New Year’s Retreat in the Tradition of Ruth Denison
at Dhamma Dena
Thursday Dec 28, 2023 - Monday Jan 1st, 2024
Nick Herzmark, MFT Forty five years ago I met my teacher, Ruth Denison. She had a profound impact on my life. Her very being seemed to express power, kindness and a direct understanding of life. She was grounded in her body and was able to convey profound truths to many of us that she met. She taught me how to connect deeply with the flow of life through my own body. Through the four foundations of mindfulness and her profound wisdom she inspired me in creating a clinical practice based on Buddha’s unique path. It is a unique privilege to offer what was passed along to me all these years later here at Dhamma Dena. I hope during this upcoming New Year's retreat, to be able to share some of her wisdom with you. www.nickherzmark.org
Sakti Rose, MA, SEP About twenty seven years ago, I was fortunate to be introduced to Ruth by my then partner, Nick! She married us many years later in the zendo during a retreat. Over the years, she was a teacher, a mentor in my Theravada training and teaching, and a close spiritual friend. She is still present in my everyday life thru my own work as a body oriented therapist and occasional Buddhist teacher. As in my clinical practice of several decades, I trained and am passionate both as a Naropa trained Contemplative Psychotherapist and as a Somatic Experiencing trauma therapist. This work couples my enthusiasm for healing the mind and the body both thru sensory awareness in the body’s movement joined with my personal dharma practice of 40 years. Meditation in this desert setting has always allowed me a safe space to unwind, settle onto the earth, and listen to the heart of peace, joy and moment to moment awareness happening in the here and now. Our bodies hold the keys to the dharma flowering if we only take the time to listen. www.saktirose.org
This retreat is offered freely at no cost. Dana is a word in the ancient Pali language which means Generous Giving, which the Buddha tells us is a heart quality that arises from our gratitude and deep connection to each other. All of the teachers on this retreat are offering their time and knowledge on a Dana basis and receive no compensation. The practice of Dana, is part of the Buddhist legacy that has been passed down for over 2,500 years, beginning in Asia and continuing till today. Historically, teachers at monasteries would offer teachings out of generosity, and the community would support the teachers and the centers, generously giving to the level of their ability.
In order to attend this retreat, proof of Covid-19 vaccination and negative rapid test upon arrival is required.
Please review our full COVID-19 Protocols for a residential retreat here.
Questions? Please contact us at email@example.com
What is the nearest airport to the center?
Palm Springs International Airport (PSP)
Will I be able to get a ride to and from the airport to the center?
We offer rides to and from the Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) for $30 each way. You can specify that you need to be picked up or dropped off in your registration and we will contact you to arrange that. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be prepared to wait for consolidated pick-ups and drop-offs and please avoid late night or early morning arrivals and departures.
I want to come but I can’t afford to get there. Is there any support I can get with travel costs?
The Open Dharma Foundation offers scholarships for helping to cover the cost of travel for retreats. You can apply here: https://opendharmafoundation.org/scholarship
Does this retreat include food and lodging? What will those be like?
Yes, this retreat includes lodging and 3 vegetarian meals daily, prepared by retreat cook extraordinaire, Valerie Holze. Dhamma Dena has been lovingly (and often creatively) built by Ruth Denison’s students over the course of the last forty years. The structures and atmosphere can be described as rustic, quirky, beautiful and a work in progress. There is a main house where the kitchen and the office are located, the zendo (or meditation hall), two main houses for retreatants, as well as a range of other structures and trailers to stay in. On the grounds, there is also a walking labyrinth as well as four outhouses, two outdoor showers and a bathhouse.
I’m on a special diet. Will I be able to cook my own meals?
Food provided for retreatants will include options for a variety of diets, and we ask that you indicate your dietary needs in the registration form so we can meet them. We do have kitchens available if your diet requires that you cook your own meal. Please indicate this is what you plan to do on your registration form (or email us at email@example.com) so we can arrange a kitchen for you to use.
How much dana should I give?
There is no one answer to this question. We encourage you to give dana according to your heart and your means and to cultivate and appreciate the beautiful quality of generosity within.
Can I bring my dog or pet?
No, we cannot accommodate dogs or other pets on this retreat. If you have a service animal as described in the American Disabilities Act, please let us know as soon as possible so we can reserve you an appropriate room.
Is this retreat wheelchair accessible? Will it meet my access needs?
Yes, the facilities are wheelchair accessible, offering two ADA bedrooms and bathrooms and a fragrance free environment. Please let us know your access needs when registering. Dhamma Dena is committed to making the center accessible to all who would like to come.
What do I need to bring?
Loose and comfortable clothes, suitable for both moderate and cold weather
Slip on shoes for going in and out of buildings more easily
Shoes suitable for hiking in the desert
Flashlight or headlamp
Alarm Clock (we have additional alarm clocks to borrow from the office, as you are asked to check in or put away your mobile phone for the retreat)
Toiletries and personal hygiene products – please avoid all fragrances (see the Fragrance Free Policy)
Warm outerwear as evenings and mornings can be quite chilly in the desert
Optional but highly recommended: fragrance free lip balm, body lotion or oil (skin gets dry in the desert), gloves & scarves, umbrella & rain gear, your personal meditation cushions/benches (the Zendo is well-stocked with a wide variety of these, as well as chairs, so you don't need to bring your own unless you wish)
Sheets and towels will be provided but you’re welcome to bring your own