June 7, 2020


June 7, 2020 9am-5:30pm

Dhamma Dena warmly welcomes all self-identified People of Color (POC) who are nourished by Buddhist teachings of Loving Kindness and Compassion. These practices help us relate to ourselves and the world from a place of love, clarity, and empowerment.

Loving kindness supports our hearts’ natural capacity to respond with love, warmth, and tenderness. Over time, we develop a sense of inter-connectedness with all creation.

Compassion practice gently turns us towards the suffering that can come from living in an unfriendly world. It helps us meet our inner critic and the world with clear-seeing and kindness.

This online retreat will include silent sitting, walking periods, Dharma talks, and group discussions through the Zoom platform.

This is a donation based retreat, we will not turn anyone away for the lack of funds.


Pawan Bareja, PhD has practiced Vipassana meditation since 2001. She is a Buddhist Ritual Minister and a Community Dharma Leader at Spirit Rock. She is currently in the Spirit Rock Teacher Training program. She has taught classes and daylongs on healing trauma using mindfulness at Spirit Rock, San Francisco Insight, EBMC, SFDC and Esalen. In her private practice as Trauma Resolution Practitioner, Pawan works with a diverse population of clients and teaches mindfulness meditation. For the past 14 years, Pawan has been a senior assistant at Somatic Experiencing trauma healing trainings and has traveled to India to teach this work to professional care providers.

Alisa Dennis Ph.D. discovered meditation through her study of metaphysics and ancient Christian mystical traditions. She’s explored many spiritual traditions since then, including indigenous shamanism, which has broadened the matrices through which she understands the nature of human existence.

Within Buddhism, Alisa practiced within the S.N. Goenka tradition of Vipassana and the Zen Soto tradition. She studied mindfulness through the Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) at UCLA and completed a multi-year training related to integrating contemplative practices into psychotherapy. Alisa has gravitated toward Insight meditation because of its emphasis on heart-opening practices and the inclusiveness and commitment to diversity in many of its communities.

Alisa is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in the Los Angeles area. In addition to drawing from contemplative wisdom traditions in her work, Alisa incorporates the creative arts. She is in the 2020 Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program.

When she’s not meditating or serving as a vessel for healing,, Alisa can be found painting, practicing Tai Chi, reading a novel, watching a foreign film, studying astrology, or exploring multi-dimensionality and alternate realities.