• Commuter – $420.00
  • Private Room: Single – $640.00
  • Private Room: Couple – $1,170.00
  • Junior Suite: Single – $780.00
  • Junior Suite: Couple – $1,360.00

Date & Time Details: Friday, August 16 (check in 3-6 PM; program starts 7 PM) until Sunday, August 18 (checkout 1 PM)

Location: Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing

Address: 191 Cragsmoor Road, Cragsmoor, New York 12566, USA

Contact: [email protected]

Check-in Time: 3 PM – 6 PM

Per Person Price: Prices include 3 meals per day and use of all campus facilities.

  • Commuter – $420
  • Private Room (shared bath): Single – $640
  • Private Room (shared bath): Couple – $585
  • Junior Suite (private bath): Single – $780
  • Junior Suite (private bath): Couple – $680

To extend your stay on Personal Retreat: Simply add days before or after the program during step 2 when making your reservation.

Cancellation Policy: Refundable up to two weeks prior to the program (less a $50 processing fee). See our policy to learn more.

Death, Afterlife and the Journey of Transformation in Tibetan Buddhism and Kabbalah

With Simcha Raphael

August 16 - 18, 2024


Within the ancient writings of both the Tibetan Book of the Dead (the Bardo Thodol) and the Kabbalah (the book of Jewish mysticism) are depictions of the ever-changing journey of the soul from birth to death, into the world beyond and reincarnation. This program will explore these teachings as transformational maps of consciousness, providing wisdom in encountering the enigmatic mysteries of living and dying, bereavement and healing. Through study of sacred texts, group explorations and meditation practices, participants will be guided as they explore the journey of their own lives.


For over four decades Simcha Raphael has taught on death, dying, bereavement, afterlife, and the spirituality of end-of-life concerns. Grounded in spiritual teachings on the afterlife journey of the soul, he always brings the focus back to how we can respond in healthy and functional ways to the various dimensions of end-of-life issues.

In both Jewish mysticism and Tibetan Buddhism there is a rich tapestry of teachings on life after death, with various ideas often contradictory and confusing to our modern sensibility. During this weekend, we will explore texts and traditions on the death moment and the stages of the post-mortem journey, including:

  • The cycle of life, death, and rebirth
  • The tradition of the Bardos
  • The process of dying
  • Near-death experiences
  • The afterlife as a journey
  • The practical implications of afterlife teachings
  • Reincarnational drama and healing

Throughout the course of the weekend, guided meditations will explore:

  • In-Womb Consciousness
  • Encountering our Images of Death
  • Encountering Loved Ones in the World Beyond

Ultimately, we will discover how, by integrating spiritual teaching on life after death into contemporary life, we can transform our rituals of burial, mourning and memorialization into “soul-guiding” practices.

A purple circle in a field of blue and yellow with descriptors of the life and death process


  • Intimate setting with personal access to the teacher
  • Interactive sessions with question and answer periods
  • Shamatha and guided meditations
  • Delicious all-vegetarian meals with locally sourced ingredients
  • Option to extend stay on Personal Retreat
  • Extensive library of dharma books
  • Expansive wooded grounds with beautiful paths, flora and fauna


There are no prerequisites for this program; it is appropriate for all.


Jewish Views of the Afterlife, Simcha Paull Raphael. Revised 3rd, 25th anniversary edition. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, Publishers, 2019.

The Grief Journey and the Afterlife: Jewish Pastoral Care for Bereavement, Simcha Paull Raphael. Boulder, CO: Albion-Andalus Books, 2015.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Sogyal Rinpoche. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1992.

Musings with the Angel of Death, Simcha Paull Raphael. Boulder, CO: Albion-Andalus Books, 2024.

Meditation hall with cushions



Friday, August 16

3:00 PM Check in begins
6:00-7:00 PM Dinner
7:00-9:00 PM Group Introduction
The Cycle of Life, Death and Re-Birth
The Tradition of the Bardos
MEDITATION: In-Womb Consciousness


Saturday, August 17

7:00-8:00 AM Morning Salutations and Meditation, optional
8:00-9:00 AM Breakfast
9:30 AM-12:00 PM Process of Dying and Near-Death Experiences
MEDITATION: Encountering Our Images of Death
12:00-1:00 PM Lunch
2:00-5:00 PM Afterlife as a Journey of Consciousness Soul-Guiding
MEDITATION: Encountering Loved Ones in World Beyond
6:00-7:00 PM Dinner


Sunday, August 18

7:00-8:00 AM Morning Salutations and Meditation, optional
8:00-9:00 AM Breakfast
9:30 AM-12:00 PM Practical Implications of Afterlife Teachings
Reincarnational Drama and Healing

MEDITATION: An Integration of the Journey

12:00-1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Checkout and Departure







Simcha Raphael
Rabbi Simcha Raphael, Ph.D. is Founding Director of the DA’AT Institute for Death Awareness, Advocacy and Training. He works as a psychotherapist and spiritual director in the Philadelphia area, and is on the faculty of the Art of Dying Institute of One Spirit Learning alliance. Ordained as a pastoral Rabbi by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, he has published seven books on death and Judaism, including the ground-breaking Jewish Views of the Afterlife, and the forthcoming volume of poetry, Musings with the Angel of Death: Poems of Love, Life and Longing.  Simcha received his doctorate in Psychology from the California Institute of…
Learn more about Simcha Raphael
Dharmakaya Center For Wellbeing
191 Cragsmoor Road

Cragsmoor, New York 12566

© 2019 Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing. All rights reserved

Privacy Policy

Dharmakaya Center For Wellbeing
191 Cragsmoor Road Cragsmoor, New York 12566

Privacy Policy

© 2019 Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing. All rights reserved