Meeting Each Moment with Love
A Metta Retreat for the QTIPOC Community
March 27-31, 2024
Featuring meditation and movement
with teachers Fresh “Lev” White, Richelle Evelyn Donigan and Dr. Hy V. Huynh
In-person, residential retreat
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). We will feature meditation and movement while discovering, or touching into, the Love within that is available to us. We will include compassion, self-acceptance, and movement exercises to support our meditation, as we also honor the struggles and joys we experience in our day to day.
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 who identify as People of Color, and especially, queer, trans, intersex, and gender expansive folks can struggle with self-worth, or “not enoughness”. We’ve been, and for many, continue to be put out, shut out, shamed for being our authentic selves. 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.
Please join us as we practice with guided and silent meditation, accessible yoga, chanting, and minimal sharing. All levels of meditation practice are welcome on this retreat also grounded in the practice of rest.
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.
Fresh “Lev” White
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. https://affirmativeacts.org
Richelle Evelyn Donigan
Richelle Evelyn Donigan is a masterful Transformation Guide, Life Coach, Yoga Instructor, Author, and Speaker. She has been in the work and study of transformation for more than 40 years. She has studied and practiced under the direct guidance of Gurumayi Chidvilasananda of the SYDA Yoga Lineage, Mary Morrissey of Life Mastery Institute, Thich Nhat Hanh, global spiritual, poet and activist. Richelle has an extraordinary gift for creating safe and empowering spaces for all people. She is passionate about bringing these extraordinary, ancient practices to communities that have been traditionally underserved. She has created and led numerous retreats and workshops focusing on LGBTQI Communities. In April 2018 she penned her first book, Long Weekend: Guidance and Inspiration for creating your own Personal Retreat. Richelle’s Classes and Vision Workshops are life-changing. You will walk out with powerful clarity and strategies to create a life that you absolutely LOVE. A consummate teacher, Richelle embodies wellness and is dedicated to uplifting community with the profound healing practices of Yoga & Vision. https://www.ojahlife.com
Dr. Hy V. Huynh
Dr. Hy V. Huynh (they/he) is a Buddhist community psychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher. By day, they’re a global mental health researcher, practitioner, and professor, advocating for the mental health of marginalized communities worldwide. By night, they’re a community gatherer and space holder, leading local meditation groups for the queer and trans / QTBIPOC community in Durham, NC. Much of how they show up in the world is inspired by their Vietnamese and queer and trans lineages and ancestors who fought for their right to exist and demonstrated alternative ways of loving and caring for one another.
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, cooks 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
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 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
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