Opening to Joy in a Wounded World

Nov 2-9, 2021

"Opening to Joy in a Wounded World": Queer, LGBT, Gender Non-Conforming Retreat with Arinna Weisman, Leslie Booker, and Ian Challis 11/2 - 11/9/2021

Robin Wall Kimmerer an indigenous teacher of the intersection of the wisdom of plants, ecology and scholarship, writes:

"Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair. Not because I have my head in the sand but because joy is what the earth gives me daily and I must return the gift."

When we read these words they might resonate deeply in our hearts and yet sometimes it is difficult to remember and then embody the joy that is being offered. The practice of the dharma strengthens our capacity to answer this calling and to be able to live it more often. There is also a power, and often it feels magical when we come together in community and the depth, caring, and safety that is created on this journey.

Arinna's retreats, with support from Dhamma Dena Meditation Center, is offering a virtual one-week Vipassana Retreat, creating a container for those who identify as LGBTQIA+ & Gender Non-Conforming. There will also be an opportunity at the end of the retreat to continue practice in a 5-day self-retreat.

  • Open to beginners and long-standing students.

  • There will be an opportunity for group interviews for all retreatants during the retreat.

  • There will be an opportunity to offer dana / donations for the teachings at the close of the retreat.

  • This retreat will offer BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and Trans affinity mediation spaces every day.

*We strive to bring together a racially mixed group with a range of social identities. Historically, without intervention, retreats in the US have predominantly white applicants and attendees. This retreat is reserving space to allow for BIPOC retreatants to be in the company of other BIPOC retreatants, as well as non-BIPOC retreatants. After filling out the registration, you will receive a confirmation of your registration or a notification that you have been put on the waitlist. If you are waitlisted, please be patient with us as we continue to receive other applications and create a balanced and affirming space for all. We have currently reached our capacity for white participants, although the waiting list is still open.

Thank you for your patience and please feel free to reach out to with any questions. We are currently an all volunteer support team.

Note on this years interim structure

"This year, the annual queer retreat that is hosted by Dhamma Dena Meditation Center will be hosted by Arinna Weisman and supportive students and sangha members through Arinna Retreats. As many of you know, Dhamma Dena has been undertaking a significant restructuring process, and do not have a stable organizational structure in place at this time. Sangha and board members have been supporting all aspects of the center running for the past year.

As a result, we do not currently have the capacity to fully host this important retreat. We are extremely supportive of the retreat, and are offering all aspects of infrastructural support that are possible.

Thank you for understanding, we apologize for any confusion, and look forward to hosting this and other meaningful programming that deepens our dharma practice and community connections in 2022."

Scholarships through Open Dharma Foundation

Our friends at the The Open Dharma Foundation offers scholarships for helping to cover the cost of retreats. This can be applied to dana for teachers, or anything that would support you in being able to participate in a retreat.

Scholarship applications under $300 are reviewed each month on the 15th. All applications for scholarships over $300 are reviewed on a quarterly basis. Applicants will be contacted no later than the 25th of the month. Please contact if you are planning on applying for a scholarship.

They have quarterly deadlines:

  • January 15

  • April 15

  • August 15

  • October 15