Awakening into the Heart of Love: Insight Community of the Desert Retreat

with Arinna Weisman & Ian Challis

March 13-16, 2020

Come practice together with your sangha friends in the high desert! We are very happy to again offer this special opportunity for Insight Community of the Desert sangha members to come together for a weekend of deepening practice. Everyone welcome.

The peace and beauty of the desert and Dhamma Dena offer a setting to support our growing practice as individuals and community. This silent weekend retreat will encourage us to unplug and come back into presence with ourselves and life, through the healing practices of insight meditation (vipassana) and lovingkindness (metta).

The retreat is open to beginning and experienced meditators. Guidance and support will be offered through daily instructions, Dhamma talks, and Q&A.

Retreat begins Friday, March 13, with arrival and registration between 3:00pm and 5:00pm, (supper at 6:00pm)

Retreat ends Monday, March 16, at 2:00pm (following lunch at 12:30pm)

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

Arinna Weisman

Arinna Weisman has studied insight meditation since 1979 and has been teaching since 1989. Her root teacher is Ruth Denison who was empowered by the great Burmese lay teacher Sayagyi U Ba Khin. She is the founding teacher of Insight Meditation Center of the Pioneer Valley. She is co-author of the book, A Beginner’s Guide to Insight Meditation and a contributor to Women Practicing Buddhism; American Experiences, edited by Peter Gregory and Susanne Mrozik.

Her dharma practice and teaching are infused with her political and environmental activism. She was the first out queer teacher with Eric Kolvig to lead insight meditation retreats for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Queer community. She also leads ‘Uncovering the Heart Retreats’ integrating the practice of awareness of the social dynamics of inequity with the dharma practice of liberation.

Ian Challis

Ian Challis serves as guiding teacher of Insight Community of the Desert, in Palm Springs, CA. He has been practicing and studying within the Insight Tradition of Buddhism for 14 years. He has had the good fortune to sit retreats with many wise and wonderful senior teachers, including Joseph Goldstein, Marcia Rose, Leigh Brasington, Ruth King, Larry Yang and many others.

In addition to his dharma service, he works as an artist, web and product designer. A long-time resident of Seattle, he now makes his full-time home in Palm Springs with his husband David Roos. Ian also leads the weekly Desert Meditation Group in Rancho Mirage. He is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leader training program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and is authorized to teach Insight Meditation.

Supporting your practice of mindfulness meditation is a true joy!