Dhamma Dena, a Vipassana Buddhist center, was founded almost forty years ago by pioneer Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison, one of only four westerners initiated as a teacher by the eminent Burmese meditation master Sayagyi U Ba Khin. The center is named for Dhammadinna, a female disciple of the Buddha, and is situated in the Mojave Desert of California, near Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park. 

Dhamma Dena offers open silent meditation in our dharma hall, as well as several formal retreats each year. Ruth Denison created an enduring and unique method of practicing Vipassana, focused on mindfulness in every moment, with the attention always to this present moment as experienced directly through the movement and sensations of the body. This unique style of Vipassana meditation has influenced many contemporary Theravada teachers in the West, who now incorporate some form of mindful movement into their retreats. This style of teaching remains the hallmark of our center, and is carried on by Ruth's appointed teachers, with the same beautiful benefits to all who join us in practice here.


2018 Upcoming Retreats 
  • February 14 - 18Connecting the Dots                   with Sandy Boucher & Martha Boesing

  • March 11 - 16 – Dhamma Dena Work Retreat           with Doshin Houtman

  • March 18 - 25 Embodied Mindfulness Vipassana Retreat with Doshin Houtman

  • April 27 - May 6 – Women's Spring Retreat               with Jill Rayna & Shelley Hainer

  • September 21 - 30 – Dhamma Dena Work Retreat

  • October 2 - 16 – Two-week Vipassana Retreat for the Queer & Gender-fluid Community with Arinna Weisman & others

  • October 26 - November 4 – Fall Retreat 2018         with Jill Rayna & Shelley Hainer

  • December 23 - Jan 1, 2019  Holiday Retreat 2018 with S’akti Rose & Nick Herzmark

Visitors are welcome for silent meditation or formal retreats. Dedicated dharma practitioners who would like to come for a self-guided personal retreat are welcome. Lodging and meals are available daily. Feel free to contact the center about the possibility of a visit.

If you would like to receive email notifications about upcoming retreats,
sign up here.

If you would like to support the work of our center, to honor the legacy of Ruth Denison, and see her dream continue, please do so here.

Your donations are tax deductible.