Retreats & Events

COVID-19 Protocols

We are following COVID-19 protocols in the spirit of valuing all life as sacred. We hope these guidelines can keep us all safe and well as we come together to practice on retreat.

Lean more about our COVID-19 protocols

Upcoming Events

May 19-26 2024  |   residential retreat

Access to Zen Retreat

Retreat and gathering for A2Z Sangha with Rev. Liên Shutt: Dhamma Dena is hosting Access to Zen's first IN PERSON retreat May 19th - May 26th. This silent Insight-Zen hybrid style retreat will combine the direct attentions of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness with the open non-conceptual practices of As-Is. Our practice together will support focusing on attention and awareness. The What, Where, When, Which, and How of knowing will be put “to the cushion,” bringing the teachings alive in experiential and opening ways.

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.

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

Retreat Formats

Self Retreat

Self-retreats are for individuals who have an established daily meditation practice and are looking for deeper practice in a retreat center setting. The residential community meditates together every morning and evening. Beyond these group meditations, self-retreaters plan their own practice schedule each day and are responsible for buying/preparing their own food. Self retreatants will have their own room and access to either their own, or a shared bathroom and kitchen. Self-retreaters may enter/use any of the common areas (main house, including kitchen and zendo/meditation hall). 

Since there is not a resident teacher currently living at the center, we ask that longer term self-retreatants arrange to work with a teacher over Zoom/phone during their stay. If you are practicing with a small group, you can also contact us about arranging to come for a group retreat.

Once a week we gather to inquire and study a text. Occasionally, the residential community may host dinners and dharma activities; you are always welcome to join in if you’d like. We also ask self-retreaters to offer one hour a day of work to support the ongoing maintenance of the center. Typical work includes cleaning common spaces, laundry, administrative tasks, etc. 

Dhamma Dena relies on dana/donations to cover our costs and continue to freely offer this center to all those interested.  In the tradition of dana, you are invited to offer support for the center.

If you are interested in doing a self retreat, contact us at

Volunteer Retreat

If you would like to provide service to Dhamma Dena, please apply to be a volunteer-retreater. Room and basic food staples for cooking (grains, beans, vegetables) are provided for your stay, in exchange for a maximum of 4.5 - 5 work hours per day, for five days in the week. If this is your first time at Dhamma Dena, we will meet together after one or two weeks to check in with each other and see if it is a good fit for you. Return retreaters usually stay from one week to three months. We meet every morning Monday-Friday at 9am to share tasks for the day and share the merit of our efforts.

Typical work includes:

The community meets every morning at 7:30am and in the evening at 7:30pm to meditate together. Once a week, we gather to inquire and study a text. Weekly the residential community comes together for community dinners, and occasionally for hikes. Attendance at these activities is always voluntary and we welcome any community activity that you would like to offer/host/plan. Since there is not a resident teacher currently living at the center, we strongly encourage longer term retreatants to work with a teacher over Zoom/phone during their stay.

In the tradition of dana, you are invited to offer support for the center and teacher at the end of your stay.

If you are interested in doing a volunteer retreat, contact us at

Formal Retreat (Teacher-Led)

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.

If you are interested in participating in a formal retreat, please see our "Upcoming Retreats", listed above on this page.

Please note:


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

Important Retreat Policies

Welcome Packet

An overview of our retreat center and the agreements we follow in order to provide a supportive environment for all to practice.

Download the Welcome Packet

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

Your Dog & the Dangers of Open Desert

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. 

Learn more about our dog policy