Week One Retreat for the Queer & Gender-fluid Community

With Arinna Weisman, Ian Challis & others

Sept 29-Oct 6, 2020

A Retreat for the LGBTQIA+ and Gender Non-Conforming Community

These two weeks are a wonderful opportunity to practice together in support of opening into love and wisdom. You can come for just one or both weeks. Two weeks offers a unique length of time for us to strengthen the conditions for insight. Open to beginners and long standing students.

There will be guided sittings, walking and movement meditation, group sharing and dharma talks. This retreat will be primarily in silence.

Retreatants are welcome to attend either the first or second week or both. We ask that you arrive either on October 1st or 8th. Coming any other time is strongly discouraged and needs the permission of the teacher.


Residential sliding scale $315 - $455 for full retreat

Non-residential sliding scale $210 - $315 for full retreat

You are also invited to make a donation for to support other retreatants capacity to attend the retreat. In the donation form below you can choose the amount of your generosity and add it to the total of your donation.

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. REGISTER HERE (please click on the underlined words to take you to the registration form)
  2. Donate to retreat using PayPal using the button to the right or send a check to the address below. In the form there are suggested amounts and you are also able to chose an amount from above to add in yourself.

The registration form must be filled out AND the Registration donation made via PayPal or check 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 donation. The Registration Donation is also non-refundable.

Upon receipt of the donation you will be sent a confirmation letter containing all the essential details about the retreat.


The Open Dharma Foundation offers scholarships for helping to cover the cost of retreats. They have quarterly deadlines:

  • January 15
  • April 15
  • August 15
  • October 15


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

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!

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.