Retreats & Events


OCT 25 - NOV 1: Fall Retreat with Jill Rayna

NOV 14 - 17: People of Color (POC) Retreat with Carol Cano & Noliwe Alexander

DEC 24, 2019 - JAN 1, 2020: Holiday Retreat with Sakti Rose & Nick Herzmark

Information on retreats

We are committed to offering retreats for people of color and the queer, trans, gender non-conforming, bi, gay and lesbian communities.

Individual retreats

You are welcome to come here on self retreat using the meditation hall and kitchen in your own rhythm. The self-guided flexibility of this way of retreating allows for deep practice, and can also include other creative endeavours if you choose, e.g. journaling, painting, studying. You will also have support from the guiding teacher for 50 minutes once every four days. The cost is $35 per day. You bring your food to cook with the exception of longer-term extended retreats where grocery runs will be done by the management.

Work retreats (WR)

You are welcome to come on a work retreat, joining our team to sustain, build, fix, clean and organize the center. WR receive room and board in exchange for working 5 hours per day. The day begins with a 45 minute meditation with all other residents from 7:30-8:15am. After breakfast the community joins for a work meeting at 9am, we work from 9:30am until 1pm and then resume work after lunch for the remaining hours. The rest of the time is free to spend however one wishes-- meditating, relaxing, being in nature, reading, working on creative projects, etc All retreatants sit together in the evening from 7:30-8:15pm. WR individually meet with the Guiding Teacher, Arinna, at least once a week to support your practice and well-being. Each WR has one day off per week, and one day (usually Sunday) to clean the space they are living in. Dhamma Dena relies on the work efforts of retreatants in exchange for room and board. All work retreatants are offered a 2 day opportunity to see if its a good fit. Please contact us at least a week in advance of your start date so we can make necessary arrangements.

Formal retreats led by a teacher

Formal retreats offer the friendship of community, a suggested schedule and seclusion from the business of our lives. We learn to turn towards ourselves and to discern where we are sustaining suffering and separation and where we have the possibility of growing the beautiful qualities of mind such as faith, right effort, mindfulness, patience, renunciation and right concentration. As we deepen into our practice the energies of separation and distraction dissolve and insights arise that liberate the heart and mind.

Each of the retreats differs in format and schedule according to the teacher leading the retreat. All retreats are led in the tradition of insight meditation (vipassana) and the four foundations of mindfulness. All are held in silence with the exception of interviews, group sharing, or other activities offered according to the teacher.

Please be aware that when registering for the retreats, your registration form must be filled out AND the Registration fee paid via PayPal or check for your registration to be processed. If you have not done both then you are not registered. Your Registration is not confirmed until we receive your deposit. The Registration fee is also non-refundable.

All retreatants, whether on formal retreats, individual retreats, or work retreats, are asked to uphold the guidelines of the five precepts of refraining from killing, stealing, harmful speech, sexual misconduct, and using intoxicants.


The Open Dharma Foundation offers scholarships for helping to cover the cost of retreats. They have quarterly deadlines:

  • January 15
  • April 15
  • August 15
  • October 15

Be Fragrance Free

In an effort to be inclusive and practice compassion, we request that all participants who attend daylongs, events and residential-retreats to please refrain from wearing scented products.

Lean more about how to be fragrance free

Agreements for Multicultural Interactions

We invite everyone who comes to stay at DhammaDena to uptake the practice of these agreements in order to build a safe and respectful environment across all our differences.

Learn more about our multicultural agreements

Dog Policy

We strongly discourage people bringing their dogs. Dhamma Dena is in the open desert with quite a bit of wildlife including rabbits, coyotes, wild dogs and rattle snakes and the possibility of them being harmed in unfamiliar surroundings is high. Due to several incidents with dogs fighting we have had to change our dog policy. While we honor the history of Ruth Denison having dogs here we currently do not have the capacity to cover dogs in our insurance and their presence is frequently disruptive to the Noble Silence that is part of our practice. If you absolutely need to bring your dog please check in with the manager first and we ask that it be very well trained and on a leash at all times. If you have a service animal as described in the American Disabilities Act they are welcome. Thank you for understanding and we apologize for what may seem like an inconvenient change in policy.