Retreats & Events

COVID-19 Protocols

We offer these 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 and overcome this time of collective challenge together.

Lean more about our COVID-19 protocols


Upcoming Events in 2022

OCTOBER 7-16 | in-person, residential retreat

Ruth’s 100th Birthday Retreat

A residential retreat at Dhamma Dena, in celebration of founding teacher Ruth Denison.

OCTOBER 24 - NOVEMBER 7 | in-person, residential retreat

NOVEMBER 7 - NOVEMBER 13 | self retreat, with Arinna & others

A two-week residential retreat at Dhamma Dena, with Arinna Weisman, Leslie Booker, and Ian Challis.

For those wishing to continue their practice into a third week, Arinna and others will be offering an additional week of self-retreat from Nov 7-13.

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 dharma practice and are looking for a deeper dharma practice in a retreat setting. Self-retreaters plan their schedule each day and are responsible for buying/preparing their own food. There is the opportunity to meet with the guiding teacher to talk about your practice, in person or on Zoom.

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. 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. Self-retreaters may enter/use any of the common areas (main house, including kitchen and zendo/meditation hall). We meet every morning Monday-Friday at 9am to share tasks for the day and share the merit of our efforts.

The cost of staying at Dhamma Dena is a sliding scale, from $35 to $10 per night, according to need. This goes toward covering utilities and basic maintenance. 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 an individual self-retreat, contact us at retreats@dhammadena.org.

Work Retreat

If you would like to provide service to Dhamma Dena, please apply to be a work-retreater. Room and board 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:

  • cleaning common spaces

  • cooking

  • washing dishes

  • administrative tasks

  • small projects

  • etc.

Interviews with the guiding teacher can be scheduled to take place either in-person or on Zoom. 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. Occasionally, the residential community comes together for community dinners, and hikes. Attendance at these activities is always voluntary and we welcome any community activity that you would like to offer/host/plan.

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 work retreat, contact us at retreats@dhammadena.org.

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:

  • Housing is provided on first come-first serve basis. We will only take housing considerations if you have a disability.

  • For retreats with registration feeds: Please be aware that when registering for retreats with registration fees, 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.

Scholarships

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

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