Garrison Institute International (GII) has been set up in 2011 to manage the international programs of Garrison Institute in the US. GII is registered in the Netherlands as a not-for-profit foundation.

A Monastery for the 21st Century

The mission of Garrison Institute is to apply the transformative power of contemplation to today’s pressing social and environmental concerns, helping build a more compassionate, resilient future. We offer a unique, non-sectarian environment, sometimes described as a “monastery for the 21st century”, where leaders and practitioners across diverse fields meet, connect and collaborate.

The programs of Garrison Institute develop rigorous, evidence-based ways to apply contemplative methodologies to key social change fields—such as education, ecology and humanitarian aid—redefining their core issues, connecting them to a larger context of systemic change.

Our goal is to cultivate new thought leadership that can inspire large numbers of people by appealing not just to their minds, but also to their hearts.

The Science of Contemplative Practice

Two decades ago, brain researchers discovered the phenomenon of “neuroplasticity,” whereby the brain changes physiologically in contemplative practice – as little as eight weeks of meditation can stimulate new dendritic growth in the brain, at any time of life. This doesn’t just stimulate new ideas: it literally changes minds, actually building new structures and capacities in the brain. It redraws the architecture of thought in organic ways that allow individuals to evolve, and collective thought to shift and grow.
Research shows that even in adversity, contemplative practitioners respond to the world around them with decreasing negativity, anxiety or aggression and increasing compassion, creativity and altruism.

Contemplation – broadly defined as the practice of deep reflection – nourishes and stimulates new patterns of thought and behavior. A contemplative mind recognizes interdependence and connectedness, while being open and present.  This experience can inspire action to transform societies, breaking through outdated world views to achieve systemic change.

The Garrison Institute in the United States

The Garrison Institute was founded 2003, in the United States, in a former monastery in the town of Garrison in New York. Since that time Garrison Institute has evolved into a leading venue for hosting cutting-edge events at the intersection between contemplation, science and social action. It is offering events on a year-long basis, in a retreat-like setting on the shore of the Hudson river.  To date, more than 60,000 people have participated in Garrison Institute’s programmes.

At the heart of the Garrison Institute’s work are our Signature Programs that focus on the practical application of contemplative methods for solving problems in education, the environment, and trauma experienced by those in the helping professions.

In 2004, the Institute began the conversation on mindfulness in education by launching the Initiative on Contemplation and Education (ICE), later renamed the Contemplative Teaching and Learning Initiative and now named CARE for Teachers.  

The year 2005 marked the beginning of the Women’s Wellness Project, a five-year pilot program conducting contemplative-based trainings for women working to end domestic violence. This was the basis of what became the Initiative on Transforming Trauma (ITT), which is now the Institute’s Signature Program on Contemplative-Based Resilience (CBR).

Garrison Institute also launched a number of initiatives in ecology and environmental preservation. For example, the Hudson River Project, Climate Change Leadership summit, and the Climate, Mind and Behavior project (CMB). The Garrison Institute continued this exploration our Pathways Toward Planetary Health symposium in April 2018.  


Board members of GII:
Diana C. Rose
Jonathan Rose
Sander Tideman