Body Mind Restoration Retreats, Ithac...

Body Mind Restoration Retreats, Ithaca, NY

There are 14 comments on the AM New York story from Apr 30, 2007, titled Body Mind Restoration Retreats, Ithaca, NY. In it, AM New York reports that:

When my boyfriend Josh suggested last spring that we go take part in one of the two-week Body Mind Restoration Retreats that his aunt and uncle hold every summer a few miles south of Cornell, I said "sure," ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at AM New York.


Saranac Lake, NY

#1 May 3, 2007
I went there myself and completely agree with the article -- a wonderful place where many people are healed.

Salvagnac, France

#2 Aug 4, 2009
The eating, meditation, colonic , sauna, swimming and message sessions are wonderful. The setting is beautiful.

However, be aware that the owners and leaders of the retreat have no service in their souls. They do not take any extra steps to insure the comfort of their clients. For example, Marcia,(Marceea) the female leader formerly known as Marsha, was fifteen minutes late for every single lecture or exercise session that she taught. So disrespectful. David, the male leader, bragged about how "hands off" they are. What he should have said is "you are on your own."

They do have many devotees, and tend to be drawn toward the emotionally "wounded." However, they were openly dismissive of the people who seemed to be more upbeat and independent. It is a common problem with cultish groups who are wary of those who don't buy into the leaders hook, line and sinker. Fascinating crowd, though.. A lot of forced laughter, not much joy.

The people who volunteered to work there are wonderful, as were the therapists. My room overlooked beautiful gardens and the pond was wonderful. I mapped out my own hiking trials as the offered no suggestions or insights, and had a wonderful and productive time. I was so relaxed when I left after twelve days, that I would recommend it to anyone. Just be prepared for the dissonance between the philosophy and the "gurus."

Nègrepelisse, France

#3 Aug 14, 2010
Well, Interested really hit it on the head. Everything is wonderful but the "leaders." Narcissism reigns. So sad because they provide such a wonderful site.
in agreement

New York, NY

#4 Apr 24, 2012
I agree--the place is lovely and the volunteers are wonderful and peaceful. The food is prepared with love by the volunteers.
The owners--are a different story. David is kind, though a little bit on his own planet. He spends a great deal of time makin glittle jokes that try to defend his wife's disrespectfyul behavior. It is true she was late for every single meeting and then pranced in like a queen. Really? This is marketed as a Zen retreat!
His wife is downright not nice, selfish and disrespectful. To top it off, she proclaims health while she is quite overweight and very unfit.
Still the place is worth going to even for just the hour a day in the great wood burning sauna. The massage therapists are terrific too.

New York, NY

#5 Apr 24, 2012
The woman in charge thinks she is is bizarre--the place is literally a zen center and this woman is selfish, cheap, unkind and bossy and as unZen as it gets. There are great dogs and great wildlife and beautiful starry nights. The volunteers are magical and must be heaven sent. All this goodness and the woman is still nasty. Makes no sense..and ruins the experience. I was there a few years ago, perhaps she has changed.
If so please let me know and I will return.

Woodstock, NY

#6 May 1, 2012
The place is wonderful. There are a whole bunch of people that return year after year that seem not to mind the woman 'leader'
She really should be more mindful of how she speaks to people and about being on time
in agreement wrote:
I agree--the place is lovely and the volunteers are wonderful and peaceful. The food is prepared with love by the volunteers.
The owners--are a different story. David is kind, though a little bit on his own planet. He spends a great deal of time making little jokes that try to defend his wife's disrespectful behavior. It is true she was late for every single meeting and then pranced in like a queen. Really? This is marketed as a Zen retreat!
His wife is downright not nice, selfish and disrespectful. To top it off, she proclaims health while she is quite overweight and very unfit.
Still the place is worth going to even for just the hour a day in the great wood burning sauna. The massage therapists are terrific too.


#7 Jul 4, 2012
Hey you guys. Just want to say these teo people do an amazing magical experience year after create your own experience...they provide the frame which is fantastic...

Davis and Marcia do extraordinary don't have to love them...though I adorebthem both!

Dansville, NY

#8 Nov 24, 2012
yea, people are a trip aren't they...this species..and we who are so privedged can afford to go to a place and get help with our addictions and the like (the medical industry can't help so we come for help, the priveledged we are) imagine inviting folks to your place year after year, allowing them to be on your property all summer year after year...are you evolved to buddahood? probably not...i wouldn't do it...and i get that the two are not saints...well the place is great and they are still allowing us the priveledged ones to come deal with our habit patterns and such that we can't seem to take care of on our own. Sure I would love some lovingkindness in the mix...let's give that to each other and give great thanks that they still allow us to come at such a reasonable rate and give thanks that we are priveledged enough to go.
may all beings have such openings

Dansville, NY

#9 Nov 24, 2012
may I add: in order for any kind of retreat to be carried into our daily lives, I have found that too much comfort makes it too much dependent on the folks there and not on ourselves. the sitting the movement the shaking up and all shift us, well shifted me and I am grateful for the reality of it all. in terms of the time things happen, seriously? this is not a time thing there is so much to do in a moment given alone your own self there..look in, stretch, breath, let go...what is the time table on a retreat? what about just being and appreciating the time with you and the moment and then appreciating when someone comes to lead you in a journey...really this is just an invitation to consider...I really appreciate this retreat and the hosts very very much.
Metro girl

United States

#10 Jun 3, 2013
Question? When you pay money for a service shouldn't that service be provided? It does not matter if the person who is paying the money is privileged or not. If the resort can not provide the services in the manner advertised they should not be in business.
I have not been to this retreat. However, I am registered to go in one month.
After reading all of the comments I am ready to cancel my trip.
I do not like hearing that the owner is late and not friendly.
I also do not like hearing that some people think that it is ok for her to be like that.
Yes, I am one of the privileged ones. However, I have worked my ass off to be in this position. But this is not the issue.
Why should people pay for an advertised service and receive the opposite.
Everyone needs to realize this is a business. All the people using the place have PAID to use it. They are not giving anything away. It is their job to provide the atmosphere they advertise. I do not feel privileged to be able to attend. They should feel thankful people like me are willing to pay them money to attend.

