through not-sitting per se but everything else. If you have studied and practiced Dharma for a while, I recommend volunteer as a practice as well. May all be well.

A D: Dharma Drum Retreat Center NY is a great Buddhist space. Only a couple of hours drive from NYC, and hence very accessible for New Yorkers. Lots of deer grazing in the lawns which adds to the great vibes. I like the simplicity of DDRC, their no-frills style was refreshing, rooms are cozy and the canteen is nice. Master Zarko and his team is wise in how they guide the students.


Gratitude fills my heart after this wonderful time at the Dharma Drum Retreat Centre with Zarko. It was my first time there but the warm people, the schedule, the food, the comfortable accommodation and beautiful surroundings were all supportive of feeling at ease and going deep in the practice. I appreciate all the work that went behind the scene to allow me to just sit and heal. I am now integrating the benefits in my everyday life.

Dharma Drum Retreat Centre is a precious place of great benefit. Thank you!


This retreat was a truly transformative experience. I did not know what to expect from this week and am still reflecting on what I learned and cherishing what I now deeply know in my cells. I felt held and supported by everyone. Zarko's teaching was precise and eloquent. I look forward to returning to retreat next year and am hopeful to learn from Zarko again if we are so fortunate as to have him as a guest teacher.

Tian (volunteer):

Beautiful retreat experience. Lovely opportunity to bond with kind fellow souls. Having participated in a number of Dharma Drum retreats, one word that readily jumps to mind, is "meticulousness". Everything is thoughtfully planned like a well oiled machine, such that retreatants can forgo verbal communication thus uphold noble silence. This retreat center really feels like one's home away from home.

Tom K: As usual, this was a wonderful retreat. It was a springboard to a summer of retreats for me.

Jean: I am very grateful for the wonderful retreat; I was inspired by Zarko’s dharma talks and was able to apply his teachings right away. I appreciated that there were so many opportunities for interviews. I have benefited greatly from those daily interviews that helped address my questions and provided clarification/verification for my practice at the moment I needed most. The experience was very profound and transformed my practice. It’s once in a lifetime experience in my practice of Chan! I am forever grateful!

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