Retreats & Events
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.
Feb 8 - Feb 12, 2024 | residential retreat
We Recover Together
"WE Recover TOGETHER: Using The Buddhas Teachings To Overcome Addictive and Compulsive Behaviors" is a retreat for people in recovery from using substances, behaviors, and coping mechanisms to soothe themselves or protect themselves. Taught by Vimalasara, the Co-Author/ Co-Founder of Eight Step Recovery: Using The Buddha’s Teachings To Overcome Addiction.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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:
fixing or improving facilities
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Housing is provided on first come-first serve basis. We will only take housing considerations if you have a disability.
The Open Dharma Foundation offers scholarships for helping to cover the cost of retreats. They have quarterly deadlines:
Important Retreat Policies
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.
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.
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.