Will do more research before I attend.

Tarrytown, NY

#11 Jul 20, 2013
I just returned from the retreat today and am surprised by the number of negative comments.

Before addressing them I will say this: I went in with an open mind and have been utterly delighted with the experience. The place is heavenly. The staff consists of the kindest, most enthusiastic, interesting and talented young people that I have met anywhere. David and Marcia bring particular skills, strengths, and talent to the program, which is also extraordinary in its design and implementation. I have left calmer, more aware, focused, balanced, and healthier. My overriding - even overwhelming - experience has been one of gratitude and love.

While the criticisms may not be entirely baseless, I feel that they are highly one-sided and exaggerated, and come from a finicky, unappreciative perspective. Instead of quibbling about occasional shortages of minor creature comforts, we should be grateful for the owners making such a delightful experience so reasonably affordable.(Compare to the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, which is far more expensive and forbids fraternization between staff and guests.) The Body Mind Retreat is filled with soul. At the closing ceremony that we just had, people throughout the circle spoke of how moved they were by the experience of being there - in particular, about how much love they felt.

Body Mind Retreat would not attract nor retain such remarkable staff if the owners were somehow deeply flawed individuals. The owners are people - like any other. Whatever their occasional lapses might be, they deserve a lot of credit for turning their home into a campground of 50+ guests, some of whom carry the attitude that they deserve to be pampered.

The place is not cultish. Rather, it is an eclectic mix of spiritual seekers. David, the Zen leader, treats people with a gentle touch and a wry sense of humor. He and Marcia are quite open about the path that brought them where they are.

Moreover, David and Marcia have created a nurturing space for quite a few remarkable young people who have had the courage to come their have their own hearts healed through the experience of simple living and service in a beautiful natural, social, and spiritual environment. The author who spoke semi-contemptuously about "wounded souls" was, in my opinion, blind. To some degree anybody can be a "wounded soul." It takes a courageous person to admit and address that in order to become a stronger, better representative of humanity. Those who mock them suffer from excess fat in their emotional hide.

Let's not forget this: for the duration of the summer, David and Marcia have sacrificed the privacy of their home, which essentially becomes a house in the middle of a campground.

Let's be clear: this place works best for people who are relaxed in their hearts, minds and bodies and comfortable among "alternative" types. If you know yourself to be any of the following: Type-A, compulsive, highly performance-oriented, consumerist, you might be disappointed. If you ever enjoyed reggae, Indian music, Leonard Cohen, Balkan Beat Box or the Grateful Dead, chimes or Tuvan throat singing, you will probably like it a lot. If you have ever in your life experienced the joys of low-budget Third World travel, you will find this place pretty comfy. If you have always expected five-star hotels, you will be dismayed.

If you go there with an open mind, an open heart, a good sense of humor, and a desire to improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health, and you may come away delighted, as I am. If you go there as a modern-day bourgeois consumer, a judgmental prickly neurotic narcissist expecting to be "served" in exchange for giving your credit card number, you may be disappointed.

Pennsauken, NJ

#12 May 26, 2014
I went four times last summer. At this point it's my green rehab, since I haven't quite got it together to continue on my own at home.

I love the retreat. It is a place to practice presence. A place to see who you are, how you are and to shift into just being with it all.

There is an opportunity to drop or just see all the opinions, complaining, expecting, needing, and just be present to who you are and find a compassionate way to breath thru what it is to be human with all the thoughts and emotions rushing around...there is a chance to move aside "connect to breath" and practice being in this miracle that is living in a body on the earth.

I felt terrific when I got home. My thing, alone, just hard. Wish they would stream the zen sittings once a month thru the winter.

Bombay, NY

#13 Jul 13, 2014
I am a regular at the bodymindrestorationretreats.
I love it here. The grounds are indeed heavenly..organized around a pond with gardens and an amazing set of wooden saunas. As everyone said, the staff is so warm and genuine and caring you feel very well cared for and even loved. David (the male owner) gives beautiful talks about life from a Buddhist perspective and meditation is a integral part of the retreat. I love the daily yoga. And Marcia is a encyclopedia of knowledge on nutrition, and she leads some great movement classes. I travel around the world and attend various retreat centers and this one is one of my favorites. I hear the complaints about Marcia. For me these personality parts are in the background, her contributions are really helpful and I understand she was the mastermind to create this program and the beauty of the place. She and David both offer a tremendous amount to the curriculum here. If you like rustic simple accommodations in a bevy of nature, then this could be a place that you will feel heaven on earth.
Midwestern Mama

New York, NY

#14 Jul 9, 2016
The place works. It is beautiful and you will leave feeling better than when you arrived.

The owners are interesting characters and some of the reviewers are spot on about Marcia the female owner. She makes you wait for her and watches people like a hawk. For the reviewer that said they are opening up their home, please do not forget they are getting paid to do so and they fit as many people in as possible. Every little space has been made into a place to stick another attendee.But kudos for them because people need places like this.

The yoga teacher is very nice but spends a lot of the class talking about herself.

I will go back in the Fall because of how good I feel now. Be careful there are people who got ill from the water and you must be careful which faucets you use.

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