at Dhamma Dena Meditation Center

February 8th to 12th, 2024

"WE Recover TOGETHER: Using The Buddhas Teachings To Overcome Addictive and Compulsive Behaviors" is a retreat for people in recovery from using substances, behaviors, and coping mechanisms to soothe themselves or protect themselves. Together we will explore recovering from microaggressions like racism, genderism, homophobia, disability, classism along with the many other things that have caused us to make ourselves small, and obstruct the flow of self love towards our sacred beings. Using the Eight Step model, an alternative recovery program to the 12 step program of Alcoholic Anonymous that uses the Buddhist teachings to overcome addiction, we will recover together. Open to anyone who identifies as being in recovery.


Vimalasara is the Co-Author/ Co-Founder of Eight Step Recovery: Using The Buddha’s Teachings To Overcome Addiction. They are also the Co-Founder of the accredited program Mindfulness Based Addiction Recovery MBAR, a cousin of Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention.

Retreat Info


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.

The teachers and the center, in offering the teachings and retreat freely, are acting in a manner that reflects their alignment with the Buddhist teachings and their mutual interdependence with the community. In addition, the practice of Dana invites us to disrupt the transactional consumer economy where everything and everyone is commodified and to live into a world where we can support all beings, and the planet, through generosity and care.

You can make donations to Dhamma Dena and the teachers at any time.

Vimalasara: Paypal

Dhamma Dena: Paypal or venmo, or by sending a check to: Dhamma Dena, PO Box 183, Joshua Tree, CA 92252. Please write "We Recover Together Retreat" in the memo.

Covid Protocols

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.

Important Dhamma Dena Policies

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

Questions? Please contact us at retreats@dhammadena.org

Retreat FAQ

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 a suggested donation of $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 retreats@dhammadena.org. Please be prepared to wait for consolidated pick-ups and drop-offs and please avoid late night or early morning arrivals and departures.

Does this retreat include food and lodging? What will those be like?

Yes, this retreat includes lodging and 3 vegetarian meals daily. 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 living 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 retreats@dhammadena.org) 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?