Meeting Each Moment with Love

A Metta Retreat for the QTIPOC Community

April 21-24, 2022

Featuring meditation, music, movement, and altar making.

with teachers Fresh “Lev” White, Ramón Honea, and Phoenix Song

In-person, residential retreat

“Understanding someone’s suffering is the best gift you can give another person. Understanding is love’s other name. If you don’t understand, you can’t love.”

― Thích Nhất Hạnh, How to Love

This is a retreat for self identified QTIPOC Queer, Trans, Intersex and Gender Expansive People of Color

Please join us for Meeting Each Moment with Love; A Metta Retreat for Queer, Trans, Intersex and Gender Expansive People of Color (QTIPOC) Retreat. We will feature meditation, music, movement, and altar making, while discovering, or touching into the Love within that is available to us. Our practices will encourage self-acceptance as we also honor the struggles and burdens we each experience in the world today.

Metta, also known as Lovingkindness, is a virtue of Buddhism that encourages love for ourselves and all beings. It can be cultivated as a foundation for compassion, or self-compassion. We wish love for ourselves and others no matter what’s happening, and especially when we are suffering.

Many of us in the LGBTQIA+, and particularly QTPOC community, can struggle with self-worth, or enoughness. We’ve been, and for many continue to be put out, shut out, shamed. Metta (loving-kindness) supports us with seeing more clearly the Love(s) we already are and can help reduce the suffering we cause ourselves and each other.

Join us as we practice with guided and silent meditation, share experiences, sing, move, and create altars together to welcome in spring. This retreat is intended to be silent, and there will be intersperses of discussion throughout.

All levels of meditators, including beginners are welcome. All activities are optional; rest, ease, dancing and singing together are encouraged.

This is a Dāna supported retreat

Dāna (दान) is a Sanskrit and Pali word for the virtue of generosity. The Buddha said the teachings were priceless, more valuable than all the jewels in the kingdom and so are offered freely to all. This has amazingly been sustained for 2,600 years. Honoring this tradition, the teachings at Dhamma Dena continue to be offered freely.

Teacher and center support is provided by voluntary donations at the end of the retreat. These offerings are often the only source of teachers’ income and an important source for the center. Donations to the center help sustain the cost of buildings and food.


While this retreat is offered freely, the Open Dharma Foundation offers scholarships, which can be used to help cover the cost of flights, or to give as dana for the teachers or center. They have quarterly deadlines: January 15, April 15, August 15, October 15. You can apply for a scholarship here

Covid-Vaccine Mandate and Negative Test

In order to attend this retreat at Dhamma Dena, proof of full Covid-19 vaccination, booster, and negative PCR test within the 72 hours prior to arrival is required.

Please review our full COVID-19 Protocols for a residential retreat here.

Important Dhamma Dena Policies

Before attending a retreat at Dhamma Dena, please also review our important policies.

Fresh “Lev” White

is a love and compassion activist. He offers mindfulness, mediation, diversity training, writings, and coaching as tools for shifting all of us towards more authentic, conscious, and passionate living. From SF Drag King 1999, to SF Pride Grand Marshall 2016, to celebrating his 9th year as a teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center, Lev uses their coaching, leadership, and teaching certifications to entertain, ground us in the present, and prepare us for the work of both meeting and creating our future with seeds of love, compassion and empathy.

Phoenix Song

Phoenix Song is a queer, non-binary, Korean American adoptee performer, teacher, and sound healer featured in San Francisco Magazine’s Best of the Bay for yoga music. They studied Western and Indian classical music and are a Tamalpa Associate Teacher of expressive arts. Amber has performed and taught at SF International Arts Festival, SF Pride Main Stage, UC Berkeley Queer and Asian Conference, Empowering Women of Color Conference, and Reimagine Festival at SF Jazz. Amber helps people free their voice and rhythm in private and group classes to sing, sound and speak their truths. They also lead sound baths, grief rituals, ancestral healing, and diversity/solidarity trainings called the Art of Solidarity.

Ramón Honea

My name is Ramón Honea. With deep roots in the Bay Area, I am a biracial gay man who finds service and joy in holding space for education and meditation. For twenty years I have worked as a teacher and administrator of public school education. I hold an M.S. in Educational Leadership, a teaching and administrative credential, and a Mindfulness teaching certificate. Currently, I am enrolled in the first cohort of EBMC’s two-year Spiritual Teacher and Leadership training. I support Founding Director Carol Cano at Braided Wisdom, co-teaching and hosting various classes. Through Braided Wisdom I connect my various cultural learnings with the Buddha-dharma and the teaching of Mindfulness. Due to the COVID pandemic, my job as a residential Retreat Manager at Spirit Rock Meditation Center ended. Thus, my current aspiration is to create an urban and accessible residential retreat center in Oakland for black and brown men+. If you have any Zoom hosting / teaching / residential retreat needs please reach out to

Retreat FAQ

Is this retreat for QTIPOC folks only?

Yes, this retreat is only open to Queer, Trans, Intersex and Gender Expansive People of Color (QTIPOC). There will be few queer white people on the land supporting the retreat who will not be in the retreat gatherings.

How much does this cost?

This is an entirely dana-based retreat (learn more about dana here), with no cost to attend and an opportunity to offer donations to the teachers and center at the end of the retreat. We also ask retreatants to pitch in for an hour a day to support the retreat - these tasks may include: dish washing, sweeping, putting away dishes, etc.

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

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:

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 so we can arrange a kitchen for you to use.

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.

Can I have a single room?

We have a very limited number of single rooms, and offer them to those in serious need. Please let us know if you need this support.

I’m coming with a friend. Can we be placed in the same room?

Email us at to request to share a room and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

I can’t come for the whole retreat. Can I come for part of it?

The retreat is only open to those who can attend the whole time.

What do I need to bring?

  • Loose and cool comfortable clothes, suitable for both moderate and warm weather

  • A pair of purely indoor shoes or slippers

  • Shoes suitable for hiking in the desert

  • Sunglasses

  • Sun hat

  • Sunblock lotion

  • Water bottle

  • 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

If you have further questions about this retreat, reach out to us at