Joy and Resilience: A Transgender and Gender Expansive Residential Meditation Retreat

with Bri Barnett, JD Doyle, Maxwell Pearl & René Rivera

This retreat is currently at capacity. We are accepting applicants to our waitlist. Please fill out an application and we will be in touch if a spot opens up.

Feb 27 - Mar 1, 2020

Open to all self-identified Transgender, Nonbinary, Gender Queer, Gender Variant, Gender Non-conforming, and Gender Expansive people

This residential meditation retreat is offered for the Trans*, Nonbinary, Gender Queer, Gender Variant, Gender Non-conforming, and Gender Expansive communities. Grounded in the Dharma, kindness, and compassion, this will be a space supporting healing from injustice and oppression in daily life.

We will offer meditation, mindful movement, and heart-centered practices. These practices will be offered in silence, balanced with discussions and community-building group exercises that nurture radical connection, joy and resilience.

Retreat is open to all levels of meditation practice, regardless of whether you identify as a Buddhist, and is an opportunity to practice in a space led and held by Trans* and Nonbinary identified individuals.

Costs & Fees

Residential sliding scale $135 - $195

Non-residential sliding scale $90 - $135

Including accommodation and three vegetarian meals daily

Housing is simple, most in double-occupancy rooms; all meals are vegetarian with vegan & gluten-free options.

According to the ancient tradition of dana, those who carry on the teachings of the Buddha are supported through the generosity of the community; thus dana to support the teachers, manager and cook at Dhamma Dena may be offered at the conclusion of the retreat.

Work exchange & scholarships available according to need, upon request. Due to our current focus on overdue repair and maintenance we ask those who need financial assistance pay at least $10 per day to cover our food costs.


  1. Fill out the registration form using the button to the right.
  2. Pay for retreat using PayPal using the button to the right or send a check to the address below.

The registration form AND the PayPal (or check) must BOTH be filled out for your registration to be processed. If you have not done both then you are not registered.

Dhamma Dena, PO Box 183, Joshua Tree, CA 92252.

Your Registration is not confirmed until we receive your deposit.

Upon receipt of the deposit you will be sent a confirmation letter containing all the essential details about the retreat.


Dāna (दान) is a Sanskrit and Pali word connoting the virtue of generosity, charity or giving of alms. The teachings, valuable beyond measure, are offered out of generosity.

Your registration cost covers food and lodging only. According to the ancient tradition of dana those who carry on the teachings of the Buddha are supported through the generosity of the community; thus dana to support the teachings may be offered at the conclusion of the retreat.

Dāna offerings to teachers and staff are gratefully received.

About the Instructors

Bri Barnett

Bri Barnett is a non-binary trans woman and a mindfulness facilitator who trained through East Bay Meditation Center’s “Practice in Transformative Action” program. Professionally, they are the Director of Development at Trans Lifeline, the largest direct service provider to trans people in North America.

JD Doyle

JD Doyle co-founded of the LGBTQI meditation group at EBMC. JD is in the Spirit Rock teacher-training program, and completed the Dedicated Practitioner Program and the Community Dharma Leader Program. JD has practiced Theravada Buddhism since 1995 in the U.S., Thailand, and Burma. They worked as a public school teacher for 25 years. They are committed to celebrating the diversity of our human sangha, addressing the impact of racism on our communities, and living in ways that honor the sacredness of the Earth.

Maxwell Pearl

Maxwell Pearl is a long-time practitioner of contemplative spirituality, both in Buddhist and Christian traditions, and has a deep interest in contemplative and healing practices and rituals from all traditions. Max has a Certificate of Theological Studies from Pacific School of Religion, in Berkeley, and has studied Insight Meditation since 1990. He has done numerous retreats at IMS and Spirit Rock, and his teachers have included Eric Kolvig, Arinna Weismann and others. Max has been teaching contemplative practices in both traditions since 2005.

René Rivera

René Rivera is a leader and bridge-builder, working and learning in all the spaces in-between race, gender, and other perceived binaries, as a queer, mixed-race, trans man. René has been a student of the Dharma since 2004 and has been a part of the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) Alphabet Sangha since 2008. He has participated in the Commit to Dharma and Practice in Action programs at EBMC and the Community Dharma Leaders program at Spirit Rock. René is a community teacher at EBMC and also offers meditation and mindfulness instruction at other centers with a particular focus on offering the Dharma to QTPOC folx.