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.

         2016-2017 Upcoming Retreats  

  • December 23 - January 1 -- 10-day Holiday Retreat with Sakti Rose, Nick Herzmark & Frank Leder
  • February 25 - March 2 -- Dhamma Dena Work Retreat with Doshin Houtman
  • March 3 - March 8 -- 6-day Embodied Mindfulness Retreat with Doshin
  • March 17 - 31 -- 2-week Vipassana Retreat for Queer practitioners with Arinna Weisman
  • April 28 - May 7 -- 10-day Women's Spring Retreat with Jill Rayna & Jain Hein       

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.